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OBIT: Sushil Sharma, committed newsman, thorough gentleman

The Annapurna Express

The Annapurna Express

OBIT: Sushil Sharma, committed newsman, thorough gentleman

A lesser known side of Sharma’s later years was his spiritual quest. He was a keen follower of Paramhansa Yogananda

Birth: 12 December 1957, Pulchowk, Lalitpur

Death: 12 March 2021, Om Hospital, Kathmandu

Sushil Sharma, a prominent Nepali journalist, passed away on Friday, March 12. The 63-year-old was undergoing treatment at Om Hospital in Kathmandu for kidney-related problems when a blood clot stopped his heart.

Widely hailed for his non-partisan and liberal approach to journalism, he is perhaps best remembered for his unique interview style, bold commentaries, and to-the-point analysis.

A Dag Hammarskjöld fellow at the University of California at Berkeley, Sharma started his career with The Rising Nepal and later worked with The Kathmandu Post daily, Spotlight newsmagazine, and most prominently, BBC World Service. He was held up as a bold and fair storyteller by the news industry.

As one of the pioneering sports journalists of Nepal, Sharma had made a mark by covering 1984’s South Asian Games. He was also among the first Nepali sports journalists to observe major national and international football tournaments up close. Later, he shifted to doing political and social stories.

Of late, Sharma had taken a break from mainstream journalism to start a research project, Mission Possible Nepal, which he described as “a private initiative for public discourse on the political economy of Nepal.”  He wanted to diagnose the “real causes of the country’s backwardness and the right prescription for it.”

A lesser known side of Sharma’s later years was his spiritual quest. He was a keen follower of Paramhansa Yogananda, a 20th-century Indian yogi, who had stirred the Western world with his extraordinary teaching of Kriya Yoga and with a spiritual masterpiece, Autobiography of A Yogi

An inspiration for colleagues and juniors alike, Sharma was also a fine scholar, with several international papers to his credit.

Posting condolence messages on social media, the Nepali media community expressed deep sorrow over Sharma’s untimely demise. Bandana Rana, a noted journalist and a member of UN CEDAW, writes on Facebook: “There was so much more to learn from Sushil Sharma’s professional and spiritual journey!”

Posting a condolence tweet, former vice-chair of the National Planning Commission Swarnim Wagle remembered Sharma as “an exceptional gentleman, a seasoned journalist with integrity; and a thoughtful citizen who cared deeply about his country.”

Sharma is survived by wife, a son and daughter-in-law.