Gita Mehta, the daughter of prominent politician Biju Patnaik, was married to the well-known American publisher, the late Sunny Mehta, who passed away in December 2019 at the age of 77 in Manhattan.
Gita Mehta, the well-known author, journalist, and elder sister of Odisha’s Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, passed away in Delhi on Saturday evening.
She was 80 years old and had been unwell for quite some time. Geeta is survived by her son, Ajay Singh Mehta.
Gita Mehta, the daughter of the prominent politician Biju Patnaik, had married the renowned American publisher, the late Sunny Mehta, who passed away in Manhattan in December 2019 at the age of 77.
Upon hearing the news of her demise, Naveen Patnaik left for Delhi.
Born in Delhi in 1943 at the home of Biju and Gyan Patnaik, Geeta studied in India before going to the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, where she met her future husband, Sonny Mehta, who later became the chairman of the famous publishing house Alfred A. Knopf.
In 1979, Geeta authored her first book, ‘Karma Cola,’ which was a collection of essays on Indian spirituality and Western perceptions of it.
In 1989, she wrote her first novel, ‘Raj,’ which explored India’s vibrant history and culture against the backdrop of the Indian diaspora’s complex past. ‘Snakes and Ladders,’ written by Geeta, is one of her most seminal works.
During 1970-1971, she worked as a war correspondent for the American television network NBC and produced four documentaries.
Her film, a compilation of the Bangladesh Liberation War, ‘Deadline Bangladesh,’ was screened in cinemas in India and abroad. She also made films on elections in former princely states of India.
In January 2019, the Indian government honored her with the Padma Shri in the field of literature and education, an award she declined, citing potential misinterpretations due to the timing of the award, which came just before the general elections.