Vilie-o Rutsa speaking on behalf of the family during the funeral service of Xavier Rutsa in Kohima on June 11. (Morung Photo)
Dimapur, June 11 (MExN): Many people and organizations today mourned the demise of Xavier Rutsa, a senior journalist and president of Kohima Press Club on June 11. Xavier was a correspondent for the Times of India, Guwahati edition.
Governor: The Governor of Nagaland, PB Acharya described Xavier as “a fine gentleman, a sensitive journalist, a generous friend and a thoughtful writer.” Nagaland journalism has lost a refined journalist today, he stated. Acharya in a condolence note said that his legacy will continue to inspire the budding journalists as “he was a mentor to young journalists and a fountain of wisdom to his colleagues.”
CM: Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio recollected that Xavier being a keen sports enthusiast used to report extensively on local sporting events and also dedicated his free time towards various social activities. “During the course of my many interactions with him over the years, I found him to be sincerely committed towards social causes and he was always positive in his approach towards public concerns,” Rio stated in a message. “In his demise, the people of Nagaland have lost a towering media personality, a good friend and a simple, humble human being.”
Vikho-o Yhoshü: Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) speaker Vikho-o Yhoshii stated, “He (Xavier) was a fine and an upright gentleman so engrossed and committed to the profession he pursues, always ready and guided by the true ethics of journalism; to report on things objectively.”
TR Zeliang: Leader of Opposition TR Zeliang remembered Xavier as “reliable, unbiased and a man guided by journalism ethics.” In a condolence message, Zeliang said the deceased was a “suave gentleman” who liked to keep things professional and delved only on pertinent issues. “He was actively involved in the activities of the media fraternity. He was an epitome of a good journalist and his untimely demise is a great loss to the media fraternity of Nagaland.”
Y Patton: Deputy Chief Minister of Nagaland, Y Patton stated the Nagas have lost a “true son of the soil.” He acknowledged that Xavier’s contribution to the Naga society as a journalist is immense, adding the deceased was regarded as a man of integrity. His death is a great loss to the media fraternity of Nagaland and Nagas in general, Patton added.
Shürhozelie: Dr. Shürhozelie Liezietsu, president of Naga People’s Front (NPF) called it “tragic” that “such a young man with his (Xavier) caliber who is not only contributing to the society through his journalism but also active in many social organization had left for his heavenly abode.” He described Xavier as “an honest and an upright senior journalist of deep understanding with an incisive edge in his writings.”
K Therie: Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) president K Therie remembered Xavier as “a tall figure among the fraternity whose affable yet professional personality made him stand out and also gave him access to all sections of society irrespective of their affiliations.” He left a lasting impression upon those he came into contact with for his wit and knowledge and foresight on various issues including politics, Therie said in a condolence message. “His sincerity and dedication to duty will leave an indelible mark and an immeasurable contribution to journalism in the state which will be difficult to be replaced.”
Temjen Toy: Nagaland Chief Secretary Temjen Toy stated, “Words fail me as I come to terms with this reality. Xavier was one senior journalist who always had his ears to the ground. He was one never to sensationalise but to present his stories in the fairest manner. His political analysis was phenomenal and earned him respect from colleagues. His quiet demeanor, politeness and unobtrusive nature while displaying his brand of humour made him popular among all those who were privileged to know him.”
Prasanta Mazumdar: Special Correspondent for The New Indian Express (Guwahati), Prasanta Mazumdar also expressed shock and sadness to have lost a dear friend in Xavier Rutsa. “During my seven-year (2001-08) stint with Nagaland Post, there was hardly a day when the two of us did not talk to each other. That did not stop even after I had moved out of Dimapur to Guwahati although the frequency of it got widened,” he reminisced. “One of the few Naga journalists that I first befriended, he was always the one I looked up to for insight into Nagaland’s socio-political issues.”
ASU: Angami Students’ Union (ASU) stated Xavier always rendered his “valuable service” to the union as and when required. “He was a strong pillar to us, by always sharing his immeasurable knowledge, views and opinions particularly when it comes to his fields of journalism,” stated ASU president, Visako Rino in a condolence message. The union conveyed “utmost respect and heartfelt thanks” to its “most resourceful mentor” Xavier Rutsa for all his contribution towards ASU. “His immense contribution to our community and the Nagas in general will always be treasured and remembered.”
ANCSU: The All Nagaland College Students’ Union (ANCSU) also expressed sadness at the sudden demise of Xavier Rutsa, who it called “a prominent figure for our Naga generation.”
AYO: Angami Youth Organisation (AYO) asserted Xavier was a promising individual who set various examples in the field of literature and arts. “He was an abled person, renowned philanthropist loved and admired by all. The news of his demise has caused the AYO to lament and mourn the loss of a man of true quality whom the Angami community looked upon as a veteran in all spheres,” said AYO president, Neinguvotuo Krose. “His good gestures and valuable services towards the community and the society will never be forgotten.”
BJP: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Nagaland expressed shock and grief at the demise of Xavier. “He was a dedicated person in his profession and role model for thousands youngsters. His contribution for the betterment of the society especially to the party men and women will be remembered by all,” read a condolence message from BJP president, Visasolie Lhoungu and general secretary, Eduzu Theluo.
CEC NUTA: The Central Executive Council of Nagaland University Teachers’ Association stated, “Xavier was a solid representative to the media in the state who covered university issues for the last two decades with great interest and committed towards establishment of an academia, free from corruption and nepotism.”
DPC: The Dimapur Press Club (DPC) remembered Xavier as a sincere and diligent person who contributed selflessly for the Naga society and Kohima Press Club as a responsible journalist. “Xavier Rutsa’s untimely demise is a loss not only for the Press fraternity but the entire community,” it added in a message issued by President Moa Longkumer and General Secretary S. Henlly Phom.
IPR Department: Adviser for Information and Public Relations, SCERT and Village Guard, Toshi Wungtung has condoled the demise of Xavier Rutsa. Director IPR, Limawati Ao meanwhile said, “Words are inadequate to express the loss we feel and the loss to the Press fraternity his untimely death has caused.” He stated Xavier was a man wise beyond his years and was a true pillar of the Fourth Estate. “A true gentleman to the core, Xavier was a man who was steadfast in his quest for the truth, always striving to maintain balance even in trying times,” IPR Director stated.
JFA: Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) also mourned the demise. “While mourning Xavier’s demise, let’s learn from the tragedy. The scribes should keep aside adequate time for his/her personal health. At least they should go for regular screenings of blood pressure along with other parameters. The scribe’s body may take a lead here,” said a JFA statement issued by its president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava.
KPC: Kohima Press Club (KPC) in condolence message stated, “He (Xavier) was a towering figure in journalism, who clearly distinguished himself as an icon of a free press and somebody who was a reservoir of knowledge pertaining to the media industry.”
Kripa Foundation: Director and staff of Kripa Foundation Nagaland said Xavier was a remarkable man with deep passion for journalism, sports, social and political issue of Nagaland. Further describing him as “a soft spoken, ever smiling, pleasant natured and God fearing person,” a condolence note from Foundation Director Abou Mere stated, “In his demise, we have lost a confidante; sincere and hard working journalist. We will continue to remember him with respect and admiration of his leadership and contribution to our state, especially in the field of journalism.”
MJA: The Mizoram Journalists’ Association (MJA) asserted that the unexpected demise of Xavier Rutsa is an irreparable loss to the entire journalist fraternity of Northeast India and especially the journalists of Nagaland. “Xavier Rutsa was a true leader who led from the front; he was a soft spoken and affable leader who was accessible to all. He was also an experienced visionary leader who strived hard for the betterment and welfare of his fellow journalists,” the Association stated in a condolence note. It offered “highest respect and salutations to a leader who remained committed to the cause of journalism.”
MPC: Mokokchung Press Club speaking of Xavier said, “We are honoured and blessed to have acquainted with such a proficient journalist, a dynamic leader and a wonderful human being.” The Club in a condolence note from President Limalenden Longkumer and General Secretary Sashimeren Jamir prayed to God to give solace and courage to the bereaved family to get through the difficult time.
Nagaland Page: The Editor and Staff of Nagaland Page stated Xavier Rutsa was known for his dedication and sincerity towards his work as a journalist and also as a person who worked towards the uplift of society by involving himself in various organizations. “A thorough gentleman, late Xavier has left behind many a valuable contribution, which will ever be remembered by all. His demise is not only a loss to his family, but also to the media fraternity and the Nagas as a whole,” they added in a condolence note.
Nagaland Post: Editor-in-chief of Nagaland Post, Geoffrey Yaden informed that Xavier worked with Nagaland Post at intervals and eventually left in April 2012. “During the period, I found Xavier to be an honest, sober, friendly and a conscientious worker,” he said in a condolence message. “Late Xavier was a thorough gentleman and a rare breed among contemporary youths. The entire press fraternity in Nagaland and especially those who knew late Xavier will surely miss him and his absence will be felt for a long time,” the note added.
NDPP: Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) described the deceased as “a multi-faceted, down to earth person, an intellect, and a refined gentleman.” A condolence note from NDPP Media and Communication stated the press fraternity in particular and Nagaland in general have lost another of its ardent professional and valuable asset who will be long remembered.
NEN: North East Network (NEN) Nagaland Team also expressed shock and sadness at the demise of Xavier who it described as “a dear friend to us and a supporter we have always counted on.” His departure means the loss of a man of virtue who truly believes in social justice, NEN stated.
NGA: Nagaland Gorkha Association (NGA) remembered the deceased as a gentleman without any inhibitions. “He was a soft-spoken, gentle and kind person who endeared himself to anyone he came into contact with,” said NGA president, Nobin Pradhan. “His shocking demise has left a very big void in the press fraternity and a huge vaccum which will be hard to fill.”
NPA: Nagaland Press Association (NPA) stated Xavier was a dedicated journalist. “His contribution to the field of journalism and highlighting issues of day to day affairs of Nagaland is highly commendable. Late Xavier was also involved in various social organizations and gave his best for the upliftment of Naga society,” it added in a condolence note issued by President K. Temjen Jamir and General Secretary Along Longkumer. “His demise is a loss not only to the Press Fraternity of Nagaland, but the entire Naga community in general.”
NPCC: The Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) said Xavier’s friendly attitude and humble approach made him accessible to every leader irrespective of political party or ideological affiliations. “His contribution to the growth of journalism in the state especially through the coverage brought out in the mainstream media as Times of India Correspondent will always be remembered,” stated Capt GK Zhimomi, NPCC general secretary in a message. “In his passing away, the media fraternity in the state has lost a pioneering leader and a colleague whose works will continue to inspire many.”
NPF Youth Wing: The NPF Central Youth Wing in a message said, “Words are inadequate to express the loss of a prolific writer and a senior correspondent of various leading newspapers who has contributed immensely to our society as well as to the media fraternity in disseminating unbiased reports, revealing the true sides, without any fear or favour.”
NPYC: The Nagaland Pradesh Youth Congress (NPYC) expressing shock over the demise stated, “As a senior journalist in the state, his (Xavier) genuine contribution to every aspect of media coverage irrespective of political party or ideological affiliation is praiseworthy, admirable and meritorious.” In his demise, it said, the media fraternity and public in general have lost “pioneering and sincere journalist” in the state.
NSF: The Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) said Xavier Rutsa was closely associated with the activities of NSF and will always be remembered as an upright person. “He was a dedicated and a person of strong integrity in his line of profession,” acknowledged NSF president, Kesosul Christopher Ltu. Xavier’s demise is not only a great loss to the media fraternity but the society at large, he added.
TOI: “We, at The Times of India, will forever remember Xavier as a soul full of love, care and compassion,” read a message from Keshav Pradhan & his team, Editor, Regional Editions (East) TOI and Oinam Sunil, Bureau Chief (Northeast). “He wrote for us for about 15 years, very honestly and diligently. He was always fair, truthful and accurate in his reports that we eagerly waited for every day.”
Vanguard FC: Vanguard FC- Tseminyu expressed Xavier being not only a distinguished and dedicated journalist but also a passionate football lover and an ardent promoter of the game, his untimely demise has left a huge vacuum. “Yet, his contributions in both fields and to the society in general being highly commendable, his legacy will continue to live in our hearts and we remain ever thankful for all that he did in his lifetime,” Vanguard FC – Tseminyu Management team stated in a message.
All the individuals and organizations offered condolences to the family of the deceased and media fraternity.