“A dedicated librarian, thorough gentleman, who had a deep interest in literature and poetry” — that’s how former diplomat and author Pavan K Varma remembers Dr Hari Krishen Kaul, who he had first met during his college days, when he was working as the Executive Assistant to the Director at India International Centre (IIC). Kaul was the Chief Librarian at IIC, and had served there for four decades. A noted library and information specialist, author, poet, and bibliographer, he died after battling with Covid-19 for two weeks. He was 79.
Kaul was known for forming DELNET, a network of over 1,500 libraries in South Asia, in 1988, and was the founder-member and president of the Poetry Society (India), which he set up in 1984, along with poets Keshav Malik, J P Das and Lakshmi Kannan.
Hailing from Kashmir, Kaul was a postgraduate in library and information science from the University of Mumbai and got his PhD from the University of Pune.
An author of more than 50 books, he was known for editing anthologies Traveller’s India and Historic Delhi. “As publishers, we looked forward to our books being a part of the discussion programme at IIC,” veteran publisher Sridhar Balan told The Indian Express.
Noted poet-critic K Satchidanandan remembered him as a “very gentle person… who found pleasure in promoting young poets”.
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