Eminent Author and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s Elder Sister, Gita Mehta, Passes Away at 80

New Delhi: Eminent author, documentary filmmaker, and journalist Gita Mehta, who was also the elder sister of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, passed away at her Delhi residence on Saturday. She was 80 years old and had been battling age-related ailments. Gita Mehta is survived by her son, while her publisher husband, Sonny Mehta, had predeceased her.

Born in 1943 to Biju Patnaik and Gyan Patnaik in Delhi, Gita Mehta pursued her education in India and the United Kingdom, where she attended the prestigious University of Cambridge. Throughout her career, she made significant contributions to literature, journalism, and the world of documentary filmmaking.

Among her notable literary works are ‘Karma Cola,’ ‘Snake and Ladders,’ ‘A River Sutra,’ ‘Raj,’ and ‘The Eternal Ganesha.’ Her writings often delved into diverse subjects, offering readers a unique perspective on various aspects of life and culture.

Gita Mehta shared a close bond with her younger brother, Naveen Patnaik, who currently serves as the Chief Minister of Odisha. During one of her visits to Bhubaneswar, she spoke highly of her brother, saying, “People of Odisha are fortunate enough to have a chief minister like Naveen Patnaik.”

Her passing has drawn condolences from prominent figures across the nation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his sorrow on Twitter, saying, “I am saddened by the passing away of noted writer Smt. Gita Mehta Ji. She was a multifaceted personality, known for her intellect and passion towards writing as well as filmmaking. She was also passionate about nature and water conservation. My thoughts are with @Naveen_Odisha Ji and the entire family in this hour of grief. Om Shanti.”

Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal also conveyed his condolences, saying, “Saddened to learn about the demise of accomplished English author Gita Mehta, sister of Hon’ble CM Shri @Naveen_Odisha, and conveyed heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and friends.”

Mehta’s contribution to literature and her strong connection with her homeland of Odisha have left an indelible mark, and her memory will be cherished by those who were touched by her work and her remarkable life.

As the news of her passing spreads, numerous Odisha ministers, dignitaries, and admirers have expressed their heartfelt condolences, reflecting the profound impact of her legacy in the world of literature and beyond.