Journalist, columnist and former High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom Kuldip Nayar died on Thursday. He was 95.

The funeral rites will be conducted at 1 pm at a crematorium on Lodhi Road in Delhi, reported The Hindu.

Nayar was born in Sialkot, in present-day Pakistan, on August 14, 1923, and started his career in Urdu journalism. He worked with The Statesman as an editor. He was a proponent of peace and human rights.

Historian Ramachandra Guha said Nayar was a journalist who “followed the dictates of his conscience rather than the lure of money or fame”. Guha, in a 2003 article titled Gentlemen of the Press, said Nayar was one of the first journalists to be put in jail when the Emergency was declared.

Guha said Nayar documented in detail, human rights violations by the state and his book, Between the Lines, was “perhaps the first non-fiction best-seller in India”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Nayar was “an intellectual giant of our times”. “Frank and fearless in his views, his work spanned across many decades,” said Modi. “His strong stand against the Emergency, public service and commitment to a better India will always be remembered. Saddened by his demise.”

Historian Irfan Habib said Nayar was a passionate campaigner of secularism and human rights. “Also wanted good neighbourly relations with Pakistan,” he added.