Mumbai, Sep 25 (PTI) Noted writer Arun Sadhu, who straddled the worlds of literature and journalism with equal elan, passed away here early today at a hospital following a heart condition.

Sadhu (76) breathed his last at the Sion Hospital where he was admitted yesterday for a heart ailment. He was in a critical condition and put on ventilator support in the Intensive Care Unit, hospital sources said.

“He was suffering from a muscular heart condition, cardio myopathy,” Dr Jayshree Mondkar, dean-in-charge of the hospital, said.

As per his last wish, there will be no funeral service as he wanted his body to be donated, family members said. He is survived by his wife, social activist Aruna and two daughters.

Several people paid tributes to Sadhu at his Bandra residence in the afternoon.

Born on June 17, 1941 in Amravati district of Vidarbha region, Sadhu began his journalistic career in 1962, starting as a freelancer, and later worked with The Times of India, The Indian Express, The Statesman and Marathi newspaper Kesari. He was editor of the Free Press Journal during 1987-1989.

Sadhu’s first novel ‘Mumbai Dinank’ and the subsequent ‘Simhasan’ formed the basis of the Marathi film ‘Simhasan’ (1979) directed by Jabbar Patel.

The film, which depicted the power struggle for the post of Maharashtra chief minister from the eyes of a journalist, is considered a classic of Marathi cinema.

Sadhu wrote several other Marathi novels and short stories, and received a Sahitya Akademi award. He was also conferred with the Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad, N C Kelkar and Acharya Atre awards.

He had also been the head of the Department of Communication and Journalism of Pune University.

The veteran scribe also wrote on the rise of Shiv Sena, the Vietnam war and the Chinese revolution.

He was elected President of the 80th Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan (Marathi literary convention) held in Nagpur in 2007.

Among those who paid tributes to Sadhu were Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

Modi extended “deepest condolences” to Sadhu’s family and admirers in a tweet.

Gandhi, in her condolence message, said Sadhu would be remembered for his immense contribution to Hindi, English and Marathi literature through his novels.

Fadnavis said Sadhu was “an effective commentator of society and his writings reflected socio-political reality”.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar said in the passing away of Sadhu, “we have lost someone who analysed the social psyche in a balanced manner.”

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.