H. Y. Sharada Prasad
Born(1924-04-15)15 April 1924
Died2 September 2008(2008-09-02) (aged 84)
New Delhi, India
Resting placeDayanand Muktidham Crematorium, Delhi
Occupation(s)Civil servant
Known forAssociation with Indira Gandhi
Parent(s)Holenarasipura Yoganarasimham
AwardsPadma Bhushan
WebsiteH Y Sharada Prasad

Holenarasipur Yoganarasimham Sharada Prasad (15 April 1924 – 2 September 2008) was an Indian civil servant, journalist and writer, best known as the media adviser to Indira Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India.[1] He also served as the media adviser to Rajiv Gandhi, during Rajiv's tenure as the Indian Prime Minister.[2]

Background and personal life

Born in Bangalore on 15 April 1924, he was given the personal name "Sharada Prasad" by his parents.[3] His family hailed from the town of Holenarasipura in Hassan district of present-day Karnataka state, and his father's name was Yoganarasimham. Therefore, according to the naming convention prevalent in Karnataka, his full name became "Holenarasipura Yoganarasimham Sharada Prasad" or "H.Y. Sharada Prasad."

Sharada Prasad was born into an educated south Indian Mulukanadu Brahmin family whose mother-tongue is Telugu but who have been settled in Holenarasipura in the Kingdom of Mysore for at least a couple of centuries. His father, Holenarasipura Yoganarasimham, was a school master, while his mother Saraswathy, was a home-maker. Sharada Prasad was the eldest of their nine children.[4] Among his brothers was the noted botanist, the late Professor H.Y. Mohan Ram, who was the father of Indian Ocean's Rahul Ram.[5]


Sharada Prasad was educated mainly in Bangalore. He then started his career as a journalist at the Indian Express Group and later joined the Publications Division of the Government of India as an assistant editor. Later, he served as the editor of Yojana, the official journal of the Planning Commission of India. His stint as the editor of the journal was reported to have brought him to Indira Gandhi's notice, and she invited him to join her staff as the media adviser.[2]

During his tenure with Indira Gandhi, Sharada Prasad was known to have assisted in the establishment of two notable institutions, the Indian Institute of Mass Communication and the National Institute of Design.[6] The Government of India awarded him the third highest civilian honour of the Padma Bhushan, in 1999, for his contributions to society.[7]

Sharada Prasad died, aged 84, on 2 September 2008, due to age related illnesses, survived by his wife and two sons.[2] His life has been documented in his memoirs, A Window on the Wall[8] and a series of newspaper articles under the title, The Book I Won't Be Writing.[6]

See also


  1. ^ "H.Y. Sharada Prasad: A man synonymous with Indira Gandhi". Two Circles. 2 September 2008. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Sharada Prasad dead". The Hindu. 3 September 2008. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  3. ^ "167 Deceased Ancestors". Tribal Pages. 2016. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  4. ^ "The curious votary of free press". The Hindu. 12 February 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  5. ^ Chandrabhaal Tripathi (22 June 2018). "Doyen of Indian botanists no more". The Tribune India. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Lessons He Won't Be Giving Anymore". Outlook India. 22 September 2008. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  7. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  8. ^ Sharada Prasad H Y (2010). A Window on the Wall. Navakarnataka Publications. p. 130. ISBN 9788184671360.