Girilal Jain, 69, Editor; Backed Indira Gandhi: The New York Times

Girilal Jain, an influential Indian journalist and ardent supporter of Indira Gandhi, died on July 19 in New Delhi. He was 69.

Mr. Jain, who joined The Times of India in 1950, served as editor in chief from 1978 to 1988. In columns and other writings, he often argued that a weak central government was a danger to India, and that Mrs. Gandhi — whose critics called her dictatorial — was needed to provide authority, discipline and order. She was Prime Minister from 1966 to 1977 and from 1980 until she was assassinated in 1984.

His support of Mrs. Gandhi was notable during her crackdown on political opponents from 1975 to 1977, beginning with the arrest of hundreds.

After her death, Mr. Jain continued to call for strong government, writing in 1987 of the need to renew and strengthen “the institutions of a modern state which we inherited from the British, and which have become caricatures of the original models.”

Mr. Jain, who was born in a rural village 50 miles from New Delhi, received a bachelor’s degree from Delhi University.

He married Sudarshan Jain in 1951; they had a son and three daughters.

A version of this article appears in print on July 26, 1993, Section B, Page 8 of the National edition with the headline: Girilal Jain, 69, Editor; Backed Indira Gandhi.

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