Remembering Dileep Padgaonkar…

28 Nov,2016


Former editor of The Times of India group and veteran journalist Dileep Padgaonkar passed away on Friday morning.  We reproduce here some tributes as published in a cross-section of publications


He wrote on politics not just as a commentator on events but as one deeply interested in styles of political discourse and action, what one could call political culture. He had deep convictions particularly about secularism, tolerance and made serious efforts at reconciliation in Kashmir not once but twice.

Nitin Desai, Economist (


His brilliant career saw efforts to protect a great newspaper from becoming a shopping mall, and India’s territorial integrity from the crumbling of its democratic institutions. His was a mind free ‘from  the desert of dead habit’, as comfortable in Pune as in Paris, and as incisive in political analysis as in cultural critique.

Ashoke Chatterjee, Academic (


He was an engaging intelligent man full of joie de vivre.

S Nihal Singh, Journalist (


Dileep came to the Times of India as an outsider and grew into the job. He got along very well with his colleagues and that’s how he got people to contribute to the paper. In those years, I was diplomatic editor and chief of bureau in Delhi, and there was never an occasion when Dileep interfered with my work. He gave his reporters space.

Subhash Chakravarti, journalist (


Both journalism and public life had a lot more to gain from Dileep Padgaonkar but that is not to be. I can see him in my mind’s eye, ever the Francophile, with his jaunty beret and omnipresent muffler, sometimes replaced by a Peshwa pagdi or a Rana topi, his favourite books clutched in one hand.

Anikendra Nath (Badshah) Sen, journalist (


At a time when many of his contemporaries would have liked nothing better than to cultivate politicians, wangle a nomination to the Rajya Sabha and cling to the suffocating confines of Lutyens’ Delhi, Padgaonkar sought personal renewal in the company of artists and cineastes, scholars and writers.

Siddharth Varadarajan, Journalist (


His period as editor of The Times of India was also one where the balance of power seemed to slowly shift away from editorial to marketing. Padgaonkar was troubled by it but didn’t allow the change to affect the core editorial independence of the newspaper. The editorial page remained sacrosanct. And when he seemed to lose the battle, he withdrew to his refined world of books, helping set up the wonderful book review magazine Biblio.

Rajdeep Sardesai, Journalist (


He was one of the last of those editors who had a reflective mind. He had strong views but he was accommodating towards those who didn’t agree with him. In that sense, he was the last of the very old fashioned editors

Swapan Dasgupta, Journalist (


Dileep Padgaonkar was a writer in the classic sense. He was one of the best writers and he enriched Indian journalism with his writing.

M D Nalapat, Journalist (


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