Dileep Padgaonkar, journalist and Kashmir peace envoy, dies at 72

In his 48-year-old career in journalism, Padgaonkar is best remembered for his spell as the editor of the Times of India


In 2010, Dileep Padgaonkar was appointed as one of the interlocutors on Kashmir by the Union government. Photo: AP
In 2010, Dileep Padgaonkar was appointed as one of the interlocutors on Kashmir by the Union government. Photo: AP

New Delhi: Dileep Padgaonkar, who once famously claimed that his job -- editor of the Times of India -- was the second most important in the country after the Prime Minister’s, died in Pune on Friday.

Padgaonkar, 72, spent 48 years in journalism, many of which were in the Times of India, which he joined in 1968 in Paris soon after completing his doctoral studies at the Sorbonne. He became the newspaper’s editor in 1988.

In 2010, Padgaonkar, who was born in Pune, was appointed as one of the interlocutors on Kashmir by the Union government along with academician Radha Kumar and information commissioner M.M. Ansari.

He was also the author of Under Her Spell, a book about director Roberto Rossellini’s turbulent stint in India in the late 1950s.

Swapan Dasgupta, Padgaonkar’s friend remembers him fondly. “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,” he said, adding that Padgaonkar was “unduly influenced by his French experience which became a great source of amusement for people.”

People—journalists as well as politicians—who knew Padgaonkar paid their tribute through the microblogging site twitter.

Rajdeep Sardesai, consulting editor, at India Today Group posted on his Twitter account on Friday, “My first editor Dileep Padgaonkar, a man of culture and intellect, someone who encouraged young talent, has passed away. RIP.”

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