Veteran journalist and intellectual Dileep Padgaonkar passed away this morning at Pune. Born in the city in 1944, he matriculated from St. Vincent’s High School and went on to graduate from Fergusson College. On the sad demise of this media icon, we spoke to a few eminent journalists who fondly remember Dileep.
Rajdeep Sardesai, Eminent Journalist and News Anchor and Consulting Editor at the India Today group
I have shared many fond memories with him. Dileep Padgaonkar has been a very fine journalist and was always kind and encouraging towards young journalists, he would provide many opportunities. He was the most supportive during the 1992 Mumbai riots and allowed us to cover it fearlessly, for this I owe him a huge debt.
M D Nalapat, Editorial Director The Sunday Guardian
Dileep Padgaonkar was a writer in the classic sense. He was one of the best writers and he enriched Indian journalism with his writing.
Ravi Srinivasan Editor, Hindu Business Line
Dileep Padgaonkar according to me was an underrated editor and ahead of his times. I have seen a lot of transformation with Times of India from the traditional newspaper to a commercially driven one, for which Samir Jain is given credit. But, it was Padgaonkar that did his best to execute it and at the same time upholding the editorial quality. He even had the ability to reach out to a different audience. I feel that he is not given enough credit for his work.
Shriram Pawar, Group Chief Editor, Sakal Group
He was an iconic journalist and apart from that he was also a big contributor to other fields. It is a big loss to the nation. He was the only Marathi leader at the Times of India. He had a very strong network not just in India but all over the world as well. I realised this while working with him. It is a big loss for journalism.
Anand Agashe, Senior Journalist
Padgaonkar’s passing away is a big personal loss for me. But more than that, his sudden departure has taken away a rare voice of sanity in these turbulent times. His wealth of knowledge and global experience combined well with his sobriety and extraordinary articulation. This made him a leading public intellectual of our era. Indian journalism has definitely become poorer with his demise.
Sunanda Mehta, Resident Editor, Indian Express, Pune
When it comes to journalism, Dileep Padgaonkar is one person who had a huge impact. He was one of the most heard of editors from the Times of India and he had a huge following.
He had his own brand of journalism that encouraged analytic and well researched writing. Even after he left active journalism, his name still rings a bell and this in itself is an indicator of his body of work and it’s long lasting impact. He never gave up on his crusade for social and cultural issues in Pune too and spearheaded many initiatives to make it a better and more intellectually alive city.
Sudha Menon, Author and Journalist
He was a luminary. As a rookie journalist, I looked up to him and admired how grounded he was and tuned in to the realities of life in the country. I had run into him at an art exhibition earlier this month and I’m shocked that he is no more.
Rahul Chandawarkar, Goa based journalist and former editor, Sakal Times, Pune
Eminent journalist Dileep Padgaonkar who passed away in a Pune hospital on Friday morning was a gentleman editor. Extremely courteous and well mannered, he always encouraged budding journalists. He followed the Sakal Times newspaper in Pune very closely when I was the editor between 2012-15 not hesitating to pick up the phone to give ideas and suggestions.
Extremely fond of cartoons, he was always happy to see large-sized political cartoons made by the young cartoonist Alok Nirantar displayed prominently on the front pages of Sakal Times. “This is the only way to display good cartoons. Not bury them in the inside pages,” Dileep would tell me enthusiastically.
Rohit Chandawarkar, Editor, Sakal Times
Dileep Padgaonkar was one of the rare senior journalists of his generation. He was one of the few who had a wide range of knowledge whether it was being in touch with ground reality or national affairs. Mr Padgaonkar was acceptable to all political parties and would be a mediator. He was even appointed as one of the interlocutors on the Kashmir issue by the government. Personally, I have worked under his guidance and he has always been courteous and supportive.
Rest in peace Sir.
Pune365 expresses its heartfelt condolences to Dileep Padgaonkar’s family and friends.