‘N. Ram is stalling Malini Parthasarathy’s ascent’

The veteran journalist, author, civil rights activist, and former Indian high commissioner to London, Kuldip Nayar, weighs in on the tussle within the boardroom of The Hindu, in the latest issue of M.J. Akbar‘s weekly newspaper, The Sunday Guardian:

“I wonder why N. Ram, 65, is so reluctant to retire. People may have differed with his views and the manner in which he projected them, but they cannot deny that he is a successful journalist. Yet, he too, has to give a chance to his successor, N. Ravi, still waiting in the wings for his turn to give shape to his ideas about running the newspaper.

“Next in line is Malini Parthasarathy, who will possibly be the first woman editor of The Hindu. Strangely, although Ram is all for women’s reservation and other progressive causes, he seems to be stalling her chance to become the editor of the family newspaper.

“As a self-proclaimed leftist, N. Ram swears, ideologically, with the working journalists’ Act. According to this legislation, the journalist’s age of retirement is legally restricted to 60. If working journalists are compulsorily retired at 60, then why should not the editors?

“True, no retirement age is stipulated in the memorandum and articles of association of the company, relating to the directors of the The Hindu. What rules do exist apply only to the journalists working for the newspaper, who retire at 60.

“What happens to an editor who is also a director? Logically, he should also retire from the position at the age of 60, because that is the rule for the journalistic staff of The Hindu. Departing from this practice is neither fair nor proper.

“As it is a concession has been made to Ram, allowing him to continue till the age of 65 (which, in his case, will come in May 2010). Ram accepted the concession, despite it being a violation of the working journalists’ Act.

“For him to now say that he will not step down is to defy the norms of both journalistic tradition and democratic practice. He reminds me of The Statesman‘s late managing director C.R. Irani, with whom I worked. Irani’s obsession was to retain full control at all cost.”

Photograph: courtesy The Hindu

Also read: Indian Express vs The Hindu. N. Ram vs N. Ravi

Not just about the brothers, it’s the children too

Now, it’s Malini Parthasarathy vs The Stalinists

Express declares ceasefire, brothers declare war


  1. Mysore Peshva

    N. Ram’s recent conduct may have an allegory in George Orwell’s “animalism” (Animal Farm, 1945).

    Leftist or rightist, the rules seem to apply less to oneself than to others. Kuldip Nayar is spot on.

    To be a “samadarshi,” which is a key sign of a truly evolved human, seems to be hard indeed.

  2. ERR

    N. Ram should switch over to breeding lovely Golden Retrievers for which he is well known in Kennel circles. He should make this a fullrime hobby and leave Hindu to youngsters in the family.

  3. what the hindu management needs to day is an editor of the calibre and charishma of n.ram and in the kasturi family only N.RAM fits that bill AT PRESENT . Under N.Ravi as editor , The Hindu was stagnant and circulation also dipped and loses occured for the first time in 2002 . Under Ravi every employee of THE HINDU was acting like monarchs of all they survey or so it seemed . N.Ravi never co-ordinated the various depts as per reports then or so it seemed and alleged by even the staff there . .
    At least under N,.Ram , Calcutta edition was launched with Mumbai edition soon to follow . N. Murali never had any ambition or so it seems for the readers of the hindu in northern states . He should have initiated steps to launch Mumbai edition 15-20 years back and editions from some big cities of north . . DNA and HT have launched editions and are building up circulation now and giving tough fight to TOI now in BOMBAY . Instead , TOI was alloewed to get established in MADRAS also and MURALI IS WATCHING with out any reaction . What The Hindu needs now is a dashing editor like N.Ram and managers like PRADEEP GUHA .

    No doubt KULDEEP NAYAR IS AFGUING THE CASE for RAVI and Malini as during their earlier regime , Kuldeep nayar got so many of his articles published in THE HINDU then . Under
    N.RAM , he has no chance to get his articles published . Readers of THE HINDU want only N.RAM AS EDITOR FOR ANOTHER 15-20 YEARS .

  4. N Ram is disgusting to say the least. The high moral ground he chooses to take are completely contrary to his actual conduct. His objectivity in reporting and editorial presentation is zero. His support for Prakash Karat, Brinda Karat, Sri Lanka, Rajapaksa, China et al is well known. Rajapaksa has been known to have done genocide against Tamilians. But N Ram a tamilian himself, loses all objectivity when reporting on Rajapaksa. On the other hand N Ram is dead against Narender Modi. SIT has given N Modi a clean chit but N Ram choses to ignore that news in his newspaper. He tries to cover up the A Raja fracas with 2G to the extent possible, posting all good about DMK, Kalig’naar’ and A (DoT) Raja. What sort of newspaper is Mr N Ram running? I have written letters to the editor to The Hindu in my muslim pseudonym, it always gets published. But if I write it under my hindu name, it seldom gets published. What’s to it that N Ram has about the muslims that he chooses to be so pro-muslims? The Hindu is the first newspaper to have coined the term “hindu terrorism, hindu fundamentalism”. The world knows what a menace islamic terrorism is, yet, N Ram is the foremost in brining parity (God knows where is the logic in it?) between hindus and muslims in terms of terrorism. In N Modi’s Gujarat even muslims vote for BJP. This shows muslims prefer straight forward leaders, than hypocrites like N Ram and Karunanidhi. Which also means that muslims will always have anti-India sentiments till our leaders behave in a straight forward manner like N Modi and Nitish Kumar….Is there a lesson for the likes of N Ram Malini Parthasarathy and N Ravi? Unlikely……God Bless India. It is because of these lousy people that USA smirks at India’s restraint. It mocks at Indian politicians opacity. It even mocks at the Indian Army saying it is slow and lumbering. Afterall a nation’s army can only be as good as the nation’s leadership that it serves. N Ram reminds me of George Orwell’s 1984, where Orwell takes a dig at communism with “all are equal but some people are more equal”. Truly, in N Ram’s ideologue, he is more equal than others. It is his ego that prevents him from retiring from active journalism. He will leave ….when the readership for his newspaper and other magazines falls. That will happen slowly now that DC and ToI have invaded the South. Till then we’ll have to bear with the jokers of The Hindu

  5. Karthik

    The Hindu needs a break, or needs to be shutdown. For gosh’s sake, this is not just a leftist rag, but openly supports Chinese causes! The Hindu is the only newspaper that prints a grovelling article about China every single day.

    Let’s make it clear, any one who supports an enemy of India is guilty of high treason. China is India’s eternal enemy. By association, N Ram is guilty of high treason.

    It is truly insulting to the idea of India that this leftist rag run by Chinese plants calls itself “India’s National Newspaper”. This is an Anti-Indian, Anti-national newspaper. To make it worse, it has tied up with another Locust, NDTV, to eat away at India’s vitals electronically. Either this paper, or its editor needs to go.

  6. Ref Mr Nayar’s comment on C R Irani: As one who served as CRI’s Associate Editor and worked closely with him, I’ll say he may have had his quirkiness, but he foresaw the issue of succession and groomed Ravindra Kumar (no relative of his) as Managing Editor with editorial and financial powers a decade before his death so that things were in place when he did pass on.

  7. Sunil

    I was recently watching devdutt patnaik and laila tayyabji with N Ram where devdutt turned N Ram speechless on host of topics. It was evident that N Ram was trying to push on the outcome of the discussion on to the two panellists however devdutt came as much more smarter . I feel said that N Ram being a journalist is so fond of pushing his political agenda to others rather thwn reporting sincerely also its not that others like the Nanda of the Zee tv etc don’t support political parties however it would have been nice if we could have honest reporting then getting this garbage and for that matter unlike TOI.

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