Dileep Padgaonkar, The Times of India’s former editor who once said he held the second-most important job in the country, has been named one of three interlocutors in Kashmir by the UPA government.
However, the usually softspoken Francophile has been hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons in his new job, even as he offers a quote to anybody who sticks out a mike before him.
And in M.J. Akbar‘s Sunday Guardian, diarist Nora Chopra sticks it in:
“Dileep Padgaonkar, a non-working journalist, is [J&K chief minister] Omar Abdullah‘s choice. He was a part of prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee‘s Kashmir committee, which was a non-starter. Omar was with the NDA at the time. After the UPA came to power, Padgaonkar became the lone Hindu member in the National Minority Commission (sic) with a salary of around Rs 2 lakh per month.”
For the record, Padgaonkar is not a non-working journalist; he returned to the Times as editor of the edit page after the exit of another Times‘ loyalist, Gautam Adhikari. And at Akbar’s former abode, The Asian Age, Padgaonkar, an acknowledged foodie, most famously wrote a letter to the editor on the recipe for Egg Benedict.
Also read: How Padgaonkar christened a Pierre Cardin model
Hey, big mistake in this piece. Padgaonkar is NOT the TOI’s edit page editor. He’s a consultant who attends edit page meetings twice a week, that’s it. Samir Jain brought him on to lend the denuded edit page some sort of gravitas after Adhikari left – who was also a consultant, btw, but clearly the boss of the section though. I should know, I’m an insider. Feel free to check that, and do correct.