Friday, 25 November 2016

Dilip Padgaonkar: A Pune Lad

Dilip Padgaonkar was a star for us students  in the department of communication and journalism at University of Pune (then Poona) in 1969-70.) We the students had no occasion to meet him because he had left the city to work in Paris as the Times of India correspondent. Our head of the department, Prof. L N Gokhale, would often speak about Dilip whom he had seen woking in the city as the reporter of the now defunct Poona Herald. Prof. Gokhale used to ask us to read Dilip's bylined stories and treat him as our role model.
To our teacher, Dilip was a local lad who studied in the Fergusson College. His father was a top official of the Bank of Maharashtra and a big name on the cultural and literary scene of the city.
Years later Dilip was the Editor of The Times of India based in its headquarters in Delhi. Our department used to invite him as a guest. Occasionally, I would meet him as a special correspondent of the UNI, the Indian Post, and the Observer of Business and Politics.
There was something pleasing about him. He did not have any airs though he was the Editor/Managing Editor of the country's most influential and largest  circulated  English daily. We the local journalists and journalism teachers were happy when he shifted from Delhi to Pune to live here permanently.
He continued to be a simpleton and an unassuming journalist. When I invited him to address a seminar in the FLAME campus, he willingly agreed to spend about an hour with the faculty and students. Once there, he spent almost two hours because he was highly impressed with the campus. and, more importantly, with the concept of Indian liberal education.
A couple of years later, we met again at a function in the city of Pune  and on his own, he said he would like to spend some time at the campus. This did not materialize.

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