Siddharth Varadarajan is an Indian American journalist, editor, and academic (born 1965). He is the former editor of The Hindu, one of India’s leading English language newspapers. He has reported on the NATO war against Yugoslavia, the destruction of the Bamyan Buddhas by the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq and the crisis in Kashmir. Varadarajan has edited a book titled Gujarat:The Making of a Tragedy which is about the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Siddharth Varadarajan Career
After studying economics at the London School of Economics and Columbia University, Varadarajan taught at New York University for several years before joining The Times of India as an editorial writer in 1995. In 2004, he joined The Hindu, India’s English-language newspaper, as deputy editor. He worked as the Hindu’s Chief of National Bureau, succeeding Harish Khare, who was named as then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s media adviser, in June 2009.
Siddharth Varadarajan as the Editor of The Hindu
In May 2011, the shareholders of Kasturi and Sons Ltd. held an extraordinary general meeting and voted to appoint Varadarajan as The Hindu’s editor on the recommendation of the company’s board, thus making Varadarajan the first editor of the newspaper not drawn from the family of shareholders in its 150-year history. Prior to his appointment, The Hindu’s editors were drawn from the family of the company’s owners. On Oct 21, 2013, Siddharth Varadarajan publicly announced via Twitter, his resignation from The Hindu, citing a change in policy by the owners of the newspaper to go back to being a family run and edited newspaper.
Siddharth Varadarajan Ineligibility Case
Subramanian Swamy filed a case in Delhi High Court to challenge his appointment as editor since Varadarajan is a US citizen. On June 2012, Dr Swamy also made a written complaint to Press Registrar and Asst Press Registrar of News Papers of India under Ministry of IB, Govt of India. N Ram denied Varadharajan’s resignation in any way related to Dr Swamy’s case but admitted that it “was hanging like a sword over our heads”.
Swamy’s petition was dismissed by the Delhi High Court as according to the court the issue had become infructuous “because during the pendency of the writ petition the respondent no. 3 [Mr. Varadarajan] resigned from the post of Editor of The Hindu …’’. Varadarajan has said in an interview that Swamy had demanded more coverage in The Hindu of his statements through an intermediary. Barbs and warnings were then given by Swamy to Varadarajan, and when Varadarajan kept refusing to oblige, Swamy filed his case in court.
Siddharth Varadarajan Academic positions
In 2007, Varadarajan was a visiting professor at the Graduate School of Journalism, University of California, Berkeley. In 2009, he was a Poynter Fellow at Yale University.
Siddharth Varadarajan Other affiliations
Varadarajan is a member of the International Founding Committee of The Real News, a board member of the inter-governmental B.P. Koirala India-Nepal Foundation, a member of the Indian Council of World Affairs and member of the editorial board of India Quarterly: A Journal of International Affairs and a member of the Executive Council of the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies
Siddharth Varadarajan Current Work
In 2015, Varadarajan founded an online news portal called The Wire and became its Founding Editor.
Siddharth Varadarajan Awards and recognition
In November 2005, the United Nations Correspondents Association awarded Varadarajan the Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Prize Silver Medal for Print Journalism for a series of articles, Persian Puzzle on Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
In March 2006, he was awarded the Bernardo O’Higgins Order by the President of Chile—that country’s highest civilian honor for a foreign citizen—for his contributions to journalism and to the promotion of India’s relations with Latin America and Chile. In July 2010, he received the Ramnath Goenka award for Journalist of the Year (Print).