Dileep Padgaonkar edited The Times of India for six years, a job he once quipped was the second-most important job in the country.
Dileep Padgaonkar, who was a part of the three-member interlocutors group for Jammu and Kashmir in 2008, passed away in Pune on Thursday, November 24, after brief illness.
Dr Padgaonkar, 72, a former editor of The Times of India, was unwell for past several weeks and died at a hospital in Pune, family sources said.
"Dr Padgaonkar was brought to Ruby Hall Clinic here from Prayag Hospital in a critical condition on November 18. When he was brought here, he was on ventilator support and there was multi-organ failure. From the day of admission, he was on dialysis and ventilator support," Sanjay Pathare, director, medical services, Ruby Hall Clinic, said.
Born in Pune in 1944, Dr Padgaonkar did his schooling from St Vincent's High School and later graduated from Fergusson College in political science.
He began his career in journalism at an early age and joined The Times of India as its Paris correspondent after receiving a doctorate in humanities in 1968.
He served the newspaper in various capacities before he was appointed its editor in 1988, a post he held for six years.
Between 1978 to 1986, he also worked with UNESCO in Bangkok and Paris.
Dr Padgaonkar was appointed a member of the three-member interlocutors group on Jammu and Kashmir, set up by the government after continuous unrest in the valley in 2008.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Dr Padgaonkar's 'contribution to journalism will always be remembered.'
'Dileep Padgaonkar was a leading public thinker whose contribution to journalism will always be remembered. Pained by his demise. RIP,' Modi tweeted.
Sidharth Varadarajan, founder editor of the online news Web site The Wire, said it was a 'terrible loss'.
'Just heard that my friend and former editor, Dileep Padgaonkar, passed away in Pune. Terrible loss, feel gutted,' he said on Twitter.
Senior journalist Rajdeep Sardesai said Padgaonkar was 'a man of culture and intellect.'
'My first editor Dileep Padgaonkar, a man of culture and intellect, someone who encouraged young talent, has passed away,' 'Sardesai tweeted.