Siddharth Varadarajan

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Siddharth Varadarajan, Founding Editor of The Wire
Siddharth Varadarajan
Alma materColumbia University
London School of Economics
OccupationFounding Editor of The Wire (Indian web publication)
Spouse(s)Nandini Sundar
AwardsShorenstein Journalism Award,
Bernardo O'Higgins Order,
Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Prize,
Ramnath Goenka Memorial Award for Journalist of the Year

Siddharth Varadarajan (born 1965) is an American journalist, editor, and academic. He is the former editor of The Hindu. 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.[1]

Early career[edit]

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.[2]

Editor of The Hindu[edit]

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.[3] 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.[4]

Ineligibility Case[edit]

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.[5][6] 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".[7] 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 ….[8] 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.[9]

Academic positions[edit]

In 2007, Varadarajan was a visiting professor at the Graduate School of Journalism, University of California, Berkeley.[10] In 2009, he was a Poynter Fellow at Yale University.[11][12]

Other affiliations[edit]

Varadarajan is a member of the International Founding Committee of The Real News,[13] a board member of the inter-governmental B.P. Koirala India-Nepal Foundation,[14] a member of the Indian Council of World Affairs and member of the editorial board of India Quarterly: A Journal of International Affairs[15] and a member of the Executive Council of the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies[16]

Current Work[edit]

In 2015, Varadarajan along with Sidharth Bhatia and M.K. Venu co-founded the online news portal called The Wire and became one of its Founding Editor.[17]

Awards and recognition[edit]

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.[18] 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.[19] In July 2010, he received the Ramnath Goenka award for Journalist of the Year (Print).[20]



  • Gujarat The Making of a Tragedy. Penguin. 2003. ISBN 978-0143029014.
  • Nonalignment 2.0: A Foreign and Strategic Policy for India in the 21st Century. Penguin. 2014. ISBN 978-0670086986.

Essays, reporting and other contributions[edit]

  • Varadarajan, Siddharth (January 12, 2015). "A year of living aspirationally". 2014: The Year that Was. Outlook. 55 (1): 120–124. Retrieved 2016-01-07.
  • "Global threats and India's quest for strategic space" in Great Powers and Strategic Stability in the 21st Century (Ed: Graeme Herd) ISBN 978-0-415-56054-2


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Harish Khare
Chief of the National Bureau
The Hindu

2009- 2011
Succeeded by
Praveen Swami
Preceded by
Narasimhan Ram
The Hindu

Succeeded by
N. Ravi