Swapan Dasgupta

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Swapan Dasgupta
Swapan Dasgupta in May 2016.jpg
Swapan Dasgupta in May 2017
MP of Rajya Sabha (Nominated)
Assumed office
25 April, 2016
Personal details
Born (1955-10-03) 3 October 1955 (age 63)
Calcutta, West Bengal, India
Spouse(s)Reshmi Dasgupta
Children1 son
ResidenceNew Delhi, India
Alma materLa Martiniere Calcutta
St. Stephen's College, Delhi
SOAS, University of London
Nuffield College, Oxford
OccupationJournalist, Writer, Public Policy Analyst, Politician

Swapan Dasgupta (born 3 October 1955) is an Indian journalist and Member of Parliament, being a presidential nominee to the Rajya Sabha (Council of States, or India's Upper House of Parliament).[1]

At various points in his career, he has held editorial posts at The Statesman, The Daily Telegraph, The Times of India, The Indian Express and India Today, where he was managing editor till 2003. He has published his works in The Pioneer, The Telegraph, Dainik Jagran, The Times of India, The New Indian Express, Outlook, The Free Press Journal and several other newspapers and magazines, and is currently a freelance writer for various publications. Over the last decade, he has acquired the fame of being one of the most frequently appearing faces on Indian television. He is seen in all major political debates featured in the English electronic media, and was well known for appearing on NDTV's weekly segment, "Politically Incorrect", with Mani Shankar Aiyar. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in the field of Literature and Education in 2015.[2] A self-professed believer in British Conservatism, he has often been seen to be supportive of the BJP and its politics, though has on a number of occasions taken stands that are contrary to the party line.[3][4]

Dasgupta was awarded Padma Bhushan (India's third highest civilian award) in 2015, for his contribution to Literature and Education.[5]

Early life[edit]

Swapan Dasupta was born in Calcutta in 1955 into a Bengali Baidya family. His father, S.C. Dasgupta, was the owner and chairman of the Calcutta Chemical Company, a well-known pharmaceutical company started by his grandfather, the Late K.C. Das during the period of Swadeshi entrepreneurship in Bengal. K.C. Das became famous for being amongst the first Indians to graduate from Stanford University in 1910.[6] His mother, Rekha (née Sen), was the daughter of the successful solicitor Susil Chandra Sen CBE, author of India's first Companies Act, and after whom a road is named (formerly Nandan Road) in the posh locality of Bhowanipore, South Calcutta. The Sen family were the erstwhile Rajas of Kalna, centred in Guptipara in West Bengal. He is also descended from the famous Gooptu clan through his maternal side.

He attended St. Paul's School, Darjeeling briefly, and completed his school education at La Martiniere Calcutta, where he was a contemporary of Chandan Mitra and Paranjoy Guha Thakurta. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from St. Stephen's College, Delhi in 1975, standing second in Delhi University. He completed his MA and PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. His thesis, completed in 1980, was entitled "Local politics in Bengal, Midnapur District".

After the death of his father in 1979, he returned to India and joined the Calcutta Chemical Company. However, acknowledging that his true calling was in academia, he soon stepped down. He returned to the United Kingdom to take up the position of a Junior Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, for which he was awarded the INLAKS Scholarship by the INLAKS-Shivdasani Foundation.[7]


He returned to India in 1986 and started off his journalistic career at The Statesman. He worked in senior editorial positions at newspapers including The Times of India, The Telegraph, The Indian Express and India Today. He is currently an independent columnist published in numerous national and international media.

Dasgupta is a journalist in the English media. He regularly appears on various Indian news channels including CNN-IBN,[8] NDTV[9] and Times Now[10] to debate on current issues pertaining to India and international affairs. He has edited a collection of essays: Nirad Chaudhuri—The First Hundred Years. He was a co-participant on the popular weekly show Politically Incorrect with Mani Shankar Aiyar on NDTV.

He also lectures extensively in both India and abroad on topics relating to history, politics & current affairs. He was recently lauded for his series on 'Indian Conservatism' at the King's India Institute, London's Distinguished Lecture Series at the Tagore Centre for Global Thought, King's College, London.[11]

He was awarded the C.F. Andrews Award by his alma mater, St. Stephen's College, in 2015 for being amongst the most distinguished alumni of the institution.

Larsen and Toubro Board[edit]

In February 2015, Swapan Dasgupta was appointed on the Board of Directors of Larsen and Toubro as a nominee of the Unit Trust of India.[12] Dasgupta's appointment to this post has given rise to some controversy.[13][14] He resigned from the position prior to being elected to the Rajya Sabha.

Nomination to the Rajya Sabha[edit]

In April, 2016, Dasgupta was nominated by the President of India Pranab Mukherjee to the Rajya Sabha. His term would continue till 2022. [15]

In spite of being perceived to be close to the Bharatiya Janata Party, he has not joined the party and remains an independent member in the Rajya Sabha.

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Reshmi Dasgupta, Lifestyle Editor at The Economic Times, and they reside in New Delhi. They have one son who currently lives in London.


  1. ^ "Subramanian Swamy, Sidhu, Suresh Gopi, Swapan Dasgupta nominated for Rajya Sabha". indianexpress.com. 23 April 2016. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Padma Awards 2015". pib.nic.in. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  3. ^ "Swapan Dasgupta needs to declare his BJP leanings..." indiatimes.com. Archived from the original on 3 July 2017. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  4. ^ "Swapan Dasgupta - Friends of BJP". friendsofbjp.org. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  5. ^ "Press Information Bureau". pib.nic.in. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Bengal's Long Lost Entrepreneurial Spirit". www.scribbler.co. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation". www.inlaksfoundation.org. Archived from the original on 28 December 2016.
  8. ^ "News18.com: CNN News18 Latest News, Breaking News India, Current News Headlines". News18. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  9. ^ "Barkha Dutt, other editors on Radia tapes controversy". ndtv.com. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  10. ^ timesnow.tv http://www.timesnow.tv/Debate-WikiLeaks-hits-India/videoshow/4360750.cms. Retrieved 20 July 2017. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ "King's College, London. Swapan Dasgupta: Political Conservatism in India - Old Ideology and New Politics".
  12. ^ "Business Standard". Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  13. ^ "India Samvad". Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  14. ^ "Hartosh Singh Bal on Dasgupta". Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  15. ^ "Official: Swamy, Sidhu, Swapan Dasgupta and Mary Kom nominated to Rajya Sabha by PMO - Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". dnaindia.com. 22 April 2016. Retrieved 20 July 2017.

External links[edit]