Senior journalist and political commentator Paranjoy Guha Thakurta has confirmed that he has been appointed as the editor of the Economic and Political Weekly. Thakurta will take over from Rammanohar Reddy, who finishes his tenure in March-end. Thakurta has reported for several publications and has also written several books, including Gas wars: Crony capitalism and the Ambanis and Media Ethics. He is also a long-standing contributor to EPW.
“Yes, I had been approached by the search committee and I have also been informed that I have been chosen for the role of the editor,” said Thakurta. The decision was taken during a meeting of the board of trustees of the Sameeksha Trust, which runs the EPW, on Saturday afternoon.
While Thakurta’s appointment offers clarity as far as the position of the editor is concerned, it is not clear whether Reddy would take over any consulting position. Reddy has been the editor of EPW since 2004 and, while he was scheduled to retire in March-end, differences with the board of trustees in November over the 50th anniversary celebrations in 2016 had resulted in his declining any further association with EPW. Prior to the controversy, which resulted in one of the board members, Jean Dreze, resigning on the way Reddy was treated, Reddy was expected to take over as editor-in-chief and work in a consulting and mentoring position.
Reddy was not part of the meeting that chose Thakurta, even though he is part of the board. “As far as I am concerned, I will not be involved with EPW any further, after I end my term in March,” said Reddy.
Mihir Shah, former member of the Planning Commission, “strongly endorsed” Thakurta as the new editor of EPW. Noted historian Ramchandra Guha also hailed Thakurta’s appointment.
The EPW is considered to be the best-known academic journal coming out of India covering a wide variety of issues, including history, linguistics and anthropology.