Shekhar Gupta

Shekhar Gupta was the Editor-in-Chief of The Indian Express.

He has to his credit some of the most significant newsbreaks in Indian journalism. He had joined the Indian Express as a cub reporter at its Chandigarh edition in 1977. Three years later, at just 23, The Indian Express sent him to India’s troubled north-east where he covered the then raging insurgencies and civil unrest. As a reporter, and then an editor, with India Today, Shekhar has always brought to readers in India a ringside view of contemporary history from Operation Bluestar to the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, the student uprising in Tiananmen Square in Beijing to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the first Gulf War from Baghdad, Jerusalem and Kuwait, the first “jihad” in Afghanistan and the many twists & turns in the troubled 1983-1993 decade in Sri Lanka’s Tamil North.

Shekhar uncovered LTTE training camps in India, the truth behind the falsely implicated scientists of the Indian Space Research Organisation in a spy scandal. And seven years before the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001, he travelled across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Germany, the US and the UK, to report extensively on the threat from pan-national fundamentalism, including its links with Osama bin Laden.

Shekhar’s weekly column called National Interest is one of the most credible and independent voices in the media. It is a touchstone for new ideas in politics, governance, society, business and sports. He also hosts an interview-based programme Walk the Talk on NDTV 24×7.

A regular guest speaker at prestigious forums including the Asia Society, New York, National Defense College and Defense Services Staff College and the World Economic Forum in Davos and its India summits, Shekhar has authored Assam: A Valley Divided and India Redefines Its Role, published by the Oxford University Press and by the International Institute of Strategic Studies, London, where he is a member of the Council. Over the years he has engaged as one of the pre-eminent voices from India on issues ranging from domestic politics and society to security and international affairs.

Shekhar is the recipient of several awards and honours, including the 1985 Inlaks award for young journalist of the year, G K Reddy Award for Journalism, the Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Memorial Award for National Integration. He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 2009.

Articles By Shekhar Gupta

‘Our essential qualifications have changed… but a reporter’s life is more fun than before’

Editor-in-chief Shekhar Gupta writes a farewell note to ‘The Indian Express’ newsroom

Walk the talk with Piyush Mishra: I don’t call myself talented

Shekhar Gupta talks to actor-writer-singer-composer Piyush Mishra about missed opportunities, Bhagat Singh, his journey to Mumbai and his songs.

National Interest: 8,618

That’s the number of characters this farewell column has. Why I have inflicted this on you, dear reader.

‘Governance needs to be digitised. We cannot look at ministries, need a process that runs across ministries’

In this Walk the Talk, Tata Consultancy Services CEO Natarajan Chandrasekaran talks about re-imagining governance and why he believes in the concept of a unique identity.

First Person Second Draft: 1 Assassination, Countless Murders

The assassination of Indira Gandhi caught me on the wrongest foot possible: in transit from New York to New Delhi.

First Person Second Draft: Since 1984

“Opium is quite enough, SHO saab bahadur, why are we wasting pistols, we don’t have that many and we keep needing them again.”

The audacity of incompetence

The first of this three-part series concluded yesterday, saying the rise of Bhindranwale and his death with Operation Blue Star was a phase of madness. Now, an argument for why we must never forget it.

First Person, Second Draft: Once upon a bloody time

There lived and died a man called Bhindranwale.

National Interest: Talk less

That’s what Modi should tell his ministers before they shoot their mouths off and damage his hard earned political capital.

National Interest: 156-inch heart

That’s what you need after a 56-inch chest delivers you a majority. Modi knows this as he takes a national stage and makes it global.

Modi: Your time starts now

He delivers first single-party majority in 30 years, shatters age-old assumptions.

Writings on the wall: Before the secular dip, hold your nose

A thug wanted for murder has joined the fight against communalism, a firebrand secular isn’t pleased they threw eggs at his rudraksh.

Writings On The Wall: Taking the poor out of Poorvanchal

Teaching is the sunrise industry in Uttar Pradesh — a better future its most wanted product. But Mulayam, trapped in a political time warp, doesn’t get this. His promise: I will raise the poverty line (so more of you can call yourself poor!)

Writings on the wall: Huggies diapers in Vaishali, Muslim-Dalit IIT-JEE coalition

Over nine years of good governance, exemplary law and order and record growth, Nitish Kumar pulled Bihar back from the brink.

‘God has assigned a job to every individual. (Yogis) jumping in to become popular and entering the political sphere… it pains me’

Yoga guru B K S Iyengar speaks on popularising yoga in the West and how he helped violin maestro Yehudi Menuhin regain his creative energy and nd why he thinks BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi “may do something good”

Writings on the wall: The rich and the ostrich

The vicious Badal family feud plays on, while the youngest political entrant, AAP, courts ghosts buried long ago.

There’s an aeroplane on my roof

The rest of the country has moved on but Punjab has become a prisoner of its boisterous old stereotype.

‘Not once did Modi say Amit Shah be made UP in-charge. Not once. Shah ka selection keval aur keval mera hai’

BJP president Rajnath Singh explains why they are so confident of returning to power, says Muslims have no reason to be scared of the party, and calls Modi an organisation man.

Anticipating India

A selection of the pieces from the book (HarperCollins Publishers India and Express Book Series) that foreshadowed the big changes.

Writings on the wall: Navi Calcutta

Mumbai is a tired city with chronic fatigue syndrome. And yet, there is also Padhayi Gali, a patch of sidewalk paved with four young men’s dreams of gold.

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