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The subtle voice of intelligence

11428 [1]Dileep Padgaonkar [2], former editor of The Times of India, passed away in Pune last Friday November 25th.

Dileep was our guest in Segovia during the last Hay Festival [3] and during his conversation he could expose his particular view of India’s current challenges in view of the changes undergone by the country in recent decades. For someone who has been on the forefront of journalism for more than four decades, it might seem something easy to do. But Dileep not only had a special talent to see the dots between questions that most of us missed, and formulated the most poignant questions, he also had the special charm of someone who is equally comfortable, and competent, discussing the future of the Congress Party in India and the nature of love and sexual drive in both Western and Eastern literary traditions.

His exquisite education, by Jesuits, as he liked to point out, his many years spent abroad and his witnessing the second half of the last century, with its many lights and shadows, gave him a rare capacity for understanding the many depths of the human soul. He was a delight to listen to, he was a breadth of fresh air mixed with calmed wisdom, he was the West and the East in one (a clear proof that intelligence does not know any geographical borders). And he will be much missed.