The Hindu’s national bureau chief Siddharth Varadarajan has been appointed editor of the 132-year-old daily. He is the first editor of the paper in nearly five decades who does not belong to the family that runs it.
Siddharth is India’s leading commentator on foreign affairs, national security issues and politics. He has an excellent blog Reality, one bite at a time (see our blogroll).
His appointment has led to several resignations in The Hindu group: N. Ravi as editor, Malini Parthasarathy as executive editor and Nirmala Lakshman as joint editor after the board of directors of Kasturi and Sons, which brings out the newspaper, passed a resolution appointing Siddharth Varadarajan as the Editor. N. Murali announced his retirement with effect from 11 August, when he turns 65.
Ravi, Parthasarathy and Lakshman resigned saying it was not possible for them to continue after the appointment of an Editor who was not only far too junior to them but also appointed in an “unseemly hurry” without following any selection procedure, prior consultation or evaluation.
Seven board members voted in favour of the resolution and five against it.
Varadarajan’s appointment will be with effect from 30 July and he will report to editor-in-chief N. Ram.
In Mint: The owners of the Chennai-based newspaper have been involved in a bitter legal battle since an April board meeting in which seven of the 12 board members led by N. Ram called for a non-family member to become editor. The majority also supported the removal of Ravi and Parthasarathy from their posts. The minority group on the board consists of Ravi, Parthasarathy, Lakshman, Murali and director Nalini Krishnan.
The appointment came two days after the Supreme Court refused to intervene in the family dispute, which was a blow to Ravi, Parthasarathy and Murali, who had moved the apex court to overturn a 1 July high court order that favoured Ram.
N. Ram, editor-in-chief of The Hindu, explains the decisions taken during Wednesday’s board meeting and the road ahead for the paper. In Mint
Read why N. Ravi quit as editor in his own words here [via sans serif]