Shekhar Gupta is a prominent Indian journalist. He was the Editor-in-Chief and the CEO of the Indian Express for 13 years, but, he quit in 2015. He then started his digital media news company, The Print, and is also its Editor-in-Chief.
Shekhar Gupta was born on 26 August 1957 (age 61 years; as in 2018) in Palwal, Haryana. He did his schooling from many places such as Palwal, Rohtak, and Punjab.
Although he was interested in Arts while he was in college but in an interview, he said that he was forced to opt for science or engineering. Incidentally, when he went to Punjab University to get the spelling of his name in his mark sheet corrected, he saw the notice for the admission tests of journalism, he filled out the form and got selected.
Height (approx.): 5′ 10″
Weight (approx.): 80 kg
Hair Colour: Grey
Eye Colour: Black
Family, Caste & Girlfriend
Shekhar belongs to a Hindu Family. Not much is known about his family other than the fact that his father was a government employee. He is married to Neelam Jolly.
Shekhar started as a cub reporter in 1977 in The Indian Express, Chandigarh. He worked there for 6 years and resigned in 1983 to join India Today as a reporter. There, he covered a lot of big stories such as Operation Bluestar, the Gulf War of 1991, and the Nellie massacre in Assam, among many more. In 1995, he joined The Indian Express again and eventually became the Editor-in-Chief and the CEO. He had a weekly column in The Indian Express called National Interest. He also did a talk show with NDTV 24×7 named- “Walk The Talk”. It was very popular and aired for around 15 years, with more than 600 being guests invited to the show.
In 2015 he quit The Indian Express and joined India Today as the Editor-in-Chief, but, he left after a very short term of just two months. In 2017, he started a new venture with Barkha Dutt, and started a new digital media company named, The Print. Even though Barkha Dutt and Shekhar Gupta announced the venture together, Barkha was never involved in The Print, she wasn’t even named in the company records and 6 months after The Print started, her name was dropped from the company website too.
His talk show, Walk The Talk, was renamed as “Off The Cuff” but it still aired on NDTV 24×7, although, the ownership rights were under Shekhar’s company, The Print. The format of the show was modified; the show is now filmed in front of a live audience instead of a one on one interview, and live interaction with the audience is also introduced after the interview concluded.
- In 2010, Shekhar Gupta closed down his company Greenpine Agro after he was accused by the former Army General, VK Singh of tax evasion, fraud, and being involved in the Commonwealth Games Scam, as Gupta had not filed tax for many years, and then he filed 8 years of his company’s balance sheets on a single day on 18 January 2010. Gupta closed down the company on 30 August 2010, by filing for EES (Early Exit Scheme).
- In May 2012, Shekhar sued the founder of the Outlook India magazine, Vinod Mehta. In an interview to the Open Magazine, Mehta said that Shekhar had written an article earlier in 2012 deliberately to damage the reputation of the former Army Chief General, VK Singh. In reaction to this statement, Gupta sued Vinod Mehta and the Open magazine. This issue was hyped as many people stated that Gupta reacted immaturely to this whole situation.
- In 2017, Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen accused Shekhar of changing the headline of one of her articles to create a rift between communities. The heading of the article offended many people in India. The headline after being changed was- “Why are Hindus Trying to prove that they can become ISIS-like extremists”. She posted a screenshot of a conversation regarding this with Shekhar Gupta after the heading was changed.
- In a leaked document in April 2019, he was named in the Enforcement Directorate’s supplementary charge sheet. It stated that the main accused of the Augusta Westland Scam, Christian Michel, paid Shekhar Gupta through a broker, to tone down the “Augusta Westland Chopper Scam” news and to influence the public opinion.
- He was honoured with the 1984 American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) fellowship at the Tufts University and The New York Times
- He received the Inlaks “Young Journalist of the Year” Award in 1985
- The GK Reddy Award for Journalism in 1997
- The Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Memorial Award for National Integration in 2006
- He was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the UPA government in 2009 for his contribution to journalism
He used to earn a salary of INR 10 crores per annum, as the Editor-in-Chief of The Indian Express (as in 2015).
- His wife Neelam Jolly owns and runs an NGO, Vishwas. It is supported by a lot of renowned people in the media industry such as Arun Shourie, Lord Meghnad Desai among many more.
- In 2014, Shekhar Gupta compiled all the famous writings from his column in The Indian Express, National Interest, in a book named “Anticipating India”.
- In 2017, he launched a book, which had 25 of the most impactful political interviews from his talk show, Walk The Talk, which had marked a political change, not only in India but also around the world.