A journalist who knows the pulse of the social, political and economic fabric of Maharashtra and a scholar of the same on the global front
In recent times in Maharashtra, Loksatta has become one of the favourite newspapers of informed readers. The daily edition (especially the Sunday edition), apart from the daily dose of news, features information on science, religion, politics, finance, social work, literature and music. In a sense, the newspaper feeds the intellectual mind. Kumar Ketkar is the mind behind the content design of this newspaper. Interestingly, all articles have an investigative feel and depending on the subject, the stories and articles try to give a new perspective to the reader. This consistent attempt is the result of the drive by Kumar Ketkar.
From the beginning, Kumar Ketkar was closely involved with the student movement and the labour movement. He started his public life as an active communist worker of the Lal Nishan Paksha (Red Flag Party). This period in his life contributed to building his multi-dimensional personality, shaping him as a researcher, journalist, writer and a social and political observer.
Kumar Ketkar possesses all qualities befitting a journalist - a propensity for research and analysis, an affinity for reading, devoted pursuit, passion for writing, the courage to present a sensitive subject to the masses and embracing modernity. Added to this is his knowledge of history, economics, social and political science. One of his greatest strengths is his understanding of different political ideologies. His early journalistic days were with the leading newspaper on economics – The Economic Times. He later went on to become the editor of the Maharashtra Times. He took this mantle from the senior editor Govind Talwalkar and carried it with equal aplomb.
Oration and dissertation are his other strengths, especially in the subjects of history, economics and politics. He is often invited by foreign universities as a guest lecturer and speaker. His lectures are an inspiration to budding journalists, young social and political workers and scholars of politics. Visawya shatkache Mahanirman, Jwalamukhichya tondawar, Katha swatantryachi, Vishawamitrache jag, Badalte Vishwa, Aanibani: Dhol-Tashe-Zhanj-Nagare, Monalisache Smit, Osarlele Vadal, Shilanganacha Sona are some of the books that he has authored. Among these, Jwalamukhichya tondawar and Badalte Vishwa have received great acclaim.
Kumar Ketkar is associated with several social movements. He is one of the founder members of the Granthali vachak chalwal (Granthali reader’s movement – an initiative for encouraging Marathi readership), an association that has proved to be of mutual benefit.
As a journalist-editor, Kumar Ketkar strives to bring the newspaper-viewpoints to the reader in a very simplistic manner. Importantly, he has the ability to get across the gravity of any serious issue through stirring analysis and discussions through his writing. In honour of his innate abilities and accomplishments, the Government bestowed the Padmashri Award on him.
Kumar Ketkar is not one who would rest on his laurels. He is one who continues to move forward, always attempting to anticipate the future and prepare the populace for it. Here’s wishing him well for all his future endeavours.