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Vidyadhar Date


Vidyadhar Date is a senior and respected journalist, a cultural critic and the author of a book on the importance of public transport. He spent long years as a Special Correspondent with The Times of India before he retired and took to writing freelance on a variety of platforms, drawing attention with his simple writings that have often highlighted issues of everyday citizens. Date is noted for a keen sense of observation, a sensitivity to sights and sounds that many Mumbaikars might miss in the busy lives that are the hallmark of city living, and a firm anchoring in ideas of equity, justice and rights of ordinary citizens, notably the underprivileged. In that, Date is a true reflection of the mission of The Billion Press, which is to bring to focus "people less seen, voices less heard, perspectives less argued."

As a soft spoken, kindly, even reticent writer, Date in many ways exemplifies the journalist who is immersed in telling the tale of people and less concerned about reach, publicity or accolades. In that, he is the journalist that The Billion Press described as the one “without any hint of charisma” (quoting The Washington Post), driven by the cause and the joy of immersing in the work and nothing more. Date lives in Mumbai. He can sometimes be seen walking the streets of Bandra in the Western suburbs and sometimes cycling, a mode of transport which he has argued needs more encouragement and safe space on our otherwise gridlocked roads.

Date has often lamented that journalism these days appears not to be particularly excited about or spending too much time and other resources on local area issues. These are issues of our roads, public transport, the state of our housing, the so-called real estate boom, the way public spaces tend to be more closed and controlled rather than open and welcoming, the insensitivity towards the poor in what is considered the richest city of India. Date writes diaries on these issues, most of them gems of insights nad observations that so many of the bigger news media have no space for. The Billion Press will feature all his diaries on these pages.

The column hyperlinked herein above was titled: Why journalism is ill-served by its celebrities? It was published in Sep.2017 by The Billion Press. See: