N. Ram

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Narasimhan Ram
N. ram.jpg
N. Ram at a public function in New Delhi
Born (1945-05-04) 4 May 1945 (age 73)
Residence Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Nationality Indian
Education Loyola College, Chennai Presidency College, Chennai Columbia University
Occupation Chairman of kasturi & sons limited & publisher of the hindu (2013 – incumbent)[1]
managing director of The Hindu Group (1977–2003)
Editor of Frontline and Sportstar (1991–2003)
Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu Group (2003–2012)
Known for Journalism, Newspapering, exposing Bofors scandal (1989)
Board member of The Hindu Group (2012 – present)
Spouse(s) Mariam Chandy
Children 1
Parent(s) G. Narasimhan
Relatives N. Murali (brother)
N. Ravi (brother)
Malini Parthasarathy
Awards Asian Investigative Journalist of the Year (1990)
JRD Tata Award for Business Ethics (2003)
Sri Lanka Rathna Award (2005)

Narasimhan Ram (born 4 May 1945) is an Indian journalist and prominent member of the Kasturi family that controls The Hindu Group of publications. Ram was the Managing-Director of The Hindu since 1977 and its Editor-in-Chief since 27 June 2003 until 18 January 2012.[2] Ram also headed the other publications of The Hindu Group such as Frontline, The Hindu Business Line and Sportstar, and has been awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India[3] and Sri Lanka Ratna by the Government of Sri Lanka.[4] He is referred to as a left-wing editor and known to believe in left/communist ideology.[5][6]

Subsequent to changes in the Editorial & Business of 'The Hindu' on 21 October 2013, N.Ram has become Chairman of Kasturi & Sons Limited and Publisher of 'The Hindu'.[1]

Early life and education

Ram was born on 4 May 1945 in Madras, British India. He was the eldest son of G. Narasimhan who served as Managing-Director of The Hindu from 1959 to 1977. Ram is a great-grandson of S. Kasturi Ranga Iyengar, the patriarch of the Kasturi family.

Ram graduated from Loyola College,[7] Chennai, with a bachelor's degree in arts in 1964, received a master's degree from Presidency College, Chennai, in 1966, and later an M.S. in comparative journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.[8] He actively participated in the students politics. He was vice-president of the Students Federation of India (SFI), which is politically linked to the Communist Party of India (Marxist), at the time of its formation in 1970 in Thiruvananthapuram.[9]

Journalism and career

Beginning his career in The Hindu as an Associate Editor in 1977, Ram was made the Washington Correspondent in 1980. His association with the news magazine Frontline dates back to 1984, when the magazine was started.[8] N. Ram is famous for his writings exposing the Bofors Scandal during the rule of former Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi.[10] While there was no evidence linking the illegal payments directly to Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, the money-trail to people close to the Gandhi family was conclusive. The explosive story detailed the massive cover-up to bury the documents and the Prime Minister lost his mandate as corruption became a major election plank in 1989.

Prior to his position as the editor-in-chief of the Hindu daily, Ram had served as the Editor of Frontline magazine and Sportstar between 1991 and 2003.

Following a family feud, Ram stepped down as Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of The Hindu group on 19 January 2012.[11] Siddharth Varadarajan, succeeded him, with effect from 19 January 2012, as Editor of The Hindu responsible for the selection of news under the Press and Registration of Books (PRB) Act of 1867. D. Sampathkumar, editor, Business Line, R. Vijaya Sankar, editor, Frontline, and Nirmal Shekar, editor, Sportstar, took over, with effect from 19 January 2012, as Editors responsible for the selection of news under the Press and Registration of Books (PRB) Act of 1867 in these Group publications. K. Balaji, managing director of Kasturi & Sons Ltd., the public limited company that brings out The Hindu group of publications, succeeded Mr. Ram as Publisher of all the group publications. Subsequent to changes in the Editorial & Business of 'The Hindu' on 21 October 2013, N.Ram has become Chairman of Kasturi & Sons Limited and Publisher of 'The Hindu' and group publications.[1]

During his younger days, N.Ram also started a journal called Radical Review, with his comrades, P.Chidambaram and Prakash Karat.[12]

Awards and Recognition

N.Ram's unfaltering contribution to journalism has been recognised by a number of awards. These include the Asian Investigative Journalist of the Year (1990) Award conferred by the Press Foundation of Asia at the "One Asia Assembly", Bofors Case, the disciplined application of his journalistic idealism and the impact of his revelations on the Indian political scene"; the B.D. Goenka, 1989, shared with Chitra Subramaniam; in the interest of the nation"; and XLRI's First JRD Tata Award for Business Ethics, awarded at the institute's 46th Annual Convocation at Jamshedpur on 23 March 2003.[13] The Highest national honour conferred by Sri Lanka on non – nationals is the Sri Lanka Rathna award. N Ram the Editor in chief of four Chennai-based publications became the first Indian national to be awarded that honour on 14 November 2005.

Family Dispute

N. Ram had an infamous spat with his uncle G. Kasturi in 1989, when Kasturi resisted publishing stories of the Bofors scandal, which Ram played a significant part in bringing into the public domain in collaboration with Chitra Subramaniam.


In 2012, shortly after Ram was honoured by his alma mater, the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, Chitra Subramaniam alleged she had not received her due as the journalist who broke the story. N.Ram has strongly denied the allegations.

Personal life

Ram's first wife Susan was an English woman who came to India as a research student. Like Ram, she was (and remains) an atheist with a Leftist perspective on politics. After their marriage, Susan worked as a teacher, a freelance journalist, an editor for Oxford University Press publications in India and a television presenter. As a husband and wife team, they published the first volume of a biography on R.K.Narayan, the eminent Indian writer.

Ram and Susan's daughter, Vidya Ram, became a journalist and graduated at the top of the class at her father's alma mater.[14] She also won a Pulitzer fellowship, was an intern at The New York Times, a reporter at Forbes and the European Correspondent at Business Line.[15] .[16] She is currently the London Correspondent for The Hindu, following the retirement of her predecessor journalist Parvathi Menon.

After the divorce from Susan, Ram married Mariam Chandy. Mariam Ram is presently the Managing Director of TNQ Books and Journals, a company she founded in Chennai in 1998.[17][18][19] The company does editing, pagination and design for scientific, technical and medical publishers of the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union.[18] As of 2008, the company had an annual turnover of Rs. 50 crores ($500 million) and employs 1200 staff.[18] The Cell Press-TNQ India Distinguished Lectureship Series bring internationally renowned scientists face to face with the Indian scientific community. Many of the speakers have gone on to win Nobel prizes in their fields.

During his youth, N.Ram played cricket and was the wicket-keeper Batsman for the Tamil Nadu state team in the Ranji trophy.[12]


  1. ^ a b c "Changes at the Helm: Editorial and Business". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 21 October 2013. 
  2. ^ Editorial succession in The Hindu groupThe Hindu
  3. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015. 
  4. ^ Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga on Monday conferred the "Sri Lanka Ratna" — the island-nation's highest honour for non-nationals — on N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu
  5. ^ BIG BROTHER FASCINATIONRamachandra Guha
  6. ^ SANKARSHAN THAKUR (Sep 15, 2007). "The Commissar In His Labyrinth". Tehelka. Archived from the original on Mar 5, 2016. 
  7. ^ Loyola College, Chennai
  8. ^ a b Profile of N.Ram
  9. ^ Sridhar, V. (2000). "Towards a progressive educational agenda". Frontline. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  10. ^ http://centennial.journalism.columbia.edu/1989-scandal-in-india/
  11. ^ "Editorial succession in The Hindu group". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 18 January 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "The Hindu board room becomes a battlefield". Forbes India. 22 April 2010. Retrieved 4 March 2014.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  13. ^ The Hindu Business Line : Business Ethics award for N. Ram
  14. ^ "Vidya Ram tops class at Columbia University's journalism school". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 21 May 2007. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  15. ^ "Profile – Vidya Ram". Linked In. Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  16. ^ Pulitzer Fellowship
  17. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=oMYeyhrgd_wC&lpg=PT372&ots=oyjxBrncWb&dq=%22mariam%20ram%22&pg=PT372#v=onepage&q=%22mariam%20ram%22&f=false
  18. ^ a b c http://www.rediff.com/money/2008/sep/19inter.htm
  19. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/new-era-of-medicine-in-the-offing-says-scientist/article2860127.ece

External links

N. Ram on Twitter

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