He was born in Calcutta on October 3, 1955, to S.C.Dasgupta, an industrialist known for running Calcutta Chemicals Ltd. and Rekha Dasgupta. He completed his schooling at La Martiniere College in Calcutta. He went on to do a BA degree in History at St. Stephen's College, Delhi, before relocating to London to complete his MA and PhD in History at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies). He was subsequently a Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford. Returning to India in 1986, he started off his journalism career at The Statesman.
He moved to the The Times of India, The Telegraph and The Indian Express before joining India Today. He currently is a freelancer and resides in Delhi with his wife Reshmi, also a journalist, and son. His columns appear in The Pioneer, The Telegraph (Calcutta), Sunday Times of India, Jagran, New Indian Express and Free Press Journal. Politically on the Right, he is considered close to the Bharatiya Janata Party, even though early in his career, he associated himself with the Left, particularly of the Trotskyite variety . Since he has been consistently taking on pseudo-secularism as an issue in a big way, he has naturally been accused of being biased towards the BJP. His views on the UPA government's strategies (or rather the lack of it) for dealing with terror and its apparent softness towards terror when involving certain minority communities, has also meant that those with a straight jacketed approach to secularism have called him communal.
He has edited a collection of essays: Nirad Chaudhuri--The First 100 Years (Harper Collins, India) and is currently working on a biographical book on Walchand Hirachand.
Kolkata Lost and Found ; It is no longer an urban nightmare and the cult of Tagore has replaced Karl Marx. Swapan Dasgupta returns to a city on the verge of rediscovering its soul.
May 29, 2012; There was a time, not that very long ago, when travelling through the streets of Kolkata was an unending and compulsive political...