M. J. Akbar

M. J. Akbar

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Mobashar Jawed "M.J." Akbar (born 11 January 1951) is a leading India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n journalist and author. He has recently taken charge as Editorial Director of India Today
India Today
India Today is an Indian weekly news magazine published by Living Media India Limited, in publication since 1975 based in Mumbai. India Today is also the name of its sister-publication in Hindi...

, India's leading weekly English news magazine published by the Living Media
Living Media
Living Media is an Indian media conglomerate based in New Delhi, India. It has interests in magazines, newspapers, books, radio, television, printing and the Internet.- History :...

 group. He has also been given the additional responsibility of overseeing the media conglomerate's English news channel, Headlines Today
Headlines Today
Headlines Today is a popular 24-hour English language television network that carries news, current affairs and business programming in India, the channel is sponsored by TV Today Network Ltd. which is a part of the well-known India Today Group...

.

Earlier this year, he launched "The Sunday Guardian", a weekly newspaper he continues to serve as Editor-in-Chief. He is also the founder and former editor-in-chief and managing director of The Asian Age, a daily multi-edition Indian newspaper
Newspaper
A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a...

 with a global perspective
Perspective (cognitive)
Perspective in theory of cognition is the choice of a context or a reference from which to sense, categorize, measure or codify experience, cohesively forming a coherent belief, typically for comparing with another...

.

He has written several non-fiction book
Book
A book is a set or collection of written, printed, illustrated, or blank sheets, made of hot lava, paper, parchment, or other materials, usually fastened together to hinge at one side. A single sheet within a book is called a leaf or leaflet, and each side of a leaf is called a page...

s, including Byline (New Delhi
New Delhi
New Delhi is the capital city of India. It serves as the centre of the Government of India and the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. New Delhi is situated within the metropolis of Delhi. It is one of the nine districts of Delhi Union Territory. The total area of the city is...

: Chronicle Books, 2003), a biography of Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru , often referred to with the epithet of Panditji, was an Indian statesman who became the first Prime Minister of independent India and became noted for his “neutralist” policies in foreign affairs. He was also one of the principal leaders of India’s independence movement in the...

 titled Nehru: The Making of India, a book on Kashmir
Kashmir
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

 titled Kashmir: Behind the Vale, Riot After Riot and India: The Siege Within. He also authored The Shade of Swords, a cohesive history of jihad
Jihad
Jihad , an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God ". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is...

.
Akbar's recent published book is Blood Brothers, a skillfully crafted family saga covering three generations and packed with information of events in India and the world, particularly the changing Hindu-Muslim relations.

His new book Blood Brothers has been translated into Italian as Fratelli di Sangue. It was released in Rome at the headquarters of Adnkronos
Adnkronos
-History:It was established in 1963 by a merger of two agencies, Kronos and Agenzia Di Notizie .The agency is owned by Giuseppe Marra Communications....

 on 15 January 2008.

Akbar was also the editor-in-chief of The Deccan Chronicle
The Deccan Chronicle
Deccan Chronicle is an Indian English-language daily newspaper. It is published in Hyderabad, India by Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited. The newspaper's name derives from the originating place, the Deccan regions of India. Supplements are "TV Guide", "Sunday Chronicle", "Chennai Chronicle", and...

,
a Hyderabad-based news daily.

Early life


Originally a Bihari
Bihari
Bihari may refer to:* of Bihar, a state in central eastern India** Bihari people*** Stranded Pakistanis popularly known as "Biharis", people of Bihari origin in Bangladesh** Bihari languages** Bihari Culture** Bihari Music** Bihari Cuisine** Bihari Dance...

 Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 Akbar attended Calcutta Boys' School
Calcutta Boys' School
Calcutta Boys' School was founded by the Rev. James Mills Thoburn , and was opened in 1877...

 and later Presidency College, Calcutta where he attained a BA(Hons) in English.
His grandfather, Prayaag, was a Bihari Hindu. Akbar was adopted by a childless Muslim couple, later converted to Islam and married a Muslim girl.

Career


Akbar joined The Times of India
The Times of India
The Times of India is an Indian English-language daily newspaper. TOI has the largest circulation among all English-language newspaper in the world, across all formats . It is owned and managed by Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd...

in 1971 as a trainee. Within a few months moved to the The Illustrated Weekly of India
The Illustrated Weekly of India
The Illustrated Weekly of India was an English language weekly newsmagazine publication in India. It started publication in 1880 and ceasing publication in 1993...

,
then India’s largest selling magazine, as sub-editor and feature writer, and contributed a prolific number of stories. In the weekly till 1973, when he was named editor of the news fortnightly, Onlooker, owned by The Free Press Journal Group in Mumbai. In 1976, he moved to Calcutta to join the Ananda Bazar Patrika Group as editor of SUNDAY, India's first genuine political weekly. Within just three years of its launch, the investigative reporting pioneered by the magazine established its national circulation and number one position. The magazine took an uncompromising stand against the Emergency and fought press censorship and dictatorship. SUNDAY not only established major trends in journalism but also spawned a new generation of journalists in the countrys.

In 1982, after the success of The Sunday, Akbar launched what is considered by some to be India’s first modern newspaper. He conceived, designed and edited the daily newspaper, The Telegraph
The Telegraph (Kolkata)
The Telegraph is an Indian daily newspaper founded and continuously published in Kolkata since 1982. It is published by the ABP Group and the newspaper vies with the Times of India for the position of having the widest widest circulation of any newspaper in Eastern India.According to the Audit...

, which had a major impact on newspaper journalism in India.

In 1989, he took a brief detour into politics with his election to the Indian Parliament in November 1989 from Kishanganj in Bihar on a Congress(I)
Indian National Congress
The Indian National Congress is one of the two major political parties in India, the other being the Bharatiya Janata Party. It is the largest and one of the oldest democratic political parties in the world. The party's modern liberal platform is largely considered center-left in the Indian...

 ticket. He lost the seat in the 1991 Lok Sabha elections. He served as late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi
Rajiv Gandhi
Rajiv Ratna Gandhi was the sixth Prime Minister of India . He took office after his mother's assassination on 31 October 1984; he himself was assassinated on 21 May 1991. He became the youngest Prime Minister of India when he took office at the age of 40.Rajiv Gandhi was the elder son of Indira...

's official spokesman.

In 1991, Akbar joined the Government as an advisor in the Ministry of Human Resources, and helped policy planning in key areas of education, the National Literacy Mission and in the protection of heritage. He resigning from the post and quit politics in December 1992 and returned to journalism and full time writing. In 1993, M J Akbar started a new media company with the aim of creating India’s first newspaper that would not only include an international focus within its editorial range, but also be the first Indian daily with an international edition. This newspaper appeared in February 1994. The Asian Age
Asian Age
The Asian Age is an Indian daily newspaper with editions in four major cities in India and one in London. The newspaper was launched in February 1994, simultaneously in Delhi, Mumbai and London. At present, it has editions in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and London. The Asian Age brings out...

, India’s first global newspaper, was launched with initial editions in Delhi, Bombay, and London, and by 2008 had grown, in collaboration with the Deccan Chronicle, to eight editions, into a major media presence nationally and internationally. In 2004, the group began publishing The International Herald Tribune
International Herald Tribune
The International Herald Tribune is a widely read English language international newspaper. It combines the resources of its own correspondents with those of The New York Times and is printed at 38 sites throughout the world, for sale in more than 160 countries and territories...

 in India, and became a publishing partner of The New York Times.

In March 2006, Akbar Joined The Brookings Institution
Brookings Institution
The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C., in the United States. One of Washington's oldest think tanks, Brookings conducts research and education in the social sciences, primarily in economics, metropolitan policy, governance, foreign policy, and...

, Washington, as a Visiting Fellow in the Brookings Project on U.S. Policy Towards the Islamic World. During the late 90s, he diluted his stake in the Asian Age, eventually selling of a major part of it to the Reddys, the owners of the Deccan Chronicle group.

In March 2008, M J Akbar was removed from The Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle due to differences with the owners over editorial policy, as some newspapers have reported it.

M J Akbar Launched a Fortnightly Political Magazine named 'Covert' on 13 May 2008 in Delhi with the first issue on Stands on 14 May Simultaneously, the Covert website was launched too with the first two days later. Later this website got discontinued.

M J Akbar launched a new Sunday newspaper from 31 January 2010."The Sunday Guardian" is published from Delhi and simultaneously from London with M J Akbar as the Editor of the Weekly Newspaper.

In September 2010, he joined one of India's biggest media conglomerates, the Living Media
Living Media
Living Media is an Indian media conglomerate based in New Delhi, India. It has interests in magazines, newspapers, books, radio, television, printing and the Internet.- History :...

 as Editorial Director of the leading weekly English news magazine India Today
India Today
India Today is an Indian weekly news magazine published by Living Media India Limited, in publication since 1975 based in Mumbai. India Today is also the name of its sister-publication in Hindi...

 and the English news channel Headlines Today
Headlines Today
Headlines Today is a popular 24-hour English language television network that carries news, current affairs and business programming in India, the channel is sponsored by TV Today Network Ltd. which is a part of the well-known India Today Group...

.

Personal life


Akbar is married to Mallika Joseph, his contemporary at The Times of India. They have two children, Prayaag and Mukulika.

External links



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