MJ Akbar is among those who have made a significant impact on Indian society by their writing, whether as authors or editors. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the seminal newsmagazine, Sunday, in 1976 and The Telegraph in 1982, he revolutionized Indian journalism in the 1970s and 80s. In the 1990s he launched The Asian Age, a multi-edition daily that once again had substantive impact on the profession. He has also served as the Editorial Director of India Today, Headlines Today and as the editor of the Deccan Chronicle and the Sunday Guardian.
MJ, as he is popularly known, first entered public life in 1989, when he was elected to the Lok Sabha. He went back to media in 1993 and returned to the political area in 2014, when he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and became the party’s national spokesperson during the 2014 campaign led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In July 2016, he was named the Minister of State for External Affairs by Prime Minister Modi.
His seven books have achieved great international acclaim: India: The Siege Within; Nehru: The Making of India; Riot-after-Riot; Kashmir: Behind the Vale; The Shade of Swords: Jihad and the Conflict between Islam and Christianity, Tinderbox: The Past and Future of Pakistan and Blood Brothers, his only work of fiction. In addition, there have been four collections of his columns, reportage and essays.