Girilal Jain – Times of India
Girilal Jain, journalist: born Sonepat, north India 1922; editor-in-chief Times of India 1978-88; died New Delhi 19 July 1993. GIRILAL JAIN was a well-known, albeit controversial, Indian newspaper editor who espoused a strong, almost Fascist-like federal authority in India to help maintain its standing as the world's largest democracy. As leader writer and later editor-in-chief from 1978 to 1988 of the influential and widely circulated Times of India, Jain firmly believed a weak central government was responsible for India's diminishing international status and saw the then prime minister, Indira Gandhi, as its preserver. Towards this he vehemently supported Mrs Gandhi when, faced with a countrywide uprising against her misrule, she imposed an internal emergency in the mid-Seventies during which all civil liberties were suspended. After the emergency, opposition leaders, hounded and persecuted by Mrs Gandhi during the 21 months it lasted, criticised the Times of India's editorial policy for 'choosing to crawl' even though Mrs Gandhi had merely ordered them to 'bend'. Jain, often accused of confusing between the state and the government of the day due to his fascination with power equations, was an ardent and unashamed admirer of Mrs Gandhi's power politics. And, in a front-page editorial, went to the extent of condoning the pogrom against Sikhs in New Delhi after she was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards in 1984. Jain's support for Rajiv Gandhi, Mrs Gandhi's son and successor, however, waned after Rajiv Gandhi was allegedly implicated in a defence kickback scandal and his political fortunes seemed to be on the decline. Jain then turned his pen to supporting Gandhi's detractors. And, more recently, realising the increasing popularity of the Hindu fundamentalist Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), Jain became an ardent supporter of Hindutva or Hindu hegemony in his avidly read and, as always, well-argued syndicated columns. But political opportunism apart, Jain was the only editor of his generation who rose from an underprivileged and rural background to the top of his profession. He was also one of the few senior Indian journalists who understood the realities and moods of rural India, the country's largest vote bank. His political judgements were sound even though he tended to favour the winning side, cleverly justifying it by portraying India as an ancient state in the throes of evolving into a modern nation state.
M. J. Akbar
Mobashar Jawed "M.J." Akbar (born 11 January 1951) is a leading Indian journalist and author. He is the Editor in Chief of weekly newspaper "The Sunday Guardian". He is also the founder and former editor-in-chief and managing director of The Asian Age, a daily multi-edition Indian newspaperwith a global perspective. He has written several non-fiction books, including Byline (New Delhi: Chronicle Books, 2003), a biography of Jawaharlal Nehru titled Nehru: The Making of India, a book on Kashmir 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. His new book Blood Brothers has been translated into Italian as Fratelli di Sangue. Akbar was also the editor-in-chief of The Deccan Chronicle, a Hyderabad-based news daily. Akbar joined The Times of India in 1971 as a trainee. Within a few months moved to the The Illustrated Weekly of India, 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...
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