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Surprised at Padma award, says TJS George

January 25, 2011 21:59 IST

One of India's finest journalists and writers has been awarded the prestigious Padma Bhushan award this year. Thayil Jacob Sony George better known as TJS George, is the founder editor of Asiaweek Magazine and also editorial advisor of the The New Indian Express.

His immediate reaction on being decorated with the Padma Bhushan was, " I am surprised. The kind of journalism that I have done and continue to do is different. I am very critical of the establishment and so this award has come as a surprise to me. I am happy no doubt, but surprised as well. It is a welcome surprise."

A writer and a biographer, George is the fourth of the eight sibligins. Born in Kerala to Thayil Thomas Jacob, a magistrate, George lives in Bengaluru with his family.

He began his illustrious career with the Fress Press Journal in Bombay in the year 1950. He then moved to the International Press Institute, The Searchlight and the Far Eastern Economic Review before becoming the founder editor of the Asiaweek.

Known for his hard hitting columns in the New Indian Express

where he is the editorial advisor, George is one of India's best columnists. His columns which deal with social injustice, politcs and corruption are widely read.

He has always been the kind to speak his mind through words and there was an instance when he was charged with sedition in Bihar. While heading a daily in Bihar, he earned the displeasure of then Bihar Chief Minister, K B Sahay. He was the first editor in free India to be charged with sedition.

In the words of Dr K Javeed Nayeem, he (George) is a man who does not mince his words to please others and who does not believe in withholding the truth however unpleasant it may be.

Some of the famous books authored by TJS George include M S, A Life in Music, The Life and Times of Nargis apart from which he has also written the biography of V Krishna Menon.

TJS George has also been conferred with other awards such as the Basheer Puraskaram Award in 2008, Rajyotsava Award in 2007, Mohammad Koya Journalism Award in 2005 and the Patrika Academy Award in 2001.

Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru