Karan Thapar
Thapar in 2019
Born (1955-11-05) 5 November 1955 (age 66)
Alma materPembroke College, Cambridge (BA)
St Antony's College, Oxford (PhD)
OccupationJournalist, News presenter
EmployerThe Wire
Notable credit(s)
Devil's Advocate
India Tonight
The Last Word
Face to Face (BBC)
Hardtalk India (BBC)
To the Point
Spouse(s)Nisha Thapar (deceased)
Parent(s)
RelativesDaya Ram Thapar (uncle)
Romesh Thapar (cousin)
Romila Thapar (cousin)

Karan Thapar (born 5 November 1955) is an Indian journalist, news presenter and interviewer working with The Wire. Thapar was associated with CNN-IBN and hosted The Devil's Advocate and The Last Word. He was also associated with India Today, hosted the shows To the Point and Nothing But The Truth and is doing an exclusive series of Interviews with The Wire on his show Access Journalism.[1][2]

Early life and education

Karan Thapar is the youngest child of former Chief of the Army Staff General Pran Nath Thapar and Bimla Thapar. The journalist Romesh Thapar and the historian Romila Thapar are his cousins.[3]

Thapar is also related distantly to the family of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Nehru's niece, the writer Nayantara Sahgal, was married to Gautam Sahgal, brother of Bimla Thapar, his mother.[4]

He is an alumnus of The Doon School in Dehradun and the Stowe School in England. While at Doon, Thapar was the editor-in-chief of the school magazine The Doon School Weekly.[5] He graduated with a degree in Economics and Political Philosophy from Pembroke College, Cambridge in 1977. In the same year, he was also President of the Cambridge Union. He subsequently obtained a doctorate in International Relations from St Antony's College, Oxford.

Career

He began his career in journalism with The Times in Lagos, Nigeria and later worked as their Lead Writer on the Indian subcontinent till 1981. In 1982 he joined London Weekend Television in the United Kingdom where he worked for the next 11 years.[6] He moved to India in 1991 and worked with The Hindustan Times Television Group, Home TV and United Television before setting up his own production house in August 2001, Infotainment Television, which makes programmes for amongst others BBC, Doordarshan and Channel News Asia.[7] He is currently the President of Infotainment Television.

Thapar is noted for his aggressive interviews with leading politicians and celebrities.[8] A few of his shows which have been much watched are Eyewitness, Tonight at 10, In Focus with Karan, Line of Fire, War of Words Devil's Advocate and The Last Word.[7] In 2007, Thapar famously interviewed current Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (then the Chief Minister of Gujarat). After struggling to answer a few tough questions, Modi abruptly stopped the interview just three minutes in[9] while saying "dosti bani rahe" (Hindustani for "Let the friendship be intact") which is a popular internet meme.[10][11][12]

In April 2014, Thapar quit CNN-IBN to join India Today, where he hosted the show titled To the Point and Nothing But The Truth.

In 2020-21, Thapar wrote a column As I see it in the daily newspaper The Asian Age. In August 2021, the management of The Asian Age objected to Thapar's regular column after he wrote about the '1947 Violence Against Jammu Muslims'. The violence against the Muslim residents of Jammu during the partition led to their mass displacement from the Jammu region. Thapar stopped writing for the column and said "The 1947 violence against Jammu's Muslims that unfolded over a period of three-four months in 1947 is well-documented and has been historically accounted for. It is something that no one can contest. So I gather that the owners are under enormous pressure, presumably from Mr. Modi and Mr. Shah."[13]

He also writes for The Indian Express, a leading Indian daily, as a columnist.

As of 2021, he is doing the regular show The Interview with Karan Thapar after joining The Wire.[14][13]

Awards and accolades

Books

References

  1. ^ "Karan Thapar". The Wire. Retrieved 20 October 2020.
  2. ^ The two faces of Mr. Modi
  3. ^ "When the Devil's Advocate has the Last Word". Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  4. ^ Singh, Nandita (2 January 2019). "Why is Karan Thapar complaining? His dynasty holds a key to Lutyens' Delhi". The Print. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  5. ^ History of the Weekly, The Doon School publications (2009) p.41
  6. ^ "Madhu Trehan interviews Karan Thapar on his book "Devil's advocate"". News laundry. 30 July 2018.
  7. ^ a b c "Karan Thapar - Infotainment Television". Infotainment Television. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  8. ^ Leekha, Parul (13 March 2018). "Role reversal - At the launch of his latest book, Karan Thapar faced a volley of questions from Shashi Tharoor". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  9. ^ Thapar, Karan (22 July 2018). "Why Modi Walked Out in 2007 and the BJP Now Shuns Me". The Wire. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Dosti Bani Rahe". Indian Meme Templates. 20 February 2021. Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  11. ^ "Friendship Day: When Modi told Karan Thapar 'dosti bani rahe'". Free Press Journal. Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  12. ^ "Why is Twitter flooded with memes after PM Modi's Pariksha Pe Charcha?". The Siasat Daily. 8 April 2021. Retrieved 15 January 2022. a meme in reference to Modi’s infamous interview with Karan Thappar where he did not answer the ‘difficult questions’.
  13. ^ a b "'Asian Age' Kills Karan Thapar Column After Mention of '1947 Violence Against Jammu Muslims'". The Wire. 25 August 2021. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
  14. ^ "Exclusive News Stories by Karan Thapar on Current Affairs, Events at The Wire". The Wire. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
  15. ^ "Karan Thapar wins journalism award". The Hindu. 7 October 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2014.