T. J. S. George
Thayil Jacob Sony George
7 May 1928
|Children||Jeet Thayil, Sheba|
Thayil Jacob Sony George (born 7 May 1928) is an Indian writer and biographer who received a Padma Bhushan award in 2011 in the field of literature and education. The fourth of eight siblings, TJS was born in Kerala, India to Thayil Thomas Jacob, a magistrate, and Chachiamma Jacob, a homemaker. Although his roots are in Thumpamon, Kerala, he lives in Bangalore and Coimbatore with his wife Ammu. He has a daughter, Sheba Thayil and a son, Jeet Thayil. American TV journalist Raj Mathai is his nephew.
T. J. S. George has achieved distinction internationally as a professional author, serious political columnist and biographer with a series of major books. After graduating from Madras Christian College in Chennai (then Madras), India, with an Honours degree in English Literature, he began his career in The Free Press Journal in Mumbai (then Bombay) in 1950. He moved through the International Press Institute, The Searchlight, and the Far Eastern Economic Review to become the founding editor of Asiaweek (Hong Kong).
He was the Editorial Advisor of The New Indian Express. A veteran senior journalist and one of the best known columnists in India, he continued his fight against social injustice, corruption, religious intolerance and in later years right-wing populist tendencies that threatened democracy through his weekly 'Point of View' columns in The New Indian Express which ran for 25 years and ended in June, 2022.
Besides being an editor, columnist, author and eternal wordsmith, he has also been a longtime China watcher. After a gap of 10 years, he went back to China in 2008 to witness the Olympic preparations and wrote a series of articles about modern China.
Few media persons have experienced the romance of journalism in as great a measure as T. J. S. George has. His journey from the newsroom of S. Sadanand's Free Press Journal to the top of the profession was eventful. While heading a Bihar daily, he earned the displeasure of the chief minister and became the first editor to be charged with sedition in free India. During a stint abroad, the highlight of which was the founding of Asiaweek in Hong Kong with himself as its Editor, he incurred the wrath of some of Southeast Asia's rulers.— B. R. P. Bhaskar
When The Searchlight editor T.J.S. George was arrested for his thunderous editorials against then Bihar Chief Minister K.B. Sahay, it was [Defence Minister V.K. Krishna] Menon who airdashed to Patna to defend him.— A.J. Philip
He 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.— Dr. K. Javeed Nayeem
Very few journalists are capable of expressing a subjective opinion as clearly and boldly, without prevarication or rigmarole, like T. J. S. George.— K. B. Ganapathy