MJ Akbar, journalist, author and now politician was named in the #MeToo movement, accusing him of sexually harassing a number of women journalists. 

Following the allegations, the demand for Akbar to resign as the Rajya Sabha MP and of Minister of State was rising. But Akbar has issued a statement in this regard and said that these allegation were lies and questioned why has it surfaced just before general elections. He termed it an agenda  and said accusation without evidence has become a viral fever among some sections. 

"Whatever be the case, now that I have returned, my lawyers will look into these wild and  baseless allegations in order to decide our future course of legal action," reported ANI. 

ASLO READ: #MeToo-accused MJ Akbar fears political vendetta just ahead of 2019 elections, threatens legal action 

Here is why MJ Akbar is important and one should know who he is to understand the importance of taking the allegations of sexual harassment against him seriously, especially because he wields highest power.

Who is MJ Akbar?

  • Mobashar Jawed Akbar popularly known as MJ Akbar is a journalist, author and politician
  • He is the Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs, Rajya Sabha MP from Madhya Pradesh
  • He was inducted into the Union Council of Ministers by PM Narendra Modi on 5 July 2016
  • He was born on 11 January 1951 in a Bihari family
  • Akbar's paternal Prayag was raised by a Muslim couple after being orphaned in communal riots
  • Later grandfather Prayag converted to Islam and took the name Rehmatullah
  • Akbar completed BA in English Honours from Presidency College, Calcutta in 1970
  • He is married to Mallika Joseph, journalist. The couple has two children, Prayaag and Mukulika 

As journalist

  • Akbar joined The Times of India in 1971 as a trainee
  • Later he moved to The Illustrated Weekly of India, as sub-editor, feature writer till 1973
  • In 1976 he joined political weekly Sunday as editor, run by Ananda Bazar Patrika (ABP) Group 
  • He also played vital role in launching daily newspapers -The Telegraph (1989) and The Asian Age (1994) 
  • He was removed from The Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle editorial section due to differences with the owners over editorial policy in 2008
  • Akbar launched the fortnightly political magazine Covert on 13 May 2008 in Delhi 
  • He also launched The Sunday Guardia 31 January 2010, he was the Editor-in-Chief and then Editorial Director but resigned in May 2014, to join politics full-time

In Politics

  • Akbar was a Member of Parliament P between 1989 and 1991 
  • In 1989 he fought form Kishanganj in Bihar on a Congress(I) ticket, he won but lost it in 1991 elections
  • He was a official spokesperson of late former PM Rajiv Gandhi 
  • Later Akbar joined BJP, was appointed national spokesperson during the 2014 general elections
  • In July, 2015 he was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Jharkhand 
  • He is currently associated with India Today, Headlines Today, The Telegraph, The Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle


As Author

  • Important non-fiction books penned by MJ Akbar are: Nehru: The Making of India, Kashmir Behind the Vale, Riot After Riot and India: The Siege Within, The Shade of Swords, a history of jihad  
  • Among his fiction writing important books are: Blood Brothers-A Family Saga, Have Pen, Will Travel: Observations of a Globetrotter, Byline - write-ups of bylines picked from his writings, Tinderbox: The past and future of Pakistan-about identity crisis and class struggles in Pakistan.