Aakar Patel is a syndicated columnist since 2007 whose articles appear in numerous newspapers including, The Times of India, Business Standard, The Hindu, Mumbai Mirror, Inquilab, Prajavani, Dharitri, Punjab Kesari, Divya Marathi and Prabhat Khabar. Patel’s popular columns are distinguished by his incisive wit, erudite allusions, easy style and courage in exposing the flaws in our politics and society.
He is a former newspaper editor, most recently of the Gujarati daily Divya Bhaskar in Ahmedabad. Earlier he edited the Mid Day newspaper in Mumbai for five years. He co-authored along with the late Dileep Padgaonkar and the late BG Verghese a report on the conduct of the media in Gujarat during the 2002 riots. The report, “Ordeal By Fire In The Killing Fields Of Gujarat’’, was commissioned and published by the Editors Guild of India.
Aakar began his career in journalism as a beat reporter, covering the sessions court and wrote extensively on the Bombay Bomb Blasts case. Later he worked as a political correspondent for The Asian Age. He edited the newspaper’s Mumbai edition between 1996 and 1998. This was followed by a brief stint as the deputy editor of the Deccan Chronicle in Hyderabad.
In recent years, Patel has translated the non-fictional work of Saadat Hasan Manto from Urdu, published by Tranquebar, under the title ‘Why I Write’. He has also translated the essays, poetry and biographies written by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Gujarati.
Aakar is originally from Surat in south Gujarat, and has a diploma in textile technology from Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad University, Baroda.
In 2015, Aakar was appointed executive director of the non profit human rights organization, Amnesty International, India, based out of Bangalore.