Aakar Patel is an Indian journalist, activist, and author who is known for writing against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Narendra Modi through his columns.
Aakar Patel was born in 1970 (age 52 years; as of 2022) in Surat, Gujarat. He did his schooling at Sir JJ English School, Surat, Gujarat and Metas Adventist School, Surat. He pursued his graduation at The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda.
Hair Colour: Salt and Pepper
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
Aakar’s father’s name is Anil.
Aakar’s sister’s name is Ashleshaa Khurana, who is an author.
Wife & Children
Aakar got married to Tushita Patel on 14 December 1998.
It was reported that when Aakar was pursuing his graduation, he was in a relationship with a Muslim girl, and when he told his family about his girlfriend, his mother threatened that she would hang herself.
Aakar follows Hinduism. In an interview in 2015, he said that his family was Krishna-worshipping Vaishnavites.
After completing his studies in Baroda, he started his career in journalism when he joined Asian Age as a trainee sub-editor. Later, he went to Mumbai to work as a journalist at Asian Age, Mumbai. After being a part of the Asian age for quite some time, he joined Deccan Chronicle, and later, he worked at Dorling Kindersley. Later, he became the deputy editor of the Deccan Chronicle and editor in chief of Mid Day Multimedia Ltd. He was the co-author of the ‘Rights and Wrongs’ report on the 2002 Gujarat riots by the Editors Guild. In 2002, he returned to Surat and started working as the editor-in-chief of a Gujarati newspaper, Divya Bhasker.
Amnesty International India
In 2015, he was appointed as the head of Amnesty International India. While he was working at Amnesty, he wrote columns in newspapers against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Narendra Modi. In an interview, the organization talked about Aakar and said,
We are delighted that Aakar Patel will be joining us. Amnesty International India is one of the movement’s three national offices, set up to increase our impact in countries with growing global influence which continue to face human rights challenges. Aakar’s commitment to human rights in his journalism and writing positions him perfectly to take on this important role.”
After reading his columns, many BJP followers referred to him as anti-national. During his service at Amnesty International India, the organisation was raided by the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Home Ministry, and the Enforcement Directorate. In 2016, a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, alleged that Amnesty International India was seditious, and he also filed a case against the Amnesty International India after which the organisation was booked under section 124-A. Many people started criticizing Aakar and tweeted that Aakar was a Muslim, and his name was Aakar Ahmed Patel.
In 2022, Aakar attracted controversy when the authorities at Bangalore Airport stopped him from boarding his flight to Boston, US. Reportedly, he was accused of violating FCRA provisions due to which a CBI ‘look out circular’ (LOC) in a Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act (FCRA) violation case was issued against him. He was heading toward the US to deliver lectures, but he was not allowed to leave the country. He went to the Gujarat court to take permission to let him attend his foreign assignment and lecture series organised by various universities in the US till May 30. The court granted him permission, but he alleged that he was still stopped at the airport even after taking permission from the court.
- Aakar likes to read the translated texts of Greek and Rome.
- He is fond of writing and reading the Urdu language. He was the first person to translate the book ‘Why I Write’ by Saadat Hasan Manto into Hindi in 2014.
- In an interview, Aakar said that in 2017, when there were protests going on against the death of journalist Gauri Lankesh, he attended one of the protests, where he was enlightened by the meaning of the word dissent.
- In 2021, he authored the book ‘Our Hindu Rashtra’ in which he compared India and Pakistan and also talked about media views. He also authored another book in the same year titled ‘Price of the Modi Years’ in which he talked about Modi’s re-election, the magnetism of Modi, and Modi’s management.
- He is often spotted enjoying alcoholic beverages and smoking cigarettes.
- He is a passionate animal lover and often posts pictures of them on social media.