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Seema Mustafa

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Seema Mustafa

Seema Mustafa is an Indian print and television journalist.

Biography

Seema Mustafa‏ was born in Delhi on to a muslim family with roots in Uttar Pradesh. Her father, Lt.Col. Syed Mustafa, was an Indian Army officer. Her mother was the daughter of Shafi Ahmed Kidwai, brother of Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, a noted freedom fighter and Congress politician. Shafi's wife Anis Kidwai (Seema's maternal grandmother) was sometime a Rajya Sabha MP belonging to the Congress party. Seema has two elder brothers, S.P. Mustafa (known as "Bobby"), group treasurer of Hindustan Unilever,[1] and Kamal Mustafa, now retired but once the Head of Global M&A of Citibank.[2]

Seema graduated with a BA in Political Science from Lucknow University in Uttar Pradesh.[3] During her college days, she met and married a Hindu businessman and had two children, Agneya Singh and Gayeti Singh.[4] She and her husband are now divorced.

Career

Seema Mustafa began her journalist career with The Pioneer in Lucknow, moved to The Patriot in 1979, and worked for several other Indian publications, including The Telegraph and Indian Express before joining the Asian Age in 1997 as its political editor and Delhi bureau chief. The Asian Age, founded in 1994, is an Indian newspaper with a pronounced muslim orientation.

While with the Asian Age, Seema received the prestigious "Prem Bhatia Award for Excellence in Political Reporting and Analysis" in 1999 for her coverage of the Kargil war in May–July 1999. She also wrote a weekly op-ed column which was syndicated to several other newspapers, including The Deccan Chronicle of Bangalore, India and The Dawn newspaper of Pakistan. In 2008, she wrote an op-ed that was uncharacteristically critical of the Congress party. The article denounced the Indo-US Nuclear Deal specifically and the congress-led government in general for seeking friendly relations with the George W. Bush administration. The column characterized the Bush administration and the "muslim world" as being at war with each other and threatened revolt by Indian muslims if the Indian government sided with the US by signing any nuclear agreement with the US government, regardless of the benefit to India. Although the intemperance of her views and language elicited criticism in the Indian media, MJ Akbar, founding editor of the Asian Age, defended Seema strongly and the newspaper propagated the same views as hers on its pages. Untimately, M.J. Akbar was sacked for this editorial policy and Seema also quit the Asian Age.

Seema then worked as Resident Editor of Covert, a fortnightly political magazine. She then moved to NewsX, a television news channel, as its National Affairs Editor. While at NewsX, she hosted a weekly interview programme, Straight Talk With Seema Mustafa. She is now Resident Editor of The Sunday Guardian, a Delhi-based newspaper launched by M.J. Akbar.[5]

Writing style

Seema has been noted for having a characteristic leftist and socialist perspective, apart from her almost helpless championing of the "muslim viewpoint" on any and all matters. Her articles invaribly reflect the communist, feminist, secular and pro-minority slants on any issue.[6][7]

Involvement in politics

Seema has been associated with several socialist and communist parties since the 1980s. She wrote the authorized biography of former prime minister VP Singh, entitled The Lonely Prophet, and was closely associated with him during his lifetime.[8] She was a member of his party, the Janata Dal, for many years. She once contested the UP provincial assembly elections as a Janata Dal candidate but lost.[9]

Seema also contested parliamentary elections to the Lok Sabha twice from the Domariaganj constituency in Uttar Pradesh, coming 4th in 1991 and 10th in 1996 and losing her deposit on both occasions. In 1991, she contested the elections as a candidate of the Indian Congress (Socialist), an obscure splinter of the congress party, and in 1996 as an independent candidate.[10][11][12]

Lately, Seema has been linked to the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM) in its campaign to pressurize the government of India to oppose the USA and support Iran on the issue of Iran's right to develop nuclear weapons. Seema is part of the CPM's Committee to Campaign for an Independent Foreign Policy.[13][14] She has of course written extensively in opposition to the Indo-US Nuclear Agreement.

Publications

References

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