|Profession(s)||Journalist, Columnist, Political Reporter, and Writer|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters– 161 cm
in meters– 1.61 m
in feet & inches– 5’ 3”
|Eye Colour||Dark Brown|
Note: She often dyes her hair in different shades of brown.
|Career Highlights||• 1997: Anchored Ek Din, Ek Jeevan, a Hindi weekly programme on STAR Plus
• 1990: Joined television and headed Plus Channel’s Delhi bureau
• 1985 and 1987: South Asia correspondent of The Sunday Times, London
• 1982: Special correspondent at The Telegraph
• 1974: Junior reporter at The Statesman, New Delhi
Note: She works as a freelance writer for India Today, The Indian Express, and The Hitavada.
|Publications||• 2020: Messiah Modi: A Tale of Great Expectations
• 2016: India’s Broken Tryst
• 2012: Durbar
• 2007: Political and Incorrect
• 1999: Lollipop Street: Why India will Survive Its Politicians
• 1995: Kashmir: A Tragedy of Errors
|Awards and Honours||• 1988: Chameli Devi Jain Award for Outstanding Women Journalist
• 1985: Sanskriti Award for Journalism
|Date of Birth||22 July 1950 (Saturday)|
|Age (as of 2021)||71 Years|
|Birthplace||Mussoorie, Uttar Pradesh (now in Uttarakhand), India|
|School||Welham Girls School, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India|
|College/University||• New Delhi Polytechnic
• St. Bede’s College, Shimla
|Educational Qualification(s)||• Short-term journalism course from the New Delhi Polytechnic in 1969
• A bachelor’s degree from St. Bede’s College, Shimla
|Religion||Sikhism The Economic Times|
|Political Inclination||BJP (Until 2019) Scroll.in|
|Controversies||• Affair with Salman Taseer: Tavleen met Salman Taseer, a Pakistani businessman and politician, in March 1980 when he was visiting India to promote his book. Their affair started soon after they met and lasted for over a week. Salman already had a wife and three kids back in Pakistan. Soon the couple found out that Tavleen was pregnant and decided to keep their relationship a secret. Tavleen and Salman went to Dubai to conceal the news from both the families and travelled to London in summers; however, the news of the birth of their son, Aatish Taseer, out of wedlock spread like wildfire. The couple split when Aatish was 2 years old, and their affair became a huge political scandal, though the couple never got married to each other. Mid-Day
• Comments against the #MeToo movement: In 2018, Tavleen faced the wrath of the Twitter users on her decision to never support the #MeToo India movement after she supported one of the accused of #MeToo, M.J. Akbar. Following this, she had a Twitter war with many celebrities, and she also wrote an article explaining her opinion over the issue. The Print Later, many female-centric platforms hit back at Tavleen with their own “open letters” to her. Feminism In India In another incident, Tavleen again attracted controversy when she commented on journalist Faye Dsouza‘s clothes during a #MeToo debate on a news channel, and said that she was “dressed like a man.” The Free Press JournalCNN-News18
• Revocation of her son’s OCI status: In 2019, Tavleen fiercely supported her son, Aatish Taseer, when the Indian government revoked her son’s Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) status, stating that he had ‘concealed’ that his late father, Salmaan Taseer, was a Pakistani. Tavleen, who openly stood in support of pro-government decisions in the past, lashed out at the government on Twitter. She claimed that her son’s citizenship was revoked due to an article he had written in the Time magazine against Narendra Modi that the Indian Home Minister did not like. She was profusely attacked by both the Left and the Right-wing Twitter users. The Indian ExpressFirstpost
• Hate comments for standing up for her son: In 2020, Tavleen Singh sprang up in defense of her son when Aatish Taseer tweeted derogatory remarks against the Home Minister of India, Amit Shah, when Shah tested positive for COVID-19. The mother-son duo faced severe backlash from the Twitter users and were called out on their Pakistani ties. OpIndia
|Relationships & More|
|Affairs/Boyfriends||• Salman Taseer (March 1980) (Pakistani Politician, assasinated in 2011)
• Ajit Gulabchand (late 1980s- present) (CEO of Hindustan Construction Company)
|Parents||Father– Name not known
Mother– Name not known
|Children||Son– Aatish Ali Taseer (British-American writer and journalist of Indian origin)
• Vijay Singh
Some Lesser Known Facts About Tavleen Singh
- Does Tavleen Singh drink alcohol?: Yes
- Tavleen Singh is an Indian veteran journalist, columnist, political reporter, and author.
- Singh was born into an aristocratic Sikh family, and her father was a soldier. Singh’s maternal grandfather was one of the five Sikh contractors who had helped Edwin Lutyens in building the city of New Delhi. Harmony
- When Singh started working as a reporter, there were only five women journalists in Delhi, and she was counted among one of the first female political journalists in India at that time.
- She writes an English weekly column for The Indian Express and a Hindi weekly column each for the Jansatta (on Sunday) and the Amar Ujala (on Monday).
- In a journalism career spanning over more than four decades, Tavleen has covered several political events in the sub-continent while working as a correspondent for various publications including The Telegraph, India Today, The Indian Express, Sunday, and The Sunday Times (London).
- She is considered one of the few journalists who have reported on many significant events in South Asia for both print and electronic media such as the general elections in Pakistan and India, the ethnic conflicts in Kashmir and Punjab (including reporting on the Operation Blue Star and the Operation Black Thunder), the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, and a coup in the Maldives. The Print
- The journalist has also appeared on the television in several Hindi and English current affairs programs and has anchored a show on NDTV Profit (now NDTV Prime). She has also interviewed various politicians like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Bollywood stars like Amitabh Bachchan.
- Tavleen strongly believes in the promotion of Indian literature and runs a society called Mehfil-e-Gango-Jaman that supports financially poor skilled writers who write mostly in Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi languages.
- The political journalist admitted in an interview that she was never interested in fashion, and she “couldn’t bear to be fashionable.”
- Tavleen’s relationship with the Pakistani politician Salman Taseer was an incalculable scandal of the time that eventually ended on a bitter note. After the split, Tavleen brought her son back to India and raised him at her ancestral home in Delhi. Aatish did not meet his father till he was 21 years old, and Salman Taseer never visited India after 1980. Indian Express Commenting on her relationship with Salman Taseer in an interview, Tavleen said, Harmony
I’m very proud of my relationship with him. My relationship with him was doomed because he was going to be a politician, and in Pakistan, you can’t be a politician with an Indian wife and children. It’s a complete no-no!”
- The single mother supported her child by working at The Telegraph and relied heavily on her family and friends for financial support. Sonia Gandhi, who was claimed to be one of Tavleen’s friends, would often send clothes for Aatish during that time.
- In the late 1980s, Tavleen met Ajit Gulabchand, the CEO of Hindustan Construction Company (HCC), and she has been living with him since then. Gulabchand is a descendant of the Walchand Hirachand family, one of the oldest business families in India. Tavleen moved to Mumbai in 1994 to live closer to Gulabchand and rented an apartment in the same building where he lived. Even after remaining in a relationship with each other for a long time, the two never married.
- Her book, Durbar, which was published in 2012, was written originally as a novel, but Tavleen changed it eventually and re-wrote it as non-fiction.
- It is often claimed that Tavleen is obsessed with Sonia Gandhi. When she was interviewed in 2016 and asked about her obsession, Singh replied, Hindustan Times
The reason why it seems like I’m obsessed with Sonia Gandhi is because I believe I would be failing in my duty as a political journalist to not point out that for the past 10 years she was the Prime Minister of India without accountability. Now, if that is Sonia-baiting, well, I’m going to continue to do that.”
- Even in her 70s, Tavleen strictly looks after her fitness. In an interview, while talking about her fitness regime, she said that she worked out five days a week and did yoga in the evenings. She also claimed that she used to walk up to 32 floors in nine minutes until 2017 when Tavleen underwent knee surgery for the removal of a torn meniscus, which she said was apparently due to excessive exercise.
- The political journalist, who isn’t interested in being politically correct, unapologetically expressed her views on the journalism profession in an interview. Hindustan Times She said,
All the political journalists everywhere in the world are a little bit in danger of getting seduced into the system. It’s very easy. I have very strong views on this. I really believe that journalists should never take Rajya Sabha seats. I really believe that journalists should not take Padma awards. Once you do that then you should give up journalism and go into politics. There is no harm in that.”