TJS George, 91-year-old journalist and well-known public figure, has been chosen for the Swadeshabhimani-Kesari media award, the highest honour that journalists receive from the Kerala government.
Beginning his career in The Free Press Journal in 1950, he has worked in several publications like the International Press Institute, the Far Eastern Economic Review, The Searchlight and was the founding editor of Asiaweek, Hong Kong. He is now editorial advisor to The New Indian Express, for which he writes a Sunday column, Point of View. He hails from Thumpamon, a village in Kollam, Kerala.
George has also written a number of books including biographies of freedom fighter Krishna Menon, Bollywood actor Nargis, musician MS Subbulakshmi and a photo biography of late Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa. He has written also Askew: A Short Biography of Bengaluru, about the city where he resides. There are also books on journalism (Lessons in Journalism, The Provincial Press in India, Editing: A Handbook for Journalists), politics (Revolt in Bihar: A study of the August 1965 uprising, Revolt in Mindanao: The Rise of Islam in Philippine Politics) among others. George is also known for his special interest in China, with a series of articles written on modern China.
He has received quite a few honours already -- the Mohammed Koya journalism award, the Basheer Puraskaram, the Padma Shri, the Kamala Surayya award and the Kesari Media award. The Swadeshabhimani-Kesari award is instituted in the name of pioneering journalists Swadeshabhimani Ramakrishna Pillai (who established the Swadeshabhimani paper and wrote against the British and eventually got exiled) and Kesari Balakrishna Pillai (writer who founded the newspaper Kesari). The award includes a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh. George has been declared the winner by a jury comprising journalists Parvathy Devi, NP Rajendran and chaired by Sebastian Paul. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will present him the award at a function in Thiruvananthapuram on July 1.