Seema Mustafa is an Indian print and television journalist. She is currently the Editor-in-Chief of The Citizen, a digital newspaper she founded. She is the elected president of the Editors Guild of India, since 16 October 2020. Let us wish her a very happy birthday.
Seema Mustafa was born on 20 April 1955 in Delhi to a Muslim family from Uttar Pradesh. She graduated with a BA in political science from Lucknow University in Uttar Pradesh. Mustafa began her career in journalism with The Pioneer (a Lucknow-based newspaper), 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.
While in the Asian Age, Mustafa received the prestigious “Prem Bhatia Award for Excellence in Political Reporting and Analysis” in 1999 for her coverage of the Kargil war. She also wrote a weekly op-ed column which was syndicated to several other newspapers, including The Deccan Chronicle of Bangalore and The Dawn, a Pakistani newspaper.
In 2008, she wrote an op-ed that was uncharacteristically critical of the Congress party. Although the intemperance of her views and language elicited criticism in the Indian media, MJ Akbar, founding editor of the Asian Age, defended Mustafa strongly and the newspaper propagated the same views as hers on its pages. Ultimately, M.J. Akbar and Mustafa were both sacked from the Asian Age.
After leaving the Asian Age in 2008, Mustafa worked as Resident Editor of Covert, a fortnightly left-wing political magazine. In January 2010, her mentor M.J. Akbar launched The Sunday Guardian, a weekly newspaper, and Mustafa joined him as Resident Editor. After that, Seema Mustafa moved to NewsX. And next, she took over the job of Director of a new, left-wing think-tank based in New Delhi named the “Centre for Policy Analysis”, a position she presently holds. Concurrently, in January 2014, she founded The Citizen, an independent “Digital Daily” based out of New Delhi. Seema Mustafa is the president of the Editors Guild of India, elected on 16 October 2020.
Seema Mustafa has been associated with several communists and socialist political parties since the 1980s. She wrote the authorised biography of former prime minister VP Singh, entitled The Lonely Prophet, and was closely associated with him during his lifetime. She was a member of his party, the Janata Dal, for many years.
Mustafa also contested parliamentary elections to the Lok Sabha two times (1991 and 1996). In 2012–13, Mustafa associated herself with the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM) in its campaign to pressure the government of India to oppose the US and support Iran on the issue of Iran’s right to develop nuclear weapons.