Shashi Kumar

Shashi Kumar, the versatile media man hails from Kodungallur, Thrissur district. He spent his school years in Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai and went on to graduate from Layola College Chennai and completed his post-graduation from Madras Christian College in 1975. In the late 70’s, he was amongst the earliest news casters in English on Doordarshan and was popular as news and current affairs anchor, film critique, producer and director of topical features on television. He authored and presented ‘Money Matters’ the first independent programme on economy; ’Tana Bana’ a cultural feature and ‘Jan Manch’, an interactive forum between ministers in the government and a cross-section of the society. He had been the principal anchor in international conventions like the Commonwealth heads of state meet in Bangalore, the Non-Aligned Summit in Delhi and the International Film Festivals of India for several years. His investigative vigour and critical candour has taken him into countries like Soviet Union, East Germany, Romania and several countries in Eastern Europe, Europe and USA on different occasions. Shashi Kumar started with a TV media, later on went to the print media, and became the first Asia Correspondent of the The Hindu daily at its sister fortnightly Frontline. He opened the West Asia Bureau of the publication in Bahrain and travelled extensively in the Middle East. He set up a television wing for the news agency PTI and was the Chief Producer and Deputy General Manager. He launched Asianet, India’s first satellite TV channel in the regional language in late 1992 and Asianet Sitcom a cable company in Kerala that took up statewide cabling using the electricity pole. He founded the Media Development Foundation, a non-profitable public trust dedicated to excellence in journalism education and best practices in the profession. Along with Mr. N.Ram and Mr. N.Murali of the The Hindu, Mrs. Radhika Menon publisher and editor of Thulika Books for children and Dr.C.Chandra Sekhar Prof. of Economics at the JNU, Delhi, he set up the Asian College of Journalism in Chennai. As a premier institute for students seeking to study journalism from across India and other countries it had forged links with some of the best like the BBC, the Colombia School of Journalism in New York and Cardiff Westminster in the UK. Besides TV documentaries and features, he scripted and directed films in 16 MM titled Vijayalakshmi and Nemesis, both telecast on the national net work. He also scripted and directed a full-length feature film in Hindi titled Kaya Taran.(Chrisalis). The film won the G.Aravindan Award for the Best Tributan filmmaker of the year and was an official entry to India as well as International film festivals. He is a member, Committee on ICE Information Communication and Entertainment, PM’s Office, New Delhi. He is also Director, Real News and Alternative International News Channel on TV, Broadband and IP TV Headquartered in Canada. He is trained in carnatic music and loves Indian classical music. His wife: Mrs Radhika Menon is publisher of Thulika, childrens books. First son Thushar, P.hd. is in Bio Technology and is in Mitchigan, USA and his second son Tuhin is with BBC, New York.


Category: Media