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Shiv Aroor, the man and his real loves

By Shivya Malhotra
Updated on :
Shiv Aroor, the man and his real loves

Shiv Aroor is a well-known name in the media industry. A journalist for more than a decade, he has received several Awards for excellence in reporting. As his new book, ‘Operation Jinnah’ hits stand, Newsd talks to the man about his mind-boggling life experiences, its topsy-turvy curves, and motivations. Moreover, his obsession with the military forces and his sarcastic social media avatar.

Here is an exclusive chat:

Q. Congratulations on your book, Operation Jinnah. Could you tell us a little on what motivated you to pick this particular subject for your first book?

Thank you! When I decided to write a novel, there was no debate in my mind where my characters would come from. Two things fascinate me more than all else in the world I dwell in as a journalist — aircraft and the Special Forces.

Q. You founded the super-successful web portal, Live Fist, in 2007. How did your romance with military affairs begin?

By accident, actually. I had planned to be a political reporter back in 2003-04. But a fortuitous vacancy at the Indian Express and the courage of an editor to cast a 23-year-old into the big bad world of defence is where it really began. There’s been no looking back, honestly. People spend a lifetime looking for a subject they can truly love. I’m grateful to have found it so early.

Q. Are we going to see less of you on television now that you’ve left your full-time position at India Today?

Actually, you’ll probably see more of me! Over the last two years, apart from some anchoring, I was Output Editor at the channel, which is a behind the scenes role. I’ve transitioned into a Consulting Editor role where I anchor a daily show at 5 PM with a strong focus on news from the south.

 

Quick Five:
Twitter/Facebook? Twitter
Horror/Military movies? Difficult one! Horror
TV news/ Newspapers? TV news
Hills/Sea? Sea
Letters/Email? Email

Q. You’ve been a successful reporter with excellence awards in your kitty. What made you take up journalism?

It’s probably the answer you’ll get from most journalists who love their work, and it’s true — no other profession promises a new day every day. That was the first selfish impulse. But it really is that and the opportunity to witness what you could have only dreamed of otherwise. I’m pretty sure I would never have spent days or nights with soldiers on the LoC, dined with the Chinese Army in Tibet, swum with Indian Navy frogmen off a remote island in the Andamans, travelled across Libya with rebel warriors or flown fighter planes if I hadn’t been a journalist!

Q. Known for your sharp and tongue-in-cheek tweets, the trolls seem to love you. Have you ever got into trouble?

In 2012, the UPA government, in its wisdom, attempted to have my Twitter account blocked for tweeting a news report about the Azad Maidan violence. It was a clumsy move that backfired embarrassingly. I get trolled every day. Most of it is harmless stuff. I’ve had no real trouble, though several notable personalities have attempted to get my employer to reprimand me. The lead spokesperson of a national party and Supreme Court advocate made attempts recently.

Q. Now that the book is out, what is next on the cards? A family vacation, perhaps?

Not likely soon. I’m working on another book, and it doesn’t look like I’ll get to come up for air in the near future. Maybe in the winter.

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