Mobasher Jawed "M. J." Akbar (born 11 January 1951) is an Indian journalist and politician, who served as the Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs until 17 October 2018. Akbar is a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha, and was inducted into the Union Council of Ministers by PM Narendra Modi on 5 July 2016. He is also a veteran Indian journalist and author of several books. He first served as an elected Member of Parliament between 1989 and 1991, and returned to public life in March 2014, when he joined the BJP and was appointed national spokesperson during the 2014 general elections that brought the party back to office with a simple majority under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi. In July, 2015 he was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Jharkhand. During his long career in journalism, he launched, as editor, India’s first weekly political news periodicals in India including India Today, Headlines Today, The Telegraph, The Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle',' among others.
He has written several non-fiction books, including a biography of Jawaharlal Nehru titled Nehru: The Making of India, a book on Kashmir titled Kashmir Behind the Vale, Riot After Riot and India: The Siege Within. He also authored The Shade of Swords, a history of jihad. Akbar has also authored fiction, such as Blood Brothers-A Family Saga (Fratelli Di Sangue, Italian translated version). Have Pen, Will Travel: Observations of a Globetrotter is a travelogue authored by him. His book 'Byline' consists of write-ups of bylines picked from his writings. His book Tinderbox: The past and future of Pakistan, in January 2012 discusses the themes of identity crisis and class struggles in Pakistan.
On 17 October 2018 Akbar resigned due to a number of sexual harassment allegations against him from numerous women who had worked with him over the years. In an op-ed in Washington Post on Nov 2, 2018, Pallavi Gogoi, the chief business editor for NPR in the United States, wrote of her rape by Mr. Akbar 23 years ago in a hotel room in Jaipur. Ms. Gogoi was the editor of the op-ed page of the Asian Age at that time. In response, Mr. Akbar has admitted to a past relationship with Ms. Gogoi, and said it was consensual.