Pritish Nandy is a prominent Indian poet, journalist, painter, politician, media and TV personality, activist, and a film producer. He was born in a Bengali family on January 15, 1951, in Bhagalpur, State of Bihar, India, to Prafulla Nalini Nandy and Satish Chandra Nandy. His brother, Ashis Nandy, is a political psychologist and a critic. He studied at La Martiniere College and later attended Presidency College in Kolkata. His mother is working as a teacher in La Martiniere Calcutta and became the first Vice Principal of the school. Basically, Pritish spent 28 years of his life in this school. His collection of poems entitled ‘Of Gods and Olives,’ was published in the year 1967.
The other three volumes were also released in the late 60s and another fourteen volumes during the 70s. It was also during this time when he edited and published Dialogue, a collection of India’s best poets, which was translated into English and other languages. The Dialogue magazine also published over 40 books of poems, from new to popular poets. Dialogue became a traditional platform for modern Indian poetry. In 1981, he earned a nomination at the World Academy of Arts and Culture for Poet Laureate.
This event was held in San Francisco during the 5th World Congress of Poets. Pritish earned popularity for his single poem entitled ‘Calcutta If You Must Exile Me,’ which turned out to be a pioneering classic in the contemporary literature in India. After a long hiatus, he returned and penned a new book of poems entitled ‘Again’ in 2010 and ‘Stuck on 1/Forty’ in the year 2012. Pritish also penned his own version of Isha Upanishad, which was published in 2014. His journalism career started in the 70s when he worked for Sunday magazine.
He has been a Poetry Editor and Books Editor of The Illustrated Weekly of India and The Telegraph, respectively. He was the one who drew the cartoon, Mastermind for The Telegraph. In 1982, he moved to Bombay from Calcutta and started working in The times of India Group, where he became an editor and a full-time journalist. In a span of nine years, he worked as the Publishing Director of The Times of India (1982-1991) and eight years as the Editor in Chief of The Illustrated Weekly of India (1983-1991). Simultaneously, Pritish has worked as the Editor of Filmfare and The Independent.
He also served as the Publisher of Dharmayug, Femina, Filmfare, Madhuri, Science Today, The Illustrated Weekly of India, and The Independent. Pritish has also worked as the Publisher for Indrajal Comics. During this time, he won several awards and recognitions, including the Excellence for Journalism Award at the Shrikant Verma Awards. In the early 90s, he left The Times of India Group and shifted to television. He started two shows including Zee TV’s Fiscal Fitness: The Pritish Nandy Business Show (1991) and Doordarshan’s The Pritish Nandy Show.
In 1998, he covered Doordarshan’s TV show ‘titled Face Off for the Indian Parliamentary elections, alongside Javed Akhtar (poet). Pritish has been a columnist for Dainik Bhaskar and The Times of India. He was India’s first Internet evangelists, who established the first cyber café at the Hotel Leela Kempinski in Mumbai. In 1998, he was elected to Indian parliament’s upper house called Rajya Sabha and became a member for six years. He was also a member of several committees including the Parliamentary Committee for Defense, National Committee, the Parliamentary Committee for Communications, and much more.
He was the head of the Expert Committee, who’s in charge of the up-gradation of the IFFI. This was established by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, from where they submitted the results in 2011. In 2012, he presented Sheikh Hasina’s Liberation War, Honour. Hasina has been the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and this is to honor her contribution to the Bangladesh Liberation War. Aside from being a journalist, a poet, and a politician, Pritish is also an activist.
He established the People for Animals, the largest Non-Governmental Organization for animal protection. He is also the founder of the World Compassion Day, which is used to promote the importance of ahimsa and compassion. In 1993, he established the media and entertainment company called Pritish Nandy Communications (PNC). It was the first media company to be listed on stock exchange.
The Pritish Nandy Show is the company’s first program and was regarded as the first signature show in the history of Indian television. Their next show is Fiscal Fitness: The Pritish Nandy Business Show. Pritish has presented over 500 shows on Doordarshan, Sony TV, and Zee TV channels. Some other shows under his credit are India 98:
, Maneka’s Ark, Raj Kahani, Khwahish, India:
, Heads & Tails, Entertainment Now, New Horizons, Ek Raja Ek Rani, Yudh, Chup Bas Lakshya, and a lot more. Pritish started to produce films in 2001 with Rahul Rawail’s Kuch Khatti Kuch Meethi.
This was followed by several films like Bollywood Calling, Kaante, Jhankaar Beats, Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi,
, Raat Gayi Baat Gayi, Click, Fatso, Mastizaade, etc.