With his hard work and dedication, he has overcome various obstacles in his life. His father Inderjit Tejpal, was an army officer due to which he grew up in different parts of the country and making himself aware of different cultures of the country. He did his graduation in Economics from Punjab University.
After completing his graduation he started working with The Indian Express in the 1980s, but later on he shifted to Delhi for his joining in the new magazine called India 2000. But then again he left India 2000 and joined India Today magazine in 1984. Within four years he made tremendous progress in his field and learned a lot of new things from these organizations. A year later he married to Geeta Batra in 1985. Later on he worked for 10 years in India Today with so much passion and dedication. He was finally able to join Financial Express in 1994 because of his laborious efforts.
Then the time came when he finally became the founding editor of Outlook (second-largest newsmagazine publication in India). While he was excelling in the field of journalism he simultaneously opened a publishing company named “India Ink”. This publishing company later on published an award-winning novel “The God of Small Things” written by Arundhati Roy in the year 1998. Tarun Tejpal is a person who is never afraid to speak his heart out, and he never hesitates to take risk and learn new things. As a journalist, he has always tried his best to report every news with honesty and authenticity. He is a man of his words. Apart from his professional life, he is a very admirable person in his personal life too. He is a proud father of two daughters. He brought a major change in the world of journalism through his magazine Tehelka. Tehelka was India’s first journalistic website. He wanted to bring back the aggressive public interest journalism of the 1980s through his magazine Tehelka, which he believed was lost somewhere behind the glamour of fashion, food and cinema. He co-founded Tehelka with one of his colleagues in the year 2000. Furthermore, he along with his team of Tehelka.com conducted his first sting operation on the cricket match fixing which was a huge success. And soon a book was published on this sting operation. Thereafter Tehelka became famous for its sting operation. It was Tarun who brought the concept of Sting operations in the Indian Journalism. He wanted to share the true image of various big leaders to the public.
Few of the major landmark stories that Tehelka covered where police encounters in the north-east, The Ishrat Jahan and Tulsi Prajapati murder, 2G and coal scams, operation west end (defense deal bribes), Gujrat killings, an exposé on Zaheera Sheikh, etc. Tarun always stood up for the rights of the oppressed sections of the Indian society like Dalits, Poor, tribal groups, minorities, etc. And he proved this through his magazine as well. He is never afraid to say the truth. The reporters and writers of the Tehelka magazine have won every journalistic award. From International Press Institute Awards for the best journalism of the year, winning Sanskrit Journalism Award, Statesman’s Award for Rural Reporting, Ramnath Goenka Award to winning multiple South Asia Laadli Media and Advertising Awards they have achieved all of this.
There are various other awards that he has won in his life. Few of them are:
1. In 2001, he was named among the “50 leaders at the forefront of change in Asia” by business week.
In the year 2007, The Guardian named Tarun among the 20 who constitute “India’s new elite” for being the pioneer in sting journalism.
2. Again in 2009, He was named among “India’s 50 Most Powerful People 2009” by Business week.
In the year 2010, Tarun received the “Award for Excellence in Journalism” by the International Press Institute’s India Chapter Award.
3. Tarun was also selected as GQ India’s Man of the Year in the year 2011.
Tarun Tejpal didn’t confine himself to the field of journalism only. His first debut novel The Alchemy of Desire published in the year 2006 won the Le Prix MillePages Award. His second literary novel was based on the true story of his failed assassination bid. With the arrest of his five assassins, he got the idea of writing his second novel The story of my Assassins which was published in 2010. Later on Amazon Prime adopted The Story of My Assassin’s into the 2020s wildly successful web series- Patal Lok.
Here are some Reviews of Tejpal’s Fiction :
1. New York Journal of Books- “Tarun J. Tejpal is brilliant. A master storyteller, he writes with graphic details so stunning in spots as to make the reader pause for breath.’
2. The New Yorker- “ A spine-chilling book .... written with flair and clear-eyed acidity.”
3. Financial Express- “ A devastating tale about political power and its malignity. With his ferocious new book, with his compelling writing, Tejpal ensures, hopefully, that Indian exotica will never sell.”
4. Business World- “ This book is a must-read. Extraordinary for its portrayal of modern Indian society....shatters any illusion we may harbor of being tolerant and just....weaves an extremely powerful plot and tells it skillfully.”
5. The Telegraph- “ "Harsh... sharp, written in an unconventional, ritual idiom that's suggestive... Once it starts it will be hard to put the book down.”
Tarun J Tejpal is a big name in the journalism world. He is a role model for many journalists as well as many novelists.