Arfa Khanum Sherwani is an Indian journalist. She is the only Indian journalist who has covered the Afghan presidential elections (2004)
Arfa Khanum Sherwani was born on 1 November 1980 (41 years) in the small city Khurja of district Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh. She completed her intermediate education in the city itself. She then completed her BSc from Chaudhary Charan Singh University. Arfa did a diploma in journalism from Aligarh University and did her doctorate from Jamia Milia Islamia.
Arfa Khanum was born in a conventional, conservative environment yet in a progressive family. She describes her household as progressive because her parents’ supported their daughters’ financial independence. After she did her graduation she set out for her true passion which was journalism. She recalls having left for Delhi way before her result came. Upon reaching Delhi she felt as if she had always belonged there and that she had finally made it home. The Delhi hustle-bustle made her feel at home more than ever. She had set out to Delhi with merely 500 rupees, but with dreams to catch the moon. She was an anchor for a national Tv channel at the young age of 22, since then there was no looking back ever. Reflecting upon a memory from her childhood that she documents as life-changing is when she talks of the fateful night of 6th December 1992; the demolition of Barbri Masjid. Arfa’s family had to run for their lives. Young Arfa had to run with her barely a month old brother to save themselves. She recalls being led by a few people to safety along with other burkha clad women, this left a permanent mark in her soft impressionable mind. She was confused as to why was she safe with those women and not elsewhere. She shares her father had left his only sister back in Pakistan to come back to India; the land of his forefathers.
Parents & Siblings
Not much information is available on her parents and family. She has a brother and 4 sisters, one of them an independent journalist; Bushra Khanum.
Husband & Children
Arfa is married and has two kids, a son and a daughter. Not much information is available on her husband.
Arfa is a Muslim and is very vocal about her religious beliefs as well.
Arfa Khanum Sherwani is currently the senior editor of The Wire. Her journey began in 2000 at The Pioneer as an intern. She then worked with Asain age as a trainee sub-editor. She joined Sahara tv. She further joined NDTV as a principal correspondent and anchor. She worked at Rajya Sabha TV until 2017. She has always wanted to talk to people, know their stories, she feels it is her duty to speak for and represent the people who are marginalised. She is a TEDx speaker and a freelance journalist. Speaking on one such TEDx talk she speaks of her experience during the Battla house encounter. She felt marginalised and that she had become the talk of every newsroom across India. Arfa recalls reporting, the now guilty Indian Mujadhedin as some men and not terrorists. She was accused of siding with her religion. The trajectory of Arfa’s career has been difficult as she remembers, nevertheless it has been on the rise consistently. She has covered the Afghan presidential elections and is the only Indian to do so.
- A clip from the speech, Arfa Khanum delivered at Aligarh University over Citizenship Amendment Act, (2019) went viral and she was harassed. She recalls receiving innumerable rape and death threats.
- She interviewed Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on his views over the Ayodhya case. She was interrupted by his followers in the mid for over politicising the spiritual leader’s words. The entire interview was later shown by the Wire as it went, they claim. She further states that she was hurled abuses at, for keeping the environment positive, by his followers.
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- She has received the Chameli Devi Jain Award for outstanding woman journalist, jointly with Rohini Mohan (a Bengaluru based journalist).
- She is the recipient of Sahitya Samman from the Hindi academy.
- She has also received the Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar award for journalism.
- Actor: Shahrukh Khan
- Movie: Jai Bhim
Don’t remember the last time a film had left such deep impact on me as #JaiBhimOnPrime has.
It is so powerful that it shakes you with emotions and leaves you with hope for a better & more equal India.
Jai Bhim is Light
Jai Bhim is love
Jai Bhim is a path from darkness to light
— Arfa Khanum Sherwani (@khanumarfa) November 4, 2021
- She is seemingly leftist. She never lets go of a chance to make digs at the right-wingers.