Om Thanvi grew-up in Bikaner and took his post graduation degree in Business Administration from Rajasthan University . He started journalism in his student days in 1977 contributing to weekly 'Marudeep', daily 'Yugpaksh' (Bikaner) and weekly 'Reviver' (Calcutta), joined mainstream Hindi journalism working with Rajasthan Patrika group in Jaipur. He edited Patrika group's weekly Itwari Patrika, then Bikaner edition of daily Rajasthan Patrika. In 1989 he joined Jansatta, a newspaper of Indian Express Group published from Delhi. He was Resident editor of the daily's Chandigarh edition (1989-1999). Then the editor of Jansatta in Delhi (1999-2015). At present he is Visiting Professor at the Centre for Media Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).
He had been Secretary General of Editors Guild of India for two terms as well as Vice President of the South Asia Free Media Association (SAFMA). He was member of the National Integration Council, headed by Prime Minister of India and is on the Advisory Council of the India International Center (IIC), New Delhi.
He has deeply been involved with environmental activities. In 1986 he was awarded the journalism fellowship by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) to study Conventional Water Harvesting Methods of the Desert. He travelled extensively the arid zone to study the philosophy of water conservation, ways of living, particularly unique relationship with water in the Thar desert. That study later became a much talked and researched subject among the environmentalists all over. The Times of India interviewed him on front page: an unusual occasion in journalism when one journalist (Usha Rai) was interviewing another. He attended United Nation’s first conference on climate change called Earth Summit at Rio de Janeiro 1992 and it’s preparatory conference held in Paris. In 2012 He was among few journalists who attended Rio summit, called Rio+20, again.
He joined Chandigarh edition of Jansatta, when Punjab was in the grip of terrorism and all the institutions of democracy, including the press, were under severe attack. Under his editorship Jansatta remained the only major paper in Punjab region that did not succumb to the "Code of Conduct" imposed by the terrorists on media. In Delhi during his period, Jansatta became the most prominent voice in Hindi journalism raising and discussing constantly the issues related to the rise of fundamentalism in Indian polity, myths of modern development, cultural and educational diversions, environmental imbalances, fate of languages, role of Hindi etc. He engaged prominent writers and thinkers as daily’s columnists and contributors. His own column ‘Anantar’ remained most talked about column of the paper.
He writes travelogues and critical essays. His book Muanjodaro, a travelogue tracing remains of the Indus Valley Civilization, was widely acclaimed in the literary circles.
On birth centenary of S.H. Vatsyayan Ajneya he edited a two-volume anthology of memoirs "Apne Apne Agyey' consisting 100 contributions of writers from Hindi and other languages.
He is a frequent political commentator on major Hindi TV networks, mainly NDTV, Rstv, AajTak, ABP News, News Nation and Etv.
Honours and Awards
Om Thanvi is a recipient of many awards. He was awarded with Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Puraskar for Journalism by the President of India. Other awards include Shamsher Samman for Prose, Haldi Ghati Award for journalism, SAARC Literary Award and Hindi Academy award. Recently he was awarded 'Bihari Samman' given by K K Birla Foundation for his book Muanjodaro