Sazia Ilmi is a prominent member of Team Anna and one of the beautiful faces in the Indian Media. A Former Anchor in Star TV and a noted Journalist, she is now the urbane, Muslim, media-savvy face of Team Anna.
Born in 1970 to a middle class Muslim Family in Kanpur, she did her schooling from St. Mary’s in Kanpur and Nainital and college from St. Bede’s, Shimla.
Her Father was the founder-editor of the oldest and largest-selling Urdu daily from Kanpur, Siyasat Jadid.
The youngest in a family of four brothers and two sisters, she was expected to marry comfortably and settle down or at best (since she was academically bright) become an IAS officer. But as she puts it, “When you have so many problems with the system, how can you become a part of it? Freedom is not economic alone, it is the freedom to make a choice and do what you want to from your heart.”
She is married to an investment banker Sajid Mallik, half-Gujarati Muslim and half-Tamil Iyer, Shazia is emotionally dependent upon her extremely supportive husband. For her famous women like Kalpana Chawla and Kiran Bedi are source of Inspiration and possibly this is the reason she joined Team Anna.
She is the Media Face for Team Anna. Whether it is Press Briefing or Television Debates it is Sazia who plays a prominent role. Being on TV is Ilmi’s core competence. She has done it for 15 years, as political correspondent and news anchor. Sometime in 2010, she contracted a condition prevalent among working journalists of a certain vintage—a crisis of purpose. “I was done with mouthing inanities night after night,” Ilmi says.
She also plays her familiarity with Delhi’s media and political class to Team Anna’s advantage. Many decision makers in TV newsrooms are friends, former colleagues, or were fellow beat reporters. “I understand how the system works. And I know the media well. I have seen all the power broking and the wheeling-dealing,” she says.
Recently she was nominated to be part of a media contingent travelling with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Mexico and Brazil but the proposal was withdrawn amid opposition from her brother.