Famous 21st Century Indian Writers

Vote for Your Favourite 21st Century Indian Writers

Right IconThis ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

 1 
Padma Lakshmi
(Indian-American Author, Model and Host of the Cooking Competition Show ‘Top Chef’)
Padma Lakshmi
7
Birthdate: September 1, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Madras, Tamil Nadu, India

Padma Lakshmi is a model, television host and author. She has hosted cooking competition program Top Chef and has published cookbooks. She has acted in films and television too and is also an activist working for immigration and women’s rights and is a critic of skin-lightening creams. She was married to novelist Salman Rushdie for a little over three years.

 2 
Ruskin Bond
(Writer)
Ruskin Bond
17
Birthdate: May 19, 1934
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kasauli
Sahitya Akademi Award-winning children’s author Ruskin Bond is best known for creating the protagonist Rusty, modeled on his childhood in Dehradun and found in his books such as The Room on the Roof. Many of his books, such as The Blue Umbrella have been made into films. 
 3 
Chetan Bhagat
(Indian Author and Columnist)
Chetan Bhagat
10
Birthdate: April 22, 1974
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New Delhi, India
Indian investment banker-turned-writer Chetan Bhagat is known for his bestselling novels such as Five Point Someone and One Night @ the Call Center. Many Bollywood movies, such as Kai Po Che! and 3 Idiots, have been adapted from his novels, with the former winning him a Filmfare Award.
Recommended Lists:
 4 
Arundhati Roy
(Novelist, Writer, Screenwriter, Essayist)
Arundhati Roy
16
Birthdate: November 24, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Assam

Apart from her bestselling books such as The God of Small Things, Man Booker Prize-winning Indian author Arundhati Roy is also known for her left-wing political activism. Born to a Syrian Christian mother and an Indian Hindu father, Roy had initially studied architecture and worked as a script writer.

 5 
Deepak Chopra
(Indian-American Author and Alternative Medicine Advocate Known for His Book: ‘The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success’)
Deepak Chopra
4
Birthdate: October 22, 1946
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New Delhi, India

Deepak Chopra is an Indian-American alternative-medicine advocate and author. After emigrating to the United States in 1970, Chopra went on to become an important figure in the New Age movement. Credited with co-founding the Chopra Center for Wellbeing, Chopra is one of the wealthiest personalities in alternative medicine. He has also drawn criticisms, thanks to his tall and ridiculous claims.

 6 
Sudha Murty
(Author)
Sudha Murty
6
Birthdate: August 19, 1950
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Shiggaon, Haveri, Karnataka, India

Known for her humility and simplicity, Indian philanthropist and author Sudha Murty had humble beginnings as a TELCO engineer. She is married to Infosys co-founder Narayan Murty and heads the Infosys Foundation. The Padma Shri winner has penned over 200 titles, such as Dollar Bahu, in both Kannada and English.

 7 
Shashi Tharoor
(Writer, Politician, Diplomat)
Shashi Tharoor
8
Birthdate: March 9, 1956
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London

Born in London, to an Indian couple, Shashi Tharoor is known for his award-winning books such as the The Great Indian Novel and his over-the-top English vocabulary. Tharoor is also a Congress MP. He made headlines when his wife Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in a luxury hotel.

 8 
Gulzar
(Lyricist)
Gulzar
4
Birthdate: August 18, 1934
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dina, Punjab

Famed Indian lyricist, poet, author, screenwriter, and film director Gulzar has been a major figure in Bollywood for over six decades. He started doing odd jobs as a teenager and eventually entered films, where he made a name for himself as a lyricist and screenwriter. He soon started directing films as well. He is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards.

 9 
Atlee Kumar
(Director)
Atlee Kumar
8
Birthdate: September 21, 1986
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
 10 
Kumar Vishwas
4
Birthdate: February 10, 1970
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pilkhuwa, Uttar Pradesh, India

Kumar Vishwas is a Hindi poet, politician and lecturer. He was an active member of the anti-corruption movement, Indian Against Corruption, and was also one of the founder members of Aam Aadmi Party. Kumar Vishwas is known for his comments on topical issues relating to India.

 11 
Zakir Naik
(Physician, Writer, Intellectual, Preacher)
Zakir Naik
7
Birthdate: October 18, 1965
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mumbai

Islamic preacher Zakir Naik is also the founder of the Islamic Research Foundation and his own broadcast network, Peace TV. Though a qualified surgeon, he later gained fame as a public speaker. His channel is banned in multiple countries, such as India, Bangladesh, and the UK, for its extremist nature.

 12 
Palak Muchhal
(Singer)
Palak Muchhal
5
Birthdate: March 30, 1992
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Indore
 13 
Arun Shourie
(Politician, Journalist, Writer)
Arun Shourie
3
Birthdate: November 2, 1941
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Jalandhar

One of the most prominent political and current affairs commentators in India, Arun Shourie first gained fame with his anti-Emergency articles in the Indian Express in the 1970s. Once a World Bank economist, he has also won the Padma Bhushan and the Ramon Magsaysay Award, and been a Rajya Sabha MP.

 14 
Vikram Seth
(Writer)
Vikram Seth
4
Birthdate: June 20, 1952
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kolkata

Vikram Seth is an Indian poet and novelist. He is credited with increasing the readership of the English language in India. A revered and celebrated writer, Vikram Seth has been honored with several prestigious awards, such as the Sahitya Academy Award, WH Smith Literary Award, Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, Crossword Book Award, Padma Shri, Commonwealth Poetry Prize, and Commonwealth Writers Prize.

 15 
S. A. Chandrasekhar
(Indian Film Director, Producer and Actor)
S. A. Chandrasekhar
3
Birthdate: July 2, 1945
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu, India
 16 
Amrita Pritam
(Indian Author Who Wrote in Punjabi and Hindi and is Considered One of History's Foremost Female Punjabi Writers)
Amrita Pritam
7
Birthdate: August 31, 1919
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Gujranwala, Pakistan
Died: October 31, 2005

Amrita Pritam was an Indian poet, essayist, and novelist who wrote in Hindi and Punjabi languages. She is widely regarded as the first major female Punjabi poet and the leading Punjabi-language poet of the 20th century. In 1956, she was honored with the Sahitya Akademi Award, becoming the first woman to receive the prestigious award.

 17 
Javed Akhtar
(Indian Screenwriter, Lyricist and Poet)
Javed Akhtar
6
Birthdate: January 17, 1945
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Madhya Pradesh, India

Born into a family of Urdu poets from Gwalior, renowned Indian lyricist and poet Javed Akhtar had initially been a screenwriter, along with Salim Khan, for films such as Sholay and Deewaar. The Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan winner has also been a Rajya Sabha MP.

 18 
Koratalla Siva
Koratalla Siva
3
Birthdate: June 15, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: India
 19 
Tanikella Bharani
(Indian Actor, Screenwriter, and Director Who has Worked in More than 750 Films)
Tanikella Bharani
5
Birthdate: July 14, 1954
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Telangana, Hyderabad, India
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 20 
Varun Grover
(Writer, Lyricist, Stand-up Comedian)
Varun Grover
3
Birthdate: January 26, 1980
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Sundernagar, Himachal Pradesh, India
Height: 5'5" (165 cm)
 21 
Girish Karnad
(Linguist, Author, Film director, Actor, Translator, Screenwriter)
Girish Karnad
5
Birthdate: May 19, 1938
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Matheran, Maharashtra, India

Actor, film director and playwright, Girish Karnad was also a Rhodes Scholar with a Masters degree in philosophy, political science and economics. A prolific writer, he authored scores of plays in Kannada, which were later translated into other languages. Also an eminent actor, film director and screenwriter, he was conferred with numerous awards including the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan.

 22 
Romila Thapar
(Indian Historian Known for Authoring Books About Indian History)
Romila Thapar
3
Birthdate: November 30, 1931
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Renowned history scholar and JNU professor Romila Thapar has also taught at Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania. She has previously been in the news for rejecting the Padma Bhushan twice, stating she didn’t accept state awards. She has also often opposed Hindutva and the “saffronization” of education.

 23 
Ahmed Deedat
(Writer)
Ahmed Deedat
4
Birthdate: July 1, 1918
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Surat
Died: August 8, 2005

Ahmed Deedat was a South African public speaker and writer of Indian descent. A popular Muslim missionary, Deedat is remembered for his inter-religious public debates with Christians. He is credited with establishing an Islamic missionary organization called IPCI. In 1986, he was honored for his missionary work with the prestigious King Faisal International Prize.  

 24 
Madhur Jaffrey
(Known for her award-winning role as Manjula in the 1965 movie Shakespeare Wallah)
Madhur Jaffrey
3
Birthdate: August 13, 1933
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Delhi, India
 25 
Rahat Indori
(Poet)
Rahat Indori
5
Birthdate: January 1, 1950
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India
Died: August 11, 2020

Urdu poet Rahat Indori had an illustrious and versatile career as a painter, a Bollywood lyricist, and a professor. A regular at poetry events such as Kavi Sammelan, he was known for his captivating couplets such as Kisi Ke Baap Ka Hindustan Thodi Hai. He died of COVID-19 in 2020.

 26 
Mahasweta Devi
(Human rights activist, Writer, Poet, Novelist, Educator, Short story writer)
Mahasweta Devi
7
Birthdate: January 14, 1926
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dhaka
Died: July 28, 2016

Ramon Magsaysay Award-winning Indian author Mahasweta Devi is regarded as a gem of the Bengali literary world. She had also been a left-wing social activist, and her works such as Hajar Churashir Maa and Rudali have either tribals or people from the marginalized communities as their protagonists.

 27 
Anees Bazmee
(Indian Film Director, Screenwriter and Producer)
Anees Bazmee
3
Birthdate: November 1, 1962
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Modasa, Gujarat, India
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 28 
Vairamuthu
(Author, Actor, Poet, Lyricist, Songwriter)
Vairamuthu
3
Birthdate: July 13, 1953
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Vadugapatti, Theni

Padma Shri- and Padma Bhushan-winning Indian lyricist, poet, and author Vairamuthu went from being a translator of law books to one of the most significants Tamil literary figures. The song Chinna Chinna Aasai from the film Roja was written by him and won him one of his seven National Awards.

 29 
Sheela
(Actress)
Sheela
3
Birthdate: March 22, 1945
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Thrissur, India
 30 
Sagarika Ghose
(Author, Journalist)
Sagarika Ghose
3
Birthdate: November 8, 1964
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New Delhi

Renowned journalist Sagarika Ghose was an Oxford Rhodes scholar before she joined media giants such as The Times of India and CNN-IBN. Apart from being the daughter of Indian civil servant and theater personality Bhaskar Ghose, she is also the wife of popular journalist Rajdeep Sardesai.

 31 
Piyush Mishra
(Screenwriter, Music director, Actor, Singer, Lyricist, Songwriter)
Piyush Mishra
3
Birthdate: January 13, 1963
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: India
 32 
Kalpana
(Actress)
Kalpana
3
Birthdate: October 5, 1965
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Thiruvananthapuram district Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
Died: January 25, 2016
 33 
Ramachandra Guha
3
Birthdate: April 29, 1958
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Dehradun, Uttar Pradesh, India (now in Uttarakhand, India)

Bengaluru-based Indian historian and author Ramachandra Guha is best known for his iconic books Gandhi Before India and India After Gandhi. As a journalist, he has also written on cricket and was a long-time columnist for The Hindu. He has also been honored with the Sahitya Akademi Award.

 34 
Amish Tripathi
(Writer)
Amish Tripathi
4
Birthdate: October 18, 1974
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Educated at IIM Calcutta, Amish Tripathi was initially a banker. He soared to fame with his debut book The Immortals of Meluha, which not just set the tone for his equally successful later books of the Shiva Trilogy but also won him several awards. He later also led London’s Nehru Centre.

 35 
Ravinder Singh
(Novelist)
Ravinder Singh
4
Birthdate: February 4, 1982
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Calcutta, West Bengal, India
 36 
Devdutt Pattanaik
(Well-Known Indian Mythologist, Speaker, Illustrator, and Author)
Devdutt Pattanaik
6
Birthdate: December 11, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mumbai, India

Indian mythologist and author Devdutt Pattanaik has redefined the genres of Indian folklore, legends and myths by retelling ancient tales through his books. A qualified physician, he later studied comparative mythology and penned bestsellers such as My Gita. His shows, such as Business Sutra and Devlok, have been hits, too.

 37 
Irom Chanu Sharmila
(Indian Civil Rights Activist, Political Activist and Poet)
Irom Chanu Sharmila
3
Birthdate: March 14, 1972
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Imphal

Gwangju Prize-winning human rights activist Irom Chanu Sharmila, also known as the Iron Lady of Manipur, made international headlines with her 16-year hunger strike to urge the Indian government to repeal the AFSPA Act. She later married British citizen Desmond Coutinho and is now a mother to twin daughters.

 38 
Amitav Ghosh
(Indian Writer Who Has Written Historical Fiction and Non-Fiction Works)
Amitav Ghosh
3
Birthdate: July 11, 1956
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Jnanpith- and Padma Shri-winning author Amitav Ghosh is best known for his iconic bestselling books such as The Calcutta Chromosome and The Hungry Tide. Initially employed with the Indian Express, he later also wrote for publications such as The New Yorker. He is also a regular at international film festivals.

 39 
J. P. Dutta
(Film producer)
J. P. Dutta
3
Birthdate: October 3, 1949
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mumbai, India
 40 
Na. Muthukumar
(Indian Poet and Lyricist Best Known for His Tamil Language Film Songs)
Na. Muthukumar
3
Birthdate: July 12, 1975
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
Died: August 14, 2016

Na. Muthukumar was an Indian poet, author, and lyricist who predominantly worked in the Tamil film industry. He is credited with writing several popular film songs and is widely regarded as one of the most successful lyricists of his generation. During his illustrious career, Muthukumar won several prestigious awards, including two National Film Awards for Best Lyrics.

 41 
Anand Gandhi
(Indian Film Director, Producer and Screenwriter)
Anand Gandhi
3
Birthdate: September 26, 1980
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mumbai, India
 42 
Jayant Narlikar
(Physicist, Astronomer, Astrophysicist, Scientist, University teacher, Science fiction writer)
Jayant Narlikar
3
Birthdate: July 19, 1938
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kolhapur

Born to a math professor father and a Sanskrit scholar mother, Astrophysicist and IUCAA professor Jayant Narlikar grew up to collaborate with Sir Fred Hoyle, leading to the conformal gravity theory, also known as the Hoyle-Narlikar theory. He has won the Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan and penned sci-fi novels, too.

 43 
Sanjeev Kapoor
(Chef)
Sanjeev Kapoor
0
Birthdate: April 10, 1964
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ambala, Haryana, India
 44 
Nayantara Sahgal
(Indian Journalist and Writer)
Nayantara Sahgal
3
Birthdate: May 10, 1927
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
Sahitya Akademi Award-winning author Nayantara Sahgal is the granddaughter of Motilal Nehru and the niece of Jawaharlal Nehru. Her works include 9 novels, including the award-winning Rich Like Us, and 10 non-fiction books. She has also received the Doon Ratna from Dehradun, where she has lived for decades. 
 45 
Crazy Mohan
(screenwriter)
Crazy Mohan
3
Birthdate: October 16, 1952
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tamil Nadu
 46 
Kiran Desai
(Her novel The Inheritance of Loss won the 2006 Man Booker Prize)
Kiran Desai
5
Birthdate: September 3, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New Delhi, India
 47 
M. T. Vasudevan Nair
(Indian Author, Screenplay Writer and Film Director)
M. T. Vasudevan Nair
4
Birthdate: July 15, 1933
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kudallur, Palakkad district, Kerala, India

Known as MT to his fans, M. T. Vasudevan Nair is a legendary figure of Malayali literature. He gained popularity with works such as Naalukettu and Asuravithu, which mostly reflected the social and cultural aspects of his home state, Kerala. He is also a National Award-winning screenplay writer.

 48 
Dibakar Banerjee
(Film director, Screenwriter)
Dibakar Banerjee
3
Birthdate: June 21, 1969
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New Delhi
 49 
Anita Desai
(Novelist)
Anita Desai
4
Birthdate: June 24, 1937
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mussoorie, India
 50 
Jeyamohan
(Indian Writer Who Has Written the Novel Venmurasu, a Modern Renarration of the Epic Mahabharata)
Jeyamohan
3
Birthdate: April 22, 1962
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu, India