Gita Mehta (née Patnaik; born 1943 ) is an Indian writer and was born in Delhi in a well-known Odia family. She is the daughter of Biju Patnaik, an Indian independence activist and a Chief Minister in post-independence Odisha, then known as Orissa. Her younger brother Naveen Patnaik has been the Chief Minister of Odisha since 2000. She completed her education in India and at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.[1] She was adjudged for India's fourth highest civilian award the Padma Shri in 2019, which she declined for some political reasons. [2]

Gita Mehta
Born1943 (age 75–76)
Delhi, British India
OccupationAuthor/Documentary Filmmaker/Journalist
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Notable worksKarma Cola (1979)
A River Sutra (1993))
Eternal Ganesha (2006)

She has produced and/or directed 14 television documentaries for UK, European and US networks. During the years 1970-1971 she was a television war correspondent for the US television network NBC. Her film compilation of the Bangladesh revolution, Dateline Bangladesh, was shown in cinema theatres both in India and abroad.

Although being the wife of Sonny Mehta, head of the Alfred A. Knopf publishing house, keeps her in the publishing limelight, she has emerged a writer in her own right. Her books have been translated into 21 languages and been on the bestseller lists in Europe, the US and India. The subject of both her fiction and non-fiction is exclusively focused on India: its culture and history, and the Western perception of it. Her works reflect the insight gained through her journalistic and political background.

Gita Mehta divides her time between New York City, London and New Delhi.

Book worksEdit

  • Karma Cola. Simon and Schuster. 1979.[3]
  • Raj (1989)
  • A River Sutra (1993)
  • Snakes and Ladders: Glimpses of Modern India, London, Secker and Warburg, 1997. ISBN 0-436-20417-7[4]
  • Eternal Ganesha : From Birth to Rebirth, Thames and Hudson (2006)[5]


  1. ^ "Upfront daughter of the revolution: Gita Mehta". Vogue. April 1997. pp. 114, 120, 124.
  2. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Padma Awards ,Government of India. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  3. ^ Mehta, Gita (1979). Karma Kola, Marketing the Mystic East. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 201. ISBN 0-671-25083-3.
  4. ^ Smith, Wendy, 'Gita Mehta: Making India Accessible'
  5. ^ Mehta, Gita (2006). "Eternal Ganesha: From Birth to Rebirth". Thames & Hudson. Retrieved 30 January 2018.

External linksEdit

Gita Mehta declined Padma Shri

  • Sharma, Bhasha Shukla. Mapping culture through “A river Sutra”: Tribal myths, dialogism, and meta-narratives in postcolonial fiction

Universal Journal of Education and General Studies 1 (2), 17-27, 2012