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speakers

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  • Ahdaf Soueif

    Ahdaf Soueif is the author of the bestselling The Map of Love (shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1999 and translated into more than 30 languages), In the Eye of the Sun (1992), I Think of You and Cairo: a City Transformed, her account of the Egyptian revolution of 2011 (2014).She is also a political and cultural commentator. Her Mezzaterra (2004) has been influential and her articles for the Guardian are published in the European and American press. In 2007 Ms Soueif founded the Palestine Festival of Literature which takes place in the cities of occupied Palestine and Gaza.

    www.ahdafsoueif.com

  • Amit Madheshiya

    Amit Madheshiya is a Cannes prize-winning filmmaker and World Press Photo-winning photographer. His debut film, The Cinema Travellers,  premiered as an Official Selection at Cannes Film Festival 2016. It has since played 120 festivals and won 19 awards, including the National Film Award in India. His work is supported by the Sundance Institute, MacArthur Foundation, IDFA Bertha Fund, Bertha Foundation, Goethe-Institut, India Foundation for the Arts, National Foundation of India, Arts Council of England and the University of Heidelberg. Amit’s recent film Searching for Saraswati, is India’s first Op-Doc for the New York Times. 

  • Amitabha Bagchi

    Amitabha Bagchi is a novelist. Since his bestselling debut, Above Average (2007), he has written three other novels, of which the most recent, entitled Half the Night is Gone was published in June 2018 to widespread critical acclaim. Bagchi lives in New Delhi with his wife and son.

  • Amitav Ghosh

    Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta and grew up in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. He is the author of two books of non-fiction, a collection of essays and eight novels. His most recent book is The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable (2016). His books have won prizes in India, Europe and Myanmar and he has been awarded honorary degrees by the Sorbonne, Paris, and by Queens College, New York. He is married to the writer Deborah Baker and divides his time between Brooklyn, Goa and Kolkata. Amitav Ghosh’s work has been translated into more than thirty languages and he has served on the Jury of the Locarno Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival. In 2007 he was awarded the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest honours, by the President of India.

    Blog: http://amitavghosh.com/blog/

  • Anirban Ghosh

    Anirban Ghosh is the Chief Sustainability Officer, Mahindra Group. He leads Sustainability at the USD 20.7 billion Mahindra Group. Under his leadership Mahindra has developed an award winning Sustainability framework, become a founding member of the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition and the first to commit to doubling energy productivity. He has, in partnership with the World Bank, facilitated the creation of the Sustainable Housing Leadership Consortium to accelerate the spread of green buildings in India. Anirban has been an invited speaker at COP21, The Climate Week, World Circular Economy Forum, GRI Global, EE Global, etc., featured in The Climate Reality Project and acknowledged as a Distinguished Sustainability Officer.

  • Ankur & The Ghalat Family

    Ankur Tewari, who also moonlights as a singer-songwriter, is a well-known Bollywood lyricist and composer and is at the helm of the band's sound. His lyrics form an emotional connection with the audience, creating an overwhelming and immersive live set  a factor that has played a prominent role in launching them to the top of the college & festivals circuit in the country. Ankur & The Ghalat Family comprises of Sidd Coutto, Johan Pais, Gaurav Gupta, & Vivaan Kapoor creating what they best describe as Urdu and Hindi easy acoustic ballads folk rock/rock n roll. The band is widely regarded as one of the most innovative bands in the hindi-rock space.

  • Anne Loeper

    Not everyone takes risks in live painting, the caprice of the desert sand means that the sand throw is difficult to control. 

    Anne Loeper, a German artist born in Leipzig, manages it with mastery and a touch of kaleidoscopic madness. 

    As a sandpainter she graduated Illustration and Graphic Arts Studies at the Academy of Visual Arts. 

    Her work marked by a romantic intensity, also given the lyricism and the lightness of the technique. 

    She loves fusing her paintings through music and joins her performance in many live collaborations e.g. in theatres in Europe, in films and Scenic projects with musicians, dancers and orchestras - this time in a "Story of Water“.  

  • Anthony Acciavatti

    Anthony Acciavatti is the author of the award-winning Ganges Water Machine, the first comprehensive visual survey and environmental history of the Ganga basin in half a century. He spent a decade crisscrossing the Ganga by foot, boat, and car to document conflicts over water for drinking and agriculture. With no access to maps or satellite imagery, he developed his own instruments to visualize the rhythms of the monsoons and the dynamism of Ganga. Trained as an architect, artist, and historian, he is a founding partner of Somatic Collaborative in New York and teaches at Yale University and Columbia University. 

  • Aparna Jain

    Aparna Jain is an internationally certified leadership coach and an advocate for diversity and inclusion in the workplace.She is the author of Like A Girl: Real Stories for Tough Kids, Own It: Leadership Lessons from Women Who Do, which was awarded a Laadli Prize and was shortlisted for the Tata Literature Live Business Book Award 2016. She is also the author of The Sood Family Cookbook (2013).

  • Ashok Vajpeyi

    Ashok Vajpeyi, a Hindi poet-critic and culture-activist, a major cultural figure of India. With more than 15 books of poetry, 10 of criticism in Hindi and 4 books on art in English to his credit, widely recognised as an outstanding promoter of culture and an innovative institution-builder. Has been awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Dayawati Kavi Shekhar Samman, Kabir Samman and D.Lit. (honoris causa) by the Central University of Hyderabad and ITM University, Gwalior. Has been decorated by the President of Republic of Poland by the outstanding national award ‘The Officer’s Cross of Merit of the Republic of Poland’ and the French Govt. by the award of ‘Officier De L’Ordre Des Arts Et Des Lettres’. Has been the founder of Bharat Bhavan multiarts complex Bhopal, first Vice Chancellor Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University and Chairman Lalit Kala Akademi. Presently, Managing Trustee, the Raza Foundation, New Delhi.

  • Assa Doron

    Assa Doron first arrived in India in 1992, arriving from Cairo to Mumbai. Since then he has been coming back for more. Assa is currently Head of the Anthropology Program at the College of Asia and the Pacific, the Australian National University. He is author of Life on the Ganga (Cambridge, 2013) and co-author, with Robin Jeffrey of The Great Indian Phone Book (Harvard 2013); and most recently Waste of a Nation: garbage and growth in India (Harvard 2018).

  • Beau Taplin

    Beau Taplin is an internationally recognised author and social media sensation. Following a formative education at Melbourne Rudolf Steiner, Beau found some success as a songwriter before turning his passions to poetry and prose. He has been warmly embraced for his heartfelt, relatable content which is now shared and read by millions worldwide. Beau’s philosophy on life is simple: make it meaningful. Soon enough, we will all be bones in the ground, the oceans will dry up, the sun will burn out and nobody will be around to remember we were here at all. So go, spend your time here with heart. Find what matters to you and manifest it while you can. Because while this universe we inhabit may be infinite and unfeeling, we are not, and that is our gift.

  • Bhaswati Ghosh

    Bhaswati Ghosh writes and translates fiction and non-fiction. She is currently writing a book on Delhi, India.

    Bhaswati’s first work of translation from Bengali into English – My Days with Ramkinkar Baij – has been published by Delhi-based Niyogi Books in collaboration with National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi. This work also won her the Charles Wallace (India) Trust Fellowship for translation in 2009.

    Bhaswati’s writing has appeared in several literary journals, including Cargo Literary, Cafe Dissensus Everyday, Pithead Chapel,  Warscapes,  Earthen Lamp Journal, Stealing Time, Open Road review, Parabaas, Coldnoon, Stonecoast Review, and The Maynard.

    She has a background in journalism and writes for The Wire. She has also written for The Indian Express, Daily News and Analysis, and The Times of India.

    Bhaswati currently lives in Ontario, Canada.

  • Bikram Grewal

    Bikram Grewal grew up in the dense evergreen forests of India’s North-east where he first developed his love for natural history. He has written over thirty books on Indian Wildlife, travel and the environment. 

    He made publishing his career and worked in England, Hong Kong and Singapore before returning to Delhi. He now devotes his time to the conservation of Indian wildlife, especially working on rare birds.

    When not travelling, he spends his time between his farm in Dehradun, where he grows rare plants and his boat in the Sundarbans.

  • Bishweshwar Nandi

    Bishweshwar Nandi is a recipient of the Dronacharya Award and is one of India's most iconic coaches. A five-time National individual champion, Bishweshwar captained the Indian Gymnastics team on six occasions, including the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi. Bishweshwar has been the man responsible for the emergence of Dipa Karmakar as one of the top gymnasts in the world. He has been guiding and honing her talent since she was ten. Together Bishweshwar and Dipa have redefined the goalposts for Indian gymnastics  which culminated in Dipa's historic fourth-place finish in the women's vault at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

  • Picture Credits:Claire MacNamee

    Clare Shaw

    Clare Shaw is a Bloodaxe poet from the North of the UK. She is also a mental health trainer, activist and author. Often addressing political and personal conflict, her poetry is fuelled by a strong conviction in the transformative and redemptive power of language. Her latest collection, Flood (2018) offers an eye-witness account of recent flooding which affected large areas of the UK, including her home town. Flooding also acts as a metaphor for personal and social experiences – this is an exploration of a life unravelled and rebuilt, written in a language as dangerous and sustaining as water.

  • David Gilmour

    David Gilmour has written prize-winning biographies of Lord Curzon and\r\n Rudyard Kipling. He is also the author of The Ruling Caste, a study of district officers and political agents in Victorian India, and of several books on the history of Italy, Spain and the Middle East. He lives in Oxfordshire.

  • Deborah Baker

    Deborah Baker is the author of In Extremis: The Life of Laura Riding, which was shortlisted for the 1994 Pulitzer in Biography. A Blue Hand: The Beats in India appeared in India in 2008. Her last book The Convert: A Tale of Exile and Extremism was shortlisted for the National Book Award in Non-fiction in 2011. Earlier this year Penguin Random House India published her most recent book, The Last Englishmen: Love, War, and the End of Empire. She lives in Goa and Brooklyn with her husband, the writer Amitav Ghosh.

    Website: www.deborahbaker.net

  • Devdutt Pattanaik

    Devdutt Pattanaik is author and illustrator of 40 books and 800 columns , as well as lecturer and podcaster, with many TV shows like Business Sutra and Devlok to his credit, that have over past 20 years unravelled the wisdom of mythology  to adults and children in India and around the world. 

  • Digvijay Singh Deo

    Digvijay Singh Deo is one of India’s leading sports journalists and currently heads the sports team at WION. He has previously worked with Star News, Doordarshan News, and CNN-IBN.

    An alumnus of IIMC, New Delhi, Digvijay has covered sport all over the planet and has interviewed global sports stars including Mark Spitz, Nadia Comaneci, Boris Becker, Roger Federer, and Tiger Woods among others. He was chosen as a torchbearer for the Beijing Olympic Torch Relay in New Delhi (2008) by the Indian Olympic Association. He has also served on the committee to select the 2015 Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Arjuna Awardees. 

  • Dipa Karmakar

    Dipa Karmakar is the recipient of the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in India, and the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award for her performance in Rio Olympics in 2016. Dipa represented India at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, becoming the first Indian female gymnast ever to compete in the Olympics, and the first Indian gymnast to do so in 52 years. Dipa is one of the only five women who have successfully landed the Produnova, which is regarded as the most difficult vault currently performed in women's gymnastics.

  • Diwan Saz

    Middle Eastern Ethnic World Music from the Galilee.The Diwan Saz ensemble collects the sparks of traditional music from the past and transcribes it into sacred contemporary music. They believe in the power of music which can provoke a feeling of healing and liberation.

    http://www.diwansaz.com

  • Easterine Kire

    Easterine Kire is a poet and novelist and holds a Doctorate in English Literature from the University of Pune. Her first collection of poems, Kelhoukevira, and her first novel, A Naga Village Remembered, both written in English, were the first poetry collection and novel to be published by a writer from Nagaland.  With the aim of preserving and enhancing her mother tongue, Tenyidie, she has collected 200 oral poems in the language in addition to producing a translation into English. In 2011 she was awarded the Governor’s Medal for excellence in Naga literature and in 2013, her novel, Bitter Wormwood was nominated for the Hindu Lit For Life Prize.  Her novel, A Terrible Matriarchy "was also selected to be translated into UN languages and in 2015, her book When the River Sleeps was awarded The Hindu Prize. In 2017, her novel Son of the Tundercloud,  won the Tata Literature Live- Book of the Year Award. Her new novel, A Respectable Woman, is forthcoming from Zubaan.

  • Fatima Farheen Mirza

    Fatima Farheen Mirza was born and raised in California. Her parents are of Indian descent; her mother grew up in Birmingham, UK, her father in Hyderabad. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Teaching-Writing Fellow. She is 27 years old. A Place for Us is her first novel and the launch title of the SJP for Hogarth list.

  • Gavin Pretor-Pinney

    Gavin Pretor-Pinney is founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society, which has over 43,000 members in 119 countries. He is the author of the bestselling Cloudspotter's Guide and Cloud Collector's Handbook. His third book, The Wavewatcher's Companion, won the prestigious Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books. Gavin has presented television documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4, and is a Visiting Fellow at the Meteorology Department of Reading University. He co-founded the Idler, a magazine that argues for the importance of downtime in creative thinking. 

  • Gyan Prakash

    Gyan Prakash is the Dayton-Stockton Professor of History at Princeton University. He was a member of the influential Subaltern Studies Collective until its dissolution in 2006, and has been a recipient of Guggenheim and the National Endowment of Humanities fellowships. He is the author of several books, including the widely acclaimed Mumbai Fables (2010), which was adapted for the film Bombay Velvet (2015), and for which he wrote the story and co-wrote the screenplay.  His latest book, Emergency Chronicles: Indira Gandhi and Democracy’s Turning Point, will be published by Penguin in November 2018. 

  • Hari Sankar

    Hari Sankar is the Co-Founder and CEO of the up and coming start-up, Beatmap, and Director of Strategy at Kommune. A graduate in Bcom(H) from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University, Hari was thrown into the world of performing arts at the age of 21. Though he kickstarted as an entrepreneur, he eventually started juggling that with his new found flair for storytelling. At 24, Hari is a TedX speaker, storyteller and corporate trainer, who has performed around the country, in addition to spearheading Beatmap. When not doing any of these, he can be found uploading a combination of lame jokes, and delicious recipes on Instagram

  • Hidayat Khan

    Hidayat Hussain Khan is a direct descendant of one of the most treasured lineages of sitar music. Son of the legendary sitar maestro Ustad Vilayat Khan, Hidayat has been globally acclaimed and, as The London Times aptly says, "the tradition carries on impeccably". Rolling Stones praises him and describes how his music is “Jazzing up the sitar."  Hidayat Khan has managed to successfully travel between traditional classical music and innovative contemporary sounds. 

  • Hrishi K

    Hrishikesh Kannan popularly known Hrishi K is producer & presenter on the nations biggest breakfast radio show on 94.3 RadioOne & www.1cast.in ! Podcast creater & anchor on the online platform ‘Book My Show Jukebox’. A Multiple RAPA & PROMAX award winning radio host & voice artiste, Hrishikay has just been felicitated with the “Afternoon Newsmakers Achievers Award” 2018 

  • Karan Thapar

    Karan Thapar is the only Indian television professional who has worked for ten years in television outside India.  Trained as a correspondent, producer, editor and presenter with London Weekend Television in the United Kingdom, where he worked for programmes as varied as Weekend World, The World This Week, The Business Programme, The Walden Interview and Eastern Eye, he has both the most varied and the most in-depth knowledge and experience of television current affairs programme making available in India today. During the last 25 years, when he has been working in India, he has anchored programmes like HARDtalk India and Face to Face for the BBC, Devil’s Advocate for CNN-IBN, To The Point for India Today, India Tonight for CNBC and Eyewitness.

    He is presently writing a weekly column for The Hindustan Times called Sunday Sentiments and a fortnightly column for The Business Standard called As I See It.

  • Kubbra Sait

    Model and actor, Kubbra Sait, has starred in the Netflix television series "Sacred Games". She made her Bollywood debut with Salman Khan's "Ready" in 2011, followed by "Jodi Breakers" and "I Love New Year" in 2014. Winner of India's Best Female Emcee Award, Kubbra Sait has been master of ceremonies for such events as Filmfare, The IAA Crown Awards, IAA Indian Leadership and Adobe India among others. As a Kommune storyteller, Kubbra uses the stage and mic to share her own personal stories.

  • Lincoln Paine

    Lincoln Paine is a maritime historian, editor, and curator whose books include the award-winning The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World and Ships of the World: An Historical Encyclopedia. He is currently writing a book entitled Global America and How It Got That Way: A Maritime History of the United States.

    He has published and lectured on a wide range of topics, including literature of the sea, exploration, seas in world culture, maritime law, naval history, rivers, decorative arts, and museum curatorship. 

  • Picture Credits:Rawi Hage

    Madeleine Thien

    Madeleine Thien was born in Vancouver, the daughter of Malaysian-Chinese immigrants to Canada. Her most recent novel, Do Not Say We Have Nothing, about art, music and revolution in 20th century China, won the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor-General’s Literary Award for Fiction, and was shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize, the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, and The Folio Prize. Her books and stories have been translated into 25 languages and her essays have appeared The Guardian, Granta, The New York Times and elsewhere. She is professor of English at Brooklyn College.

  • Manjima Bhattacharjya

    Manjima Bhattacharjya is a researcher, writer and activist. She has been part of the Indian women’s movement for over two decades. She holds a PhD in sociology. Her areas of specialization include gender and sexuality, and labour and the body. Her first book, an edited volume Sarpanch Sahib was long-listed for the Crossword Best Non-Fiction Book of 2009. She has written for several publications including the Times of India, ELLE and Info-change India and was awarded the New India Foundation writing fellowship in 2009. She lives and works out of Mumbai. Manjima is the author of "Mannequin: Working Women in India's Glamour Industry", published by Zubaan Books in June 2018.

  • Manu Pillai

    Winner of the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar (2017), Manu S Pillai is the author of The Ivory Throne: Chronicles of the House of Travancore (2015) and Rebel Sultans: The Deccan from Khilji to Shivaji (2018). Formerly Chief of Staff to Dr Shashi Tharoor MP, he has in the past worked at the House of Lords in Britain, and with the BBC on their Incarnations history series. Manu is also text contributor to Serena Chopra’s Bhutan Echoes, and writes a weekly column for Mint Lounge. His other writings have appeared in The Hindu, Open Magazine, The Times of India, Hindustan Times, and other publications.

  • Maya Jasanoff

    Maya Jasanoff is the Coolidge Professor of History at Harvard University. She is the author of the prize-winning books Edge of Empire and Libertys Exiles, which received the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for Non-Fiction and the George Washington Book Prize. Her 2017 book, The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World, has been hailed as “one of the most important books on colonialism to be written in our time.” A 2013 Guggenheim Fellow, Jasanoff won the 2017 Windham-Campbell Prize for Nonfiction. She is a frequent contributor to publications including The New York Times, the Guardian, and the New York Review of Books.

  • Mickey Mehta

    Dr. Mickey Mehta gas been a global leading holistic health guru and a corporate life coach for 36 years,  to billionaires, Bollywood superstars, many miss Worlds and Miss Universes, and top politicians. He has also trained members of the police, army, navy and air force. He has a double honorary doctorate in holistic health and life sciences from the Open International University for Complementary Medicines and has been a pioneer in promoting holistic health in India through thousands of radio and TV shows.

  • Milind Tulankar

    Born and brought up in a family with musical background, Milind Tulankar started learning music from a very tender age. His grandfather Late Pandit Shankar V Kanhere (Satara) influenced Milind in taking up this unusual dying instrument the JALTARANG. He also received guidance from Pt. Nayan Ghosh, Sitar maestro Padma Shri Ustad Shahid Parwez and Padma Shri Taalyogi Pandit Suresh Talwalkar. He is one of the topmost Jaltarang players of India. Baba Harivallabh Sangeet Sammelan at Jalandhar, Abhisheki Mahotsav at Goa, Haa Mela (Indian Military) Bhutan and FES Festival Morocco are some of the concerts where his art was acclaimed and appreciated a lot and this rare instrument has kept him busy in concerts in India as well as abroad. Malaysia, Singapore, Austria, New Zealand, Switzerland, Germany, USA and Canada, Dubai, Abu Dhabi Bhutan and Morocco are the countries where he has presented his art. He is been doing some interesting projects with Ustad Taufiq Qureshi. A BBC production film 'West is west' has background scores played on Jalatarang by him.

    Website: www.jaltarang.com

  • Mitra Phukan

    Mitra Phukan is a writer, translator, columnist and a trained classical vocalist who lives in Guwahati, Assam.  Her published literary works include four children’s books, a biography, two novels, The Collector’s Wife and A Monsoon of Music, both published by Penguin-Zubaan, and a collection of fifty of her columns, ‘Guwahati Gaze’. Her most recent works are a translation of Jyanpeeth Awardee Birendra Kumar Bhattacharjee’s novel, Kobor aru Phool, Blossoms in the Graveyard, and a collection of her own short stories, A Full Night’s Thievery both of which appeared in October  2016. Her short stories have appeared in various journals worldwide. Her works have been translated into many languages. As a translator herself, she has put across the works of some of the best-known contemporary writers of fiction in Asomiya into English. Her column ‘All Things Considered’ in The Assam Tribune is very widely read.

  • Mohammed Muneem

    A poet, songwriter, and musician, Mohammed Muneem is also the lead singer of Alif, a band known for their heartbreakingly honest and poetic songs.

  • Moin Mir

    Moin Mir is the author of the non-fiction book titled: "SURAT. Fall of a Port. Rise of a Prince. Defeat of the East India Company in the House of Commons."

    Mir's interest in history and literature grew steadily under the influence of his grandfather who was one of the first to translate the poetry of Mirza Ghalib into English in "Ghalib Musavvar". He has also co-authored "Mirza Ghalib and the Mirs of Gujarat." A scholarly work that brought to light the unknown relationship between Ghalib and Gujarat.
    Mir is of Sufi descent. His ancestor being Hazrat Maudud Chishti one of the stalwart founders of the Chishti school of Sufism. He is also a member of the Nawab family of Surat. Mir lives in London and is currently working on his next book set between 18th century Europe and India.

  • Mridula Ramesh

    Mridula Ramesh is the founder of the Sundaram Climate Institute, focussed on waste and water solutions and education, and an active angel investor in cleantech startups. A graduate with distinction of Cornell University, with an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Mridula worked at McKinsey in Silicon Valley before returning to India. Leveraging on her two decades of management experience, she teaches a postgraduate class on climate change and is a regular columnist for Firstpost  and earlier, the Hindu. She is the Executive Director of Sundaram Textiles and lives and experiments in a net zero-waste house in Madurai with her husband and two children.

  • Naina Lal Kidwai

    Naina Lal Kidwai is Chairman Altico Capital India Ltd and Chairman Advent Private Equity India Advisory board; a Non-Executive Director on the boards of Max Financial Services, CIPLA, Nayara Energy and Larsen and Toubro and Past President of FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry).  She retired on December 2015 as Executive Director on the board of HSBC Asia Pacific and Chairman HSBC India and in April 2018 from the global board of Nestle. An MBA from Harvard Business School, she is the recipient of awards and honours in India including the Padma Shri for her contribution to Trade and Industry. She has authored 3 books  including the bestsellers “30 women in Power: Their Voices, Their Stories” and “Survive Or Sink : An Action Agenda for Sanitation, Water, Pollution, and Green Finance”.

  • Nasreen Munni Kabir

    Born in India, Nasreen Munni Kabir is a London-based filmmaker/author who has written several books on Hindi cinema, and made over 100 TV programmes for Channel 4 TV (UK), including Lata in her own voice (1991), Bismillah of Benaras and The Inner/Outer World of Shah Rukh Khan (2005, Channel 4/Red Chillies). Former governor on British Film Institute board, she continues to curate Channel 4 TV’s annual Indian film season. Her last book in ZAKIR HUSSAIN, a life in music, a book of conversations.

  • Neha Sinha

    Neha Sinha is an award-winning wildlife conservationist and columnist. She works on species conservation and environmental policy. She has a forthcoming book contribution on wetland policy in India (Orient Blackswan, in press) and writes on wildlife for The Hindu, Economic and Political Weekly, DailyO and The Wire. She was awarded the 'Wildlife Service' Award by Sanctuary Asia in 2017. She was selected as a Legislative Fellow, sponsored by US Department of State in 2017, and as a LEAD-India Fellow in 2015. She is alumni of St. Stephen's College and Oxford University; and an INLAKS scholar. You can find her original writing at www.indienvironment.com .

  • Nitin Sathe

    Air Commodore Nitin Sathe is a helicopter pilot of the Indian Air Force with 34 years of commissioned service to his credit. During his career, he has been a part of many a live threatening and life saving mission, both in India and abroad. When the tsunami of 2004 ravaged the islands of Car Nicobar islands, he volunteered to go there for the rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts and stayed there for a year battling against all odds to bring back the islands to normalcy. Long thereafter, he decided to pen down his experiences and came out with his first book titled ‘A Few Good Men and the Angry Sea’ released in 2014. Egged on with the success of his first effort, he went on to write a biography of his batch mate, Flying Officer MP Anil Kumar- A MiG-21 pilot who became a quadriplegic due to an accident at the age of 24. Defying all odds, Anil Kumar went on to live a meaningful life for 26 years after the tragedy and this biography takes you through his life and reads like a Stephen Hawking story. This motivational book titled ‘Born to Fly’ and released by the Defence Minister in Dec 2016, has been recommended by NCERT for additional reading by children. It also has very recently received an award for the best novel in the ‘non-fiction’ category for 2016-17.

    His third book, a collection of short stories from real life titled 'Up In The Sky...Helicopter Stories' was released recently and is doing well.

    Air Cmde Sathe is presently posted as the Senior Instructor at the Defence Services Staff College at Wellington (Nilgiris).

  • Ornit Shani

    Ornit Shani is the author of How India Became Democratic: Citizenship and the Making of the Universal Franchise (2018). Her previous book is Communalism, Caste and Hindu Nationalism: The Violence in Gujarat (2007). She is currently working on a history of India’s first elections. She is a Senior Lecturer in the politics and modern history of India at the Department of Asian Studies at the University of Haifa.

  • Panchami Manoo Ukil

    Panchami Manoo Ukil is a Bhubaneswar based birdwatcher and educationist. She writes regularly on environment and wildlife for leading magazines and journals like Sanctuary Asia and Indian Birds. She is currently translating her grandmother, eminent odia writer and Sahitya Akademi awardee Nirmala Devi’s poems into english. She is the founder of The Bhubaneswar Bird Walks, Chairperson Ila Panda Centre for Arts, and Executive Trustee of The Wisdom Tree Global School.

  • Pavan K. Varma

    Pavan K. Varma is a writer-diplomat and now in politics, where he was till recently an MP in the Rajya Sabha, and earlier Advisor to the Chief Minister of Bihar, with rank of Cabinet Minister.  Author of over a dozen best selling books he has been Ambassador in several countries, Director of The Nehru Centre in London, Official Spokesperson of the MEA, and Press Secretary to the President of India.  He is currently the National General Secretary and National Spokesman of the Janata Dal (United).

    Mr. Varma’s new book, ‘Adi Shankaracharya: Hinduism’s Greatest Thinker’ (Westland-Amazon), was launched in April, 2018, with the presentation of the first copy to the Hon’ble President of India.  The book has also been published in Hindi, and Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali and Gujarati translations will be out shortly. 

  • Prayaag Akbar

    Prayaag Akbar is the author of a critically-acclaimed work of fiction, Leila. His novel won the Tata Lit Live! First Book Award and has been shortlisted for the Edinburgh International Bookfest first book award, the Hindu Prize for Best Fiction and the Shakti Bhatt Award. It is being turned into a TV series by Netflix.  

  • Radhika Vaz

    Radhika Vaz is a comedian and writer. Her one-woman shows have found audiences in New York, London and all across India. Her web-series ‘Shugs & Fats’won the prestigious Gotham Award and was featured at the Tribeca Film Festival, Miami Film Festival and Tacoma Film Festival and she was named one of Filmmaker Magazines ’25 New Faces of Independent Film. Her book ‘Unladylike, A Memoir’ is available on Amazon and she writes a bi-monthly column for the Times of India.

  • Rajvi Mehta

    Rajvi H Mehta has been a student of Yogacharya BKS Iyengar for 4 decades.

    She has been regularly teaching public classes in Mumbai for the Light on Yoga Research Trust since 1986.  She has been invited as the lead teacher for the International Iyengar Yoga Conventions in UK, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Ireland, China, Israel and conducted workshops in Poland, Philippines, Jordan, Dubai and USA

    She is the advisor to the Ministry of AYUSH for their various programmes.

    She is a scientist – a reproductive biologist working in the field of infertility and human in vitro fertilization having attained her doctorate from the Indian Council of Medical Research’s National Institute for Research in Reproduction. And, currently is the academic Consultant to Origio, India and scientific consultant to Trivector Biomed.

  • Ratish Nanda

    Ratish Nanda, Conservation Architect, is India CEO for the Aga Khan Trust for Culture. Following his architectural studies from the TVB School of Habitat Studies, Delhi he has completed an MA in Conservation Studies from the University of York, UK. He heads the multi-disciplinary AKTC teams presently undertaking the two major urban conservation projects in India: the Nizamuddin Urban Renewal Initiative, Delhi and the Qutb Shahi Heritage Park Conservation in Hyderabad. He has earlier worked for Historic Scotland in Edinburgh  and also been responsible for several successful projects for INTACH Delhi Chapter such as the conservation of St James Church, ruins adjacent Sultan Garhi, monuments in the Mehrauli Archaeological Park. Awards received by him include the Chishti India Harmony Award, the Eisenhower Fellowship, the Sanskriti Award for Social and Cultural Achievement , the ‘Urban Hero’ title by Prince Claus Fund, Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship and the Charles Wallace Conservation Fellowship, among others.

  • Ravina Aggarwal

    Ravina Aggarwal is the Director of the Columbia Global Centers | Mumbai, Columbia University’s academic knowledge platform for addressing the challenges facing our region and the world today.  Ravina received her doctoral degree from Indiana University in 1994 and joined the Department of Anthropology at Smith College, where she became a tenured faculty member.  She then worked as a Program Officer at the Ford Foundation in New Delhi. She is the author of several publications, including Beyond Lines of Control (Duke University Press, Seagull), the editor of Into the High Ranges (Penguin India) and Forsaking Paradise (Katha), and has recently completed a mystery novel for young adults

  • Rebecca Goldstein

    Rebecca Newberger Goldstein is an American philosopher and novelist.  Currently, she is Visiting Professor of Philosophy at New College of the Humanities, London, England. She graduated summa cum laude from Barnard College, Columbia University and received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University. She is the author of ten books, a mix of fiction and non-fiction, and the latest of which is Plato at The Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away.  She has won numerous awards, for both her fiction and scholarship, including, in 1995, a MacArthur Fellowship prize, popularly known in the U.S. as the Genius Award.  In 2015, she was awarded the National Medal of the Humanities by President Obama in a ceremony at the White House. 

  • Robin Jeffrey

    Robin Jeffrey is a visiting research professor at the Institute of South Asian Studies, Singapore. His most recent book, co-authored with Assa Doron, is Waste of a Nation: Garbage and Growth in India (Harvard University Press, 2018). He and Doron published The Great Indian Phone Book in 2013. Jeffrey is the author of India’s Newspaper Revolution (2000),  Politics, Women and Well-Being: How Kerala Became ‘a Model’  (1992), What’s Happening to India? (1986) and The Decline of Nayar Dominance (1976). He was a school teachers in Chandigarh from 1967-9, taught for 25 years at La Trobe University in Melbourne and worked twice at the Australian National University. He lives most of the year in Melbourne.

  • Samanth Subramanian

    Samanth Subramanian's narrative journalism has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, the Guardian, WIRED and Harper's, among other publications. His first book, "Following Fish: Travels Around the Indian Coast," won the Shakti Bhatt Prize. His second, "This Divided Island: Stories from the Sri Lankan War," won the Crossword award and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and the Royal Society of Literature's Ondaatje Prize. He is at work on a biography of the British polymath J. B. S. Haldane. He is currently a Leon Levy Biography Fellow at the City University of New York. 

  • Sanjoy Hazarika

    Sanjoy Hazarika, a human rights activist, scholar, author, journalist and filmmaker, is International Director of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), New Delhi. Previously, he was the Founder-Director of the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research, Jamia Millia Islamia. He is also founder of C-NES and pioneered the boat clinics on the Brahmaputra (www.c-nes.org). Hazarika is widely acknowledged as a specialist on migration and development-related issues in the North East. He is also author of five books including most recently Strangers no More, a successor to his acclaimed Strangers of the Mist. and documentary maker whose films range from travelogues to the endangered Gangetic Dolphin

  • Sarnath Banerjee

    Sarnath Banerjee had written four books of graphic fiction. Corridor (Penguin, 2004), The Barn Owl’s Wonderous Capers (Penguin, 2007), The Harappa Files ( Harper Collin, 2011) and All Quiet in Vikaspuri ( Harper Collins, 2015). The themes in these books included power, masculinity, bureaucracy, rumour, scandal, trade, class-system, urban sprawl, meritocracy, religion and the uncanny.

    As part of his ongoing project involving collaboration with historians, Banerjee had produced Liquid History of Vasco Da Gama for the Kochi Biennial, 2014, and The Poona Circle, a series of vandalised history textbooks, for the Pune Bienale, 2017.

    His billboard series, Gallery of Losers, commissioned by Frieze Projects East, for the 2012 London Olympics, was widely displayed in East London.

    Sarnath Banerjee had studied at Goldsmith college, London and currently lives in Berlin. 

  • Scott Hartley

    Scott Hartley is a venture capitalist and best-selling author of The Fuzzy and the Techie: Why the Liberal Arts Will Rule the Digital World (Penguin Random House India, 2018), a Financial Times business book of the month, and finalist for the Financial Times and McKinsey & Company's Bracken Bower Prize for an author under 35. His work has been translated into half a dozen languages, and featured in the Wall Street Journal, BBC, and Harvard Business Review. Prior to venture capital, Scott worked at Google in the US, India, and Africa, Facebook, Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society,. He holds a BA from Stanford University, an MBA and MA from Columbia University. He is a Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations. 

  • Shashi Tharoor

    Shashi Tharoor is an award-winning author of 17 books of fiction and non-fiction, including The Great Indian Novel, Inglorious Empire and the recently published, Why I Am A Hindu. A second-term Member of Parliament representing Thiruvananthapuram, and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs, he has served as Minister of State for Human Resource Development and for External Affairs in the Government of India.

  • Shirley Abraham

    Shirley Abraham is a Cannes prize-winning documentary film maker. Her work is supported by the Sundance Institute, MacArthur Foundation, New York Times,  Bertha Foundation, BBC, the Guardian, Al Jazeera English and India Foundation for the Arts. She has been a fellow of Sundance Labs, the Stories of Change Program at Oxford, Cluster of Excellence Heidelberg, TasveerGhar and Goethe-Institute. The Cinema Travellers is her debut  film, co-directed with Amit Madheshiya. The film premiered as an Official Selection at Cannes Film Festival 2016, winning the Special Jury Prize for L’Oeil d’or: Le Prix du documentaire. It has played a hundred and twenty film festivals worldwide and won nineteen awards, including the National Film Award in India. Shirley and Amit have also made Searching for Saraswati, India’s first Op Doc for the New York Times.

  • Shivendra Singh Dungarpur

    Shivendra Singh Dungarpur is an award-winning filmmaker, producer, film archivist and restorer. He is the founder of Film Heritage Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of India’s cinematic heritage. Shivendra was elected to the Executive Committee of FIAF in 2017.

    He made his first feature documentary “Celluloid Man” in 2012 that won two National Awards and travelled to over fifty festivals around the world. His second documentary “The Immortals” (2015) won the Special Jury Award for the Best Film at MIFF 2016.  He has just completed his third documentary titled “CzechMate – In Search of Jiri Menzel”.

  • Shweta Bachchan-Nanda

    Shweta Bachchan-Nanda is a columnist for DNA and Vogue. A  well-known personality, she is the daughter of actors Jaya and Amitabh Bachchan. Shweta is married to Nikhil Nanda and is the mother of two children. She has her own clothing label, MxS, which launched in 2018. She lives in New Delhi. This is her first novel.

  • Sopan Joshi

    Born in Indore in 1973, Sopan Joshi and grew up in Delhi, obtaining a master’s degree in  English literature from the University of Delhi in 1996. Since then, he has worked as a reporter and an editor. He has written on agriculture, environment, automobiles and motoring, travel and adventure, sports, religion and electoral politics. His work – he writes in Hindi and English – relies on scientific research and reportage. His first book Jal Thal Mal explores in Hindi the science and history of sanitation, with a socio-environmental perspective. He has recently written two Hindi books for children on Mahatma Gandhi.

    Website: https://mansampark.in/

  • Steven Pinker

    Steven Pinker is an experimental psychologist who conducts research in visual cognition, psycholinguistics, and social relations. He grew up in Montreal and earned his BA from McGill and his PhD from Harvard. Currently Johnstone Professor of Psychology at Harvard, he has also taught at Stanford and MIT. He has won many prizes for his research, teaching, and ten books, including The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Better Angels of Our Nature, and The Sense of Style.  He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, a Humanist of the Year, a recipient of nine honorary doctorates, and one Time’s “100 Most Influential People in the World Today.” His latest book is Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress.

  • Sumana Roy

    Sumana Roy's first book, How I Became a Tree, a work of non-fiction, was published in India in February 2017. Her first novel, Missing, was published in April 2018. Her poems and essays have appeared in GrantaGuernicaLARBDrunken Boat, the Prairie SchoonerBerfroisThe Common, and other journals. She lives in Siliguri in India.

  • Sumit Sen

    Co-author of The Sundarbans Inheritance and Birds of India, expert birder, photographer and conservationist.

    Sumit’s efforts in the field, over the last decade, have resulted in the documentation of new information regarding some extremely rare birds found in India including the discovery of a new subspecies of Brown Shrike and the rediscovery of the long lost Large-billed Reed Warbler.

    He also contributes articles which are published in the Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, Sanctuary magazine, and peer-review articles for leading technical journals .

    When not in the field, he owns and manages a premier birding website  - 'Birds of India' at http://www.kolkatabirds.com/ and moderates Bengalbirds – an egroup focused at birding in eastern India.

    He is currently the Honorary Wildlife Warden of South 24 Parganas covering the Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve in West Bengal, India.

  • Sunil Amrith

    Sunil Amrith is Mehra Family Professor of South Asian Studies and Professor of History at Harvard University. He is a 2017 MacArthur Fellow, and recipient of the 2016 Infosys Prize in Humanities. Amrith studies the history of connections between India and Southeast Asia, with particular interests in the history of migration, and environmental history. His works include the prize-winning Crossing the Bay of Bengal. His new book, Unruly Waters: How Monsoons and Mountain Rivers Have Shaped South Asia’s History will be out in December with Allen Lane.

  • Vijay Crishna

    Vijay Crishna is Executive Director, Godrej & Boyce Mfg Co Ltd, with a degree in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi. His experience in Shipping, Tea and Advertising helped to turn around Lawkim Ltd., a bankrupt light engineering company in early 1977 the Godrej family had invested in. In 1991, he set up the Naoroji Godrej Centre for Plant Research at Shindewadi, Satara, researching and propagating rare and endangered species of medicinal plants endemic to the Western Ghats. He’s a Life Member of The Himalayan Club since 1973, treks and active in theatre since 1965.

  • Vimal Mohan

    Vimal Mohan is the winner of the prestigious Ramnath Goenka Award (2012), and has dedicated himself to cover the Olympics, and any other adventure or marginalised sport, over the last two decades. He has covered the Olympic Games since 2004, the Asian Games in Doha (2006) and Guangzhou (2010), and the Commonwealth Games in Delhi (2010) and Glasgow (2014). He has also covered the 2003 Champions Trophy hockey in Amstelveen, FIH World Cup hockey in Delhi in 2010, and FIH Junior World Cup Hockey in Lucknow in 2016. Vimal has also served as a jury member for the National Dronacharya Award committee among others.

  • Zareer Masani

    Zareer Masani is the author of Macaulay: Britains Liberal Imperialist (The Bodley Head, 2013).  He has an Oxford history doctorate and is the author of three other historical books: Indira Gandhi: A Biography, Indian Tales of the Raj and India from Raj to Rajiv (with Mark Tully).  He has also written a widely acclaimed family memoir, And All Is Said: Memoir of a Home Divided (Penguin, 2013)

    Zareer spent two decades as a producer for BBC Radio 4 and is now a freelance historian, journalist and broadcaster.  His particular areas of interest include the British Raj in India. He is currently researching a book on the role of Indians as partners in running the Raj. 

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