Amardeep Singh was educated at The Doon School in India, later studying Electronics Engineering at the Manipal Institute of Technology and a Masters in Business Administration at the University of Chicago, USA. He now lives in Singapore and has worked in the corporate sector for 25 years. At American Express, he was the Asia Pacific Head of Revenue Management. Since the year 2014, he has dedicated his life towards narratives of the Sikh legacy across hard to access geographies.
He has authored two books, entitled, ‘Lost Heritage: The Sikh Legacy in Pakistan’ and ‘The Quest Continues: Lost Heritage The Sikh Legacy in Pakistan’. In these two books, he has documented the remnants of the Sikh legacy across 126 cities and villages in Pakistan.
Amardeep has made two candid documentary films, Peering Soul and Peering Warrior which show the expanse of the Sikh spiritual and martial legacy in Pakistan. These documentaries permeate a sense of nostalgia and also highlight the breath-taking beauty of landscape and architecture.
Now, in an even more ambitious project, Amardeep Singh is making a multi-episode 600 minute documentary on Guru Nanak’s travels across 9 countries. 70% of the region travelled by Guru Nanak is presently in conflict zones with little access to the communities who believe in his universal message of oneness. ‘Allegory – A Tapestry of Guru Nanak’s Travels’ is a first comprehensive attempt to document the narrative of Guru Nanak’s travels for the coming generations.
Amrit Dhillon is a freelance journalist based in New Delhi. She reports on India for The Guardian and The Times UK along with other international publications and also writes columns. After growing up in London and working for BBC Radio, she came back to India on an impulse, despite not knowing a soul here. Luckily, she stumbled into the India Today office where she was able to find her feet. She came to live in India for a year; it’s been 25 years.
Anurag Tripathi is an investigative journalist with sixteen years of experience spanning print, electronic and digital media. He has worked as editor, reportage, at Newslaundry, and senior associate editor, Tehelka. He started his career with the Hindustan Times, Lucknow, and has worked with the Times of India, Aaj Tak, India TV and NewsX. In the course of his career, besides Operation Jhootha Sauda, Anurag’s investigations have included busting an AK-47 arms racket in western Uttar Pradesh, exposing corruption in the power sector
in Andhra Pradesh, unravelling a drug racket run by an MLA in Lucknow, and bringing to light the issue of fake caste certificates in Uttar Pradesh-and these have had on-the-ground impact in the form of official inquiries and government action.
Over the course of a varied career Ashok has worked with captains of industry, as well as leaders of a different kind: commercial sex workers, and women who deliver health services in India’s most far-flung villages. In 2003, Ashok left McKinsey and Co. as a senior partner, enticed by an invitation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to create an initiative to stem the growth of the HIV epidemic in India. In less than three years that program, named Avahan, was working in six states, and over 600 towns. Avahan went on to become the world’s largest private HIV prevention program credited with averting over 600,000 new infections (Lancet, 2013). During the 10 years that Ashok led Avahan, he worked closely with groups most at risk to HIV – primarily commercial sex workers. That experience introduced him
to an India he never imagined existed. His first book, “A Stranger Truth: Lessons in Love, Leadership and Courage from India’s Sex Workers (Juggernaut 2018)”, is a chronicle of his adventure with Avahan. The book has won accolades in India and abroad including, from Bill Gates (“[A] powerful story of hope that deserves to be widely read) and Amitav Ghosh (A portrait of contemporary India like no other…an
unusually gifted writer.”) Currently, Ashok heads the Antara Foundation, an NGO he established, aimed at public health delivery at scale in the area of mother and child health and nutrition. He also heads Alexander Associates, a venture that is working to build a
knowledge network linking programs doing similar or complementary work across India. He has been a Senior Fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, teaching about the leadership lessons from Avahan. Married with two sons, his passions are painting, mainly portraits in oils and charcoal, and chess in which he has been a US Master.
Through most of his 40 year illustrious career General Hasnain has served in turbulent environment and hot spots. From Sri Lanka to Siachen Glacier, from the North East to J&K and in UN operations from Mozambique to Rwanda, he has seen it all in crucial appointments. He served seven tours in J&K, in every rank, decorated in almost of them and knows the J&K conflict comprehensively. He commanded the Srinagar based 15 Corps and is today one of the foremost writers and analysts on J&K, Pakistan and transnational extremist violence. He is a much sought after speaker and writes for major Indian newspapers – The Times of India, The Indian Express, The Tribune, Deccan Chronicle and The Asian Age besides being a regular participant in television debates on mainstream television. With a strong academic background from Sherwood College, Nainital, St Stephen’s College, Delhi, the Royal College of Defence Studies and Kings College London, as also the Asia Pacific Centre for Security Studies, Hawaii, he has been at the forefront of encouraging the adoption of the Scholar Warrior concept in the Indian Army. Besides having spoken at the Bangladesh Institute of Strategic Studies (BISS), National Defence College (NDC) and Institute for Policy, Advocacy and Governance (IPAG), all at Dhaka, he also lectures at the Rajaratnam School for International Studies (RSIS), Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS), and Lee Kwan Yu School for Public Policy, all at Singapore and is associated with the Vivekanand International Foundation as Distinguished Fellow and the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies at New Delhi. He speaks on National Security at various civilian institutions and the corporate world with a view to enhance India’s strategic culture. On 13 Jul 2018 The President of India has appointed Lt Gen Hasnain as Chancellor of the Central University of Kashmir.
Bachi Karkaria is among India’s seniormost journalists, and was the first Indian board member of the World Editors Forum. Her specialisations are urbanisation, gender and public health.She writes two widely followed columns: the satirical `Erratica’ in the Times of India, and Giving Gyan, playing ‘Agony Aunt’ in the Mumbai Mirror. She appears regularly on television news channels, and is a media trainer in India and abroad. She curates the highly regarded Times of India Litfest, Mumbai, now in its 7 th edition. Ms Karkaria’s books include the critically acclaimed In Hot Blood: The Nanavati Case That Shook India, Dare to Dream, a best-selling biography of MS Oberoi; Mills, Molls And Moolah, Behind The Times, Mumbai Masti, and The Cake That Walked.
Bindu Puri is a Professor of contemporary Indian Philosophy at the Centre for Philosophy, School of Social Sciences, and Jawaharlal Nehru University. She is also currently the Chairperson of the Centre. Her main interests in philosophy are in the areas of contemporary Indian philosophy and moral and political philosophy. Professor Puri has been consistently engaged in a set of inter-related problems in contemporary Indian Philosophy. She is a leading scholar on the thought and practice of Mahatma Gandhi and has worked on the philosophical issues involved in Gandhi’s debates with Savarkar Ambedkar and Tagore. Professor Puri’s philosophical pursuit has involved dialogue with other scholars of contemporary Indian Philosophy. In this context her paper “Gandhi’s Truth: Debating Bilgrami” has been reported in the Routledge history of Indian Philosophy (2018). She has taken issue with Nussbaum’s interpretation of Tagore in her “For Love of country: Debating Martha Nussbaum on cosmopolitanism in Tagore”. Her paper, “Gandhi and Tagore on the idea of the Surplus Creativity and Freedom: In conversation with Richard Sorabji”Sophia (Springer) reports her exchanges with Oxford philosopher Richard Sorabji. Puri has over 40 papers in edited anthologies and philosophical and interdisciplinary journals including Sophia, Philosophia and the Journal of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research. She has authored two monographs: Gandhi and the Moral Life (2004) and The Tagore-Gandhi Debate: On Matters of Truth and Untruth (Springer Publications in the series: Sophia Studies in Cross-cultural Philosophy of Traditions and Cultures, January 2015). She has six edited volumes including Mahatma Gandhi and his Contemporaries (IIAS Shimla 2001). She has co-edited (with Heiko Sievers) Reason Morality and Beauty; Essays on the Philosophy of Immanuel Kant (Oxford University Press New Delhi 2007) Terror, Peace and Universalism. Essays on the Philosophy of Immanuel Kant (Oxford University Press New Delhi 2007) and Living with Religious Diversity (Routledge India 2016) with Sonia Sikka and Lori Beaman. She has presented over 76 papers at national and International seminars. Professor Puri has also lectured extensively at Universities in India and abroad and has delivered the prestigious annual ‘M K Gandhi lecture on Peace and the Humanities 2017’ for the Mahatma Gandhi Peace Council Of Ottawa, Canada and the Johnson and Hastings lectures at the University of Mount Allison, Sackville, Canada for the same year.
Professor Puri has held a number of administrative positions, which include the following assignments. She was the Chairperson of the Governing body of Aditi Mahavidyalaya College Delhi University (2015-2017), member of the governing Body of Gandhi Bhavan at Delhi University (2006- 2010), E.C.Nominee on the Managing Committee of University Hostel for women, Delhi University (2015-2017) and member of the Academic Committee of the Army Cadet College Indian Military Academy Dehradun (2017-2019). Professor Puri was a jury member for the ‘Gandhian Philosophy and Public Service Broadcasting Awards’(2005-2007).She was also a member of the jury constituted by the National Human Rights Commission to award the Mahatma Gandhi Biennial Hindi writing awards for the year 2016-17.
B.N.Goswamy, distinguished art historian, is Professor Emeritus of Art History at the Panjab University, Chandigarh. His work covers a wide range and is regarded, especially in the area of Indian painting, as having influenced much thinking. He has been the recipient of many honours, including the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship, the Rietberg Award for Outstanding Research in Art History, the Padma Shri (1998) and the Padma Bhushan (2008) from the President of India. Professor Goswamy has taught, as Visiting Professor, at several universities across the world, among them the Universities of Pennsylvania, Heidelberg, California (at Berkeley and Los Angeles), Texas (at Austin), Zurich, and the ETH (Federal University) at Zurich. He has also been responsible for major exhibitions of Indian art at Paris, San Francisco, Zurich, San Diego, New York, Frankfurt, and New Delhi.
Among his many publications are: Pahari Painting: The Family as the Basis of Style (Marg, Bombay, 1968); Painters at the Sikh Court (Wiesbaden, 1975), Essence of Indian Art (San Francisco, 1986); Wonders of a Golden Age: Painting at the Court of the Great Mughals (with E. Fischer, Zurich, 1987); Pahari Masters: Court Painters of Northern India (with E. Fischer; Zurich, 1992); Indian Costumes in the Collection of the Calico Museum of Textiles (Ahmedabad, 1993); Painted Visions: The Goenka Collection of Indian Paintings (New Delhi, 1999); Piety and Splendour: Sikh Heritage in Art (New Delhi, 2000); Domains of Wonder: Selected Masterworks of Indian Painting from the Edwin Binney Collection (with Caron Smith; San Diego, 2005); I See No Stranger: Early Sikh Art and Devotion (with Caron Smith; New York, 2006); The Word is Sacred; Sacred is The Word: The Indian Manuscript Tradition (New Delhi, 2006), and Indian Paintings in the Sarabhai Foundation (Ahmedabad, 2010). Professor Goswamy’s most recent works include The Spirit of Indian Painting: Close Encounters with 101 Great Works, published by Penguin/Allen Lane, 2014; Manaku of Guler: Another great Painter from a small Hill State (Zurich and Delhi, 2017), and The Great Mysore Bhagavata (San Diego and Delhi, 2019).
Lt Gen DS Hooda, joined the Indian Army in 1976. During his army career spanning forty years he has served in the most challenging border areas of the country and in United Nations missions in Ethiopia and Eritrea.
In his last appointment as the Army Commander of Northern Command, he was responsible for looking after the sensitive borders with Pakistan and China in Jammu and Kashmir including the Siachen Glacier. He also commanded the army soldiers who were fighting terrorism in the state of J&K. He successfully planned and carried out the ‘surgical strikes’ into Pakistan in September 2016.
Mussoorie-born Professor Ganesh Saili belongs to that select band of people who write their own text and illustrate it with their own pictures. He has taught English at Mussoorie’s Post Graduate College for close to four decades and has been teaching photography to officer trainees of the All India Services for the past twenty years at the National Administrative Academy. He has spent a lifetime in the hills, and has carved a niche for himself in the world of images and the written word.
Ganesh has had the good fortune of co-authoring with his friend of over fifty years, the legendary Ruskin Bond. He writes about this association in his two books: Ruskin Bond: Our Enduring Bond and The Mussoorie Years. His work has found publication in numerous periodicals, columns, journals and twenty-one books, some of which have been translated into over two-dozen languages worldwide. His recent book, Wandering in the Garhwal Himalaya has been received with much acclaim in India and abroad.
Dr Giles Tillotson is a former Reader in History of Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and a Fellow (and former Director) of the Royal Asiatic Society, London. He has authored and edited many books on Indian architecture, history and landscape, including Taj Mahal, Jaipur Nama, Delhi Darshan, and the historical novel Return to Bhanupur. He has lived in India since 2004, working as a writer, curator and consultant to museum trusts.
Bad-Man of Bollywood who has appeared in more than 400 Films in and around the World. Has a Biography named Bad-Man. He was one of the first mainstream actors to bridge the divide between Bollywood and Hollywood and went on to experiment with films of different countries from across the world.
Javed Akhtar is an Indian political activist, poet, lyricist and screenwriter. He is a recipient of the Padma Shri (1999), Padma Bhushan (2007), the Sahitya Akademi Award as well as five National Film Awards. In the early part of his career, he was a screenplay writer, creating movies like Deewar, Janzeer and Sholay. Later he left screenplay writing and became a lyricist and social-political activist. Some of the notable movies for which he has written scripts(some as a part of the Salim-Javed duo) include movies like Lakshya, Kabhi Na Kabhi, Prem, Roop ki Rani, Choron ka Raja, Sholay,Kaala Patthar, Shaan, Kranti, Saagar, Shakti, Don etc.
Hailing from the hill town of Dalhousie, Dr. Kiran Chadha is a retired government civil servant. With two Ph.D’s in the subjects of petroleum and iron ore, her quest for knowledge continues in her current role of an author and motivational speaker. After a very successful career in the Indian government spanning 36 years with the ministries of Petroleum, Commerce, Defence and Women & Child Development. With prominent postings including as leader of various delegations within India and abroad, she has travelled extensively to more than 40 countries. She made a mark in Geneva as an excellent orator who spoke on the future of iron ore exports from India. Further, she was associated with UN agencies specially on Women Empowerment. She has written many papers and her exposition on the Second World War was published in 2001.
Dr. Chadha is featured in Asia –Pacific Who’s Who and in the International Directory of Distinguished leadership. She was awarded the Shresht Putri Award by the Governor of Himachal Pradesh in 2002 as she was the first girl from the district to qualify the competitive exam.
Her love for the Himalayas stems from her childhood as an avid trekker with a group ‘Himtrek’ who have undertaken challenging treks all over the Himalayan range including Mansarovar, Mount Kailash as well as in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, J &K , Nepal, Sikkim & Bhutan.
She imbibes her values from her alma mater Sacred Heart Convent, Dalhousie. Her interests include reading, music, knitting, dancing and trekking.
Post retirement, Dr. Chadha is engaged in social and welfare activities and has started the NGO ‘Swachh Dalhousie’ since 2014. Now in its 5th year it is actively engaged in the ‘Hilldaari’ programme sponsored by Nestle and Godwills Executor and is focussing on an integrated plastic and solid waste management in the town. She has been a motivational speaker in many institutions to highlight issues like water conservation, forestation and welfare and education of the girl child in Himachal Pradesh.
She realised that while there are many books on Chamba, there is little to read about Dalhousie and its development since it was founded in 1859. Connected to this was the urge to delve deeper into the history of her own family who moved to Dalhousie in 1880. Her first book ‘Dalhousie through my eyes’ was published in 2017 to raving reviews both in the electronic and print media. The book covers the historical growth of the town with its important sights and schools and how it inspired eminent personalities like Tagore, Bose, Nanak Singh and Manjit Bawa. It is a collector’s delight with its spectacular photography and is available for sale at the festival book store. She is currently working on her second book on Indian weddings.
An exceptional Bollywood heroine and author of ‘Healed – How Cancer gave me a New Life’. Honoured with Nepal’s Second Highest Award, Order of Gorkha Dakshina Bahu.
Manisha Koirala is a Nepalese actress known for her works, innocence and natural beauty in Indian cinema, as well as a UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador and social activist. Manisha has primarily worked in Hindi cinema, though she has appeared in several Nepali, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films as well. She is also an accomplished Bharatnatyam and Manipuri dancer. Born to politician Prakash Koirala and Sushma Koirala in the politically prominent Koirala family of Nepal, she made her acting debut in the Nepali film Pheri Bhetaula. A year later, Koirala made her Bollywood debut with the top-grossing drama Saudagar. She went on to establish herself as one of the leading actresses in the 90s with such mainstream films as 1942: A Love Story, Agni Sakshi, Gupt and Mann, she was also voted the most beautiful actress in 90s. Her book is on her journey through the Cancer Phase. She now promotes health and informs people about the needs to maintain his/her health.
Minnie Vaid has juggled multiple roles over a three-decade stint in mainstream media. She is a print and television journalist, a documentary filmmaker, creative producer for feature films and more recently, author of three non-fiction books, A Doctor to Defend: The Binayak Sen Story (2011); Iron Irom: Two Journeys (2013) and The Ant in the Ear of the Elephant (2016). Her areas of interest include social and political issues in rural India, human rights, the environment and gender.
Navdeep Suri joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1983 and has served in India’s diplomatic missions in Cairo, Damascus, Washington, Dar es Salaam and London and as India’s Consul General in Johannesburg. He has also headed the West Africa and Public Diplomacy divisions at the Ministry of External Affairs. He was India’s High Commissioner to Australia and Ambassador to Egypt prior to his current assignment as Ambassador to UAE. His innovative use of social media in public diplomacy has received extensive recognition and two prestigious awards. Navdeep has learnt Arabic and French, has a Masters degree in Economics and has written on India’s Africa policy, on Public Diplomacy and on the IT outsourcing industry. His English translations of his grandfather Nanak Singh’s classic Punjabi novels have been published by Penguin as ‘The Watchmaker’ and by Harper Collins as ‘A Life Incomplete’ and ‘Khooni Vaisakhi’.
Navdeep is accompanied by his wife Mani who has a degree in Economics and is now an accomplished graphic designer and potter. They have two daughters, a journalist and an avid environmentalist.
Navin B Chawla
Navin Chawla studied at the Lawrence School, Sanawar and thereafter at St Stephen s College, University of Delhi; University of London; and the London School of Economics. Later, he was a visiting fellow at the University of Oxford. He joined the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1969 and retired as secretary to the Government of India. He was appointed election commissioner in 2005 and Chief Election Commissioner in April 2009, when he conducted the general election to national and international acclaim. He is frequently invited to observe overseas elections and lecture on election-related issues. Inspired by Mother Teresa whose authorized biography he wrote (1992), he is deeply involved with disabled and leprosy affected children. He is also an advisor to many educational institutions.
Navtej Sarna was till recently India’s Ambassador to the United States. As a professional diplomat since 1980, Sarna has also been India’s High Commissioner to the UK, Ambassador to the State of Israel and Secretary at the Ministry of External Affairs. He has the distinction of being India’s longest serving foreign office spokesperson, having held that post for six years. In the earlier years of his service, he served in various diplomatic posts in Moscow, Poland, Bhutan, Iran, Washington and Geneva.
Navtej Sarna is also an established author of fiction and non-fiction. His work includes the novels The Exile and We Weren’t Lovers Like That, the short story collection Winter Evenings, non-fiction works The Book of Nanak, Second Thoughts and Indians at Herod’s Gate, as well as two translations, Zafarnama and Savage Harvest. He has been a regular contributor to several Indian newspapers and journals as well as to the Times Literary Supplement, Financial Times (UK), London Magazine and the BBC.
Nayantara Sahgal is the author of several works of fiction and non-fiction, the first of which, Prison and Chocolate Cake, an autobiography, was published in 1954. Her works include classic novels such as Rich Like Us, Plans for Departure and Lesser Breeds. She has received the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Sinclair Prize and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Her novel, When the Moon Shines by Day, was longlisted for the 2018 JCB Prize. She returned her Akademi Award in 2015 in protest against the murder by vigilantes of three writers, and the Akademi’s silence at the time. She has been a Vice President of the PUCL (People’s Union for Civil Liberties) and is engaged in an ongoing protest against the assaults on the freedom of expression and democratic rights.
Pooja Poddar Marwah
The best part of being a Woman is that we get the cake, the icing, the cherry on the icing and of course the Quintessential good looking Baker as well… We wouldn’t want it any other way now, would we? That is exactly how Life should be – lived to the fullest. She never knew she would be a writer but she always lost herself in the world of words. A mother to two, Pooja Poddar Marwah began her journey as a Women Entrepreneur, Relationship Blogger, News Publication Owner, and now an Award Winning author! Her writing exudes compassion and encouragement. Her words are deep and heartfelt and make you want to read page after page. Her debut book, Pursuit – Drawn by Destiny is a gentle reminder that there is a Power out there to fulfill your every dream and want, if only you use the power in you to BELIEVE!
Priyanka Pathak Narain
Priyanka Pathak-Narain, Global Religion Reporter at BBC News and author of Godman To Tycoon: The Untold story of Baba Ramdev, is an award winning investigative reporter. A graduate of Columbia Journalism School, she has spent nearly two decades as a print, radio and television reporter exploring the intersection of religion, business and politics in India.
Rachna Bisht Rawat
Rachna Bisht Rawat is a journalist, writer, mom to a precocious seventeen-year-old and gypsy wife to an army officer whose work has taken the Rawats to some of the quirkiest places in India. Rachna has written for publications such as the Statesman, the Indian Express, Deccan Herald, Outlook, Discover India and Femina. She is the author of four books by Penguin Random House – The Brave, 1965, Shoot.Dive.Fly. and Kargil
Radha Kumar is former Director General of the Delhi Policy Group and a specialist on peace and security in South Asia. Earlier Director of the Mandela Centre for Peace at Jamia Millia Islamia University (2005-2010), where she developed the first MA in Peace and Conflict Studies in India, Dr. Kumar was also Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York (1999-2003), Associate Fellow at the Institute for War and Peace Studies at Columbia University (1996-8) and Executive Director of the Helsinki Citizen’s Assembly in Prague (1992-4). She has served on the boards of the UN Institute for Training and Research and the Foundation for Communal Harmony and is currently member of the United Nations University Council and member of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute Board. She was a member of the three-person Group of Interlocutors for Jammu and Kashmir appointed by the Government of India (2010-11), who prepared the report called A New Compact for Jammu and Kashmir.
Dr. Kumar’s latest book, Paradise at War: A Political History of Kashmir (Aleph: 2018), was favorably reviewed by all the major Indian newspapers and magazines and was called “the one book to read on Kashmir” by the Telegraph. In August 2019, it was named by the UK’s Financial Times as first on a list of five books to read on Kashmir.
Her previous books include A Gender Atlas of India (with Karthika Sudhir and Marcel Korff, Sage: 2018), (ed.) Negotiating Peace in Deeply Divided Societies: A Set of Simulations (Sage: 2009), Making Peace with Partition (Penguin: 2005), Divide and Fall? Bosnia in the Annals of Partition (Verso: 1997), and A History of Doing: Movements for Women’s Rights and Feminism in India, 1900-1990 (Kali for Women and Verso: 1993). Her articles have been published in Foreign Affairs, the EU Institute for Security Studies, the Centre for European Policy Studies, the World Policy Journal, the Brown Journal of World Affairs, the Indian Economic and Social History Review, the Economic and Political Weekly and Seminar. She is a frequent OpEd contributor to the Hindu and the Indian Express.
Among the honors she has received are the Warren Weaver fellowship at the Rockefeller Foundation, the SSRC-Macarthur Post-Doctoral fellowship and a fellowship at the Institute for Development Studies in Bangalore.
Rajesh Ramachandran, Editor of The Tribune, is a journalist who has worked with some of India’s largest publications and TV channels. He has reported on war and insurgency, and written on politics, political economy, government affairs and conflict. He has earlier served as the Editor-in-Chief of Outlook. “Martyrdom to Freedom: 100 years of JallianwalaBagh,” edited by him, was published earlier this year.
Ramin Jahanbegloo is a political philosopher. He is presently the Executive Director of the Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Nonviolence and Peace Studies and the Vice-Dean of the School of Law at Jindal Global University- Delhi-India. He received his B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy, History and Political Science and later his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Sorbonne University. In 1993 he taught at the Academy of Philosophy in Tehran. He has been a researcher at the French Institute for Iranian Studies and a fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. Ramin Jahanbegloo taught in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto from 1997-2001. He later served as the head of the Department of Contemporary Studies of the Cultural Research Centre in Tehran and, in 2006-07, was Rajni Kothari Professor of Democracy at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi, India. In April 2006 Dr. Jahanbegloo was arrested in Tehran Airport charged with preparing a velvet revolution in Iran. He was placed in solitary confinement for four months and released on bail. He was an Associated Professor of Political Science and a Research Fellow in the Centre for Ethics at University of Toronto from 2008-2012 and an Associate Professor of Political Science at York University in Toronto from 2012 – 2015. He is also a member of the advisory board of PEN Canada. He is the winner of the Peace Prize from the United Nations Association in Spain (2009) for his extensive academic works in promoting dialogue between cultures and his advocacy for non-violence and more recently the winner of the Josep Palau i Fabre International Essay Prize. Ramin Jahanbegloo is also the founder of a peace movement called Students for Peace, which has active members in India, Canada and Colombia.
Among his twenty-eight books in English, French, Spanish, Italian and Persian are: Conversations with Isaiah Berlin (Peter Halban, 1992), Gandhi: Aux Sources de la Nonviolence ( Felin , 1999), Penser la Nonviolence (UNESCO,2000),Iran: Between Tradition and Modernity (Lexington Books, 2004) India Revisited (Oxford University Press, 2007), The Clash of Intolerances (Har-Anand 2007) The Spirit of India (Penguin 2008), Beyond Violence (Har-Anand 2008), Leggere Gandhi a Teheran (Marsilio 2008), Talking Politics (Oxford University Press 2010), Civil Society and Democracy in Iran (Lexington Press, 2011), Democracy in Iran (Palgrave 2013) The Gandhian Moment (Harvard University Press 2013) Introduction to Nonviolence (Palgrave 2013)Time Will Say Nothing (University of Regina Press 2014) Talking Philosophy (Oxford University Press 2015) The Decline of Civilization (Aleph Books 2017) On Forgiveness and Revenge (University of Regina Press 2017), The Disobedient Indian: Gandhi’s Philosophy of Resistance ( Speaking Tiger 2018) , The Global Gandhi ( Routledge 2018) and recently The Revolution of Values: The Moral and Political Philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Lexington Press 2018)
Rashmi Saksena, veteran journalist, author, Present designation: Consulting Editor of The Hitavada, a 107 year-old largest circulated English daily from Nagpur, Jabalpur, Raipur and Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh). On the editorial advisory board of India Review & Analysis, journal of think tank Society for Policy Studies. A senior journalist with over four decades of experience in news gathering for print media and three years in the electronic media as a channel head, her
expertise is in covering national politics, foreign affairs and social/gender issues Rashmi Saksena, is a pioneer amongst women newspersons in India. She joined the Hindustan Times (Delhi) in 1971 and was the third women reporter in the
city and the first crime reporter in Delhi. She reported for the Telegraph from Sri Lanka, worked in the Delhi bureau of Sunday, Sunday Mail and The Week. She has won several awards for reporting. She has authored ‘She Goes to War: Women Militants of India’, hailed as the first of its kind. Launched May 24, 2018 it has received raving reviews. The book has been published by Speaking Tiger.
Sadia Dehlvi is an author and columnist from New Delhi. For almost 40 years, her writings have focused on issues of faith, heritage, minorities, and women. She is the author of three books published by Harper Collins: Sufism: The Heart of Islam, The Sufi Courtyard: Dargahs of Delhi and the recent Jasmine and Jinns: Memories and Recipes of My Delhi.
Sagarika Ghose is one of India’s most noted journalists as well as an author and broadcaster. She has worked at The Times Of India, Outlook magazine and The Indian Express. She was a prime time television news anchor on BBC World’s “Question Time India” as well as on the news network CNN-IBN. She is the author of two novels, “The Gin Drinkers” and “Blind Faith” as well as the recently published acclaimed biography of Indira Gandhi, “Indira, India’s Most Powerful Prime Minister,” now slated for a screen adaptation. Her latest book is: ‘ Why I Am A Liberal. A Manifesto for Indians Who Believe In Individual Freedom.’ (Penguin.Viking. 2018) She has won numerous awards for journalism, including the C. H Mohammad Koya National Journalism Award as well as Best Anchor Award from the Indian Television Academy. She has also been listed as one of the world’s most famous women Rhodes Scholars. Ghose is a popular and widely read columnist and at present she is consulting editor with The Times Of India.
Saif Mahmood is the author of the recent bestseller Beloved Delhi: A Mughal City and Her Greatest Poets. He is a poetry and literature critic, commentator, translator and rights activist. An Advocate of the Supreme Court of India, holding a doctorate in Constitutional Law in South Asia, he frequently appears before Superior Courts in India as well as in international and domestic tribunals. An itinerant traveller, a bohemian raconteur and a globetrotting dreamer with his heart in poetry and mind in law, Saif speaks and writes on diverse issues.
Best known for her long association with Femina, which she edited for 12 years, Sathya Saran is also the author of a diverse variety of books. The Dark Side reflects her love of the short story, while the critically acclaimed biographies, Years with Guru Dutt Abrar Alvi’s Journey; Sun Mere Bandhu Re The Musical World of SD Burman and Baat Niklegi toh Phir The Life and Music of Jagjit Singh bear testimony to her love of cinema and music.
Sathya has just completed How to Look Like Miss India, and is working on a book on Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia. Her assignments in her capacity as Consulting Editor, Harper Collins India Pvt Ltd. included editing the newly released anthology on marriage titled Knot for Keeps.
Sathya teaches fashion journalism at NIFT Mumbai, Kangra. and Srinagar.She has been a stage actor with Veenapani Chawla. Passionate about writing she recently held the first of its kind Writers Conclave titled The Spaces between Words the unfestival sponsored by JSW at Kaladham near Hampi. In partnership with The Hindu.
Sathya has written a tv serial titled Kashmakash on marital problems. Her column in Femina and Me magazine is now continuing to gain new fans as a guest column in Dainik Jagran.
An infantry officer, Colonel S.C. Tyagi (Retd) was commissioned in the Rajput Regiment of the Indian Army and has held various instructional and staff appointments at the National Defence Academy, the Army War College, and as the Colonel G.S. of a Mountain Division, among others. He took part in the operations of the IPKF in Sri Lanka and voluntarily served in the Kargil war zone during Operation Vijay. He was the Founder Commandant of the Corps Battle
School in the Kashmir Valley. He has been a Research Fellow at USI, where he authored his first book, The Fourth Estate: A Force Multiplier for the Indian Army. After retirement from his career of active military service
spanning thirty-two years, Col Tyagi has served in the Ministry of Electronics and IT and as a Cyber Consultant with the Government of India at the apex level. He recently designed an online cyber security fundamental hygiene
course for the Common Service Centres. He is the founder and President of the National Association for the Blind, Meerut and the co-founder of Setu, in Delhi, both not-for- profit organizations working in the field of disabilities.
Shabana Azmi is an internationally celebrated Indian film actress who believes art should be used as an instrument for social change. Her entry into films marked the way for the Parallel Cinema Movement with Shyam Benegal’s Ankur in 1974. She has won five National Awards for Best Actress and five International Awards for Best Actress. Azmi is also highly respected as a social activist and tireless campaigner for the rights of women, slum dwellers and the underprivileged. A former UN Goodwill Ambassador for Population and Development, she was recently been nominated as a Global Leadership Ambassador for Women in a public service project initiated by Hillary Clinton. Azmi was nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the President of India in 1997. She is a recipient of the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan. In 2006, she was awarded the Gandhi International Peace Prize at the U.K.’s House of Lords.
Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri is a film buff and executive editor, Penguin Random House India. He has worked with some of India’s best-known authors like Gulzar, Kiran Nagarkar, Arun Shourie, Manu Joseph, among others. He has also commissioned and published a number of books on cinema which have won the National Award for Best Book on Cinema and the MAMI Award for Best Writing on Cinema and which have been best-sellers. In 2017, he won the Editor of the Year Award, instituted by the apex publishing body, Publishing Next. He is also the author of two books: Whims, a book of poems, and Icons from Bollywood. He also writes on Bengali cinema for Anupama Chopra’s magazine Film Companion.
Sharmila Tagore began her acting career in 1957 with Satyajit Ray’s Apur Sansar and has since acted in over 100 Bengali and Hindi films, notably Nirjan Saikate, Mausam and Abar Aranye, for which she won National Awards, and Devi, Anupama, Satyakaam, Aradhana, Amar Prem, New Delhi Times, Mississippi Masala, Viruddh, Antaheen, Life Goes On, where she acted alongside her daughter Soha Ali Khan, and Break Ke Baad. In 1999, the Government of France honoured her by making her an Officer de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2012, she was conferred the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian award. In 2017, she was invited by the prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to be its member. Apart from acting, she has been, and remains, actively involved in social work both in India and abroad.
Colonel Sonam Wangchuk, MVC is an Indian Army veteran, who served with the Assam Regiment and the Ladakh Scouts. He was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra, India’s second highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy, during his successful operation in the Kargil War. Col Sonam Wangchuk, hailing from Khakshal, part of Leh, Ladakh (Jammu and Kashmir), was born in 1964 at Sankar. On being commissioned from Officers Training Academy Chennai, he joined 4 Assam involved in counter insurgency operations in Ukhrul, Manipur and thereafter contributed significantly in other military operations.
He is also known as Lion of Ladakh by many people. He was asked to capture an 18,000-ft high ridge just inside the Indian side of the LOC. Glacial and rocky, with days warming to minus 6 degrees Celsius, the mountain with its 80 degree gradient was a test even for skilled mountaineers. Sonam Wangchuk deserves a tribute for holding his column together as his troops crawled upwards and boldly raided the enemy position. The retrieved bodies of the intruders confirmed them to be Pakistan army regulars. His courageous act stymied a critical intrusion by the enemy and successfully foiled designs for occupation of the dominating ridgeline in this area.
Sudeep Sen’s prize-winning books include Postmarked India: New & Selected Poems (HarperCollins), Rain, Aria (A. K. Ramanujan Translation Award), The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry (editor), Fractals: New & Selected Poems | Translations 1980-2015 (London Magazine Editions), EroText (Vintage: Penguin Random House) and Kaifi Azmi: Poems | Nazms: (Bloomsbury). Blue Nude: New Poems, Ekphrasis, Anthropocene (Jorge Zalamea International Poetry Prize) q and The Whispering Anklets are forthcoming in 2019. Sen’s works have been translated into over 25 languages. His words have appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, Newsweek, Guardian, Observer, Independent, Telegraph, Financial Times, Herald, Poetry Review, Literary Review, Harvard Review, Hindu, Hindustan Times, Times of India, Indian Express, Outlook, India Today, and broadcast on BBC, PBS, CNN IBN, NDTV, AIR, air & Doordarshan. Sen’s newer work appears in New Writing 15 (Granta), Language for a New Century (Norton), Leela: An Erotic Play of Verse and Art (Collins), Indian Love Poems (Knopf/Random House/Everyman), Out of Bounds (Bloodaxe), Initiate: Oxford New Writing (Blackwell), and Name me a Word (Yale). He is the editorial director of AARK ARTS and the editor of Atlas. Sen is the first Asian honoured to speak and read at the Nobel Laureate Festival. The Government of India awarded him the senior fellowship for “outstanding persons in the field of culture/literature.”
He is Editor, Special Assignments, Mint newspaper, which is part of the Hindustan Times Group. Here, Sunit has launched Mint’s daily in-depth Long Story page. For the past 15 months, this daily 2,000-word story has made a mark for its detailed and credible journalism. Apart from investigations, the Long Form series captures trends in politics, business, technology, science, society, the environment, and culture.
Before this, Sunit had a nine-year stint at Outlook magazine. He was Managing Editor at the magazine and looked after Outlook’s website. He has also worked in leadership roles in The Indian Express, The Times of India, and Business Today. Sunit Arora graduated in economics from St Stephen’s College, Delhi University, followed by a short master’s in business journalism studies. He is based in New Delhi.
Swapna Liddle’s abiding love for the history of Delhi has translated into a PhD as well as several books and articles. She also seeks to raise awareness about the city’s historic precincts through her work for the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). She has written Delhi: 14 Historic Walks, Chandni Chowk: The Mughal City of Old Delhi, and has edited and annotated translation of Sair-ul-Manazil.
Swati Chopra is senior commissioning editor, Penguin Random House India, where she has commissioned and published a wide range of titles across non-fiction, including politics, investigative journalism, foreign policy, military and current affairs. She works in New Delhi and can occasionally be found walking in the Himalayas, where she has a home.
Tavleen singh is a political columnist, author and television personality. She writes three weekly columns. In English for The Indian Express and in Hindi for Amar Ujala and Jansatta. She is the author of five books. Her latest book ‘India’s Broken Tryst’ came out in April 2016 and went on to become a bestseller as did her earlier book ‘Durbar’. She has covered South Asia for the Sunday Times, London, and worked for several major Indian newspapers and magazines including India Today and the Telegraph, Kolkata. She has also hosted TV shows in Hindi and English of which ‘Ek Din, Ek Jeevan’ and ‘India Inc’ ran for more than seventy episodes each.
Tilak Devasher is the author of three acclaimed books on Pakistan. The first titled- ‘Pakistan: Courting the Abyss’ was published in December 2016. A noted Pakistani commentator – Khaled Ahmed – termed it ‘easily the best book on Pakistan’. His second book- ‘Pakistan: At the Helm’ was published in July 2018. A Pakistani reviewer in Dawn has termed it as ‘a book that any future leader of Pakistan ought to have by their bedside, simply because it is the sum of all that has gone before.’ A third book, ‘Pakistan: The Balochistan Conundrum’ was published IN July 2019
Tilak retired as Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India in October 2014. He is currently a member of the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) and also a Consultant with the Vivekananda International Foundation. During his professional career Tilak specialized in security issues, especially pertaining to India’s neighbourhood. Post retirement, he has continued to take a keen interest in such issues with special focus on Pakistan. He has served in J&K, Delhi and abroad. Tilak has taken to writing after his superannuation. Apart from his books, he has written articles for the Economic Times, Indian Express, The Tribune, India Today, Vivekananda International Foundation, Indian National Security Review, USI, Catch News, Daily O and South Asia Monitor. He has also appeared on TV shows on India Today, Times Now, CNN News, Rajya Sabha TV, Aaj Tak, Wion and CNBC. He has delivered lectures and mentored in various institutions like the Army War College, Naval War College, College of Air Warfare, National Defence College, Staff College, CLAWS, IDSA, Centre for Air Power Studies, ORF, VIF etc. Tilak is an alumnus of Mayo College, Ajmer and St. Stephen’s College, Delhi.
Tuhin A Sinha
An Indian author and politician. He is known for the novels The Edge of Power, The Edge of Desire, Of Love and Politics, That Thing Called Love, 22 Yards, Let The Reason Be Love and Daddy. He is presently the Mumbai BJP spokesperson. His prior experience has been of Screenwriter in the Hindi Film & Serial Industry. An impeccable career in Politics has inspired Mr. Tuhin to pen down 9 Best sellers. Tuhin is involved in Active Government Initiated Campaigns on road Safety as well. Tuhim also has Co-Founded an NGO named ‘The Ignited India’. This NGO supports Health, Education, Women, Agriculture, Children and the Nation’s Culture & Heritage.
Commodore (Retd) C Uday Bhaskar, Director, Society for Policy Studies , New Delhi has the rare distinction of having headed three Indian think-tanks. He was previously Director, National Maritime Foundation (2009 – 2011) and earlier with the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi from 1989 where he served as a Senior Fellow, Deputy Director (1996-2004) and later as Offg. Director of the Institute till late 2005.
Subsequently he was appointed Member-Secretary of the Government of India Task Force on ‘Global Strategic Developments’ – a report submitted to the Prime Minister of India.
Bhaskar was Editor, Maritime Affairs and Strategic Analysis; and was on the Editorial Board of Contemporary Security Policy (USA). He has edited books on nuclear, naval/maritime and international security related issues; and has contributed over 60 research articles / book chapters to journals and books in India and abroad. He has been invited as a guest lecturer at the Indian NDC ; NATO College, Rome and the Foreign Service Institute, US State Dept.
He was a Visiting Scholar in International Security at the McGill University, Montreal, Canada under the aegis of the Centre for International Peace and Security Studies (CIPSS) ; and an International Development Cooperation ( CICOPS) Fellow, University of Pavia, Italy.
Bhaskar is also an extinguished art critic and is the author of a book on the work of Anjolie Ela Menon.
Ushinor Majumdar is the author of ‘God of Sin: The Cult, Clout and Downfall of Asaram Bapu’, published by Penguin Books and released in December 2018. The book is the first in India to make a holistic investigation into the criminal empire of corrupt ‘godmen’ in India and is being adopted into film for a biopic on the godman. Ushinor is an investigative journalist, currently working with Confluence Media—an investigative journalism startup. He has previously worked with Outlook magazine, Tehelka and Hindustan Times and actively works with groups supporting press freedom. He has written in-depth stories on economic offences, natural disasters, security, governance, judiciary, media, crime and also reported from conflict zones in central India. He collaborates on cross-border investigations and his reports have been published in international media outlets and cited in academic work.
Vishnu Som is an Indian prime-time news anchor and media personality. He is a senior editor and principal anchor with New Delhi Television (NDTV). He has reported extensively on war, conflict, aviation and natural disasters. He has covered the Kargil, Afghanistan and Iraq wars and humanitarian disasters around the world.
Som has interviewed major world leaders and personalities including Vladimir Putin, Henry Kissinger, Bill Gates, and Shinzo Abe, among others. He was awarded best Television Presenter in India by the News Television Awards in 2012.
He was also awarded India’s most prestigious award for journalism – The Ram Nath Goenka Award for on-the-spot reportage of 2011 Tsunami in Sendai, Japan and reported from the worst-affected areas including Fukushima.
Vivek Katju is a retired Indian Foreign Service officer.
During his professional career he served in Indian Missions in Cairo, Abu Dhabi, Washington DC, Suva and Kuala Lumpur. He also served as India’s ambassador to Myanmar, Afghanistan and Thailand. In the Ministry of External Affairs he held the appointments of Joint Secretary (Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan) in 1995-2001 and Special Secretary (International Organisations and Political) in 2007-2009. His last assignment was that of Secretary West.
Vivek Katju retired in August 2011.