Amarjit Singh Dulat, spymaster extraordinaire, is a former special director of the Indian Intelligence Bureau and former secretary of the Research and Analysis Wing. After retirement, he was appointed as an advisor on Jammu and Kashmir in the Prime Minister's Office and served in this capacity from January 2000 to May 2004.
His books include Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years (co-authored with Aditya Sinha), The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace (structured as a dialogue with Asad Durrani, former head of Pakistan’s ISI, moderated by Aditya Sinha), and A Life in the Shadows: A Memoir.
Amrita Tripathi is an author, former journalist, and the founder-editor of The Health Collective that focuses on mental health and storytelling. She is also the founder of Tap In Tribe, a new startup focusing on women and leadership. She has 20 years of work experience as a journalist and in digital, and was most recently the Head of Content Partnerships, Twitter, India.
Her novels, Broken News (2010) and The Sibius Knot (2015) deal with the darker side of urban realities. Tripathi has also co-authored the non-fiction Mindscape series of books on mental health with leading psychologists — Real Stories of Dealing with Depression (2019) with Arpita Anand, Young Mental Health (2020) with Meera Haran Alva, and The Age of Anxiety (2021) with Kamna Chhibber.
She most recently co-authored Life Interrupted: Understanding India’s Suicide Crisis (2022) with Dr Soumitra Pathare and Dr Abhijit Nadkarni.
Anirudh Suri is managing partner at India Internet Fund, a technology-focused venture capital fund based in India and the US. He has previously worked with the Government of India in Delhi, McKinsey and Company in New York, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C., and Goldman Sachs in London.
He has written extensively on foreign policy, geopolitics, technology and entrepreneurship in publications such as The Indian Express, Foreign Policy, The New Republic and Asia Times. An alumnus of the Wharton School and the Harvard Kennedy School, he studied economics and politics at Haverford College and the London School of Economics, and learnt Mandarin at the Beijing Foreign Studies University in China.
His book The Great Tech Game: Shaping Geopolitics and the Destinies of Nations sees technology as a historical force on a par with agriculture, trade, industrialization, colonization and capitalism in shaping geopolitics, and outlines what a nation must do to emerge as a winner in the world that technology is remaking.
An alumnus of IIT Kharagpur, Anirudha Bhattacharjee is an SAP consultant by profession, a musician by passion, and a chronicler of music and cinema by avocation. R.D. Burman: The Man, The Music, his first book (Harper Collins, co-written with Balaji Vittal), won the National Award for best book on cinema in 2012. Gaata Rahe Mera Dil (also co-written with Balaji Vittal and published by Harper Collins) won the MAMI Award in its inaugural year, 2015. His other books include S.D. Burman: The Prince-Musician (Westland, 2018, re-published by Penguin, 2022, co-written with Balaji Vittal), Kishore Kumar: The Ultimate Biography (Harper Collins, 2022, co-written with Parthiv Dhar), and Basu Chatterji And Middle-of-the-Road Cinema, published in 2023 by Penguin Random House.
Bhattacharjee lives with his family in Kolkata, where he spends time watching films with his wife when not pretending to work or watching football.
Anjum Hasan is the author of three novels and two short story collections, which have been shortlisted for the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Hindu Literary Prize, and the Crossword Book Award, and have been longlisted for the Man Asia Literary Prize and the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in Granta, The New York Review of Books, The Paris Review, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among many others.
Anup Soni is a prominent Indian actor and anchor. He pursued his acting education at the esteemed National School of Drama.He appeared in notable movies like Kharaashein: Scars From Riots (2003), Hum Pyar Tumhi Se Kar Baithe (2003), and Hathyar (2003)One of his notable works includes his association with the serial Crime Patrol on Sony TV, where he has made significant contributions. Anup Soni continues to be an active figure in the entertainment industry, captivating audiences with his performances.
Anuradha Kapur is a theatre maker and teacher. Her plays have travelled nationally and internationally, and she has taught in universities in India and abroad. She is the founder of Vivadi, a working group of theatre makers, visual artists, filmmakers, musicians and writers. Among her acclaimed productions are Nale Wali Ladki, text by Geetanjali Shree (2018), Dark Things co-directed with Deepan Sivaraman (text by Ari Sitas, 2018), Virasat (2013), Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (2012), Jeevit ya Mrit (2011), Centaurs (2006), Pata Shahar Mumbai (2004), Antigone Project (co-directed with Ein Lall, 2003) and Sundari: An Actor Prepares (1997). Her writings on performance have been widely anthologized, and she has authored a book, Actors Pilgrims Kings and Gods: The Ramlila at Ramnagar (1993, 2004). She won the Sangeet Natak Akademi award for Direction in 2004. Anuradha Kapur completed her term as Director, National School of Drama, New Delhi, in 2013. She is presently Visiting Professor at Ambedkar University Delhi.
Aparna Piramal Raje is a writer, public speaker, educator and the author of the recently released, Chemical Khichdi: How I Hacked My Mental Health, a book on her experiences of living with a serious mental health condition for the last two decades.
Her first, Working Out of the Box: 40 stories of leading CEO, looks at leadership through the lens workspaces and workstyles and was based on her popular column, Head Office, in the Mint newspaper. She has also previously contributed to the UK’s Financial Times Weekend, a leading global newspaper.
A visiting faculty member at the Anant National University in Ahmedabad and former CEO of her family’s office furniture business, Aparna studied at Oxford University and Harvard Business School.
ARATI KUMAR-RAO is an environmental photographer, writer, artist and National Geographic Explorer documenting the effects of environmental degradation. Working primarily in the Indian subcontinent, she chronicles anthropogenic changes in landscapes and their fallouts on livelihood, culture and biodiversity. She communicates through still and moving images, soundscapes, longform narratives and art. Her work has appeared in National Geographic Magazine, Emergence Magazine, Hindu, Guardian, Hindustan Times, Mint and BBC Outside Source, among other outlets.
When not on assignment, she divides her time between the Western Ghats and Bangalore, where she is a happy mother to three rescued indoor cats.
Bachi Karkaria is a game changer in India’s journalism, having helped elevate local issues to Page 1 and creating path-breaking brands for the Times of India Group. She is also a popular columnist, best-selling author, litfest curator and international media trainer. She was the first Indian board member of the Paris-based World Editor’s Forum, a Jefferson Fellow from Hawaii’s East West Center, and recipient of the Mary Morgan Hewitt Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Karkaria’s books include the critically acclaimed In Hot Blood: The Nanavati Case That Shook India; the bestseller biography of M.S. Oberoi, Dare To Dream; Mills, Molls And Moola; Behind The Times; Mumbai Masti; The Cake That Walked; and collections of her columns. Her biography of Capt CP Krishnan Nair will be published in February 2022.
Award winning journalist Bahar Dutt is considered as one of the foremost voices for the environment in India. She is trained as a conservation biologist- and has worked as an Environment Editor with India’s leading English newschannel CNN-News18 and has won over 12 national and international awards for her reportage on green issues. Her hard hitting investigative stories have led to the shut down of an illegal mine in Goa and a shopping mall on a river bed.
Barkha Dutt is an Indian television journalist and author. She has been a reporter and news anchor at NDTV and Tiranga TV. She currently runs her own digital news channel called 'MoJo Story'. She is also an opinion columnist with The Hindustan Times and The Washington Post. She emerged as a prominent figure after her frontline war reporting on the Kargil Conflict between India and Pakistan in 1999. Dutt has won many national and international awards, including the Padma Shri. At NDTV, Dutt was the host of the weekly, award-winning talk-show We The People as well as the daily prime-time show The Buck Stops Here.
An engineering graduate from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, Balaji Vittal has spent 30 years in the corporate world.
He co-authored the National Film Award-winning R.D. Burman: The Man, The Music (2011), the MAMI Award-winning Gaata Rahe Mera Dil – 50 Classic Hindi Film Songs (2015), and the highly acclaimed S.D. Burman: The Prince-Musician (2018).
Balaji’s latest book (and his first as a solo author), Pure Evil – The Bad Men of Bollywood, is a delightful walk through the rogues’ gallery of Bollywood villains from 1929 to 2021 featuring villainy in dazzling shades of black and gray. The book’s haul of anecdotes come from interviews with nearly 50 leading actors, film-makers and script writers.
Dinesh Thakur is a trained chemical engineer. He turned whistleblower against Ranbaxy after witnessing large scale data fraud at the company. His efforts led to Ranbaxy pleading guilty to violating American law before an American court in 2013.
The company agreed to pay a penalty of $500 million dollars as a part of its guilty plea. For his actions, he received the Joe A. Callaway Award for Civic Courage and the ACFE Cliff Robertson Sentinel Award. Since 2014, he has advocated for reform of India's colonial era Drugs & Cosmetics Act 1940 and has founded an advocacy group called the Citizens for Affordable, Safe & Effective Medicine (CASEM). He is also the founder and president of the ThakurFamily Foundation, a philanthropic organisation that provides grants for research on public health and health journalism in India.
Farzana Behram Contractor. There is so much that goes behind these three names, too much to compress in a few lines. There are facets that range from food and wine to travel and pets, photography, farming, interiors and to just creating – anything! Her work is her life. And she lives through the activities she pursues, the people she encounters, the places she visits, the tastes and flavours she experiences, and most importantly, the wondrous life she sees through the eyes of her two pet Lhasa Apsos. A woman of many hats is what defines her best. She is totally grounded and believes in simple living. An exponent of the Wabi Sabi philosophy, she derives joy from little things and has the ability to see beauty in brokenness.
Today, she stands accomplished in many ways, a successful publisher, editor and chief photographer of UpperCrust (2000) and Dogs & More (2011), curator of India’s first and finest food exhibition, the UpperCrust Food & Wine Show (2003) and Dog A’Fair (2008) - India’s first pet event, a doggie carnival that captured the imagination of people. Pet parent to Inshy and Tasha she is a homemaker on the move, with hectic schedules, both professional and personal which being part of the big social whirl of Bombay, demands of her.
When she started off, married to the reticent and renowned journalist and editor, Behram Contractor aka Busybee, who she helped launch the city’s much respected daily, The Afternoon Despatch and Courier (1985), she says she didn’t possess an iota of knowledge of the future that lay ahead.
“But, by Allah’s grace, it has been a fulfilling one. Filled with opportunities to hone my skills, be it in writing, shooting pictures, building homes, designing interiors, organising events, even growing vegetables and so much more. All this while I juggled time, imbibing the art of time management. To multi-task is no mean feat, but that’s what life is all about for me, shifting gears. And there’s a long road ahead still...” signs off Farzana Contractor.
Ian Cardozo was born in Mumbai on 7 August 1937 and studied at St Xavier’s School and College. He joined the National Defence Academy in July 1954 and was awarded both the Gold Medal for being the best all-round cadet and the Silver Medal for being first in the order of merit. Commissioned into the 5th Gorkha Rifles in 1958, he was the first officer of the Indian Army to be awarded the Sena Medal for gallantry on a patrol on the Sino-Indian Border in 1959
He subsequently took part in the Sino-Indian War of 1962 and the Indo-Pak Wars of 1965 and 1971. Wounded at the Battle of Sylhet in East Pakistan, he proved to the Indian Army that losing a leg did not come in the way of command of troops and is the first war-disabled officer of the Indian Army to command an Infantry Battalion and Brigade. He subsequently commanded an Infantry Division and retired as Chief of Staff of a corps in the North-East.
After retirement, he worked for an NGO taking care of disabled children and was handpicked by the Government of India as chairperson of the Rehabilitation Council of India. He is presently chairperson of the Board of Management of the Centre for Military History and Conflict Studies.
His books on military history, short stories and poems on war have been widely acclaimed.
Harinder Baweja, an editor with the Hindustan Times, is well-known as a fearless, committed reporter covering conflict zones. She covered the Kargil war for India Today magazine, and also edited and authored chapters for 26/11 Mumbai Attacked. With a commitment to bringing untold stories to light, Baweja's work in Kargil Ki Ankahi Kahani reflects her dedication to honouring the sacrifices of individuals during the Kargil War.
Indrani Mukerjea is an accomplished media baron. From founding INX Services in Kolkata to co-founding and leading INX Media in Mumbai, Indrani's entrepreneurial spirit and exceptional achievements propelled her to great heights.
As regional director for the Asia-Pacific at IMD International Search Group, she garnered recognition for her expertise and leadership abilities. The Wall Street Journal included her in its prestigious list of 50 Women to Watch.
Mukerjea has also embraced philanthropy and is actively engaged in promoting fairness, justice, and rehabilitation in the prison system. Striving to improve the lives of undertrials in prisons, she is working towards providing them with easy access to legal aid and teaching them their rights.
Jaidip Mukherjea is considered one of India’s greatest tennis players. Jaidip represented India at the Davis Cup for a remarkable 13 years, competing in 97 matches across 43 ties.
Mukherjea started his tennis career at La Martiniere College in Kolkata. In 1954, he joined the Rajkumari Amrit Kaur Tennis Coaching Scheme, a programme supported by the Indian government. Besides achieving success in international tennis tournaments as an individual player, Jaidip also contributed significantly to the Indian Davis Cup team. He made his Davis Cup debut in 1960 when he played against Indonesia in Bangkok.
Crosscourt is his autobiography.
Jaspreet Bindra is the Founder of Tech Whisperer Ltd in the UK, which offers thought leadership and advisory on digital transformation and digital technologies such as AI (including Generative AI), Web3 and the future of work.
He has authored the bestselling The Tech Whisperer: On Digital Transformation and the Technologies that Enable It, published by Penguin Random House, as well as The Immune Organisation: Future Proofing Organisations from COVID-like Disruptions, published by Amazon Westland.
Recognised as ‘Digitalist of the Year’ by Mint and SAP in 2017, Bindra is an educator at Duke Business School Corporate Education, moderator/educator for Harvard Business Press, expert at Singularity University and visiting faculty at Ashoka University. He has earlier served as a scholar-in-residence at the Indian School of Business. An accredited Coach (PCC ICF), he is currently pursuing a Masters in AI, Ethics and Society at the University of Cambridge.
Juhi Babbar is an Indian film and theatre actress. Born into a family of actors - she is the daughter of film actor Raj Babbar and theatre personality Nadira Babbar - Juhi developed an interest in acting at an early age. She started with theatre and made her stage debut alongside her mother Nadira in Begum Jaan. Her talent impressed her father, and he cast her in Kash Aap Humare Hote opposite singer Sonu Nigam.
Juhi continues to contribute to theatre both as an actor and director.
Juhi Babbar Soni is an actor and theatre coach. She is the daughter of veteran actor and Member of Indian Parliament, Raj Babbar and theatre stalwart Nadira Zaheer Babbar, founders of Ekjute, one of the most influential and iconic theatre groups of India. Juhi Babbar Soni, herself is one of the leading names in Indian theatre scenario today and has performed more than 500 shows of her plays nationally and Internationally.
She is a recipient of the National Award- Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar, to honour her contribution to Indian Art and Theatre. She curated theatre for the world’s largest free art’s festival, namely Kala Ghoda Arts Festival held in Mumbai – India for 7 years. She also leads various drama workshops and personality development programs for children, youth, aspiring actors and corporates.
She has acted in Hindi and Punjabi films as well. More recently Hansal Mehta’s and Anubhav Sinha’s Hindi film Faraaz that premiered at the London Film Festival and is now on Netflix. She is winning admiration, accolades and great reviews for her performance. She has also been a part of Neeraj Pandey’s film Aiyaary with Manoj Bajpai. She has acted in Ghar Ki Baat Hai, a television series for Sharukh Khan’s Company Red chillies. Juhi will be soon seen in Salman Khan production & Reel Life production’s new film, a web series by Endemol and a short film too.
The play “With Love, Aap Ki Saiyaara” written, directed and acted by Juhi has had 70 Shows in a record breaking period of 22 Months in more than 25 Cities is winning hearts all over the county and has got her great reviews.
KALPANA SWAMINATHAN ANDISHRAT SYED
Kalpana Swaminathan and Ishrat Syed are doctors who write together as Kalpish Ratna, an almost anagram of their first names. Writing about science is their passion, and they believe its true place is in the arts.
Their Compendium of Family Health offers a quick logic to understanding symptoms, crises and confusing medical-ese thrown about everywhere. Their novel, The Quarantine Papers, was shortlisted for the 2010 Vodafone-Crossword Award.
Their latest book is Gastronama: The Indian guide to eating right.
Kim Lalli is Senior Partner at the London-based law firm, Wedlake Bell, and the first woman to hold this post. She specialises in commercial property law, and her day-to-day job is acting for residential developers. She headed her firm's India Group for many years.
Although of Indian origin, she has lived in the UK for most of her life, having arrived there at the age of three. She is passionate about her connections to India, and heads back thrice a year. An avid reader since she could first read, she is rarely to be found without a book on the go, and has attended each and every KSLF since it started many years ago.
Kubbra Sait is an Indian actor best known for her performance in Netflix's Sacred Games. The other web series she has been part of include Illegal: Justice, Out of Order and The Verdict: State vs Nanavati. She has also starred in films such as Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare, Jawaani Jaaneman, Sultan and Ready.
The is author of Open Book: Not Quite a Memoir, which she terms a “part memoir, part inspirational treatise”. It lays bare her struggles, achievements, joys and failures in her journey from being a shy and anxious Bangalore girl to the competitive world of Hindi cinema.
Madhur Singh is a writer and editor with the World Economic Forum, a communications consultant for non-profits and sustainability-oriented businesses, and a fact-checking trainer with the Google News Initiative’s training network.
She was previously managing editor at IndiaSpend.com and FactChecker.in, India’s foremost public interest evidence-based journalism websites. She has been the India correspondent for Bloomberg Law and Time magazine, as well as a reporter, sub-editor and leader writer with leading Indian newspapers, the Hindustan Times and The Indian Express.
A 2020 Chevening South Asia Journalism Fellow, she has a Master's in International Relations from the University of Warwick, UK, and a Master's in English Literature with Post-Colonial Studies from Panjab University, Chandigarh. She is also a Terra Climate Action Fellow, and currently pursuing a course for women on boards of non-profits.
Malavika Sangghvi is one of India’s most respected and credible journalists with over three decades of experience at its pinnacle and has pioneered many trends and genres in the field of lifestyle, luxury and celebrity journalism. The New York Times once described her as ‘a chronicler of social mores’. She was editor of the Bombay Times at its start and was responsible for making it one of The Times of India Group’s biggest successes and was also part of the founding teams of India Today’s Bombay Magazine, Mid-day Newspaper and DNA newspaper. She has also edited the Sunday Review the largest circulated English broadsheet in India and over the span of her career has written extensively for the International publications including The New York Times, Harpers and Queen, Conde Nast Traveler (UK) and The Sunday Times (UK). In the past she has held prestigious positions such as Consulting Editor at The Business Standard and India Editor at Harpers and Queen and India correspondent CNN.com. She has also done television and radio shows for The Star TV and The BBC Networks. She was appointed as Head of India Bureau at the Edipresse Group, Switzerland where her mandate was to focus on the luxury world in India for nine of the Asia Tatler titles across Asia.
Mani Shankar Aiyar was educated at Welham, Doon, St Stephen’s and Cambridge before joining the Indian Foreign Service after a brief entanglement with the Intelligence Bureau. He served for 26 years in posts abroad, ranging from Brussels to Hanoi to Baghdad and Karachi, with ambassadors who alternated between being outstanding mentors and nasty sticks-in-the-mud. He also had two postings at the headquarters in as many as three different ministries. In 1985, Rajiv Gandhi inducted him into the Prime Minister’s Office, from where he migrated four years later into politics and parliament. His special interests include Panchayati Raj and Pakistan.
Multi-hyphenate Maria Goretti is an economics graduate, a professional jazz and tap dancer, a former model and MTV VJ, a roaming presenter for international cricket, the mother of two spirited teenagers, a diver and mountain climber, a Cordon Bleu chef, the creator of a successful YouTube channel and the author of Gourmand World award-winning book From My Kitchen to Yours. To the Moon and Back is her first collection of poetry.
Mohua hosts the very popular and successful podcast, The Mohua Show, where she interviews artists, entrepreneurs, and other individuals who are striving to create economic and social change 'Imandari se'.
In her earlier stint she was the national head of GCI, the public relations division of The Grey Worldwide Advertising Group. She has rich experience in other communications firms like Brandcomm, HCL, ITC, and Genesis PR, she has led teams towards successful brand campaigns.
Teri Meri Stories with Mohua Chinappa on RedFM is a special audio series in which Mohua has candid conversations with real people who are not afraid to share real stories.
Her book Nautanki Saala and other stories, which she published in 2020-21, was awarded in the best debut nonfiction category by PVLF 2023.
Nirupama Dutt is a poet, journalist, and translator of many seasons. She writes in both English and Punjabi as well as occasionally in Hindi. Her recent works include the biography of Punjab’s Dalit icon, ‘The Ballad of Bant Singh’ and translation into English of Gulzar’s anthology of poetry, Pluto, published by HarperCollins.She received the Punjabi Akademi Award for her anthology of poems, Ik Nadi Sanwali Jahi (A Stream Somewhat Dark). Her poetry anthologies have also come out in English and Hindi: The Black Woman and Buri Auraton Ki Fehrist Se. Her other books include Stories of the Soil (translation of 41 stories from Punjabi, published by Penguin) Poet of the Revolution (translation of the memoirs and poetry of Lal Singh Dil by Penguin). Books edited by her include Our Voices, an anthology of SAARC poetry, and Half the Sky and Children of the Night, two collections of Pakistani short stories. Her journalistic work is vast and has written thousands of articles, critiques and features over a long career. At present she is writing a Chandigarh novel.
Parakala Prabhakar studied at JNU and the London School of Economics. He was Communications Adviser to the Government of Andhra Pradesh between 2014 and 2018 and held a Cabinet rank. He is currently MD of RightFOLIO, a knowledge enterprise based in Hyderabad. He is also a widely-read columnist on current affairs and has a popular Youtube channel, ‘Midweek Matters’, where he discusses issues related to India’s politics, economy and contemporary society.
He is married to Nirmala Sitharaman, the current finance minister of India. They have a daughter, Parakala Vangmayi, who is a journalist.
Prabha Chandran has been an editor with some of India’s leading newspapers and has pioneered several lifestyle publications, both online and offline, through the 90s including the Saturday Times, HT City, The Huffington Post, India Today Plus and Indya.com. Subsequently, she worked internationally as a Senior Communications Advisor with the World Bank and the United Nations on a series of specialised development projects in South-east Asia and Africa.
Chandran divides her time between her homes in Oslo and New Delhi and is currently on the board of the Norway India Chamber of Business and Industry based in Oslo.
Prashant Reddy Thikkavarapu studied law at the National Law School of India University, Bangalore and Stanford Law School, California, as a J.N. Tata Scholar. After a stint in the litigation teams at two Delhi-based law firms specialising in intellectual property law, he worked in academia and think tanks in New Delhi, Hyderabad and Singapore. Over the last few years, he has been advising Dinesh Thakur in his advocacy campaign for the reform of drug regulatory law in India. Prashant is also the co-author of Create, Copy, Disrupt: India’s Intellectual Property Dilemmas (OUP 2017).
This is R. Gopalakrishnan’s eighteenth book. Gopal has played every type of board role on more than twenty-five company boards over thirty-five years. In India and abroad. As CEO, executive director, non-executive director, board chairman, and as independent director. His board experience is rich and has provided him a ring-side view of corporate governance, as it has evolved since its nascent stirrings in the 1990s to its more exhaustive (and exhausting) avatar, now.
Governance tends to be obsessed with the technicalities and rules. Gopal believes governance—corporate or public—has as much to do with human behaviour as it is about rules and procedures; it is about neeti (conduct) and neeyat (intent), as much as about niyam (rules)!
Gopal welcomes reader feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rahul Singh has been a writer, journalist and editor of Reader's Digest, The Indian Express, and the Sunday Observer. He has penned, among other books, an engaging biography of his father Khushwant Singh, In The Name of the Father.
He is a life member of the Delhi Public School Society. He was president of the media awards committee at the Population Institute, Washington.
Rahul studied in 11 schools as his father was posted all over during his years in the foreign service. He graduated in history from King’s College, Cambridge.
Raj Babbar (born 23 June 1952) is an Indian Hindi and Punjabi film actor and politician belonging to Indian National Congress. He is a three-time member of the Lok Sabha and a two-time member of the Rajya Sabha. He was the state President of Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee.
Rajan Kashyap, a member of the Indian Administrative Service, served the government, mainly in the state of Punjab, for 38 years, retiring as Chief Secretary. He studied Mathematics and English literature in India, and Development Economics (MPhil, Cambridge University, UK) and had a two- year stint as a university teacher. This book recounts his days as a district officer, as an unraveller of red tape, as head of an agricultural cooperative, and as a handler of crucial service assignments. Post-retirement, he was Punjab’s first Chief Information Commissioner. He also worked for the voluntary blood donation movement and continued his association with tennis. He lives in Chandigarh with his wife Meena, a former Professor of Botany. His daughter, Bini, and his son Anurag, observe indulgently his undiminished passion for physical fitness, English and Urdu poetry, and worthy causes,
Roopinder Singh is a writer and journalist. His latest project was to consult on the book, Sikhs: The Story of their Faith and Culture” (DK, 2023), which chronicles the 500-year history of the Sikhs and various philosophical lessons and cultural practices that make the religion and its followers unique. He is also the author of MIAF Arjan Singh DFC (Rupa, 2002), Guru Nanak: His Life and Teachings (Rupa, 2004), Guru Nanak Jiwan aur Sikshaian (Rupa, 2007) and Delhi ’84 (Sahit Parkashan, 2014). He is the co-editor of the bilingual festschrift “Giani Gurdit Singh 2023-2007” (Sahit Parkashan, 2008) and of Sikh Heritage: Ethos and Relics (Rupa, 2012). Je also edited the festschrift, An Inspiring Journey: Inderjit Kaur Sandhu (Sahit Prakashan, 2021).
He got his Senior Cambridge ‘O’ level certificate at Yadavindra Public School in 1976. At St Stephen’s College, Delhi, he earned his BA in Philosophy (Honours) and MA in Philosophy. Subsequently, he worked as a journalist in New York, USA, for six years and later moved to Chandigarh, where he retired as Senior Associate Editor of north India’s leading daily newspaper, The Tribune. In his three decades there, he wrote extensively, held many charges and founded the Internet edition. An award-winning photographer, he continues to write books.
Sarah Jacob is a former Senior Editor at NDTV. Previously, Sarah was the US correspondent for NDTV and covered both the 2008 and 2012 Presidential elections. Sarah has reported extensively on the environment and as part of a series titled ‘Save India’s Coast’, she has travelled India’s entire coastline reporting on the environmental destruction taking place along it. Sarah graduated on a full scholarship from New York University with a Master’s degree in Broadcast and Documentary Journalism.
S.Y. Quraishi joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1971 and rose to become the seventeenth chief election commissioner of India. He was featured in the Indian Express' list of 100 Most Powerful Indians of 2011 and 2012. He introduced a number of electoral reforms, such as the creation of a voter education division, expenditure monitoring division, the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management, and launched the National Voters Day. In October 2017, he was appointed the ambassador of democracy by International IDEA (Institute of Democracy and Electoral Assistance), Stockholm, of which he is a board member.
Ujjal Dosanjh was born in the Jalandhar district of Punjab in 1946. He emigrated to the UK in 1964 and from there to Canada in 1968. He was Premier of British Columbia from 2000 to 2001 and a Liberal Party of Canada Member of Parliament from 2004 to 2011, including a period as Minister of Health and Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism, Human Rights and Immigration. In 2003 he was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, the highest honour conferred by the Government of India on overseas Indians.
Varun Feroze Gandhi is an Indian politician and a third-term member of Parliament for Lok Sabha from the Pilibhit constituency. He is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party and was inducted into Rajnath Singh's team in March 2012 as General Secretary. He belongs to the Nehru–Gandhi family, which has occupied a prominent place in the politics of India since a time before the country's independence in 1947.
Shri. Vikramjit Singh Sahney is an Indian entrepreneur, educationist, philanthropist and social activist. A self-made man with very humble beginnings.
Shri Sahney has been conferred with one of the highest civic honour of Padma Shri by the Hon'ble President of India for his extraordinary contribution towards the welfare of society at large, besides many other national and international accolades.
He is the Member of Parliament for Rajya Sabha.
Given his ongoing pursuits for the progress and growth of Sikhs and Punjabi Community – he was conferred the ‘Sikh of the year Award’ by the High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom Mr. Vikram Kumar Doraiswami at London this year.
Shri. Vikramjit Sahney is the Founder and Chairman of Sun Foundation, a philanthropic initiative engaged towards community welfare by initiatives to empower the disadvantaged communities through its various programs.
Titled as Corona Warrior for his valuable contributions at the time of lockdown, wherein he facilitated,
- Setting up of 400 bed Covid Care Centre at Gurdwara Rakab Ganj”, Delhi.
Provided for 1000 oxygen concentrators and 2000 D-type oxygen cylinders at various covid care camps, to name a few.
PSA oxygen generation plant at Gandhinagar.
- First ever artificial intelligence enabled Corona mobile testing clinics & Life ambulance for Delhi NCR & state of Punjab for corona testing at the doorstep.
He strongly feels for the socio-economic uplift and his initiatives like Angels of Sun has supported many youth to achieve a fulfilling and prosperous career.
He is rightfully known as the ‘Employment man of India’ – as he has helped thousand of youth to acquire skills at the fully funded world skill centres to secure jobs.
His tireless working towards skilling and job placements for youth is commendable. He was also the board member of NSDC.
Besides this Mr. Vikramjit Singh Sahney is International President of World Punjabi Organisation having over 20 chapters all over the world and has organised various events to unite Punjabis & promote Rich Culture and heritage.
He has been instrumental in rehabilitation support for many evacuations from abroad. He single handedly sent three chartered flights on his expense to Kabul to evacuate 500 Afghani Hindus and Sikhs.He initiated "My Family My Responsibility" for their rehabilitation and not only took care of the monthly household expenses but also Medical Insurance and free skill trainings to ensure their financial independence.
Last year he helped with evacuation of 17 students stranded at Turkey who had been duped by agents on false pretexts.
He recently volunteered possible support for 700 students at Canada who may face deportation and also enabled discussions at MEA and concerned authorities at Canada.
Under Mission Hope he offered support towards extradition of Indian girls stuck at Oman, after being duped by agents on false pretexts, he has extended monetary support towards clearance of their fines and travel arrangements and has offered them free trainings with assured jobs in Punjab.
He recently helped with the extradition of 17 youth stuck at Libya.
A true visionary, Vikramjit Sahney is a multifaceted personality, playing many roles with panache.
He was formerly an honorary counsel general of South Africa.
Aside from that he is a passionate Sufi singer and continues to mesmerize with his soulful songs on various social issues.
He is a force to reckon with, not just because he is a self-made person and having achieved success rising from grass root level by sheer hard work but also because of his charismatic and humble personality that is a motivation for many.