Kanhaiya Kumar is a former president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union. He is also a leader of the All India Student Federation, the student wing of the Communist Party of India. In February 2016, he was arrested and charged with sedition by the Delhi police for allegedly raising anti-India slogans at a student rally, but released on interim bail for lack of conclusive evidence. In 2016, Kumar’s autobiography, Bihar to Tihar: My Political Journey, about his journey from his childhood in rural Bihar, college days in Patna, to his political coming of age in Delhi, was published.
Born and educated in a small town in Bihar, India, Tabish Khair is the author of various books, including the novels, The Thing About Thugs and How to Fight Islamist Terror from the Missionary Position. In 2016, he published a study, The New Xenophobia and a new novel, Jihadi Jane (available as Just Another Jihadi Jane outside India) to critical acclaim.
Deepa Iyer is a South Asian American activist, writer, and lawyer, and currently the Senior Fellow at the Center for Social Inclusion. In November 2015, she published her first book, We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future. It was selected by the American Librarians Association's Booklist magazine to be one of the top 10 multicultural non-fiction books of the year. The book was also selected to receive an American Book Award in 2016 from the Before Columbus Foundation. Most recently, Iyer served as the Executive Director of South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT). Her opinion editorials on issues ranging from the post 9/11 backlash to immigration reform to anti-Black racism have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Al-Jazeera America,and The Nation. She blogs at www.deepaiyer.com and tweets at @dviyer.
Ramachandra Guha is a historian and biographer based in Bangalore. His books include The Unquiet Woods, A Corner of a Foreign Field, and India after Gandhi, and Gandhi Before India. Guha’s books and essays have been translated into more than 20 languages. His awards include the Leopold-Hidy Prize of the American Society of Environmental History, the UK Cricket Society’s Literary Prize, the Ramnath Goenka Award, the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Padma Bhushan, and the Fukuoka Prize.
Writer and humorist Firoozeh Dumas was born in Abadan, Iran, and moved to California at the age of seven. She is the author of two New York Times bestselling memoirs, Funny in Farsi and Laughing Without an Accent. Her most recent novel, It Ain't So Awful, Falafel was recently published to rave reviews. She has also written for the New York Times, LA Times, Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, Gourmet Magazine and many other publications. Although Firoozeh’s readers are initially attracted to her work because of the humor, it is her powerful message of shared humanity that has resonated with fans across the globe and kept her on the lecture circuit for the past thirteen years. Firoozeh currently lives in Germany with her French husband of almost thirty years, their youngest child and Nutella, the dog they rescued in Greece.
Aruna Chakravarti is a well known academic, creative writer and translator. Her first novel The Inheritors was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and her third, Jorasanko, received critical acclaim and also became a best seller. Her seven translated works include an anthology of songs from Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitabitaan, Saratchandra Chattopadhyay’s Srikanta and Sunil Gangopadhyay’s Those days, First Light and Primal Woman: Stories. She also has two academic works to her credit. Her latest novel Daughters of Jorasanko is a sequel to Jorasanko. Among the various awards she has received are the Vaitalik Award, Sahitya Akademi Award and the Sarat Puraskar.
Abhinav Singh Bindra is India’s first, and only, individual Olympic gold medallist. He won the 10m air rifle event at the 2008 Beijing Games, and the world championship in the same event in 2006. He also won gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Glasgow. In 2014, Bindra joined GoSports Foundation, Bangalore, which provides support to young shooters through the Abhinav Bindra Shooting Development Programme. Bindra has been honoured with the Arjuna Award, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and the Padma Bhushan. His autobiography, A Shot at History: My Obsessive Journey to Olympic Gold, was co-authored with sportswriter Rohit Brijnath.
Sunil ‘Sunny’ Gavaskar was one of the greatest opening batsmen of all time. He set world records during his career for the most Test runs and centuries, and held the record of 34 centuries for almost two decades before it was broken by Sachin Tendulkar. He was the first player to score centuries in both innings of a Test match thrice. Since he retired, Gavaskar has served as a television commentator, analyst and columnist. He is the recipient of both the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan, and has written several books including Sunny Days – Sunil Gavaskar’s Own Story, Idols, and Cricket World Cup: The Indian Challenge (co-authored with Ashis Ray).
Paul Beatty is a contemporary American author. Beatty received an MFA in creative writing from Brooklyn College and an MA in psychology from Boston University. He is a 1980 graduate of El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills, California. In 2016, he won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Man Booker Prize for his novel The Sellout. It was the first time a writer from the United States was honoured with the Man Booker. His other novels are The White Boy Shuffle, Tuff and Slumberland. Beatty has edited an anthology of African-American humor called Hokum and has two volumes of poetry: Big Bank Takes Little Bank and Joker, Joker, Deuce. The former was the result of a book deal he won for being crowned the first ever Grand Poetry Slam Champion of the Nuyorican Poets Café.
An author, politician, and former international civil servant, Shashi Tharoor straddles several worlds of experience. Currently a second-term Member of Parliament (MP) and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs, he has previously served as Minister of State for Human Resource Development and for External Affairs in the Government of India. During his nearly three-decade long prior career at the United Nations, he served as a peacekeeper, refugee worker, and administrator at the highest levels, serving as Under-Secretary General during Kofi Annan’s tenure. Tharoor is also an award-winning author of fifteen previous books of both fiction and non-fiction. Born in London in 1956, Tharoor was educated in India and the United States, completing a PhD in 1978 at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. In 1998 the World Economic Forum in Davos named him a “Global Leader of Tomorrow”. He is a recipient of several awards including a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman. In 2012 the King of Spain awarded him the Encomienda de la Real Order Espanola de Carlos III.
Anita Desai is one of India’s foremost writers. She has written numerous works of fiction, including Clear Light of Day, In Custody, and Fasting, Feasting – all shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize – as well as Baumgartner’s Bombay and The Zigzag Way. Her most recent work is The Artist of Disappearance. Another novel, Fire on the Mountain, won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize, while her children's book The Village by the Sea, won the Guardian Children's Fiction Award. A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in London, the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York, Girton College and Clare Hall at the University of Cambridge, and most recently Sahitya Akademi in India, Desai has also been a Professor of Writing at MIT and has frequently been honoured with awards, among them the Alberto Moravia Prize for Literature and the Padma Shri.
Nayomi Munaweera is the Sri Lankan-American author of two novels, Island of a Thousand Mirrors and What Lies Between Us.Her first book was short-listed for the Man Asia Prize and the DSC Prize. It won the Commonwealth Prize for the Asian region. According to the Huffington Post, “Munaweera’s prose is visceral and indelible, devastatingly beautiful-reminiscent of the glorious writings of Louise Erdrich, Amy Tan and Alice Walker...” The New York Times book review called her first novel, “incandescent”. Nayomi’s second novel, What Lies Between Ushas been hailed as one of the most exciting literary releases of 2016.
Janaki Srinivasa Murthy, popularly known as Vaidehi, is a well-known writer of modern fiction. Her work includes several collections of short stories and poetry, a novel, essays, children’s dramas, biographies and translations. She is one of the most successful women writers in the language and her writings, generally described as post-modernist, depict the plight of women in an indignant and rebellious tone. Vaidehi has received many prestigious literary awards, such as the Karnataka Sahitya Akademi award, the M.K. Indira award, and the Katha award. In 2009, she won the Sahitya Akademi Award for her collection of short stories, Krauncha Pakshigalu.
Popuri Lalita Kumari, popularly known as Volga, is a Telugu poet and writer well-known for her feminist perspective. She won the prestigious Sahitya Akadem Award in 2015 for her short story compilation Vimukta Kadha Samputi. Volgi has penned and translated around 50 works, including novels Sweccha, Sahaja, Manavi, and Kanniti Keratala Vennela, and two short story collections Rajakiya kathalu and Prayogam. Apart from being a writer, she has worked as head of the scripting division in Usha Kiran Movies, and has also made three feature films, which won critical acclaim and awards. Volga is associated with ASMITA, a well-known feminist voluntary organization
MIR AFSAR ALI
Mir Afsar Ali, or 'Mir' as he is popularly known, is a radio jockey, television anchor, singer, comedian, and actor. He is the host of Mirakkel, a comedy show on Zee Bangla and Hi Kolkata on Radio Mirchi. He also appears on a Sunday audio suspense show named Sunday Suspense on Radio Mirchi. He has acted in movies like Bhooter Bhabishyat, Chaplin, Obhishopto Nighty, and the Bong Connection. He is a recipient of the Kalakar Award.
Javed Akhtar is a poet, lyricist, scriptwriter, and activist. Some of his most successful works were created with Salim Khan, as the script-writing duo Salim-Javed. Together, they wrote super-hit films such as Zanjeer, Deewar, Sholay and Don. His books, Talking Films and Talking Songs, are seen as definitive works on Indian cinema, while his first collection of Urdu poetry, Tarkash, received rave reviews. is a collection of poems and nazms originally written in Urdu but includes translations in Devangiri and English.Akhtar was been awarded the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan, and received the Sahitya Akademi Award for Lava in 2014. He has won the National Award for best lyricist five times.
Anita Anand is a British television and radio presenter, journalist and biographer. She is the co-author, with William Dalrymple, of Kohinoor – The Story of the World's Most Infamous Diamond (2016) and the author of Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary. Before joining the BBC, Anita was the European Head of News and Current Affairs for Zee TV. She was one of the youngest TV news editors in the country, taking over the reins at just 25. She has since presented several news and current affairs programmes for BBC radio and television. She has also written for a variety of publications, including The Independent, Guardian, The Asian Age and India Today.
Tiffany Atkinson is a poet and literary critic. Her poems are published widely in journals and anthologies, and her first collection, Kink and Particle (Seren, 2006) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, and winner of the JerwoodAldeburgh First Collection Prize. Her second, Catulla et al (Bloodaxe, 2011) was shortlisted for the Wales Book of the Year, andher third collection, So Many Moving Parts, (Bloodaxe 2014) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and winner of the Roland Mathias Poetry Prize. Her forthcoming collection, which explores medicine and experiences of healthcare, will be published in 2017, and was winner of the 2014 Medicine Unboxed Creative Prize. Tiffany gives regular readings and workshops across the UK and internationally, and is a Professor of Creative Writing (Poetry) at the University of East Anglia.
Rana Ayyub is a journalist and author of the Gujarat Files: Anatomy of a Cover Up. Ayyub worked at Tehelka, and after resigning in November 2013, has been an independent columnist. Her investigation of the Gujarat fake encounters has been listed by Outlook magazine as one of the twenty greatest magazine stories of all time across the world. In 2011, Ayyub received the Sanskriti Award for excellence in journalism. In 2016, she received the Journalist of the Year award by Muslim Mirror, one of the leading voices for minority justice in India.
Inga Žolude is a prose writer, essayist and literary critic. She is the author of three novels: Warm Earth (2008), Red Children (2012) and Santa Biblia (2013); and two collections of short stories, Solace for Adam’s Tree (2010) and Stories (2015). She is currently working on the sequel to Warm Earth, which has become a cult book in her native Latvia. She holds a PhD in comparative literature and, having spent a year in the US on a Fulbright scholarship, teaches creative writing at the University of Latvia. She has won various literary awards including the European Union Prize for Literature 2011 for Solace for Adam’s Tree. Individual stories and excerpts of her novels have been translated and published in anthologies in English.
CHITRA BANERJEE DIVAKARUNI
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning author, poet, activist, and teacher of writing. Her work has been published in over 100 magazines and anthologies, including the Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, Best American Short Stories, and the O Henry Prize Stories. Her awards include an American Book Award, a PEN Josephine Miles award, a Light of India award, and the Italian Premio Scanno Award. Her books, The Mistress of Spices and Sister of My Heart, have been made into movies, and One Amazing Thing and Palace of Illusions have been optioned. Her work has been translated into 29 languages, including Dutch, Hebrew, Bengali, Turkish, and Japanese, and several have been bestsellers both nationally and internationally. In 2015, she was chosen by the Economic Times for their list of Twenty Most Influential Global Indian Women. Her newest novel is titled Before We Visit the Goddess.
Poorna Banerjee works as a writer, editor, and runs a food and lifestyle blog called Presented by P. She is also a restaurant consultant and food-critic, and has worked with a number of restaurants, improving and changing the food served, optimising the scope for providing better customer satisfaction, and helping in promoting their business through different social media portals. Poorna has also been a Relationship Manager with UrbanZing.com, Features Editor for Core Sector Communique, and a marketing executive with Orient Blackswan.
Usri Banerjee is a gifted singer and musician who can seamlessly move between the genres of Indian folk, classical and pop music. She is a member of the band Oikyotaan and adds the rustic sounds of the harmonium, which she has been playing since the age of 3, to give their sound a new dimension. She is also been formally trained in Rabindrasangeet. Usri made her Bollywood playback debut with the song Man Mauji in the film Gangs of Wasseypur.
Tathagata Banerjee, the grandson of Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay, was born in 1974. He has been a lover of books since his childhood, for which he is grateful to his father. Other than that, he is passionate about computers on a technical level, likes to spend his time unproductively thinking about the meaning of life, the universe and everything, and believes he has a telepathic connection with dogs by virtue of sharing some of their nature. Books, however, have remained his greatest love, and there is little that he enjoys more than curling up under a blanket on a rainy afternoon with an anthology of ghost stories. Tathagata has been teaching English at Bangabasi College since 2000, and is currently enrolled in a PhD programme at Jadavpur University.
Dr. Anuttama Banerjee is a Psychologist and Academic Mentor. She holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Calcutta University. She is attached to some reputed hospitals and clinical units as a Consultant Psychologist. Apart from her clinical practice she is associated with various academic institutions as a mentor in the area of academic administration and professional self enhancement of students and staff members. She is a guest faculty in West Bengal State University. She has written two books of poetry. Her second book, Margin Theke Bichyuto unfolds the emotive journey of a marginalised woman.
A 12-time National Award winner, Jahnu Barua was born in Assam. He graduated in Science from Guwahati University and did his Film Direction course from FTII, Pune. One of India’s internationally acclaimed filmmakers, Jahnu makes films in Assamese and Hindi. A landmark in Indian cinema was The Catastrophe, which won the National Award for Best Film (Golden Lotus) and several international honours including the Silver Leopard and World Ecumenical Award at Locarno IFF. Jahnu is also a social activist involved in organisations that deal with youth, women, children, health, and the environment, among other issues. He is also the recipient of the Padma Shri (2003) and the Padma Bhushan (2015).
Kunal Basu was born in Kolkata and educated in India and the USA. He is the author of five critically acclaimed novels, The Opium Clerk; The Miniaturist; Racists; The Yellow Emperor’s Cure and Kalkatta. He has also written a collection of short stories, The Japanese Wife, of which the title story has been made into an award winning film. He has recently published his first Bengali novel Rabi-Shankar. His works have been translated into several languages and nominated for prestigious awards. Basu has worked as a filmmaker, actor, and professor – at McGill University, and most recently at the University of Oxford. He lives in Oxford and Kolkata.
Vikram Bhatt is a film director, producer and screenwriter. His grandfather, Vijay Bhatt, was one of the pioneers of Indian cinema, while his father Pravin Bhatt is a cinematographer. Vikram began his career at 14, as an assistant to Mukul Anand, later working with industry stalwarts like Shekhar Kapur and Mahesh Bhatt. Vikram made his directorial debut with Janam (1992) and has since delivered several hits including Ghulam (1998) and Raaz (2002). Raaz was a commercial success and marked the first instalment of the “Raaz Series”. The fourth film of the series, Raaz Reboot, was released in 2016.
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya is a Kolkata based journalist, presently working with the Hindustan Times, covering politics, socio-economic and cultural affairs. He has authored the book Lalgarh and the Legend of Kishanji and pursues creative writing in Bengali.
Born in Kasauli in 1934, Ruskin Bond grew up in Jamnagar, Dehradun, New Delhi and Shimla, worked briefly in Jersey, London and Delhi, and moved to Mussoorie in the early 1960s to write full time. His first novel, The Room on the Roof, written at age seventeen, received the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize in 1957. Bond has since written over 500 short stories, essays and novellas and more than 40 books for children. His latest collection of short stories is Death Under the Deodars: The Adventures of Miss Ripley-Bean (December 2016). He has received the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Padma Shri, Padma Bhshan, and the Sahitya Akademi’s Bal Sahitya Puraskar in 2013.
Sugata Bose is the Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History and Affairs at Harvard University, and has served as Director of Graduate Studies in History at Harvard and as the Founding Director of Harvard's South Asia Institute. His specialisation is modern South Asian and Indian Ocean history. Bose was educated at Presidency University, and obtained his PhD from Cambridge University. Bose's many books include A Hundred Horizons: the Indian Ocean in the Age of Global Empire, Modern South Asia: History, Culture, Political Economy (with Ayesha Jalal) and His Majesty's Opponent: Subhas Chandra Bose and India's Struggle against Empire. He was a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1997, and is a Member of Parliament.
Joie Bose is a poet and a student of literature from SXC and JNU and has been writing for over fifteen years. Her first book of poems Corazon Roto and Sixty Nine Other Treasons got published in 2015 and individual works have been published both nationally and internationally. Professionally an educator, she is attached to Jadavpur University, TIU, SMU, and Bangabasi College.
Sarah Bower is the author of three novels and many short stories, and her work has been translated into ten languages. Her first novel, The Needle in the Blood, won the Susan Hill Award 2007 and her second, The Book of Love, was a Toronto Globe and Mail bestseller. She has taught creative writing at the University of East Anglia, Lingnan University in Hong Kong and the Open University. She holds an MA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia, and was shortlisted for the Curtis Brown scholarship in 2001. She helped to found the mentorship scheme for literary translators now run by Writers’ Centre Norwich, to set up translation masterclasses in collaboration with the Nippon Foundation and has been a regular participant in British Centre for Literary Translation Summer Schools for several years.
Alexandra Büchler is Director of Literature Across Frontiers. A translator and editor of numerous publications, she has worked as cultural manager for thirty years, and served on the board of the advocacy network Culture Action Europe and of the UK Translators’ Association. She is the editor of New Voices from Europe and Beyond. She has translated more than twenty-five books of fiction and poetry, and publications on visual arts and architecture, and edited six anthologies of short fiction. Her translation of the Czech modern classic The House of a Thousand Floors by Jan Weiss was published in 2016.
Arthur Cardozo is a poet, adman, dramatist, script writer, feature writer and cartoonist and has his own advertising, communication and branding agency. He is also a workshop consultant on team-work and corporate skills.
Dr Debnita Chakravarti is Associate Professor of English at Shri Shikshayatan College where she tries to get students reading to learn to learn to read as well. She was earlier guest lecturer at Presidency College, Calcutta University, and taught French to management students. After Jadavpur she did her PhD from the University of Reading. She was subsequently a Charles Wallace scholar with a visiting fellowship at the University of Southampton. Dr Chakravarti has for the past few years hosted several literary events with Ian Rankin, Alexander McCall Smith, Ruskin Bond, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Ashwin Sanghi, Amish Tripathy among others.
Bonnie Chakraborty is a playback singer and music producer from Kolkata, and was the lead vocalist of the band Krosswindz till 1998. He has released four Bengali albums and worked with leading composers like AR Rahman, Jeet Ganguly and Shantanu Moitra. He also formed the band Oikyotaan with Kartick Das Baul, a well known baul singer from Guskara in Bengal. The band is a platform for Indian folk music, using western influences of rock and jazz. As a playback singer, he got his break in the film Mangal Pandey – The Rising and has since sung in several Hindi, Tamil and Bengali films.
Swapnamoy Chakraborty’s writings are popular both among scholarly and casual readersand bring out the lives of people beyond his native Bengal. Swapnamoy graduated with Chemistry from Calcutta University, and has a Masters in Bengali. He began his career as a programme executive at All India Radio, but continued to write. Among his notable collections of stories are Bhumi Sutra, Asto Choron Solo Hantu, Video Bhagaban-Nakuladana, and Jersey Gorur Ulto Bachcha, while his significant novels are Chatuspathi and Navam Parba. Among his awards are the Manik Bandopadhyay Award, Shilpa Sanskriti Award, Tarasankar Puraskar, and the Ananda Puraskar for Halde Golap.
Born in Batanagar in 1976, Smaranjit Chakraborty is an eminent writer of modern Bengali novels and short stories. He writes mainly for the younger generation and his books can be found in print and on the Web. Some his popular works are Patajharar Morshum, Palta Hawa, Budbud, Aamader Sei shohore, Finge, Unish kurir prem, Etuku Bristi, Beej and, most recently, Mom-Kagoj.
Piya Chakraborty is a PhD scholar pursuing her research in the Department of Sociology at Shiv Nadar University. She has a Bachelor’s from Presidency University, a Master’s in Sociology from JNU, and an M.Phil. with interdisciplinary training in the social sciences from the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta. She was employed as a researcher in an international sociological research project titled, ‘Moments of danger, moments of opportunity: the role of individuals as change agents in organisations’ at Sweden's Umea University for two years. She was also briefly employed as guest faculty in the Department of Sociology, Jadavpur University.
Born in Calcutta, Avik Chanda graduated from Presidency College, followed by a Masters at the Delhi School of Economics. He works as a consultant, while moonlighting as an artist. Avik has held a solo exhibition of paintings; his poetry has appeared in over 20 journals, including Orbis, Aesthetica, Stride Magazine, Queen’s Quarterly, The Allotment and First Proofs. He has published two collections: Jokhon Bideshe, in Bengali, and Footnotes. Avik’s debut novel, Anchor, was published in 2015 to wide critical acclaim. His current projects include a business book and a translation project.
Ananya Chatterjee is a poet and a software professional (gold medallist from Calcutta University) who has published three books, The Poet and His Valentine, Another Soliloquy and A Blind Man's Rainbow. Her works have been published both nationally and internationally. She has also been a translator for works of Soumitra Chatterjee and Jogen Chowdhury.
Soumitra Chatterjee is one of Bengal’s most talented and internationally acknowledged actors. He made his debut in 1959 in Satyajit Ray’s Apur Sansar. Awards received by him include the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Padma Bhushan, Officier des Arts et Metiers, and a Best Actor National Award in 2007 for Podokkhep. He starred in Sujoy Ghosh’s short film, Ahalya and in the critically acclaimed Bela Seshe: In the Autumn of my Life, and played an important cameo in the award-winning Praktan. He has written a book, The Master and I: Soumitra on Satyajit (translated by Arunava Sinha).
Ashim Chatterjee, born in 1944, is a former Naxalite leader. Educated at Presidency College, he left his studies after graduation for the Naxalbari peasant uprising in 1967. He joined the armed agrarian revolution under the CPI (Marxist-Leninist), which was led by Charu Mazumdar. He parted ways with Mazumdar in 1971, and after being arrested and spending seven years in prison, he formed a new party in 1984, the Communist Revolutionary League of India, of which he was General Secretary. Still a staunch Marxist, and occasional columnist, he lives in Salt Lake, Kolkata.
Anindya Chattopadhyay is a Bengali singer, writer, lyricist, composer, film director and actor, and one of the lead singer-composers of Bangla band Chandrabindoo. Among his awards are the National Award for Best Lyrics for Pherari Mon from Antaheen (with fellow-band member Chandril Bhattacharya) and the Filmfare Best Lyricist Award (East) for the song Raat Jaaye (Alik Sukh). In 2016, he and Anupam Roy composed the music and lyrics for the hit film Praktan. He published his first novel, Niruddesh Somporke Ghoshona in 2012, directed the coming-of-age comedy-drama Open Tee Bioscope in 2015, and acted in the films Jaatishwar and Satyanweshi.
SWATI CHATURVEDI (@bainjal)
Swati Chaturvedi is an author and journalist who has worked with the Indian express, The Statesman and Hindustan Times. She is currently on a sabbatical to write two works of fiction and one of non-fiction. Her first book, Daddy Girl's was published in 2016. She regularly contributes investigative stories and analysis to DailyO.com (India Today), ScoopWoop.com and The Hindu Business Line. She has broken a number of stories on social media and her tweets have often appeared in national and international publications. She lives and works in New Delhi.
Sukanta Chaudhuri is Professor Emeritus at Jadavpur University’s Department of English. He has been Director of the School of Cultural Texts and Records at Jadavpur and a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. He has many publications on the European Renaissance and textual studies to his credit, and is currently preparing the Third Arden edition of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. He has worked on links and parallels between the European and Bengal Renaissances, and was Project Director for Bichitra, the complete Tagore variorum website, and General Editor of the Oxford Tagore Translations. He has also translated Saratchandra Chatterjee, Sukumar Ray, Jibanananda Das and other Bengali writers into English, as well as the complete limericks of Edward Lear and selected writings of Leonardo da Vinci into Bengali. He edited the collection Calcutta: The Living City, and writes and campaigns about education and civic issues.
Supriya Chaudhuri is Professor of English (Emerita) at Jadavpur University, Kolkata. She was educated at Presidency College and the University of Oxford. She works on Renaissance literature and culture, translation, cultural history, and modernism, and has published widely in these fields. She also reviews new fiction and has judged fiction and translation awards.
Devdan Chaudhuri is the author of the novel Anatomy of Life(Picador) – nominated for Tibor Jones South Asia Prize. He has published short fiction, poetry, literary essays and analytical pieces on politics and culture for various independent publications and alternate media. He is one of the contributing editors of The Punch Magazine and an executive member of Calcutta based group – Poetry Paradigm.
P. Chidambaram is a former Union Minister of Finance and has also served as the Union Minister for Home in the Government of India. He is an eminent lawyer practicing in the Supreme Court. A public intellectual and author, his collection of articles was published in 2008 under the title A View from the Outside: Why good economics works for everyone. He writes a regular column on the economy, politics, social issues, foreign policy and contemporary affairs. He is a member of the INC, and a trustee of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.
Tisca Chopra is an Indian film and television actress. She made her film debut with Platform in 1993. In 2007, she played Darsheel Safari's mother in Taare Zameen Par, and was nominated for a Filmfare Award (Best Supporting Actress). For 10ml Love, based on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Tisca was nominated for Best Actress award at the 11th Annual New York Indian Film Festival. Tisca has starred in popular television series like Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii and 24, and was recently named Best Actress for Chutney at the Filmfare Short Film Awards. She has also published a book, Acting Smart.
William Dalrymple is a Scottish historian and writer, art historian and curator, as well as a prominent broadcaster and critic and the bestselling author of In Xanadu, City of Djinns, From the Holy Mountain, The Age of Kali, White Mughals, The Last Mughal, Return of a King, Nine Lives and, most recently, The Writer’s Eye. His books have won numerous awards and prizes, including the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, the Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year Award, the Ryszard Kapuscinski Award, the Hemingway Prize, the French Prix d'Astrolabe, the Wolfson Prize and the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize. He has been longlisted four times and shortlisted once for the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction. In 2012, he was appointed Whitney J. Oates Visiting Fellow in Humanities at Princeton University, and the OP Jindal Distinguished Lecturer at Brown University in 2015. He is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Asiatic Society. He and his wife and three children divide their time between London and Delhi. He is currently working on The Anarchy, a history of the Indian sub-continent between 1739 and 1803 which saw the collapse of the Mughal imperial system and the rise of the East India Company.
Samantak Das has successfully prolonged his misspent youth by remaining in university for more than 50% of his life, during which period he has written and lectured on 19th-century literature, translation, the relationships between the biological sciences and literature, environment, ecology and primary education. He spends a fair amount of time in rural Bengal, as a volunteer for an NGO that provides vocational training for economic rehabilitation to impoverished young women and men. He is a (harassed) father to three children, a lover of food (and drink) and a lapsed student of karate. His favourite activity is sleeping and his e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Aparajita Dasgupta received her Bachelor’s degree in History from Presidency College, and her MA, MPhil and PhD degrees in History from Calcutta University. She is currently Associate Professor of History at Lady Brabourne College. She has been a Visiting Scholar in South Asian Studies in the University of Pennsylvania, and a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at St Mary’s University. She is working on her first academic book – Domesticating Nationalism: Women and the Politics of Gender in Bengal, 1870-1950. As an active creative author in Bengali, she has written Surer Smriti, Smritir Sur, a book of short stories, Chhayapath, a novel, and a collection of autobiographical vignettes, Ichchher Gaachh.
Devangshu Datta is on the Editorial Board of Business Standard, a financial daily, and the editor of Indian Infrastructure, a monthly magazine that is focussed on infrastructure. He is also the Science & Technology Correspondent of theBusiness Standard and tracks developments in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Previous careers include brief stints as an investment banker, an IT-entrepreneur and financial trader.
Kiran Desai was born in Delhi and grew up here before moving to England aged fourteen years. She was educated in India, England and the US. Her first novel, Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard won the 1998 Betty Trask Award, and her second, The Inheritance of Loss, set in the mid-1980s in a Himalayan village, won the 2006 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. She was awarded the 2013 Berlin Prize Fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin.
NABANEETA DEV SEN
Nabaneeta Dev Sen is an award-winning poet, novelist and academic. A former Professor of Comparative Literature at Jadavpur University, Sen has published more than 80 books in Bengali: poetry, novels, short stories, plays, literary criticism, personal essays, travelogues, humour writing, translations and children’s literature. She is a well-known children’s author in Bengali for her fairy tales and adventure stories, with girls as protagonists. She has also written prize-winning one-act plays. Among her best known works are Pratham PratyayAmi AnupamBama-bodhini, Nati Nabanita, Srestha Kabita and Sita Theke Suru. She is a recipient of the Padma Shri, the Celli Award from the Rockefeller Foundation and the Sahitya Akademi Award.
Born in Nilda in the undivided district of Medinipur, Sudhir Dutta lost his parents at the age of three and was brought up by a distant widow-aunt. After completing his schooling he came to Kolkata and completed his Masters in English from Calcutta University. He joined the State Civil Service in 1979and retired as Managing Director, West Bengal Tribal Development Co-operative Corporation Limited and Ex-officio Joint Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal. He began writing poetry at 14, and was one of the editors of Samved. He has published eight books of poems, including a collection titled Kobita Sangraho, and two books of prose.
Albert Forns is a journalist and award-winning Catalan writer. He works for the magazine Time Out Barcelona, the newspaper ARA and the cultural center CCCB. He has published two novels – Jambalaia (2016) which won the Anagrama Prize, and Albert Serra (la novel·la, no el cineasta) (2013) which picked up the Documenta Prize. He has also published a volume of poetry, Ultracolors (2013), inspired by the work of contemporary artists. He regularly writes on theatre, literature and visual arts for his blog as well as for Time Out magazine and the digital magazine Núvol.com. He is one of 10 New Voices from Europe 2016, selected by Literary Europe Live.
Gaurab Chatterjee, or Gabu as he is popularly known, is a drummer and music director. He was born in Kolkata into a family with musical tradition, particularly Indian Classical Music that his father Gautam Chattopadhyay revolutionised with contemporary music and guitar. Gabu is also a background score composer and music director of Bengali films, including Kagojer Bou and Necklace. In 2013, he was part of an international collaboration that brought together rock, reggae, baul and Indian folk music in a project called The Three Seas.
Usha Ganguli , a renowned theatre activist , lives and breathes theatre as her first love and passion. Devoted and dedicated to theatre , her works are enriched by her scholarly and literary sense and sensibilities as has been evident in her presentations through Lok Katha, Mahabhoj , Holi , Court Martial , Rudali , Mukti , Chandalika , Manasi , Hum Mukhtara and so on. Rangakarmee, the theatre troupe set up by Ganguli in 1976 , remains the most active and prolific group performing in Hindi not only across India but also travelling abroad extensively. Ganguli is perhaps the first and only theatre director in India to be directing a play for a Pakistan theatre group called 'Ajoka Theatre' under their two-year long programme 'Theatre for Peace ' project . Rangakarmee is also, probably , the first theatre organisation to collaborate with a theatre group in Pakistan. She has directed three short plays based on Saadat Hasan Manto's women characters for the theatre group Nagorik Natya Shampraday at Dhaka, Bangladesh. The plays are named Naam Gotrohin. Ganguli has also scripted several films including Rituparno Ghosh's Raincoat, Buddhadeb Dasgupta's She, and Sandip Ray's Target among others. Her achievements have been recognised in the form of numerous awards including the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, a Best Production and Best Director Award by All India Critic Association and Paschim Banga Natya Academy for Rudali. At present , apart from being the Director and President of Rangakarmee, Ganguli is a member of SWAN (South Asia Women's Network ) which is a wing of SAARC. She is also the Scholar in Residence at the Viswa Bharati University.
Sagarika Ghose has been a journalist for over two decades, and has worked at The Times of India, Outlook and The Indian Express. She was the deputy editor and a prime time anchor on the news network CNN-IBN, from which she resigned in July 2014. She is now consulting editor at The Times of India. Ghose has won several awards in journalism and is the author of two novels, The Gin Drinkers and Blind Faith, both of which were published worldwide. In 2014, The Rhodes Project included Ghose on a list of 13 famous women Rhodes Scholars.
Sujoy Ghosh is a writer, actor and film maker, known for the films Kahaani, its sequel Kahaani 2: Durga Rani Singh, Jhankaar Beats, and Bang Bang. His short film Ahalya, starring Soumitra Chatterjee, Radhika Apte and Tota Roychowdhury, released in 2015 and went viral on the Net. But it was Kahaani, with Vidya Balan in the lead, that brought him critical acclaim and commercial success. He made his acting debut in Rituparno Ghosh’s Satyanweshi as Bengali detective Byomkesh Bakshi in 2013. He has a degree in engineering, an MBA from Manchester University, and has worked at Reuters.
Pradeep Gooptu was Resident Editor and Vertical Head at Business Standard and The Economic Times. He says his role as mentor of many of the finest writers from the East in the field of business and political economy is one achievement that gives him great satisfaction. He was head of a major chamber of commerce and in addition set up publication focussed projects in India and Bangladesh. A trustee of the Calcutta Debating Circle, he is a well known public speaker and debater who helps set up major — often international — public discourse events.
RAHUL GUHA ROY
Rahul Guha Roy is an English language singer-songwriter from Kolkata with over 28 years experience in the Indian and South-East Asian music Industry. He is the front man of the rock band ‘Cassini’s Division’. Roy kick-started his solo career in 2013 with his debut album Midnight Train, following that up with Portraiture in 2016. He is currently doing research for what will become Shillong veteran musician Lou Majaw’s biography.
An alumna of Loreto House, La Martiniere for Girls and Presidency College, Priyadarshinee Guha is a History gold medallist from Calcutta University. Passionate about teaching, she chose to make this her life force. Born into a family steeped in reading, theatre and cinema, these have enhanced her work enormously over the years. Presently the Dean of Activities at The Heritage School, she actively engages in marrying her love for the arts with her teaching and in steering the children to explore and identify creative avenues of expression, through drama, dance, singing, music and literary endeavours.
Ruchira is a feminist campaigner, who teaches at New York University, has edited two anthologies, As if Women Matter: The Essential Gloria Steinem Reader and River of Flesh: The Prostituted Woman in Indian Fiction, is the editor of a journal, Antyajaa: Indian Journal of Women and Social Change, and has founded, Apne Aap Women Worldwide, which helps more than 20, 000 girls and women from red light areas in India. She has been awarded the French Legion d' Honore, Clinton Global Citizen award, UN NGO CSW Woman of Distinction, Sera Bangali and an Emmy for her work. She believes in a world in which no girl or woman is bought or sold. She lives in Forbesganj, Bihar, and New York.
Pracheta Gupta is a writer and journalist. One of the front runners of contemporary Bengali literature, some of his stories have been translated into Hindi, Oriya and Marathi. Some have also been adapted into films: Chander Bari was made into a Bengali film by director Tarun Majumdar, while director Sekhar Dasmade based his film Necklace on Chor-er Bou, and Balukabela.com was directed by Partha Sen. Pracheta also writes for magazines Unish-Kuri, Sananda and Desh. In 2016, he published Ami Ekjan Meye, Sagar Hoite Sabdhan and Swapner Charai.
Philip Hensher is a novelist, critic and journalist, and a Professor at Bath Spa University. He was among the Granta 20 Best of Young British Novelists in 2003. The author of several novels, a collection of short stories and an opera libretto, he has won numerous prizes including the Somerset Maugham Award and the Stonewall Journalist of the Year. His 2008 novel, The Northern Clemency, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Commonwealth Prize. His latest book is Tales of Persuasion (2016). He writes regularly for The Independent, The Spectator and Mail on Sunday.
Lucy Hughes-Hallett’s biography of the poet Gabriele d'Annunzio The Pike (2013) won all three of the UK's most prestigious prizes for non-fiction - the Samuel Johnson Award, the Duff Cooper Prize and the Costa Biography Award. Her previous books are Cleopatra - Histories, Dreams and Distortions; and Heroes. Encouraged by reviewers who described The Pike as being as compelling as the best fiction, she has just finished her first novel. Peculiar Ground will be published in May 2017. She reviews books for The Observer and The New Statesman. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Ashley Judd is an American actress and a Feminist activist. Her films include Heat, Kiss the Girls and Double Jeopardy, Dolphin and Star Trek. She is more involved in global humanitarian efforts and political activism. She is the UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador, and an advisory board member of Apne Aap Women Worldwide since its inception. Ashley has a Masters degree in public administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
Hemant Kanoria is Chairman and Managing Director, Srei Infrastructure Finance Limited. A pioneer in the field of infrastructure, Hemant has reshaped India’s infrastructure landscape with innovative ideas and a strong passion for excellence. Hemant’s contribution towards inclusive infrastructure development in India has been non-pareil. He is a visionary and a strategist who always believes in offering simple solutions to complex problems. Many of his ideas were first of its kind and created new business sectors. He is known in the country for having unleashed a new wave of rural entrepreneurship. He is also the Trustee of the Kanoria Foundation. The group is at the vanguard of thought leadership in the country, especially in the area of infrastructure development and financing. Hemant has over three decades of experience in industry, trade and financial services. He is currently serving as Board Member in the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Guwahati, Neotia University and New Delhi Institute of Management. He has held several prestigious positions like President of Calcutta Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the FICCI National Committee on Infrastructure and served on the Board of Governors of Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (IIM-C) besides being a Member of the Regional Direct Taxes Advisory Committee, Government of India.
Actor, producer, director, Rishi Kapoor is one of India's most prolific actors. He made his debut in his father's film Mera Naam Joker(1970) as a child artist and received a National Film Award for his role. Kapoor's first leading role as an adult was opposite Dimple Kapadia in Bobby(1973). Since then he has acted in around 150 films. He was honored with the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Awardin 2008. His biography, Khullam Khulla: Rishi Kapoor Uncensored, written along with Meena Iyer, has just been released.
DIYA KAR HAZRA
Diya Kar Hazra publishes the Picador, Pan and Macmillan lists, as Publisher, Pan Macmillan India.
Angshuman Kar is a young Bengali poet and novelist and Associate Professor of English at the University of Burdwan. He was also the Secretary, Sahitya Akademi, Eastern Region, and a member of the Advisory Board (Bengali) of the Sahitya Akademi. He has ten collections of poems, two novels, three novellas, a collection of short stories and a memoir to his credit. Kar has received seven awards including the Krittibas Puroskar, Bangiyo Sahityo Parishad Puroskar and the Paschim Banga Bangla Akademi Puroskar. He has also completed an Australia-India Council supported project designed for translating Australian aboriginal poetry into Bengali. Kar is one of two assistant editors of Krittibas.
Ruchhita Kazaria or Rruh is from Kolkata. She is an avid peace activist with Aman Ki Asha; a forum dedicated to peace endeavours between India and Pakistan. An advertising professional, she is often seen writing nazms and ghazals in Hindustani, apart from editing books.
Martin Kämpchen is a German author, journalist, teacher and translator. He has spent 43 years in India, most of them in Santiniketan as a translator of Tagore’s poems, a researcher on Tagore’s relationship with Germany and editor of many books on Indo-German cultural exchange. Kämpchen studied German literature, theatre, philosophy and French and has doctorates in modern German literature and Comparative Religion. He has published a novel, stories, diaries, anthologies and essays, taught German in Kolkata, and translated the Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita from Bengali to German. His recent books include his essays The Hidden Side of the Moon (2014) and Rabindranath Tagore: One Hundred Years of Global Reception, co-edited with Imre Bangha (2014). In 2016, he edited Gitanjali Reborn. William Radice’s Writings on Rabindranath Tagore. Among his awards are the Rabindra Puraskar, the Rabindranath Tagore Literature Prize, the Order of Merit of the German government and the inaugural Merck-Tagore Award (2012). He is currently Tagore Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla.
Stephen Kelman was born in Luton in 1976, and worked in various jobs before deciding to pursue writing in 2005. He has written several screenplays for feature films and is the author of the novel, Pigeon English, narrated by 11-year-old Harri, whose family have recently emigrated from Ghana to England. Pigeon English was shortlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, the Guardian First Book Award, the Desmond Elliott Prize, and a Writer's Guild Award (Best Fiction). It has been translated into 25 languages. His second novel is Man of Fire.
Mansoor Khan is an Indian film director and producer. Son of film maker Nasir Hussain, Mansoor made his directorial debut with the super-hit Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak in 1988 for which he received the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment, and Filmfare Award for Best Director. He followed this success four years later with Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander. Akele Hum Akele Tum (1995) and Josh (2000) were moderately successful. In 2008, he co-produced Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na along with Aamir Khan. In 2013, Mansoor published The Third Curve: The End of Growth as we know it, a book which talks about world economy, unsustainable cities and false understanding of money by society.
Deene Khan belongs to a family of traditional folk musicians from village Chelak, Jaisalmer. He was tutored by father Shri Ramjan Khan and sings traditional folk and Sufi songs. He has performed in India and around the world from Europe to Africa and Dubai. He was also the main vocal in Roysten Able’s The Manganiyar Seduction. He most recently performed on the reality show India's Got Talent 2016.
Jayant Kripalani is an actor, director and writer of indeterminate age and character. He lives in Bombay, Calcutta and Himachal depending on what he is working on and whom with.
Kirti Kulhari is a Bollywood actress and model, known for her roles films like Shaitan (2011) and Khichdi: The Movie (2010). However, it was not until her role as Falak Ali in the hit film Pink (2016) that she has become a household name. She has also appeared in many TV commercials, and is a part of the theatre circuit, and has been associated with notable plays like Chinta Chod Chintamani, Shehenshah Of Azeemo, Sakharaam Binder and Roshomon Blues.
A career Civil Servant, Mukul Kumar’s schooling was divided between Bihar, UP and Delhi. An Indian Railway Traffic Service officer, he is presently Director in the infrastructure wing of the Ministry of Railways in New Delhi. In 2007, as operations head of one of the divisions of the Indian Railways, he received the National Award for outstanding service. Alongside his profession he has pursued his passion for writing. In 2012, an anthology of his English poems, The Irrepressible Echoes, was published, while his poem The Beggar was included in the International Library of Poetry in the US. His debut novel, As Boys Become Men, was published in March, 2016.
Dr. KUNAL SARKAR
Dr. Kunal Sarkar is a Senior Vice Chairman, Director and Head of Cardiac Surgery at Medica Superspecialty Hospital. Dr Sarkar practices coronary surgery as his pursuance of passion. He is intimately associated with the academic activities of IACTS and EACTS. A passionate debater, orator and writer, Dr Sarkar is a founder-member of and the president of the Calcutta Debating Circle, and chairs the largest live debate in India during Kolkata’s ‘Festival of the Spoken Word’. He is also president of the Kolkata Sukriti Foundation, and contributes to Bengali and English publications.
Prof. Anuradha Lohia is a molecular parasitologist who has done extensive research in the field of infectious disease. She is a Senior Professor and past-Chairperson of the Department of Biochemistry at the Bose Institute, Kolkata. Previously, she served as the founding Chief Executive Officer of the UK-India collaborative ‘Wellcome Trust/ DBT India Alliance’ – an organisation that supports excellence in medical research. She is currently the Vice Chancellor of Presidency University, Kolkata.
Boria Majumdar is a writer and historian, one of India’s leading sports commentators and journalists, and co-author of Sachin Tendulkar’s autobiography, Playing It My Way. A Rhodes Scholar, Majumdar completed his doctorate from Oxford University in 2004. His thesis was published in India as Twenty-Two Yards to Freedom: A Social History of Indian Cricket. He has taught at the universities of Chicago, Toronto and La Trobe, and was the first Indian to be awarded a fellowship to work at the International Olympic museum archives in Lausanne. He is Consulting Editor, Sports, India Today Group.
Ashok Malik is a senior journalist, with over 20 years of experience. He is a columnist with many leading publications and commentator on contemporary affairs, and also appears on many television shows.He holds a position as distinguished fellow at the Observer ResearchFoundation. His areas of interest are politics, India’s political economy and foreign policy. Beginning his career at the Telegraph (Calcutta), he has worked for The Times of India, India Today and Indian Express, among other publications. He has also served as consulting editor to the Pioneer and Tehelka. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2016.
Deepa Malik is the first Indian woman to win a medal at the Paralympic Games — a silver medal in shot put at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janiero. She has also won accolades for her participation in various adventure sports, and is associated with the Himalayan Motorsports Association and the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India. She is a member of the working group in the formulation the 12th five-year plan (2012–2017) on Sports and Physical Education as nominated by the Planning Commission HRD Division on behalf of the Sports Ministry.
In an attempt to rid himself of the monotony of a nine-to-five routine, Akshay Manwani ventured into the world of freelance writing. His writings on popular Indian culture and on sports have appeared in The Caravan, Man’s World, Mumbai Mirror,Business Standard, NBA.com/India and AOL India. Manwani also worked for the BCCI and has covered the ICC CWC 2011, the Indian Premier League (2011 and 2012) and the Champions League T20 (2010, 2011 and 2012). His first work of non-fiction, a biography of yesteryear poet-lyricist, Sahir Ludhianvi called Sahir Ludhianvi – The peoples poet, was published in 2013. Akshay lives in Mumbai with his wife and daughter.
Palash Krishna Mehrotra’s debut story collection Eunuch Park: Fifteen Stories of Love and Destruction was shortlisted for the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize and the Hindu Prize for Fiction. His first book of non-fiction: The Butterfly Generation: A Personal Journey into the Passions and Follies of India's Technicolor Youth was a finalist for the Crossword Book Award. He is also the editor of two anthologies, Recess: The Penguin Book of Schooldays and, most recently, House Spirit: Drinking In India. He lives in New Delhi and Dehradun.
Alyssa Mendonsa is a Bollywood playback singer who hails from New Delhi but was brought up in Mumbai. She is the daughter of composer Loy Mendonsa of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy fame. Alyssa made her debut in the film Karthik Calling Karthik with the song Uff Teri Adaa. Some of the films she has sung in are Housefull, Break ke Baad, Patiala House, One by Two, Zindagi na Milegi Dobara and Dil Dhadakne Do. She has also lent her voice to an advertisement for the popular shopping portal Jabong.com. Alyssa has a BA in English Literature from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai.
Joya Mitra is the author of several novels and collections of poems in Bengali. Her involvement with politics began as a college student in the late 1960s. From 1970-74, she was imprisoned for her work with the Naxalite movement in Bengal, an experience she recounts in Killing Days: Prison Memoirs. She has translated the works of Amrita Pritam, Bhisham Sahni, Anupam Mishra, Vaidehi and Ajeet Cour into Bengali. She is a recipient of the Ananda Puraskar, Sahitya Akademi Translation Award, and Bangla Academy Award, among others. She has a keen interest in issues relating to the environment, women and peace.
Barrister Jayanta Kumar Mitra was appointed advocate general of Bengal in December 2014. An economics graduate from Presidency College, Mitra studied at the London School of Economics. With a law degree from London University, he became a barrister from Middle Temple in 1963. He then joined the Calcutta bar and specialised in constitutional, arbitration, corporate and commercial laws. He became a senior advocate in 1987.
Achala Moulik is a former bureaucrat who served as Education Secretary to the Government of India, Director General of the Archeological Survey of India and Additional Chief Secretary to the Government of Karnataka. After studying in the US, UK and Italy, Moulik joined the IAS in 1964. Since her retirement in 2001, she has been writing books, both fiction and non-fiction, and translating works of foreign authors. Her works include The Conquerors: A Novel, A Stranger in Paradise: The Story of An Extraordinary Civil Servant, Dream Journey and El Dorado Revisited. In 2013, Moulik was awarded the Sergey Yessenin Prize for promoting Russian literature.
Panchali Mukherji is a poet from Kolkata. She has been featured in the listing of poets worldwide by Poetry International. She has been published in Ireland by the Dedalus Press in the anthology Landing Places and by A&A Farmar in The Irish Catullus in which she has translated Latin poetry into contemporary verse. Panchali is currently preparing a collection of her poetry for publication. Panchali holds post-graduate degrees in Literature and Communications and is a film maker. She has worked in advertising and as a corporate consultant, as well as teaching business studies.
Anirban Mukhopadhyay is a poet, journalist and researcher, and has a PhD in History. He has had five books of poems published, and has another collection of weekly columns on the market, which specialises on sexuality, politics of literature, popular cinema, rock music, occult studies and narratology. He works in an online media.
Suman Mukhopadhyay is a filmmaker and theatre director. His first film as director, Herbert, won a National Award. His second, Chaturanga, received a Grand Prix award at Bridgefest, Sarajevo, the Best Director award at the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival and the Golden Palm at Mexico International Film Festival. Other critically acclaimed films include Kangal Malsat, Mahanagar@Kolkata and Shesher Kobita. Suman has directed several plays including Raja Lear, and staged The Man of the Heart (Life and times of Lalon Fokir) at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a recipient of the Sera Bangali Award (2015).
Perumal Murugan is a well-known contemporary Tamil writer and poet. A scholar and literary chronicle, He was written six novels, four collections of short stories and four anthologies of poetry. Three of his novels have been translated into English to wide acclaim: Seasons of the Palm, which was shortlisted for the prestigious Kiriyama Award in 2005, Current Show, and most recently, One Part Woman. He has received awards from the Tamil Nadu government as well as from Katha Books. He is a Tamil Professor at the Government Arts College in Namakkal.
Shazia Omar is an author, a yogini and an activist for the poorest. She completed a Masters in social psychology at LSE, UK, and an undergrad at Dartmouth College, USA. She has written three books and one play. She writes a column for The Daily Star called ‘Kundalini Rising’. During the day, she is the CEO of mTracker (www.mTracker.co), a technology firm that creates digital solutions for programmes serving poor and vulnerable communities. In the evening, she teaches yoga and enjoys being a mom.
Aakar Patel is Executive Director of Amnesty International India. A former editor, Patel is a senior columnist and a translator of Urdu and Gujarati works. He has edited Why I write: Essays by Saadat Hasan Manto and translated the writing of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. His book India, Low Trust Society, is forthcoming.
Mudar Patherya studied a bit at St Xavier’s School and College (B.Com) until 1983, and is a cricket writer turned stock market columnist turned stock market analyst turned communications professional turned philanthropy evangelist turned public space activist. He has a keen interest in Kolkata's heritage and collects porcelain email boards, architectural drawings of old Kolkata buildings, posters-lobby cards of Bengali films, LP album covers and so on. He is the Chief Positioning Officer at Trisys Communications, and produces annual reports / brochures / films / websites for Indian companies.
Ina Puri is a writer, biographer, art curator and collector. She is the author of several books, including In Black & White(a biography of Manjit Bawa), Faces of Indian Art (iconic artists seen through the lens of Nemai Ghosh) and Journey with a Hundred Strings (on the music and life of Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma). She produced Meeting Manjit, a film on Bawa, her friend and collaborator, which won the National Award. She is currently Editor of Art Varta and has recently published a pictorial memoir on Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma, The Man and His Music and Raghu Rai’s Kolkata. Ina’s three-decade-long engagement with the arts embraces everything from tribal art and folk theatre to contemporary performing arts, visual arts and literature. She lives in Gurgaon.
USTAD RASHID KHAN
Ustad Rashid Khan is an Indian classical musician in the Hindustani music tradition. He belongs to the Rampur Sahaswan Gharana and is the great-grandson of the legendary Ustad Inayat Hussain Khan Saheb. Rashid was born in Badaun (Uttar Pradesh). His tutelage under his granduncle and guru, the late Ustad Nissar Hussain Khan, changed the course of his life. It was the latter who nurtured his potential and from whom he received his main training. Rashid is a master of the Tarana, in the Khayal style. He is a recipient of the Padma Shri and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.
ARNAB RAY (@greatbong)
Arnab Ray, better known as @greatbong on Twitter, is a novelist and one of India’s most widely read bloggers who blogs at Random Thoughts of a Demented Mind. Ray was born and brought up in Kolkata and is known for his sarcastic take on the Indian film industry, Indian politics and society in general. He has a PhD in Computer Science from State University of New York at Stony Brook. His books are May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss, The Mine, Yatrik and Sultan of Delhi: Ascension, the first of a two-part crime-drama.
Sumit Ray is the Chief Operating Officer of Allindia Technologies, a pan India digital media and brand consulting agency. He has worked in the Indian corporate sector for over 25 years. In between work he finds time to teach at business schools, and support two NGOs in the area of child education and health. He is passionate about theatre and acts and directs in one or two productions each year. He is also an avid philatelist.
SHANTANU RAY CHOWDHURI
Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri is executive editor with HarperCollins Publishers India. He has edited some of India’s best-known authors like Gulzar, Kiran Nagarkar, Manu Joseph and Anita Nair, 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. He is also the author of two book: Whims, a book of poems, and Icons from Bollywood.
Somak Raychaudhury is currently the Director of the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune. Until 2015, he was the Head of Physics and the first Dean of Science at Presidency University. He graduated from Presidency College, followed by a BA at the University of Oxford, and PhD in Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge. He then moved to Harvard University where he was part of the team that built the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, now in orbit in Space. He was also member of faculty at the University of Birmingham, UK, for over a decade.
Bee Rowlatt is a writer and journalist. Her current book, In Search of Mary is inspired by the life of Mary Wollstonecraft. The best-selling Talking About Jane Austen in Baghdad has been dramatised by the BBC, and translated into numerous languages. Rowlatt won the Society of Authors’ K Blundell Trust award for In Search of Mary. Rowlatt contributed to Virago's Fifty Shades of Feminism, and has clocked over two decades at BBC World Service (now freelance). She speaks fluent Spanish and has a research background in Latin America. She has written for The Telegraph, The Independent, Grazia, Die Welt, The Times, Guardian and the Daily Mail, and appears regularly on TV and radio.
Anuradha Roy’s latest book,Sleeping on Jupiter, won the DSC Prize for Fiction 2016 and was nominated for the Man Booker prize 2015.She won the Economist Crossword Prize for her second novel,The Folded Earth. Her first novel,An Atlas of Impossible Longing, has been widely translated and was picked as one of the Best Books of the Year by theWashington Post and theSeattle Times.She lives in India.
Sandip Roy is a novelist and journalist currently living in Kolkata. His first novel Don't Let Him Know won the honour title for the Asian Pacific American Literature Awards in the US and the Likho Award in India and was listed for other awards including the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and the Green Carnation Prize. He is a contributing editor for Huffington Post in India and a long-time radio commentator for National Public Radio in the US. He has been a senior editor with Firstpost.com and his journalism has appeared in the New York Times,The Guardian,Mint BBC,Scoopwhoop,Hindu Business Line and other outlets.
ANIRUDDHA ROY CHOWDHURY
Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury is a Bengali film director known for exploring the intricacies of human relationships in National Award-winning Bengali films Anuranan and Antaheen. He made the transition to Bollywood with the critically acclaimed and commerically successful Pink. Apart from being a director, Tony Da, as he is known to his friends and colleagues, is also an actor and sarod player. He watches at least one movie a day, listens to classical music, and sits idle for two hours every morning to admire his vast collection of paintings and discover something new in them!
Anupam Roy is an award-winning Bengali lyricist, composer and singer, best known for his song Amake Amar Moto Thakte Dao from the Bengali film Autograph. He and Anindya Chattopadhyay composed the music and lyrics for Praktan (2016). In 2015, he made his Bollywood debut, composing the score and songs for Piku. He was nominated for the Filmfare Award, Best Music Director, and won the Filmfare Award for Best Background Score. In 2016, he composed two songs for Pink. He also performs live with his music group, ‘The Anupam Roy Band’.
PAROMA ROY CHOWDHURY
Paroma Roy Chowdhury is a journalist turned communications professional. She has worked in business journalism, management education, financial services, telecom and technology and has held leadership roles in GE Capital, Hewlett Packard, Airtel and Google where she was the Director & Country Head, Public Affairs, India. She is currently Vice-President, Public Affairs, at Japanese telecom and investing major SoftBank, handling all external relations for SoftBank International globally. She loves a good conversation, contemporary art, literature, music & films, and is an ardent champion of free expression.
Dr. SANDIP CHATTERJEE
Academic co-ordinator at Park Clinic and Professor and Head of Neurosurgery of Vivekananda Institute of Medical Sciences, Dr Sandip Chatterjee is Editor-in-Chief of two neurosurgical journals, apart from being associate Editor of six other global neurosurgical journals. Dr Chatterjee has over 70 scientific publications and 20 book chapters to his credit; he is also an avid photographer and a founder member of the Calcutta Debating Circle in addition to serving as faculty for the European Society of Pediatric Neurosurgery and the Asia-Australasian Society of Pediatric Neurosurgery. He is also a Faculty of the Academic College of the Neurological Society of India.
Ashwin Sanghi is an entrepreneur by profession but writing historical fiction in the thriller genre is his passion and hobby. He ranks among India’s highest selling English fiction authors and has written several bestsellers (The Rozabal Line, Chanakya’s Chant, The Krishna Key) and a crime thriller with James Patterson, Private India. The Rozabal Line was written under his pseudonym, Shawn Haigins. Included by Forbes India in their Celebrity 100 and winner of the Crossword Popular Choice, Ashwin has also penned the non-fiction titles 13 Steps to Bloody Good Luck and 13 Steps To Bloody Good Wealth (the latter with Sunil Dalal). His lastest book, the Sialkot Saga, was published in 2016.
Sanjeev Sanyal is an internationally acclaimed economist, bestselling author and an urban theorist. He was the Global Strategist & Managing Director of one of the world’s largest banks till 2015 and was named Young Global Leader 2010 by the World Economic Forum. In 2007, he was awarded the Eisenhower Fellowship for his work on urban dynamics. He has been a Visiting Scholar at Oxford University, Adjunct Fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies, Singapore, a Senior Fellow of the World Wide Fund for Nature, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, London, and of the IDFC Institute, Mumbai. He currently serves as a member of the Future City Committee of the Singapore government that is creating the roadmap for the city-state for the next 15 years. Sanyal’s books include Land of the Seven Rivers, The Indian Renaissance, The Incredible History of India’s Geography and The Ocean of Churn. He has also published over 150 articles, columns and reports in leading national and international publications. He was given the inaugural International Indian Achievers Award for contributions to literature in 2014.
Rajdeep Sardesai has nearly three decades of journalistic experience in print and television. He was the founder-editor in chief of IBN 18 network, the managing editor of NDTV 24 x 7 and NDTV India, and is currently consulting editor at the India Today Group. Rajdeep has won more than 100 awards for journalism, including the Padma Shri in 2008. He is the author of 2014: The Election that Changed India, and of Real Heroes: Ordinary People Extraordinary Service. Sardesai writes a fortnightly across several newspapers, including the Hindustan Times. An Oxford blue at cricket, he has a Masters and LLB from Oxford University.
Aritra Sarkar, philosopher and technologist, is leading two lives. In the first, he’s CEO of Wedoria Technologies, a Kolkata-based digital startup. The company’s mission is to shape a barrier-free world where people can actually lead the lives they've always dreamed of. Its first product, MeVero, is a digital platform that enables people to discover their purpose in life. Aritra’s second life is that of a writer. He has just published Goliath of Shenzhen, a cautionary tale set in contemporary China exploring the limits of freedom. This is the world’s first dual-facing novel – told in both visual and prose formats – where you can choose your reading experience. He is a passionate advocate of a borderless world where humanity is united as one family and the barriers of nationality, class, race and so on fade away. He also champions ‘absolute freedom’, a state of life without any externally imposed constraints.
Paramita Satpathy is an influential voice in Odia Literature. She is a renowned literary critic, and has also translated a number of famous works of English literature including the like of Pearl S. Buck into Odia. Her stories have been translated into Hindi, English, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Gujarati. She has translated many of her books into Hindi herself. She won the Sahitya Akademi Award for her novella Prapti in 2016. Satpathy did her Masters in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University and joined the Indian Revenue Service in 1989 and is currently working in Bhubaneswar.
A writer,actor, and child-rights activist,Nandana has authored three children's books,Not Yet!(2017),Mambi and the Forest Fire(2016) andKangaroo Kisses (2016), and has three more forthcoming in 2017.Not Yet!launches in January 2017 in eight bilingual editions, and in 2016, Nandana published Make Up Your Mind,a bilingual book of her translations of her mother's Bengali poetry. Nandana also writes screenplays, and a monthly fiction series for The Wire titled Youthquake.After studying literature at Harvard and filmmaking at USC, she worked as a book editor, a translator, a screenwriter, a short-film maker, and as Princess Jasmine in Disneyland.Nandana lives in New York,has starred in over 20 films in multiple continents,and works with children and grownups at RAHI,Operation Smile and UNICEF to fight against child abuse.
Surojit Sen is columnist, independent researcher and joint-editor of the web magazine Agamikaal. He has written a book on the fakirs of Bengal, Fakir Naama (2014). Since 2006, Surojit has been working with Q as collaborator and script writer/ researcher in all his works till date.
Kaushik Sen is a film, television and theatre actor. He is known for his role in Aamar Bhuvan, directed by Mrinal Sen, for which he won the BFJA Best Supporting Actor Award. He has been cast in several Anjan Dutt movies, including three of the Byomkesh series. His 2016 releases include Dark Chocolate, and Zulfikar. Kaushik has appeared in several TV series such as Kalpurush, Tiktiki, and Byomkesh. He is the director of the theatre group Swapnasandhani, which he founded in 1992. The group has produced several plays like Ajke Aamar Chhuti, Daakghar and Thana Theke Aschi.
Sujata Sen has had a career in publishing, journalism, education and books. She is the CEO of Future Hope (www.futurehope.net) which provides pastoral care and education to street and slum children in Kolkata. She is former Director of the British Council in East India and in that capacity organised the India Focal Theme at London Book Fair in 2009 with numerous book events in India and the UK. She has been a publishing editor and a journalist and columnist and is an Honorary Member of the Publishers and Booksellers Guild. She's also the President of the Calcutta School of Music.
Jash Sen is the author of The Wordkeepers and Skyserpents, its sequel. She is also an occasional columnist and interviewer. Jash enjoys reading detective fiction, bourbon biscuits dunked in tea and is currently building up a comprehensive library of detective fiction. Jash graduated from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi, with honours in Statistics, and completed her MBA at IIM, Calcutta. She worked in Bangalore and the US before opting to teach Mathematics in a London high school. In 2009, Sen returned to India and began working on The Wordkeepers, which is her first novel and the first of a trilogy.
Jayanta Sengupta is an eminent historian, the Secretary-Curator of Victoria Memorial Hall, and Director of the Indian Museum. Dr Sengupta worked for six years as professor of history at The University of Notre Dame in Indiana, USA, and also served as a Fulbright lecturer at Utah State University. He has also been visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania and Heidelberg University. He has, however, spent a large part of his academic life in Bengal. A Presidencian, he did his PhD at Cambridge University and taught at Jadavpur University for two decades.
Hindol Sengupta is a journalist, entrepreneur and author. His seminal book on India's underbelly of entrepreneurship, Recasting India, was shortlisted for the Hayek Book Prize and, at 34, he was the youngest writer and the first Indian to be nominated for the prize. Other works include The Modern Monk, Being Hindu: Old Faith, New World and You and The Liberals. At 22, he was Features Editor running the global feature service of IANS. At 28, he was one of the youngest television journalists to have a prime time show, Talk Back (on Bloomberg TV). He is currently an editor with Fortune India.
SAIRA SHAH HALIM
Saira Shah Halim is a poet, educator, theatre personality and a social activist who is actively involved with causes such as gender equality and women’s issues. She is often seen on national television as a social and political commentator. She is also an executive committee member of the West Bengal Federation of United Nations Association.
Vidya Shah is a composer, musician, and writer from New Delhi. She was initially trained in Carnatic music, and later received guidance in Khayal, Thumri Dadra and Ghazal. She is a recipient of the Charles Wallace Award and a Senior Fellowship from the Government of India for her project Women on Record, a performance highlighting the contributions of the forgotten women performers in the gramophone era. Vidya combines her music with a deep understanding of its social history, which comes through in performances such as the Last Mughal with author William Dalrymple.
Ritesh Shah is a Hindi film screenwriter, most recently of 2016's critically acclaimed film Pink, for which he bagged the best dialogue award at the 2017 Filmfare Awards. Ritesh has been working in the movie industry for over a decade, beginning his journey with Sujoy Ghosh's Home Delivery in 2005 for which he wrote the dialogue. It was, however, with Namastey London in 2007 that he finally found success as a dialogue writer. He then moved on to writing scripts and screenplays and has worked on films such as Kahaani, Kahaani 2, D-Day, Madaari and Airlift.
RATUL SHANKAR GHOSH
Ratul Shankar Ghosh is a percussionist and actor. He was exposed to various forms of performing arts – he is the great-grandson of Shyam Shankar Chowdhury, grandson of Uday Shankar, grand nephew of Ravi Shankar, son of Mamata Shankar and nephew of Anoushka Shankar and Norah Jones – at a very young age and has been touring with parents Mamata Shankar and Chandrodoy Ghosh from the age of 2. He trained under Tanmoy Bose, and has been part of his World Music Project Taal Tantra for the last 13 years. He has acted in Rituporno Ghosh’s National Award-winning Utsab, and Anuranan.
Roman Simič holds a degree in Spanish Language and Literature and Comparative Literature from the University of Zagreb. He served as editor of Quorum, one of Croatia’s leading literary magazines, and, for the past 15 years, has been director of the Festival of the European Short Story. He has published three award-winning collections of short stories in Croatian, and 2015 saw a selection of his stories translated into English under the title A Frame for the Family Lion. His books have been translated into German, English, Spanish, Slovenian, Polish, and Macedonian, and his texts included in various anthologies. Roman lives in Zagreb and works as an editor at Fraktura Publishing.
Ravinder Singh is a bestselling author. So far he has written five books and has compiled two crowd sourced anthologies. Considered king of romance in Indian publishing, Ravinder is well known for his love stories. After having spent most of his life in Burla, a very small town in western Odisha, he is currently based in Gurgaon. He has an MBA from the renowned Indian School of Business (Hyderabad). His eight-year-long IT career started with Infosys and came to a happy ending at Microsoft where he worked as a senior programme manager. One fine day he had an epiphany that writing books is more interesting than writing project plans. He called it a day at work and took to full-time writing. He has also started a publishing venture called Black Ink (http://www.blackinkbooks.in/), where he publishes debut authors.
Arunava Sinha translates classic, modern and contemporary Bengali fiction, non-fiction and poetry from India and Bangladesh into English. He is the series editor of the Library of Bangladesh and also curates Seagull Books’ India list. Over 35 of his translations have been published so far.
Srijato is one of Bengal's most popular new generation poets and lyricists, and is the author of several books of modern poetry, including Uronto Sob Joker: All Those Flying Jokers — which won the Ananda Puroskar and Krittibas Puroshkar — and The Story of Katiusha. Srijato's first book, Sesh Chithi was published in 1999. His cache of poems include ,i>Bandhobi Gach, Kobita Somogro-I, and Andhakar Lekhaguchchha. Other than poetry he has also penned the lyrics of popular movies like Autograph, Iti Mrinalinee, and Charulata. Having worked as journalist, he is on the editorial board of Prathama, and edits the literary journal Jaruri Abastha.
Krishnan Srinivasan is a retired Indian diplomat, scholar, author, former Indian Foreign Secretary, and Deputy Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations. His works of non-fiction include Tricks of the Trade and Old Europe, New Asia, while his works of fiction include the widely acclaimed thriller The Eccentric Effect, and most recently Ambassador Marco's Indian Instincts. He has been awarded a Hind Ratna, and a Chevalier de l'Ordre de la Valeur (Cameroon). He is a regular columnist with The Telegraph (Kolkata) and The Statesman.
Dr SUMAN K. MUKERJEE
Dr Suman Kumar Mukerjee is the former Principal and Dean and Senior Professor of Bharatiya Bidhyabhavan , IMS. Among the other hats he wears are that of public speaker, consultant, advisor and corporate trainer. A graduate of St Xavier's College , Kolkata , he has an MA from St Stephen's College, Delhi, and a PhD from Jadavpur University. He has had 42 years of teaching and research experience in India and abroad and is the author of several publications and papers, and of the book, The Text book of Economic Development. He is currently Director General, The Bhawanipur Education Society College, and a member of several boards.
Kannan Sundaram founded Kalachuvadu Pathippagam in 1995. In 2010, it was converted into a private limited company of which he has since been the Managing Director and Publisher. He is also Editor and Publisher of Kalachuvadu, a monthly journal for culture, society and politics. He co-organised 'Tamil Ini 2000′, a privately funded international conference on 20th century Tamil writing. He has been part of the International Visitor Program to the US and of the Frankfurt Book Fair fellowship program. He is the author of six books containing his columns and critical articles on Tamil media, culture and politics.
Andrea Tariang grew up in Shillong with music being an integral part of her life, falling in love with the sounds of R&B, Soul, Blues, Jazz, Reggae and the like. Coming from a musical family, she has been part of the Shillong music scene since her teens. She also performed as a solo singer and put together a band, Lavender Groove. After shifting to Mumbai, she has performed at various venues including Ibar, Studio Pepperfry and Cafe Zoe with musicians like Karan Joseph and Andrew Kanga. Andrea made her Bollywood debut in 2016 as one of the three female leads in the film Pink.
Kanishk Tharoor’s first book, Swimmer Among the Stars: Stories, was published by Aleph in 2016, and will be published in the US and UK in spring 2017. It was the recipient of Tata Lit Live First Book Award for Fiction and shortlisted for the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize. Kanishk is the presenter of “Museum of Lost Objects,” a BBC radio series on the destruction of cultural heritage. His pieces on politics and culture have appeared widely, including in the New York Times, Guardian, and The National. He is a columnist for the Hindustan Times and The Hindu Business Line
Siddharth Varadarajan is a Founding Editor of The Wire. He was earlier the Editor of The Hindu and is a recipient of the Ramnath Goenka Award for Journalist of the Year. He has reported on the NATO war against Yugoslavia, the destruction of the Bamyan Buddhas by the Taliban in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq and the crisis in Kashmir. He has taught Economics at New York University and Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, besides working at the Times of India and the Centre for Public Affairs and Critical Theory, Shiv Nadar University. His book, Gujarat: The Making of a Tragedy, is an account of the 2002 massacres.
Ashoke Viswanathan is a three-time National Award winning filmmaker from FTII (Pune). He is also a five-time Indian Panorama entrant at IFFI. A Charles Wallace scholar at Downing College, Cambridge, he has been a prolific filmmaker with nearly 150 completed films and shorts. Twice serving as Chairman of the National Film Awards jury, he has authored one book on cinema and several articles on Avant-garde art, besides being active in theatre with more than thirty productions to his credit.
Balaji Vittal, a graduate in Civil Engineering from Jadavpur University, is a second-generation Calcuttan, his father having migrated to the city in the 1950s. The bestselling R.D. Burman: The Man, The Music, which Balaji co-authored with Anirudha Bhattacharjee, won the President’s Swarn Kamal Award for Best Book on Cinema at the National Film Awards 2011. His second book Gaata Rahe Mera Dil – 50 Classic Hindi films Songs, also co-authored with Anirudha, was awarded for Excellence in Writing on Cinema at the 17th Mumbai Film Festival in 2015. Balaji and Anirudha have created an innovative, live-music blended stage show version of both their books and hosted it at India, Dubai and Singapore. Balaji continues to freelance for Ei Shomoy, MetroPlus (The Hindu) and online magazines like Scroll, Quint and IBN Live. Balaji's family is based in Hyderabad, while he works in Bangalore and shuttles between the two cities, but he never misses a chance to visit Kolkata.