Speakers


Ajay Brahmatmaj

Ajay Brahmatmaj is associated with Dainik Jagran and has been active in film journalism for the last fifteen years. Keeping in view the cultural significance and social effect of films, he pays special attention to popular film journalism. He has a lot of interest in the widespread propagation of cinema culture in the regional Hindi belt. It has always been his endevaour to highlight the contribution of provinces to the Indian film industry.


Alok Rai

Alok Rai is currently professor, Department of English, Delhi University. As a Rhodes Scholar, he received his B.Phil. in Modern English Studies from the University of Oxford, and went on to do his Ph.D. on the writings of George Orwell from University College London.

His areas of interest include Modern English Literature, and cultural processes in modern North India, with particular reference to issues of language and literature. He was awarded the Senior Fellowship of the ICSSR in 1985, and was a Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library during 1985-87. Publications include Orwell and the Politics of Despair, Hindi Nationalism, and an English translation of Premchand’s Nirmala.


Amrita Bhalla

An associate professor in English at the Jesus and Mary College, Delhi University, Amrita Bhalla has been teaching for the past thirty-one years. Her research interests are in the representation of minorities and women during the colonial struggle for independence and in the shaping of Indian womanhood during colonial times.

The author of a book on Shashi Deshpande, she has contributed reviews and articles to journals and written the Introduction to the Penguin edition of The Collected Short Stories of Shashi Deshpande.


Anupam Mishra

Anupam Mishra is an Indian Gandhian, author, journalist, environmentalist, and water conservationist who works on promoting water conservation, water management and traditional rainwater harvesting techniques. He had been awarded the 1996 Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar (IGPP) award instituted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.

He travels to villages across several Indian states, especially Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh, describing the value of time-tested systems of water harvesting. He advocates conservation of traditional water structures in India as well as abroad. He has written books like Aaj Bhi Khare Hain Talaab and Rajasthan Ki Rajat Boondein, landmark works in the field of water conservation.


Anvita Abbi

Anvita Abbi is a professor of linguistics, Centre for Linguistics, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. She is a distinguished linguist on minority languages of the Indian sub-continent and has carried out first-hand field research on all six language families of India. She has published in the areas of areal typology, language documentation, structures of tribal languages, language policy and education, and analysis of ethno-linguistic aspects of language use.

Her most significant recent work has been on the highly threatened languages spoken in the Andaman Islands, especially the languages of the Great Andamanese which have been extensively documented by her. These languages have been shown by her to be a separate language family, later corroborated by population geneticists. She has authored, co-authored and edited over a dozen books, in addition to numerous articles. A couple of the prominent ones are A Manual of Linguistic Fieldwork and Structures of Indian Languages and Endangered Languages of the Andaman Islands.


Arjun Deo Charan

Dr Arjun Deo Charan is a Rajasthani poet, playwright, theatre director and critic. He has directed and written many plays that have been staged at several theatre festivals organized by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, National School of Drama, Kerela Sangeet Natak Akademi and Rajasthan Sangeet Natak Akademi.

Some of his published works include plays like Do Natak Aaj Ra, Bol Mhari Machhali Itto Pani, Dharamjudh, Virasat and Mugti Gatha, a book of poems Rindhrohi and Ghar To Ek naam Hai Bharose Ro, a monograph Rawalon Ki Rammat and Satya Prakash Joshi. He has also translated Mrichhkatikam, Nagamandala and The Caucasian Chalk Circle into Rajasthani.

Chairman of Rajasthan Sangeet Natak Akademi, Dr Arjun Deo has been awarded by the Sahitya Academi, Rajasthani Bhasha Sahitya, Sanskriti Academy, Rajasthan Sangeet Natak Academy and K.K. Birla foundation.

Presently he is the head of the department of Rajasthani at Jai Narayan Vyas University, Jodhpur, Rajasthan.

Arunesh Neeran

Arunesh Neeran is secretary general, Vishwa Bhojpuri Sammelan. Hailing from Deoria, Uttar Pradesh, he has several publications in Hindi and Bhojpuri and is a noted academician in his field.

Arvind Krishna Mehrotra

Arvind Krishna Mehrotra was born in Lahore 1947. He has published four collections of poetry in English and one of translation (a volume of Prakrit love poems). He has edited several books of translation and criticism, including An Illustrated History of Indian Literature in English.

Presently, he is head of the Department of English and Modern European Languages, University of Allahabad. He teaches twentieth century English poetry and creative writing. In 2009, he was nominated for the chair of Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford.


Ashwini Kumar Pankaj

Ashwini Kumar Pankaj is an author and a tribal rights activist who has produced a phenomenal body of work - books and documentary films - on the socio-cultural and linguistic aspects of Adivasi and Dalit movements. He has also been a thetare activist and a crusader against communal politics and casteism. He played an important intellectual role in the Jharkhand movement. He is a visiting faculty in Drama with the Jharkhand Central University and in Aadivasi Language and Culture with the Shri Krishna Institute of Public Administration, Government of Jharkhand.



B.M. Hanif

B.M. Hanif has been working as journalist for the last twenty-eight years in an esteemed newspaper of Karnataka. He is, at present, the assistant editor of Prajavani-Sudha. He has written a number of articles on politics, cinema and culture in Prajavani, the leading daily of Karnataka, and in Sudha Weekly.

He has been a censor committee member of Bangalore Doordarshan for three years; a member of the state cinema award committee twice, in 2006 and 2011; and has published a number of books in Kannada.

Bajrang Bihari Tiwari

Bajrang Bihari Tiwari is associate professor, Hindi, in Delhi University’s Deshbandhu College.

He is the co-editor of Indian Literature: An Introduction and Yathasthiti se Takrate Huye: Dalit Stree Jeevan se Judi Kahaniyan. More than ten research articles and many review pieces by him have been published. For IGNOU and other universities, he has been contributing study material and he has a column, 'Dalit Prashna', on Indian Dalit literature in Kathadesh, a Hindi monthly published from Delhi.

His academic interests lie in the area of Dalit writing and discourse, language controversy in the Hindi belt during the freedom struggle and contemporary Sanskrit literature.


Bhagwan Singh

Born in 1931, Bhagwan Singh is an author who post-graduated from Gorakhpur University and worked with the Central government and the Delhi government.

He tried to familiarize himself with all the languages, barring Kashmiri. Learning their script enables him to read, though slowly, and make guesses about the content. He has done research work in language and history.


C.P. Deval

CP. Deval is a Rajasthani poet, translator and language activist. He has more than forty publications and several prizes to his credit, which include Sahitya Akademi Award, Sahitya Akademi Award for Translation, Katha Award and Meera Award.


Chinnappa Gowda

Chinnappa Gowda is a folklorist with remarkable works on Tulu Paddana. He has edited and written several books on Karnataka folk literature and culture. He is the recipient of the Karnataka Sahithya Academy, Tulu Sahithya Academy and Shivaram Karanth awards.



Dilip Simeon

Dilip Simeon taught history at Ramjas College, Delhi University, from 1974 till 1994. In 1988 he was elected to the university’s academic council. From 1984 onwards, he participated in the Sampradayikta Virodhi Andolan, a campaign against communal violence. From 1998 to 2003 he worked on a conflict-mitigation project with Oxfam, and is now chairperson of the Aman Trust, which works to reduce violent conflict. He has been a visiting scholar at campuses in India and abroad. His publications include numerous articles and essays, a monograph on labour history, and the novel Revolution Highway.



Gulzar

Gulzar is a poet, lyricist and director. He primarily writes in Hindustani and has also written in Punjabi and several dialects of Hindi such as Braj Bhasha, Khariboli, Haryanvi and Marwari.

Some of the numerous awards conferred upon him are the Sahitya Akademi Award, Padma Bhushan, National Film Awards, Filmfare Awards, and the international Academy Award and Grammy Award .

Apart from his poetry and short stories, he is also acclaimed for the films and TV series he has created.

Giriraj Kiradoo

Poet and fiction writer Giriraj Kiradoo is founder-editor of the widely acclaimed bilingual journal Pratilipi, and founder-managing director of the avante garde publishing initiative Pratilipi Books. He has edited three books, and published poetry, fiction and translation in numerous reputed journals. Some of his work has been translated into Urdu, Marathi, Catalan and English. A recipient of the Bharat Bhushan Agrawal Smruti Poetry Award and the Krishna Baldev Vaid Fellowship for fiction, he is a translator in Hindi, English and Rajasthani.

A university teacher by profession, he has also worked with the Rajasthan Sahitya Akademi as associate editor, with Siyahi as consultant, with the Sangam House International Writer's Residency Program as advisor, and is currently a regular collaborator with the French poetry journal Recours au Poème. Kiradoo is a passionate organizer of many literary events; he is one of the two creative directors of Samanvay: IHC Indian Languages' Festival, an event he curates and coordinates with Satyanand Nirupam. With fellow poets Bodhisattva and Ashok Kumar Pandey, he co-founded and organized the biggest independent poetry event in Hindi, Kavita Samay, for two years (2011-12).


Hari Ram Dwivedin

Hari Ram Dwivedi is a Bhojpuri writer who has penned several of the most popular Bhojpuri film song lyrics.


Himanshi Shelat

Himanshi Shelat has been an English lecturer who has written novels, short stories, essays and memoirs.

She has received the Sahitya Akademi Award, and awards from the Gujarat Sahitya Parishad, Gujarat Sahitya Akademi and Katha. Her work is on non-formal education and functional literacy with special focus on the underprivileged sections of India.



Jayavantha Nayak

Jayavantha Nayak is associate professor, economics, University College, Mangalore, Karnataka, and has written fourteen books on the subject.

He worked as coordinator and member, editorial board, Vishva Konkani Parichaya Kosh, a unique encyclopaedia of Konkani heritage. He is the co-author of the books Eminent Konkanis of Twentieth Century and Konkani Ulovya.

The Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy has awarded him the Konkani Fellowship.


Jerry Pinto

Jerry Pinto lives and works in Mumbai. He has been a mathematics tutor, school librarian, journalist and columnist. He is now associated with MelJol, an NGO that works in the sphere of child rights. His published works include a book of poems, Asylum, and Helen: The Life and Times of an H-Bomb, which won the National Award for the Best Book on Cinema in 2007.


Joya Mitra

Joya Mitra is a Bengali author closely connected with the left movement in 1970. She was arrested that year and jailed for four years without any trial. Her prison experience took shape in a book, which was translated in several Indian languages like Tamil and Hindi, and also in English.

She has had six volumes of her poetry published. Besides writing short stories and novels, Joya is deeply interested in and better known for involvement in the field of socio-environmental issues like water and agriculture. She is a believer in active non-violence and womanism as opposed to patriarchy.

She has been the recipient of literary awards including the prestigious Anada Puroskar for her prison account, Hanyaman, Sahitya Akademi Translation Award, award for ‘writing environment’ by Gandhi Peace Foundation, and Shanti Swarup Puroskar by Paschimbanga Bangla Academy.

Joya edits Vumadhyasagar, a bi-annual journal on environment and society.


Juhi Chaturvedi

Juhi Chaturvedi started her career as a freelance illustrator with The Times of India Lucknow edition. She shifted to Delhi in 1996 when she joined advertising with Ogilvy & Mather as an art director. In 1999, she moved to Mumbai office of the agency. In 2008, she joined McCann followed by Bates in Mumbai, where she was creative director. She worked with director Shujit Sircar on ad films for brands like Titan watches and Saffola.

During her stay in Delhi, she lived in Lajpat Nagar, an experience she used in scripting her first film, Vicky Donor. She was awarded the IRDS Film award for social concern for her story. She won the 2013 Filmfare Award for Best Story for the same film.

In July 2013, she joined the advertising agency, Leo Burnett Mumbai, as executive creative director.



K. Sivareddy

K. Siva Reddy taught English for thirty-five years in Vivek Vardhini College, Hyderabad and retired as the principal of the same college.

A few of his published works are Charya, Ajeyam and Raktam Suryadu. He has translated African and Europe poets into Telugu.

The awards and honours he has received include the Central Sahitya Akademi Award, Siddartha Kalapeetham Puraskaram, Dr Somasunder Sahitya Puraskaram and Visala Sahiti Award.

He has also worked on an offbeat film called Pratusha as a scriptwriter.


Kamal Tiwari

Kamal Tewari is chairman, Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi and also actor, singer, choreographer, musician and patron of art and culture. His music has embellished significant telefilms like Parsa, based on Jnanpith awardee Gurdial Singh’s novel, and over seventy plays, including Rani Jinda, Karmanwali, Muwaze, Agra Bazar and Mein Taan Ek Sarangi Haan.

He has worked with the best of theatre directors, right from Ebrahim Alkazi to Amal Allana to Ram Gopal Bajaj to Bansi Kaul, and has acted in films as well. He has led his state cultural delegations and troupes in other countries, and organized festivals and exhibitions in his own state. He brought to attention, both at the state and national level, the rare folk performing art forms of Haryana such as Sanng, Jogi and Jangams. He has worked on the documentation of these folk art forms of Haryana.

He has been presented with the Haryana Gaurav Samman and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Theatre Music.


Kancha Ilaiah

Kancha Ilaiah is an activist and writer. His books include Why I am not a Hindu, God As Political Philosopher: Budha's challenge to Brahminism, A Hollow Shell, The State and Repressive Culture, Manatatwam (in Telugu), and Buffalo Nationalism: A Critique of Spiritual Fascism.


Kavita Krishnan

Born in 1973, Kavita Krishnan was brought up in Bhilai, Chhattisgarh. She did her BA from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, and her MA and MPhil from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.

As an activist of the All India Students' Association (AISA), she was elected joint secretary, Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union (JNUSU) during 1995-96. She played a leading role in the students’ movement following the murder of JNUSU president Chandrashekhar in Bihar. She was also active in initiating the struggles for a committee against sexual harassment in JNU.

She was earlier national president, AISA, and is now joint secretary, All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA), which is especially active among women workers and agricultural labourers, and has led struggles for the dignity and rights of Dalit women, and against state repression. The AISA and AIPWA played a significant role in the struggle against rape that followed the 16 December gangrape in Delhi, helping to focus the movement on the slogan of women’s right to ‘bekhauf azaadi’, fearless freedom from rape, and from the patriarchal control of the family and community.

She is politburo member, CPI (ML), and editor of Liberation, the central organ of CPI (ML).


Kedarnath Singh

Kedarnath Singh is one of the most prominent modern poets writing in Hindi. He is also an eminent critic and essayist. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in Hindi for his poetry collection, Akaal Mein Saras.

His poetry is characterized by simple, everyday language and images that string together to convey complex themes. One of his major poems is Bagh, a long poem with the tiger as its central character. Published in the mid-1980s, the poem remains one of the most widely read long poems in Hindi literature and is included in many university curricula.

He lives in New Delhi.


Ketan Mehta

After graduating from the Film and Television Institute of India, Ketan Mehta joined the Indian Space Research Organisation as a television producer. When he made his first film, Bhavni Bhavai, a Gujarati film, it won him a lot of acclaim.

His movies have been selected for various international film festivals such as Nantes (France) and the Moscow Film Festival, where they have won numerous awards over the years. Mirch Masala was one of his many notable efforts, and won him the Best Film Award at Hawaii. It was released to fifty-two cinemas in the United States. He has also had the honour of serving as a member of the jury in various national and international film festivals.



Leila Seth

Leila Seth retired as Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh in 1992, was appointed in 1995 as the one-member commission to examine the death in custody of Rajan Pillai, and from 1997 to 2000 was a member of the 15th Law Commission of India. She does arbitration work and is involved in human rights activities. She lives in Noida with her husband Premo, son Shantum, daughter-in-law Gitanjali and granddaughter Nandini.

She is the author of On Balance and We, the Children of India (Hum Bharat ke Bachche).



Madhavi Sardesai

Madhavi Sardesai teaches in the department of Konkani, Goa University. Her book Bhaasaabhaas (An Introduction to Linguistics in Konkani) won the Konkani Bhasha Mandal N.D. Nayak Award. Her collection of research articles has been published as Manthan. She has also received the Sahitya Akademi Translation Award.

Mahesh Bhatt

Mahesh Bhatt is a prominent film director, producer and screenwriter. His early career consisted of acclaimed movies such as Arth, Saaransh, Janam, Naam, Sadak and Zakhm. He has also produced and written more commercial films such as Jism, Murder and Woh Lamhe.


Mahesh Champaklal

Mahesh Champaklal has been a writer, actor, director and lecturer. He has worked with professional Gujarati theatre of Mumbai, as well as with experimental theatre in Gujarat.

He has been honoured with the Best Translation Prize by Sahitya Akademi and with Gaurav Puraskar by Gujarat Sangeet Natak Akademi. Rang Dwar and Rang Shirsh are two of his publications, amongst others.


Mahmood Farooqui

Mahmood Farooqui was educated at the Universities of Delhi, Oxford and Cambridge (UK) from where he holds an M Phil in Oriental Studies. He has been a journalist and a newspaper columnist. Over the last seven years he has effected a major revival of Dastangoi. He is the author of Dastangoi (the book) and ‘Besieged: Voices from Delhi, 1857′ (Penguin, 2010).


Malchand Tiwari

Malchand Tiwari is a noted Hindi and Rajasthani poet and author. He received the Sahiya Akademi award for his poetry collection‘Uttaryo Hai Abho’ in 1997. His novel ‘Paryayvachi’, and his collection of short stories ‘Sukant ke Sapno mein’, and ‘Jalian aur Jharokhe’ have also won him wide critical acclaim. Tiwari's work has been translated in many regional languages.


Manisha Pandey

Manisha Pandey is a Delhi-based journalist, writer and blogger working as a features editor at India Today. She has translated French feminist writer Simon de Beauvoir's interviews and Henrik Ibsen's play A Doll’s House in Hindi.


Manoranjan Byapari

Often known as Miracle Man, Manoranjan Byapari first learned the Bengali alphabet at the age of twenty-four in a jail, where he was sent on the accusation of hooliganism. His thirst for knowledge and a chance meeting with Mahasweta Devi started his career as a writer. He received national acclaim after his translation of the essay 'Is there Dalit Writing in Bangla?' written by Professor Meenakshi Mukherjee was published in Economic and Political Weekly.
Byapari now has nine novels and more than a hundred stories to his credit, the latest being the first volume of his autobiographical novel, Itibritte Chandal Jiban. His life is now inspiring novels, poems, documentaries and films.

Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan

Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan is the author of three books: You Are Here, The Life and Times of Layla the Ordinary and Cold Feet. She also runs the hugely popular blog Compulsive Confessions, where she writes about being a woman in India and other issues. At present, she works as a lifestyle correspondent for the international website BLOUIN ARTINFO, and is working on her next book.


Mukul Kesavan

Mukul Kesavan is a writer based in Delhi. Homeless on Google Earth (Permanent Black, 2013) is his most recent book.


N.D. Rajkumar

N.D. Rajkumar is a Tamil poet who has written poetry collections like Therri, Odakku and Raththa Santhana Paavai. His Malayalam to Tamil translations include Pavithiran Theekuni and Binu Pallippaadu. Some of his poems were translated into English and published as the book Give Us This Day a Feast of Flesh.

He is also active in street plays, cinema acting, writing lyrics and singing.


Neelesh Mishra

Neelesh Misra occupies a unique space on the Indian creative landscape, probably the only creative professional to work across so many diverse genres. He writes Bollywood lyrics and scripts, narrates stories every night on radio to a nationwide audience of thirty-five million people, is an award-winning journalist who now runs India’s first professionally run rural newspaper, Gaon Connection, and has written five books including 173 Hours in Captivity: The Hijacking of IC-814 and Neelesh Misra ka Yaad Sheher.

He has also founded a content creation company called Content Project Pvt. Ltd. The idea is to have a team of talented and creative people, mentored by Neelesh Misra, who would work together to create content across media verticals.


Nand Kishore Acharya

Poet, critic, playwright and Gandhian commentator Nand Kishore Acharaya has been writer-in-residence at the Prakrit Bharati Academy, Jaipur, and at the Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University for five years.

A poet of the fourth Saptak, he has published collections of poetry, books in literary criticism and collections of plays. His books on Gandhian philosophy include Sabhyata ka Vikalp and Satyagrah ki Sanskriti.

He has translated poets like Joseph Brodsky, Lorca, Vladimir Holan and Riyokan into Hindi, besides Arnold Wesker’s play Four Seasons.

His awards include Meera Puraskar, Bihari Puraskar and Bhubaneshwar Puraskar.


Narendra Kohli

Narendra Kohli served in Moti Lal Nehru College (University of Delhi) till the age of fifty-five and took voluntary retirement in the year 1995 to become a full time writer. He is a novelist, short story writer, playwright, satirist and essayist. He reworked on ‘Ramkatha’ and wrote an 1800-page long novel based on it. It is considered to be the first novel written in any language developed on Ramkatha extensively. Mahasamar is his 4000-page long novel divided in five parts based on Pandavkatha. Todo Kaara Todo relates to the life story of Swami Vivekanand. Besides, six plays and satires have been published in six parts. He has also written some essays and children’s stories.

His works have been translated in twenty-six Indian languages and in English and he has been awarded the Shlaaka Samman, Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Samman and Vyas Samman,


Nivedita Menon

Nivedita Menon, professor at Centre for Comparative Politics and Political Theory, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, is the author of Seeing like a Feminist. Her previous books are an edited volume Gender and Politics in India; Recovering Subversion: Feminist Politics beyond the Law; an edited volume Sexualities; and Power and Contestation: India after 1989, co-written with Aditya Nigam.

An active commentator on contemporary issues in newspapers and on the blog kafila.org, she has translated fiction and non-fiction from Hindi and Malayalam into English, and has received the A.K. Ramanujan Award for translation instituted by Katha. Her most recent translation is of Geetanjali Shree's Hindi novel Khali Jagah.

She has been active with non-funded, non-party citizens' forums in Delhi on issues of secularism, workers' and women's rights, sexuality, and in opposition to the nuclear bomb.

Omair Ahmad

Omair Ahmad is the author of a set of books, the most recent of which is The Kingdom at the Centre of the World: Journeys into Bhutan, a work of political history. His last novel, Jimmy the Terrorist, was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize, and won the Crossword Award for Fiction.

Omair Ahmad grew up in India and Saudi Arabia. He did his master’s in politics (international studies) at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and a second master’s in international relations from the Maxwell School, Syracuse University. He currently works with the South Asia office of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, managing their human rights, rule of law and conflict resolution projects, and is working on a book on Gorakhpur, a town in Uttar Pradesh.



Pankaj Srivastava

A product of Allahabad University, Pankaj Srivastava has been working as a journalist for sixteen years and is currently associate editor in the Hindi news channel IBN7. His job involves making documentaries and special shows for the channel. He often joins the news room as an expert on social-political issues.

Prior to this he worked with Star News as senior special correspondent and bureau chief, Uttar Pradesh. He has also been senior correspondent, Amar Ujala.


Parminderjeet Singh

Parminderjeet Singh is a poet, editor and translator. He edits Akkhar, a leading poetry magazine. Some of his poetry collections and Kolaaj Kitab, Tan Takia and Meri Marfat, the last of which is part of a university syllabus in Punjab. The language department of Punjab has awarded him with Shiromnai Kavi Puraskar.


Piyush Mishra

Piyush Mishra is an Indian film and theatre actor, music director, lyricist, singer and scriptwriter. He has been associated with critically acclaimed and popular films like Gulaal, Gangs of Wasseypur, Ghajini, Agneepath, Chittagong, Black Friday, Rockstar and Maqbool in multiple capacities.

For his music and dialogue writing he has been given the Zee Cine and Stardust Awards.


Piyush Thakkar

Piyush Thakkar is a painter, poet, teacher and freelance writer. He completed his studies in painting from Faculty of Fine Arts, M. S. University, Baroda. His works have been showcased across India. He has also had an independent exhibition of his works. Since 2005, he has also been associated with several colleges as visiting faculty and has worked as a regular teacher in the subject of painting. He has written several essays on the appreciation of art in Gujarati and English.

He is also a leading young poet writing in Gujarati. His poems are collected in anthologies of modern Gujarati poetry and his poems have been translated in other Indian languages.

Recently, he has been felicitated with the prestigious Raza Fellowship for the year 2013-14. He is working as assistant professor, CVM College of Fine Arts, Vallabh Vidyanagar, Gujarat.


Powell Sohkhlet

Powell Sohkhlet is working with Mawphor Khasi Daily as joint editor and Ri Khasi channel as chief editor. With almost twenty years’ experience in the field of journalism, he has done field reporting on subjects which are political, social, economic and development-related. Working in the media, he has travelled to different parts of the state and his interaction with people from different walks of life has helped him work for the development of the Khasi language.


Prabhaat

Born in 1972 in Raisana (Karauli), Prabhat is a poet, educator and editor. He has published ten books for children including Banjara Namak Laya and and Paniyon ki Gadiyon with Eklavya, IDC-Mumbai, Room to Read and Lokayat. His poems have been published in reputed journals like Poetry International Web, Hans, Kathadesh, Tadbhav, Vagarth, Aalochana, Samkaleen Bharatiya Sahitya.

He has been awarded with the Kavita Samay Yuva Samman and the Bhartendu Harishchandra Puraskar.


Pradip Kurbah

Pradip Kurbah started working in the film industry after his matriculation at the age of seventeen. He is a film producer, director, editor and sound designer.

He has directed four Khasi feature films: Hep, Dei Maphi, Ka Mon Bajwat, Meshua and Melody. Along with three Khasi films, he has produced a Hindi film. In different languages, he has directed more than seventy-five music videos. As a composer, he has seven Khasi music albums to his credit.


Prakash Uday

Prakash Uday is a Bhojpuri-Hindi poet. He has edited Bhojpuri poetry for Bharatiya Jnanpith and Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University and has represented Bhojpuri at the International Bhojpuri Conference, Mauritius. He teaches at a college in Banaras.


Pravin Pandya

Pravin Pandya is a leading Gujarati poet and playwright. He is the author of Ajvatsnaam Matsya, Bardana Dungar (Poetry) and Hathi Raja ene Beeja Naatako, India Lodge (Drama). A recipient of many awards, Pravin is known for his theatre activism and his dramatized adaptations of Hindi poet Shamser Bahadur Singh's works.


Preeti Gill

Preeti Gill has been in publishing for the last twenty years and is a consulting editor with Zubaan at present. She has worked with Kali for Women and Zubaan and has represented both at the Frankfurt Book Fair as their rights director.

She has worked extensively on issues related to women and conflict in the north-east of India and has a number of reports, articles and essays to her credit. She is the editor of The Peripheral Centre: Voices from India’s Northeast and has researched and scripted three documentaries as well as television series on the north-east directed by Jahnu Barua, Bhupen Hazarika, Kalpana Lajmi, Sanjoy Hazarika and Maulee Senapati.



Ramkumar Singh

Ramkumar Singh is a fiction writer, film lyricist, screenwriter, film critic and columnist. His short stories have appeared in all leading Hindi literary journals and a collection of short stories has been published. He has written the Rajasthani film Bhobhar, which was screened and acclaimed at various Indian and international film festivals. He has co-written the Hindi feature film Chutki Bajaa Ke.

Currently he is working with some Hindi and Rajasthani film projects as a writer. He writes movie reviews for Rajasthan Patrika.


Ratan Shah

Ratan Shah is one of the oldest and most trusted voices of Rajasthani movement who has tirelessly fought for the constitutional recognition of his mother tongue. He is widely respected for building and managing organizations dedicated to the cause of Rajasthani language. He is author of many books on the Marwari Community and has received Rajasthani Bhasha, Sahitya & Sanskriti Academy's 'Pravasi Sahitya Shree' Award for his lifetime contribution to promoting Rajasthani outside the state.


Raj Liberhan

Raj Liberhan, director, India Habitat Centre (IHC), New Delhi, served in the Government of India's financial services for thirty years before moving to the non-governmental sector to head the IHC. He has varied experience with a significant range of responsibilities at senior levels in the government, public sector and NGO environments, building and sustaining organizations, programmes and missions with sector specific objectives and services.

As IHC's chief executive for the last fifteen years, he has helped create a unique institution where various professions and institutions dealing with different facets of habitat function, interact and attempt to resolve habitat related problems in a coordinated manner, and cooperate and collaborate with other national or international institutions. In these years, he has also anchored a public discourse on a variety of issues of concern to society and built a platform for public discourse amongst intellectuals, public spirited citizenry and academics. The endeavour has been to facilitate conversations amongst IHC's audiences across ethnic and regional identities so that a vibrant social and cultural fabric resonates above everything else. The India Habitat Centre is the symbol of that resonance.


Ratan Singh

Rattan Singh is a noted Urdu and Punjabi writer who has also published original work in Hindi. He has published more than 20 books and has translated many works into Urdu. He is a recipient of many awards including Sahitya Shiromani Award, Ghalib Award, Sahitya Academy Award for Translation, Maulana Abulkalam Azad Award and Aalmi Farogh-e-urdu Adab Award and Delhi Academy Fellowship.


Ravi Singh

Ravi Singh is co-publisher, Aleph Book Company, and publishing director, Rupa Publications. Before this, he was publisher and editor-in-chief, Penguin India, and assistant editor, Delhi Diary magazine. Since the mid 1990s he has worked with many of the biggest names in South Asian literature.


Ravish Kumar

Ravish Kumar has been working with NDTV India, a national news channel in Hindi, for more than fifteen years. He does a weekly report called Ravish ki Report on NDTV India. His work can be accessed on www.tubaah.com.

He has won several awards including the Ramnath Goenka Award for excellence in journalism. His blog is called naisadak.blogspot.com. Ravish has been reviewing blogs for Hindi Daily Hindustan for more than two years. He has published one book, Dekhte Rahiye, and his next book is going to be published by Penguin India.


Rekha Vasanth

Rekha Vasanth is an eminent Kodava writer and scholar.

Ro Hith

A poet and a medico from Andhra Pradesh, Rohith has been writing poetry for six years now. His work has been published in online magazines including Muse India, The Four Quarters Magazine, Istanbul Review, Kritya, New Mirage Journal and print magazines like Kavya Bharathi and Side Stream.

His translation of Telugu poetry into English was applauded by various senior poets. He is working on his first book of poems which will be published shortly, and on an online magazine that deals with progressive poetry and translations from various Indian languages.

Roop Rekha Verma

Roop Rekha Verma was vice-chancellor, professor and head, philosophy department, and, dean, Faculty of Arts, Lucknow University. She is a prolific writer and has published more than four dozen research papers in India and abroad. She has been nominated by the Government of India as executive council member, Aligarh Muslim University, in Mahila Samakhya and in the academic committees of NCERT, Bhatkhande Music University and UP Social Welfare Board. She was also selected as national lecturer, University Grants Commission. She established the Institute of Women's Studies in Lucknow University and was its director.

She has been awarded Begum Hazrat Mahal Award for communal harmony and Lifetime Achievement Award by the Indian Social Science Association. She is the founder secretary of a social organization called Saajhi Duniya, which battles violence against women, advocates for the equal and full participation of women in all efforts and promotes communal harmony and secularism.


Sanjay Kak

Sanjay Kak is a self-taught, independent documentary film-maker. His films include Red Ant Dream, about the persistence of the revolutionary ideal in India; Jashn-e-Azadi, about the idea of freedom in Kashmir; Words on Water, about the struggle against the Narmada dams in central India; and In the Forest Hangs a Bridge, about the making of a thousand foot bridge of cane and bamboo in north-east India.

He has made One Weapon, a video on democracy in the fiftieth year of Indian independence, and twinned films on the theme of migration, looking at people of Indian origin in the fringes of London in This Land, My Land, Eng-Land! and in post-apartheid South Africa in A House and a Home, as well as Cambodia: Angkor Remembered , a reflection on the monument and its place in Khmer society.

In 2008 he participated in Manifesta7, the European Biennial of Art, in Bolzano, Italy, with the installation A Shrine to the Future: The Memory of a Hill, about bauxite mining Orissa's Niyamgiri hills.

He writes occasional political commentary, and is the editor of the book Until My Freedom Has Come: The New Intifada in Kashmir.

Sanjeev Kumar

Sanjeev Kumar is the recipient of the prestigious Devi Shankar Avasthi Samman for his book of criticism titled Jainendra and Ajney: Srijan ka Saidhantik Naipathya.

He is the author of Teen Sau Ramayanein evam Anay Nibandh and co-editor with Vasudha Dalmiya of a women-centric magazine. His stories have appeared in Kathadesh, Bnaas Jan, and Sarika. He is associated with the publication of Naya Path, a magazine of Jan Lekhak Sangh Centre.

He teaches Hindi in Deshbandhu College, University of Delhi.


Satyanand Nirupam

Satyanand Nirupam is editorial director, Rajkamal Prakashan Group and creative director, Samanvay: IHC Indian Languages' Festival and Patna Literature Festival. In the past, he has worked with Delhi Press as associate editor and with Penguin Books India as editor. In his years with Penguin, he steadily built a list of important titles, by established as well as emerging authors, focusing exclusively on original works. These offbeat titles spoke to the evolving needs of Hindi readership.

Nirupam plays an active role in promoting a book-reading culture and debates-discussions in Hindi through all possible media channels. As member, programme advisory committee, India Habitat Centre (New Delhi), he coordinates a poetry reading series there called Kavi ke Sath. He has also been coordinator and co-concept developer for Bahastalab, a popular debate series


Shamsur Rahman Faruqi

Acclaimed writer Shamsur Rahman Faruqi is also modern Urdu’s most celebrated critic. He was editor and publisher of the highly regarded literary journal Shabkhoon, and is the author of a landmark four-volume study of the poet Mir Taqi Mir, and another four-volume work on Urdu's immense oral romance, Dastan-e Amir Hamza. He received the prestigious Saraswati Samman in 1996 for his contribution to Urdu literature. The Mirror of Beauty, originally published in Urdu (Kai Chand The Sar-e Asman) to huge acclaim, is his first English novel.


Sharda Sinha

Padmashri Sharda Sinha, an exponent of folk music, was initiated into the Indian classical music by Late Pt. Raghu Jha, an eminent Khayal Singer of Panchgachhiya Gharana. Her further training came from the Late Pt. Sitaram Hari Dandekar and Panna Devi.

She started making magic with her voice when she was almost a non-entity in the music world. With her debutant Maithili number, ‘Dularua bhaiya’ she raised a storm which heralded the dawn of a new era in the realm of folk music.

Her numbers in Hindi blockbusters, including the recent ‘Taar Bijli Se’ in Gangs of Wasseypur-2, have made her a loved singer all over India.

A recipient of the most prestigious awards and honors for her contribution to the field of music, at present she heads the Department of Music, Women’s College, Samastipur, Bihar.


Shashi Deshpande

Novelist and short story writer Shashi Deshpande has ten novels, two crime novellas, a number of short story collections, a book of essays and four children’s books to her credit. Three of her novels have received awards, including the Sahitya Akademi award for That Long Silence. Small Remedies, Moving On, In the Country of Deceit, Ships that Pass and Shadow Play, which was released very recently, are her latest novels. Some of her short stories and novels have been translated into a number of Indian as well as many European languages.

Apart from fiction, she has written essays and articles on literature, language, on Indian writing in English, feminism and women’s writing, Some have been collected in the book Writing from the Margin. She has written the script for the award-winning Hindi feature film Drishti and translated two plays by Adya Rangacharya, eminent Kannada writer, as well as his memoirs, from Kannada into English as also a novel by Gauri Deshpande from Marathi into English.

She was on the advisory board (for English) of the Sahitya Akademi for five years and the chairperson of the jury for the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, 2000. She was awarded the Padmi Shri in 2008.

Shashi Deshpande lives in Bangalore with her husband, a pathologist.


Shilpa Shukla

Shilpa Shukla started her acting career with eminent theatre personality M.K. Raina. Later she worked with director Arvind Gaur of the Asmita Theatre Group. Her major plays are Mahesh Dattani’s Final Solutions and Tara, Govind Deshpande’s Antim Diwas, Ashok Lal’s Ek Mamooli Aadmi, Girish Karnad’s Rakt Kalyan and Neil Simon’s Log-Baag. After making her film debut with the critically acclaimed Khamosh Pani , she next appeared in Sudhir Mishra’s Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi. Popular acclaim came her way, when she played Bindia Naik in Chak De! India, which got her a Filmfare Award nomination and also the National Award consideration.

Her recent film B.A.Pass, directed by debutant director Ajay Bahl, won the best film Audience Choice Award at the South Asian Alternative Film Festival (SAAFF) in Paris, France. In 2012, the film was named the Best Film in the Indian Competition at the 12th Osian’s Cinefan Film Festival.


Shuddhabrata Sengupta

Shuddhabrata Sengupta is a media practitioner, filmmaker and writer with the Raqs Media Collective, and one of the initiators of Sarai. His recent work involves textual explorations of aesthetics, surveillance and cyberculture. He is currently working on a series of new media and digital culture projects at the Sarai Media Lab.


Subhash Chandra Kushwaha

Subhash Chandra Kushwaha is the author of the poetry collections Asha and Qaid Mein Hai Zindagi; books of short stories named Hakim Saray ka Akhiri Aadmi and Buchadkhaana; and a ghazal collection, Gaon Hue Begaane Ab. He has also edited story collections and a book on folk culture, along with the special issue on farmers of Kathadesh.


Surjit Patar

Surjit Patar is a Punjabi poet who obtained a master’s degree from Punjabi University, Patiala, and then a Ph.D in literature on ‘Transformation of Folklore in Guru Nanak Vani’ from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. He joined the academic profession and retired as a professor of Punjabi from Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana.

He started writing poetry in the mid-sixties. Among his works of poetry are Hawa Vich Likhe Harf, Birkh Arz Kare, Hanere Vich Sulagdi Varnmala, Lafzaan Di Dargah, Patjhar Di Pazeb and Surzameen.

He has translated into Punjabi the three tragedies of Federico García Lorca, and poems of Bertolt Brecht and Pablo Neruda. He has also adapted plays by Jean Giradoux, Euripides and Racine. He has written tele-scripts on Punjabi poets from Sheikh Farid to Shiv Kumar Batalvi.

He has held the office of president, Punjabi Sahit Akademi, Ludhiana.


Sushma Asur

Sushma Asur (b 1983), educated till 12th standard, is a brave young voice from Jharkhand's tribal community, Asur. A popular poet and language activist, Sushma is seen as a symbol of the Asur identity in our times.


Sylvanus Lamare

Sylvanus Lamare is a poet and short-story writer in Khasi and English. His doctorate in sociolinguistics was on the topic ‘Language Awareness among the Khasis’. His area of research and interest is Khasi and related communities. He is general council member, Sahitya Akademi and member of the focus group to prepare a position paper on the Teaching of Indian Languages.

He has translated children’s literature for National Book Trust, India, and has assisted the Central Institute of Indian Languages in the survey of Khasi dialects. He has represented Khasi in regional, national and international fora.

Currently, he is principal, St. Edmund’s College, Shillong.


Sitanshu Yashaschandra

SitanshuYashaschandra is among contemporary Gujarati literature’s most eminent representatives. A poet, playwright, translator and academic, he has received several awards over the years from the Sahitya Akademi Award for his opus, Jatayu, to the Padma Shri. He has authored three books of poetry.

Yashaschandra has worked as vice-chancellor, Saurashtra University; UGC Emeritus Professor and national lecturer; and chief editor, Encyclopedia of Indian Literature (Sahitya Akademi). His doctoral work at Indiana University, USA, was in comparative literature, and at the University of Bombay, in Indian and western poetics. He has also been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and a Ford West European Fellowship for research in comparative literature. He has taught, as professor and chair of Gujarati, at the M.S. University, Baroda, and has been visiting professor, Sorbonne University, Paris; Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, andJadavpur University, Kolkata.

His creative and critical theory work is mainly in Gujarati but has been widely translated into Hindi and other languages. He has translated several works of poetry, drama and criticism from English to Gujarati. Tokhaar, his adaptation of Peter Shaffer’s Equus, was hailed as a landmark play in modern Gujarati theatre.


Tenzin Tsundue

Born to a Tibetan refugee family labouring on India’s border roads in Himachal in early 70's, Tenzin Tsundue is a writer and activist today living in Dharamshala. Author of four books: Crossing the Border, Kora, Semshook and Tsengol, Tsundue won the first Outlook-Picador Award for Non-Fiction for his essay “My Kind of Exile” in 2001. He joined Friends of Tibet (India) in 1999 and campaigns in India for his country's freedom struggle. Tsundue is an important voice in the Tibetan community.

Tsundue's writings have been published in Indian newspapers, magazines. He is also anthologized in Asian and international literary journals and books. As a poet, he represented Tibet in Sahitya Akademi’s Second South Asian Literary Conference in New Delhi (2005) Poetry Africa in Durban (2005) and Jaipur Literature Festival, 2010. Some of his writings are published in : www.friendsoftibet.org/tenzin


Tripurari Sharan Sharma

Tripurari Sharan, a Bihar cadre 1985 batch IAS officer, is director general, Doordarshan, and has served as director, Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. He has a Bachelor’s degree in physics and is a post-graduate in sociology.


Udaya Narayana Singh

Born in 1951, Udaya Narayana Singh is an internationally renowned linguist, translation theoretician, lexicographer and creative writer, and has served as the pro-vice-chancellor of Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan. He also acted as the director of the Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore. He taught linguistics, English studies and translation studies at the University of Hyderabad, University of Delhi, South Gujarat University, Surat, and MS University, Baroda.

Singh is a bilingual writer in Bangla and Maithili, and has published 6 poetry collections (with translations in Indian and European languages), 11 plays and 6 books of literary essays, besides having translated 6 books. In addition, he has authored over 180 research papers in linguistics and edited about 16 books.

He led the Indian cultural delegation to China during 2007–08, and was a member of the Indian delegation to UNESCO in 2011, and to France and USA in 2012. He has also been a poet-invitee at the Frankfurt Book Fair and the London Book Fair.


Umang Sabarwal

Uman Sabarwal is best known for having organized the Delhi Slutwalk 2011 as a young Delhi University student.


Varun Grover

Varun Grover is an engineer from IIT-Varanasi who couldn't develop any feelings for a 9 to 5 job. Pre-empting a pink-slip, he moved to Mumbai to become a writer and wrote stand-up comedy for The Great Indian Comedy Show and Oye! It's Friday on a fast-degrading Indian TV. To regain his sanity, he wrote Hindi short fiction for Pratilipi, Kathadesh and Eklavya's children-science magazine Chakmak.

He currently writes regularly for Chakmak and the online show Jay Hind, and performs stand-up comedy at some of the biggest as well as shadiest venues in India.

He has also written lyrics for Anurag Kashyap's two-part epic Gangs of Wasseypur and Rajat Kapoor's upcoming Aankhon Dekhi.

Vinod Kumar Shukla

Vinod Kumar Shukla, born in 1937, is a modern Hindi writer known for his simple yet charming style that often borders on magic-realism. His works include the novels Naukar ki Kameez, which has been made into a movie, The Servant's Shirt, by Mani Kaul; and Deewar Mein Ek Khirkee Rahati Thi, which won the Sahitya Akademi Award for the best Hindi work in 1999.


Viveka Rai

Viveka Rai has been professor of Kannada and Tulu Literature/Folklore, Mangalore University, and vice-chancellor, Kannada University and Karnataka State Open University. Currently he is guest professor, Department of Indology, University of Wurzburg, Germany.

He is member, Sahitya Akademi, Delhi, and of the Karnataka Sahitya Academy. His major areas of interest are marginal cultures (tribal, Dalits, women), minor languages and oral traditions, including oral epics. He has about fifty books on Kannada and Tulu literature, folklore and culture.


Vrinda Grover

Vrinda Grover’s work is a human rights lawyer and advocate for women’s rights. She has done extensive work on rape law amendments and women's issues.


Volga

Volga is one of the writers to have introduced a feminist perspective into the literary political discourse of Andhra Pradesh through Telugu literature. One of her novels, Sveccha, marks a watershed in women’s writing in Telugu and is now being published in all Indian languages by the National Book Trust, India. Volga organized the Feminist Study Circle in Hyderabad for two years and edited the first volume in feminist philosophy in Telugu, Maku Godalu Levu. Her anthology of stories titled Rajakiya Kathalu, which looks at oppression and control of a woman’s body, has paved the way for more feminist stories in the language.

Presently executive chairperson and founder member, Asmita Resource Centre for Women, Volga has edited an anthology of poems called Neeli Meghalu, co-edited a volume Sarihaddulu Leni Sandhyalu, which deals with feminist political praxis in Andhra Pradesh, and co-authored the book Saramsam, which documents the anti-arrack struggle. She also co-authored Mahilavaranam/Womanscape, a volume on women who built the history of Andhra Pradesh. She received the Best Writer Award from the Potti Sriramulu Telugu University. She has written books on feminist literary criticism and translated several texts into Telugu. She wrote the lyrics for the Kuchipudi dance ballets War and Peace and Lakshmana Rekha, on the effect of war on women and on domestic violence, produced by Asmita and staged all over Andhra Pradesh.



Warimeki Lyngwa

Warimeki. Lyngwa is a singer, RJ, anchor, news presenter and announcer in All India Radio and Doordarshan.



Yakoob

Kavi Yakoob is a college teacher by profession, and a poet, researcher, writer and singer by choice and natural propensities. During his college days, as a student activist he lent expression to his angst through poetry and soon became a popular poet on the Telugu literary scene. His works Pravahinche Gnaapakam, Sarihaddu Rekha, Yedategani Prayaanam are some of the milestones in his literary career.

Yakoob’s early poems were translated into English and published as Arc of Unrest. He has edited twelve books and authored seven books, of which three are anthologies of his verses, while the others are works of literary criticism. His poems have been translated in Hindi, English, Malayalam, Tamil and Kannada, and he has been the recipient of several awards and honours over the years.

Currently, he is an associate professor and head of department of Telugu, Anwarul Uloom (Autonomous) College, Hyderabad.