HK Dua, one of the best-known editors and commentators, this collection of essays puts together some of the most eminent names from the arena of politics and the academic world. While articulate politicians such as Suresh Prabhu, Sitaram Yechury and Manish Tewari look at the issue from their ideological standpoints, among the well-known academics Arun Kumar, Bibek Debroy, Zoya Hasan and Anil Bokil bring a new perspective to the debate.
Balraj Khanna, one of the best-known Indian artists in Europe today, has written a number of books. Nation of Fools, his acclaimed 1984 novel, won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize. It was chosen as one of the 200 best novels since 1950 in The Modern Library by Carmen Callil and Colm Toibin. Khanna lives in London.
Sophie Judah, who now lives in Israel, is the daughter of an Indian Army officer and once worked as an air hostess in India. Victory Tea Estate is perhaps the most fascinating tea-garden novel ever written. In praise of the book, eminent writer Namita Gokhale says, “This story of life on the old tea estates evokes a time and place with empathy and insight.”
Tehzeeb Doctor – Starting her career as a copywriter at an advertising agency in Mumbai, Tehzeeb Doctor soon took a year off to volunteer as a teacher at Sadhna School for the mentally challenged. Later she joined the Seventeen India magazine and went on to become its Managing Editor. Looking for a new challenge Doctor moved to Singapore and worked as an editor at Ink Publishing there. Back in Mumbai, she has started Liberarte Central, an academy for the senior citizens to pursue their learning interests. Tied in Knots is her debut novel.
A. M. Basheer – A Civil Judge in Kerala, A. M. Basheer is the author of Uruppa, a Malayalam novel first published in 2007. His short stories, published in various popular Malayalam periodicals and later as a collection, Oru Porali Janikkunnu, in 1992, won him several prizes. His plays were broadcast by radio stations in Thrissur, Kozhikode and Trivandrum. Riot Widows is his debut novel in English.
Anisul Hoque – Born in Rangpur, Bangladesh in 1965, Anisul Hoque trained as an engineer. He, however, opted for the world of writing. A Deputy Editor on the Prothom Alo, Dhaka’s leading newspaper, he is a prolific writer in Bengali. He has written fifteen novels, a collection of poems and a considerable volume of nonfiction. He secured his position on the literary landscape of his country with the publication of Ma in 2003. A bestseller in Bangladesh, it has so far run into forty-four editions. In 2009 the book won the Citi-Ananda Alo award for best fiction. Freedom’s Mother is the English translation of Ma.
Ashok Pandey – From a village school without a building, Ashok Pandey went on to graduate from Rajendra College, Chapra, Bihar and took a master’s from the University of Bihar. He holds a PhD from Magadh University. Later he did a post-graduate course in development administration at the University of Manchester, UK and another programme at Henley Management College, University of Reading. After a stint as a college lecturer, he joined the Indian Administrative Service and served as a young officer in Assam and Meghalaya. He later moved over to the Government of India and held key positions in about half a dozen ministries. After stints in Bihar and Food Corporation of India, he joined the Parliament Secretariat and retired from there. Ashok Pandey On YouTube
Dev Saha – Born in Calcutta, Dev Saha studied in Pune earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science and later, an MBA in marketing. He works for a French IT company in Calcutta. The Brotherhood is his debut novel.
Dilip Bobb – A Graduate form St Xavier’s College, Calcutta, Dilip Bobb was part of the team that launched India Today in the late seventies. He went on to become the Managing Editor of the magazine and covered major events in India and abroad for it. Ending his long innings at India Today in 2010, he joined the Indian Express as Group Editor, Features and Special Projects. Bobb now holds a senior position at NDTV.
John W Hood – John W. Hood majored in Philosophy and Indian Studies at Melbourne University, and later studied the work of Niharranjan Ray for his doctoral thesis. A regular writer on Indian cinema, he critiqued some of the most iconic figures of parallel cinema in The Essential Mystery: Major Filmmakers of Indian Art Cinema.
K K Varma – Beginning his career with a teaching stint at IIT Kharagpur, K. K. Varma has spent long years in the social sector, working for a UN agency and in association with a few international organisations. He currently holds a key position at Childreach International India. Life and times of Unborn Kamla is an outcome of his long research.
Karan Singh – In his persona and intellectual pursuit Karan Singh combines many strands of the Indian consciousness. Born as the heir to the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir in British India, he is steeped in traditions and spiritual values. A renowned Sanskrit scholar, he has surveyed and merged into the spiritual landscape with his deep appreciation of Sri Aurobindo, Paramhansa Yogananda, Anandmayi Ma and so on. And yet he is a modern man exposed to the Western influences, enjoying Elvis Presley and scorching rock. Appointed Regent of Jammu and Kashmir at 18 in 1949, his life has been an integral part of the Indian journey since Independence. The accident of his birth and later, his own tryst with destiny brought him close to many remarkable personalities around the world. Among them are Nobel laureates, legendary leaders, radicals and revolutionaries. A distinguished parliamentarian, he is a prolific writer too. Meetings with Remarkable Women offers vignettes of a long array of personalities some of whom are household names. Through the sketches come out unknown sides of quite a few redoubtable women and also interesting slices of history.
KRG Nair – Born in Kerala, KRG Nair went to Collage in Delhi soon after Independence and over the years has become an inseparable part of the city’s academic milieu. A distinguished teacher, he was the Head of Delhi University’s Business Economics Department. A prolific writer on socio-economic issues, he recently published his memoir, Road Not Taken. Onam on the Yamuna Banks is Nair’s first foray into fiction writing.
Mani Shankar Aiyar – After he left the Indian Foreign Service in 1989 to make an alternative career in politics and the media, Aiyar won the Parliamentary election from Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu, three times starting from 1991 and is currently a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha. He was conferred the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award, 2006, by the President of India.
Merlaine Hemstraat – A spiritual counsellor, Merlaine Hemstraat has studied India’s metaphysical tradition. She lives in Toronto. Peacocks among the Tamarind Trees is her debut novel.
Neeru Iyer – Born and raised in Chennai, Neeru Iyer lives in Pittsburgh, United States. She has been associated with The Equator Line Magazine since its start in 2012. She occasionally writes fiction in Tamil.
Robert Hutchison – Robert Hutchison who read at Montreal’s McGill University interrupted his studies to travel and subsequently take up a career in journalism. During his long stint as a foreign correspondent for the Sunday and Daily Telegraph, London, he covered major international events, among them the Arab-Israeli war in 1967 and its aftermath, and 1969 Islamic Summit at Rabat. A series of articles in The Financial Post of Toronto on international financial frauds and corruption won him the National Business Writing Award and three citations for outstanding investigative reporting in Canada in the 1970’s. His long affair with the Himalayas and memories of the Raj has brought Hutchison into fiction writing from the journalist’s daily beat.
Rohit Trilokekar – Born in Mumbai, Rohit Trilokekar earned his B.A. in English, and later got an MBA in marketing. Working as a sales executive he took a sabbatical to pursue his interest in writing. Subsequently he left his job to become a full-time writer. The Kitty Buddha is his debut novel.
Sethu – Born in Ernakulam in 1942, Sethu published his first short story in the leading Malayalam weekly, Mathrubhumi, when he was 25. His oeuvre comprises eighteen novels and twenty collections of short stories. Extensively translated, his most acclaimed novel, Pandavapuram, has been published in seven other languages. Four of his novels including Pandavapuram, have been made into films. Winner of the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award, he has been conferred the Kerala Sahitya Award twice. He lives in Kadungallor village in Ernakulam district.
Winner of the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award, Sethu is one of the most widely read writers around India.
Shankar Kashyap – Shankar Kashyap practises as an orthopaedic surgeon at Gateshead, UK and visits medical institutions around the world as a guest lecturer. He is an avid researcher of the Indus Valley Civilization and archaeological finds from Harappa and Mohenjo-daro. He writes a regular blog on the subject. Harappa: The Lure of Soma is an outcome of his long research.
Subhashini Dinesh – Subhashini Dinesh read Political Science at Calcutta University. She worked for several newspapers before taking up her present assignment as Assistant Professor at Asian College of Journalism, Chennai.
Taha Kehar – Born in Karachi, Taha Kehar reads Law at SOAS, University of London. His two collections of poems – Writing Words of Fire (2012) and Revolution’s Child (2013) – are a testimony to the young writer’s deep concern and uneasiness about the turmoil in the world around him. He writes occasional journalistic piece for publications in Pakistan. Of Rift and Rivalry is his debut novel.