The Bangalore Literature Festival [BLF] fêtes reading and writing. Bookworms and bibliophiles are invited to bask in the winter sun in the Garden City of India and meet writers from everywhere — local, national and international — as this festival brings the world to ‘Namma Bengaluru’. BLF celebrates this creative spirit of the city popular as the Garden City of India and commemorates the literary diversity it offers, bringing it in conversation with the best minds in the world of literature within and outside India.
Author, journalist and politician Arun Shourie has received several national and international awards, including the Padma Bhushan, the Magsaysay Award, the Dadabhai Naoroji Award, the Astor Award and the International Editor of the Year Award. Acclaimed as one of ‘World Press Freedom Heroes’ by the International Press Institute, a “Star of Asia” by Business Week and “Business Leader of the Year” by the Economic Times jury, he was a minister in the government of India 1998–2004. His books include Does He Know a Mother’s Heart? How Suffering Refutes Religions, We Must Have No Price, Worshipping False Gods, Falling Over Backwards: An essay against Reservations and against Judicial populism, The World of Fatwas or the Sharia in Action, Harvesting Our Souls and Hinduism: Essence and Consequence.
Chetan Bhagat is the best-selling author of six books – Five Point Someone, One Night @ the Call Center, The 3 Mistakes of My Life, 2 States, Revolution 2020 and What Young India Wants. His new novel Half Girlfriendis ready for release. Some of his novels have been adapted into successful Bollywood films. The New York Times called him the biggest selling English language novelist in India’s history. Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world. A columnist with leading dailies, a sought-after motivational speaker and a screenplay writer, Chetan quit his international investment banking career in 2009 to pursue writing.
Born in 1938, Girish Karnad obtained his bachelor’s degree from the Karnatak University in 1958 and then proceeded on a fellowship to study at Oxford where he secured his M.A. degree in 1963. Karnad is internationally known as a playwright, but is also a highly talented film-maker, a versatile actor, an able cultural administrator, a noted communicator and a person of wide accomplishments and interests. Based on his serious explorations of folklore, mythology and history, the subject of his plays reflect the problems and challenges of contemporary life, and endeavour to forge a link between the past and the present. The creative intellectual that he is, he obviously views the subjects of his plays from his own perspective, develops them in the crucible of his own imagination and personal experiences, and employs them as a medium to communicate his own-independent and original-feelings, thoughts and interpretations.
Honours and awards: 1. Central Sangeeth Natak Akademi award for his play Hayavadana 2. Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya award in 1978. 3. His play “Nagamandala” was premiered in Minneapolis in the USA. 4. Staged all over the world 5. Samskara won the best film award 6. Vamsha Vriksha got national and state awards 7. Visiting professor at the University of Chicago in 1987-88 8. Director of the Film and Television Institute of India 9. Chairman of the Central Sangeeth Natak Akademi 10. Jnanpith award
Works: 1. Hayavadana 2. Yayati 3. Tughalak 4. Anjumallige 5. Hittina Hunja Taledanda 6. Agni mathu Male 7. Tippuvina Kannasugalu 8. Translated his plays from Kannada into English 9. Translated his play Tughalak into German and Hungarian. 10. Director, actor and screenplay writer for many Kannada movies such as Samskara, Vamsha Vriksha, Kadu, Kanooru Heggadithi.
Rajiv Malhotra is an Indian–American researcher, writer, speaker and public intellectual on current affairs as they relate to civilizations, cross-cultural encounters, religion and science. He studied physics at St. Stephens College in Delhi and went for post-graduate studies in physics and then computer science to the USA. Rajiv served in multiple careers, including: software development executive, Fortune 100 senior corporate executive, strategic consultant, and successful entrepreneur in the information technology and media industries. At the peak of his career when he owned 20 companies in several countries, he took early retirement at age 44 to pursue philanthropy, research and public service. He established Infinity Foundation for this purpose in 1994.
Rajiv has conducted original research in a variety of fields and has influenced many other thinkers in India and the West. He has disrupted the mainstream thought process among academic and non-academic intellectuals alike, by providing fresh provocative positions on Dharma and on India. Some of the focal points of his work are: Interpretation of Dharma for the current times; comparative religion, globalization, and India’s contributions to the world.
He has authored hundreds of articles, provided strategic guidance to numerous organizations and has over 300 video lectures available online. To best understand Rajiv’s thoughts and contributions, his books are a good resource. Besides “Invading the Sacred”, in which Rajiv is the main protagonist, he has authored the following game changing books:
– Being Different: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism
– Breaking India: Western Interventions in Dravidian and Dalit Faultlines; and
– Indra’s Net: Defending Hinduism’s Philosophical Unity
Currently, Rajiv Malhotra is the full-time founder-director of Infinity Foundation in Princeton, NJ. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Center for Indic Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, and is adviser to various organizations.
Infinity Foundation has given more than 400 grants for research, education and community work. It has provided strategic grants to major universities in support of pioneering programs including: visiting professorships in Indic studies at Harvard University, Yoga and Hindi classes at Rutgers University, research and teaching of nondualistic philosophies at University of Hawaii, Global Renaissance Institute and a Center for Buddhist studies at Columbia University, a program in religion and science at University of California, endowment for the Center for Advanced Study of India at University of Pennsylvania, lectures at the Center for Consciousness Studies at University of Arizona.
Rani Mukerji is an award-winning actor with a firm place in the Bollywood firmament. The leading lady of several films, she is known both for her blockbuster films as well as critically acclaimed ones. Her films include Mardaani, No One Killed Jessica, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Bunty Aur Babli, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, Veer-Zaara and Talaash to name a few. For her roles in the films Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), Yuva (2004), and No One Killed Jessica (2011), Mukerji won the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress. She also won the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress for her roles in Saathiya (2002) and Black (2005), and received the Filmfare Award for Best Actress for her roles in Hum Tum (2004) and Black (2005).
With over three decades of seminal reporting from the political and social frontlines of a changing India, Shekhar Gupta’s byline is today synonymous with unparalleled credibility, independence and influence. His work includes some of the most significant investigations in contemporary journalism in the region: from Indira Gandhi’s Operation Blue Star to the disastrous Indian intervention in Sri Lanka, from tracking Pakistan’s politics and military to the first Afghan jihad and its effect in Kashmir.
A recipient of the Padma Bhushan in 2009, India’s third highest civilian honour, Gupta is Editor-in-Chief of The Indian Express newspaper. Under his leadership, The Indian Express has thrice won the Vienna-based International Press Institute’s Award for Excellence in Journalism. He joined the newspaper as a reporter in 1977 and then spent a decade in India Today as a reporter and editor.
A regular speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos and its India summits, Gupta is the author of Assam: A Valley Divided (1984) and a monograph, ‘India Redefines Its Role’ (1995), for the International Institute for Strategic Studies, London, where he is a member of the Council. He also anchors Walk the Talk, a weekly conversation on NDTV with newsmakers from across the world. A collection of these interviews will be published soon.
A proud father of a pastry chef in Delhi and a mathematical economist in London, Gupta lives in New Delhi with his wife—and the company of an adorable family of dogs and cats whom you would call stray at your own peril.
Shobhaa De’s 17 books have all been runaway bestsellers. Her latest, Sethji, was declared this season’s hottest seller by the book trade. A widely read columnist in leading publications, she is known for her outspoken views, making her one of India’s most respected opinion shapers. She lives in Mumbai with her family.
Sidin Vadukut is the author of four books. His bestselling Dork trilogy of office culture humour novels told the story of Robin Einstein Varghese–unlikely corporate titan, strategy guru and international Malayali man of mystery. His fourth book is The Sceptical Patriot, a bestselling collection of investigations into the veracity of oft-quoted glories and achievement in Indian history. Vadukut is an editor and columnist with the Mint newspaper, and a contributor to Cricinfo, Quartz, the Khaleej Times, and several other unsuspecting publications. He lives, and tweets, in London with his wife, daughter and a painfully slow metabolism