SOA Literary Festival

SAVE THE DATE! 2nd Edition| November 24-26 | 2023

SOA Campus-2, Kalinga Nagar, Bhubaneswar

It’s Free

2023 Speakers

Our Speakers

The SOA Literary Festival owes its success to a dedicated team of authors who have poured their passion, creativity, and hard work into making this platform a thriving celebration of literature. These authors, whose names and backgrounds may vary, share a common commitment to the written word and a vision of fostering a vibrant literary community.

A. Krishna Rao is a senior journalist, poet, and literary critic based in Delhi. He is presently working as Associate Editor, Andhra Jyothy. Rao has vast experience of about 40 years in Journalism having worked in Delhi for 31 years. Popularly known as ‘Krishnudu’ in literary circles, Rao authored five books of poetry and three other works pertaining to politics and literature. He has received several awards including Kendra Sahitya Academy Award for his outstanding translation work.  He wrote the biography of former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao in English and Telugu.

Revathi is a leader of the transgender community and theatre artist with a career spanning more than a decade. She has served as the Director of Sangama, an organization fighting for the rights of people whose gender identity, gender expression or behavior does not conform to general thinking, where she worked on crisis intervention, community mobilization, advocacy and foraging links between the transgender and dalit and adivasi women’s movements. She has three publications to her credit and has written three plays which are staged regularly. Her name has been on display at the Butler Library, Columbia University, with the likes of Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison.

Ajay Varma Alluri is an eminent bilingual writer and translator from Karnataka. Alluri has published several books including Gagana Sindhu, Diana Mara, Kalala Kanneeti Paata, Vimukthe, Naalkane Ekare, Nalana Damayanti, RSS: Lothupathul and Damayantiya Magalu. He has won the D. R. Bendre Poetry Prize, Aa. Na. Kru Short Story Prize, Prahalada Agasanakatte Award and Kuvempu Bhasha Bharathi Award for his works. He has previously worked with Oxford University Press as a Kannada Language editor and as a research fellow at Ashoka Centre for Translation, Ashoka University. Ajay is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Translation Studies from English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad.

Amod Maheswari is the Director of Rajkamal Prakashan Group. He manages the overall operations of the company including product development, marketing, communications, and logistics. He looks after Rajkamal Prakashan, Radhakrishna Prakashan and Lokbharti Prakashan and takes the lead across all aspects of the business by working with upper management and leading team members to create and implement strategies and goals. Invited as speaker in many intellectual programs, he was awarded Allahabad Seva Ratan by ‘Rashtriya Pustak Mela’ in 2017. He organized more than 55 book exhibitions and fairs across India to promote reading habit among the youth.

Anamika is an eminent Hindi poet who is presently working as Associate Professor, Department of English, Satyawati College of Delhi University. She has more than 30 published books to her credit. She has also translated the works of many distinguished writers like Octavio Paz, Rabindranath Tagore, Les Murray into Hindi. She is the recipient of many awards and honours including Sahitya Akademi Award, Rashtrabhasa Parishad Award, Bharat Bhushan Award, Kriti Samman, Parampara Samman, Bhartendu Samman, Firaq Samman, Sahityakar Samman, Kedar Samman, Mahadevi Verma Puraskar and Senior Fellowship from Ministry of Culture.

Anant Vijay is a senior journalist, columnist and author with more than two decades of journalistic experience. Presently he is working with Dainik Jagran newspaper. He received the National Award for best writing on Cinema. He has written twelve books across various genres and is the author of the bestselling book Marxwad Ka Ardhsatya. His latest book is Amethi Sangram/Dynasty to Democracy.

Anil Boro is a poet, critic, translator and folklorist. He has won the  Sahitya Akademi and Rangsar literature Awards. He has published more than 28 books (including five anthology of poems) including Folk Literature of the Bodos and A History of Bodo literature. He writes in Bodo, Assamese and English language. His edited works include Kok  Borok Subungmethaiarwkhonthai, Nepali Khonthaithubur, Maseilish Nanijuthi and Bangla solo zothai. The quarterly The Bodo and an e-magazine Thunslai are edited by him. A former executive member of Sahitya Akademi, Prof. Boro has visted many countries to attend conferences and literary programmes.

Anju Ranjan is a senior member of the Indian Foreign Service. She is currently posted as Consul General of  India at Johannesburg. She has worked as a diplomat in Indonesia, Nepal and Scotland. Her first collection of poems Colors of Prem was very popular. Displacement and Memories and Corona Ke Dauraan are her two other updated poetry collections. She has recently been awarded the Nayi Dhara Rachna Samman for Meri Corona Diary.

Arjun Deo Charan is a renowned Rajasthani playwright, poet, critic and theatre director. He has so far written 17 plays, few verses and edited books on criticism. He has biographies and some translations to his credit. He is the founder of Rammat Theatre Group. He has been the Head of Department of  Rajasthani in the Jai Narain Vyas University, Jodhpur and also served as the Chairman of  Rajasthan Sangeet Natak Akademi. He has won the Sahitya Akademi award, Bihari Puraskar, Sangeet Natak Akademi award, among others. He also served as the Vice-Chairman of National School of Drama, New Delhi.

Ashis Nandy is an eminent political psychologist, social theorist and critic. He has more than 25 books to his credit on different subjects. Many of  his articles have been published in prestigious magazines. Nandy has co-authored a number of human rights reports and has been the first UNESCO Chair at the Center for European Studies, University of Trier. Germany. He was Senior Fellow and Director of the Centre for the Study of  Developing Societies (CSDS) and the Senior Honorary Fellow of the institute. He has received the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize and figured in the list of Top 100 Public Intellectuals Poll of the Foreign Policy magazine.

Ashwani Kumar is a poet, writer, and professor at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. His anthologies, My Grandfather’s Imaginary Typewriter and Banaras And The Other are noted by critics for their subversive ‘whimsy’ quality. His Banaras And The Other was long listed for Jayadev National Poetry Award in 2017. Recently, Hungarian poet Gabor Lanczkor has translated his new poems for a special volume: Architecture of Alphabets. He is currently working on Ayodhya, the second of the Banaras trilogy and his non-fiction book Biharis. He is also co-founder of Indian Novels Collective to bring classic novels of Indian Literature to English readers.

Atul Tiwari is an award winning script writer, theatre director and curator. He has been trained at the National School of  Drama, German National Theatre and Berliner Ensemble. He has directed plays for professional repertories, drama schools and many theatre groups across the country and abroad in different languages. He has written more than two dozen films as screenplay/dialogue writer. He has worked for many prominent directors like Girish Kasaravalli, Govind Nihalani, Sudhir Mishra, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Ravi Kumar, Kamal Haasan and Shyam Benegal.

Balaram is an eminent Hindi writer. Some of his noted works include Kalam Hue Haath, Goa Mein Turn, Janani Janmbhumi, Aavagaman, Mrigjal, Maaf Kama Yaar etc. He is a recipient several honours including Sahitya Bhushan Samman, Bhimrao Ambedkar  Samman, Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Samman, Sahityakar Samman, Shatabdi Samman and Srijan Shikhar Samman. He has worked for the several newspapers which include Aaj, Sarika and Navbharat Times. After working for Lokayat and Shabdyog, presently, he is working as Guest Editor of Samkaleen Bhartiya Sahitya.

Binayak Bandyopadhyay is among the promising young crop of poets in India who is now regarded as the changing face of Bengali Fiction. He has already published 16 collections of poems and 24 novels. He has received the prestigious Krittibas Award, Bangla Academy award and Bhashanagar Award, among others.  Binayak represented the Bengali language and India in the Iowa International Writers Programme held at Iowa University, USA, in 2014.

Chandrahas Choudhury is a novelist and essayist. He is the author of three novels: Days of My China Dragon (2019), Clouds (2018) and Arzee the Dwarf (2009) and edited  India: A Traveler’s Literary Companion (2010). He is also the author of a collection of literary essays, My Country Is Literature. His writings have been translated into several other languages including German, Spanish, Hindi, Tamil, Korean and Italian.

Damodar Khadse is an eminent Hindi writer and translator. He has published four novels, eight short story collections, ten poetry collections and four travelogues. He has also translated 21 Marathi books into Hindi. His novel Badal Raag has been translated into seven Indian languages including English. He is a recipient of Sahitya Akademi Translation Prize, Central Hindi Institute Award, UP Hindi Award, Madhya Pradesh Sahitya Parishad Award, Maharashtra Hindi Sahitya Akademi Award and Central Hindi Directorate Award.

Damodar Mauzo is a distinguished Konkani fiction writer, critic and script writer. He has authored 16 books of which three are novels and five are short story collections. His book of stories, Teresa’s Man was nominated for the Frank O’ Connor International Award in 2015. He has written screenplays and dialogues for Konkani films which bagged awards and some of his stories have also been adapted for national television. He is the co-curator of the Goa Arts and Literature Festival and founding-member of PEN-South India. He has been honoured with Sahitya Akademi Award and the Bharatiya Jnanpith Award.

Devendra S. Manglamukhi is the state executive member and advisor to Uttar Pradesh Transgender Welfare Board. He is India’s first transgender Kathak artist. An author, speaker, writer, essayist, poet of  English Literature, Devendra has written on gender based violence, gender equality, women’s empowermen and education and has participated in various national and international literature festivals including The Festival of  Letters, New Delhi, 2022, Metaphor Bhagidari Literature Festival by Government of Uttar Pradesh, the International Literature Festival, Bhopal organised by Sahitya Akademi, Delhi, to name a few.

 

Divya Dutta is an actor, author and a poet. Known as one of the most versatile actors in the Indian film industry, the talented actor won a national award for best actor in a supporting role (female) in 2018. She has acted n more than 100 feature films in Hindi and Punjabi language, few of the notable films being Veer Zara, Bhag Milkha Bhag, Delhi-6, Badlapur and Stanley Ka Dabba. Her first poem titled Jab Sab Theek Hoga Na which was centered on the lockdown following the outbreak of Covid-19 was highly appreciated. Her memoir, Me and Ma, published in 2017 was one of the most talked about books of that year. She launched her second book in November 2021 titled The Stars in My Sky.

Dutta’s last film was Aankh Micholi in which she played the role of a daughter in law as a sweet yet evil woman who wants to teach the family a lesson for being deceitful. She was also part of a short film Sheer Quorma which has been doing the rounds in film festivals. The actress has an interesting line up of feature films, web shows and short films including films like Bandit Bandish 2, Sharmaji Ki Beti, File 323 and Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai to name a few.

Dushyant is a doctorate in history (Research: Gender Studies). He has taught History and Rajasthani in PG Colleges. He has also served as the Feature Editor (and Occasional Film Critic) with Rajasthan Patrika Group. He is a film professional, screen writer, lyricist, author and columnist. He has written 8 books of fiction, non-fiction and poems. He has also published 2 books of poetry translation. He writes columns for Navbharat Times and Amar Ujala. He is also a faculty in the Department of Film Art and Screen Writing at Ramesh Sippy Academy of Cinema and Entertainment (University of Mumbai).

Era Tak is a writer, film maker and painter. She is the author of  poetry collections titled Anchua Khwaab, Mere Priye and Canvas Par Dhoop, short story collection Raat Paheli and Chand Pass Hai and novels Risk@Ishq and Murti. Her latest books Love Drug and Kuch Panne Ishq has been published by leading publisher Penguin Random House. Her first audio novel गुस्ताखइश्क़ by Swiss Company Storytel has been a big hit. Tak is also a film maker. Her work includes short films Even the Child Knows, Flirting Mania, W Turn, Akshar and Rainbow. Now she is active as a script writer in Bollywood.

Girish Kasaravalli is a distinguished film maker. He has made 15 feature films, few documentaries, a telefilm and a TV serial. His 15 films have so far won 27 international awards, 25 national awards and the Karnataka State award on 44 occasions. Besides, Kasaravalli, who is also the founder President of Chitrasamooha, a forum of  non-mainstream film makers in Karnataka,  has won the President’s Lotus Award 17 times. He is also a recipient of the Padma Shri and honorary doctorate from the Kuvempu University. Seminal works have been done on Kasaravalli’s films by Manu Chakravarthy, Pradeep Biswas, Shakti Sengupta, John Hood, O. P. Srivastava and Ganesh Matkari.

Hemant Divate is a poet, editor, publisher, translator and literary activist. He is the author of eight collections of poems in Marathi. His most recent book has been translated into English and titled Paranoia. Divate’s poems have been translated into more than 30 international languages. His works have been translated into Spanish, Irish, Arabic, German and Estonian apart from English.

Hosang Merchant has written 30 books of poetry in 30 years. His papers are archived at Kroch Library of Cornell University, New York. He taught at Hyderabad University for 26 years. He was awarded the Rainbow Warrior award in 2019 for his lifetime achievement.

Jitendra Srivastava is an eminent Hindi Poet and critic. He also writes in Bhojpuri. At present, he is a Professor of Hindi in School of Humanities, IGNOU. He has also edited more than ten books. His long poem Sonchiraiya has been adapted into many stage plays. He edits the literary journal Ummeed and Nayi Ummeed. He is a recipient of several awards, among others, Bharat Bhushan Agarwal Samman, Devi Shankar Awasthi Samman, Kriti Samman, Ram Chandra Shukla Puraskar.

K. Sreenivasarao is a thinker, scholar, literary expert and administrator with the experience of over three decades in several positions of literary management and administration of national level literary institutions. K. Sreenivasarao is the Secretary of Sahitya Akademi since February 2013 and has been serving the institution for more than three decades. He is the author of Myths, Plays and Girish Karnad. His forthcoming titles include Bhartiya Sahitya Evam Sanskriti and Perspectives Essays on Indian Literature.

Kumar Anupam is a Hindi poet, painter, art and literary critic and translator whose works have been widely published and translated into many languages. His first collection of Hindi poems, Barish Mera Ghar Hai was published by Sahitya  Akademi in 2012. Kumar Anupam’s works include Mahattva: Ramdhari Singh Dinkar– Samar Sesh Hai, an edited book. He has been honoured with several awards including Sahitya Akademi Yuva Award (for Hindi literature), Hindi Sewa Vishisht Samman, Bharat Bhushan Agrawal Kavita Puraskar, Meera Mishra Smriti Kavita Puraskar and Vishnu Prabhakar Sahitya Samman.

Kumud Sharma is an eminent Hindi writer and Vice President of Sahitya Akademi. She is a Professor in the Department of Hindi, University of Delhi. She has 13 published books on various subjects such as media, discourses on women and literature to her credit besides many published articles in reputed newspapers and magazines. She has been a member of many academic bodies. She is a recipient of Sahitya Bhushan Samman, Bhartendu Harischandra Puraskar, Damodar Chaturvedi Smriti Samman and Sahitya Shree Samman.

Leeladhar Mandloi is an eminent Hindi poet. His poems are translated into English, Russian, Nepali, Bengali, Urdu, Odia, Marathi, Gujarati and Punjabi. He is a recipient of Kabir Award, Pushkin Award, Raza Award, Nagarjuna Award, Shamsher Award, Kishori Amonkar Award, Ramvilas Sharma Award, Vageeshwari Award, Kriti Pramod Verma Award and Sahityakaar Samman.

 M.A. Alwar is an acclaimed Sanskrit scholar who has specialised in all systems of Indian philosophy. He has been working as Professor of  Nyaya Sastra for more than twenty years at the Government Maharaja’s Sanskrit College, Mysore. He has been a Research Scholar for about three years at Indian Council of Philosophical Research, New Delhi and at Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha (Deemed University), Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. He is an Honorary Director of the Samskriti Foundation (R), Mysore and Honorary Editor/Advisor of  Research Projects. He is also an expert manuscriptologist and has authored five books. He has edited and published more than 50 books on various topics pertaining to the fields of his expertise.

Maalan is an eminent bilingual writer and journalist. He is honoured with many coveted awards that include Award for Wholesomeness in Creativity, Sahitya Akademi’s Translation Prize, Government of Tamil Nadu’s best translator award and Lifetime Achievement Award from many literary bodies and institutes of national eminence. Some of his works are translated into Chinese, Bahasa, French, English and several Indian languages. He was the founding editor of Sun Network. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Florida. He has been Guest of Honour at many literary festivals as well.

Madhav Kaushik is the President of the Sahitya Akademi and an eminent Hindi writer and poet. He has more than 30 publications to his credit including collections of poem, short stories, criticism, children’s literature, translation and edited books. He is a recipient of Shiromani Sahityakar Samman, Mahakavi Surdas Samman, Subramaniam Bharati National Award of Kendriya Hindi Sansthan, Aajeevan Sahitya Sadhna Samman by Haryana Sahitya Akademi, among others. He is a jury member of Bhartiya Jnanpith and Member of Governing Council (Humanities) of IGNOU, New Delhi.

Mahua Sen is the recipient of the Reuel International Poetry Award, Poiesis Award for Excellence in Literature in Bharat award International, the Poet of the Year Award by Ukioto, 40 under 40 Leadership Award  by Business Mint. She is an author, poet, editor and translator. Her works have been published in newspapers and magazines like Outlook India, Saranga, Spillwords, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, The People Magazine, Kashmir Newsline, to name a few. She is also working on the translation of some of the very important books. Presently, she is the Regional Director, South, with Bull’s Eye Outsourcing.

Manabi Bandyopadhyay is the first openly transgender principal of an Indian college. She is the creator and editor of a transgender movement magazine in Bengali called “Aba-manab” and has received Madhuparni Award of West Bengal Government. Her biopic was used in Kaushik Gangopadhyay’s film Nagar Kirtan,  which won four National Awards. Sahitya Akademi’s first Kolkata Transgender Poet Meet Literary Festival was held in Kolkata in 2018 under her supervision. She runs India’s first transgender magazine, Abomanob   Currently, she is the Vice Chairperson of Transgender Development Board of West Bengal Government.

Manas Pratim Gohain works as Senior Assistant Editor at The Times of India, New Delhi with experience of over 23 years in print journalism. He has been covering education for over two decades and also writes on disability and skill development. Besides covering the ministries of Education, North East Development and Skill Development, he also has been assigned the political beat concerning BJP. He has keen interest in the fields of education and politics.

Manohar Batham is a writer, editor and publisher. Experienced in script/story writing for TV and documentary films, he has authored ten books besides editing and translating many others. He has edited two English books. He has received the National Human Rights Award for Creative Writing in 2005, Dr. Shiv Kumar Mishra Smriti Kavita Samman in 2017 and Sahitya Academy Award for Sindhi translation of poetry collection Sarhad Se. He received the President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service in 2011.

Manogya Loiwal is an anchor and Editor in ABP News. She is a former Editor of AajTak / India Today for Eastern India. Her area of reporting mostly has been West Bengal, Odisha and Northeast India.  She is a charismatic journalist who diligently believes in working for the betterment of the society. She has worked for more than two decades in different leading media houses and won the Ramnath Goenka Award for her exemplary work in ‘Uncovering Invisible India’. A certificate holder in feature writing from BBC World Service Trust in 2011, she is an alumni of International Visitor Leadership Programme of State Department of  USA. She did a Defence Correspondent’s course conducted by Ministry of  Defence, Govt of India in 2014. She has Interviewed Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and many other celebs including Amitabh Bachchan.

Manoranjan Byapari, who writes in Bengali, is a member of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly. He was elected as an MLA from Balagarh (SC) Assembly constituency representing the All India Trinamool Congress in 2021. In 2014, Byapari was given the Suprabha Majumdar Prize awarded by the Paschimbanga Bangla Akademi. He also received the Sharmila Ghosh Smriti Literary Prize in 2015.  In 2018, the English translation of his memoir, Ittibrite Chandal Jibon received the Hindu Prize for non-fiction and was shortlisted for the Jio MAMI Word to Screen Award. In 2019, he was awarded the Gateway LitFest Writer of the Year.

Moumita, a doctor by profession, is a Bengali short story writer, columnist and novelist. She has nine published novels to her credit and has received the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Yuva award in 2019 for her first novel titled Kuntal Fire Ase. Besides, she won the Krittibas Award in 2022. She was invited to the Kolkata Literary Meet in 2022, the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Literary meet in 2023 and many other literary programmes organised by Sahitya Akademi. She is a regular columnist in leading magazines and newspapers of West Bengal such as Ananda Bazar Patrika, Pratidin, Aajkaal etc.

Mrityunjay Kumar Singh has successfully traversed and blended together the paths of creative writing, literature, music and theatre. His latest creations are Ganga Ratan Bidesi, a novel and Draupadi, a long narrative poem. He has transcreated Kalidasa’s Meghdoot in both Hindi and English and written a host of songs for Bengali and Hindi movies like Chokher Bali, Dharm, Chaturang and Nazarband etc. He is also an acclaimed and accredited Bhojpuri folk singer of ICCR, New Delhi. Winner of the  Kalakar Award in 2003, he was also honoured with the Prabhat Khabar Bihari Samman, Karmyogi Award from Jivika Films Mumbai and Delhi Government’s Purvaiya Samman for his achievements.

 

Mukul Kumar is a bureaucrat, novelist and poet. At present, he is serving in the Ministry of Railways. His published works include three novels, As Boys Become Men, Seduction by Truth and Aarzoo-Arshan, and three poetry anthologies, The Irrepressible Echoes, Catharsis and Rhythm of the Ruins.  Kumar’s fourth fiction, Lost in the Love Maze, is due for publication next month. He has been honoured with the national award for outstanding service to the Indian Railways, Bharat Nirman award for literary excellence and Poorvanchal Gaurav Samman for his contributions to the society as a bureaucrat and writer.

Nilim Kumar is an Indian poet who writes in Assamese. He has published 21 volumes of poetry, three collections of short novels, and prose. He has won several awards including the Uday Bharati Nation Award, Sabda Award, Raza Foundation Award, Ramanath Bhattacharya Foundation Award, Distinguished Leadership Award (USA), etc. He has recited his poems in many national and international poetry festivals. He has also visited France under the Indo-French Cultural Exchange programme.

Pankaj Parashar  is a well-known critic, poet, story teller and specialised translator in  Hindi and Maithili languages. He has more than 15 books published in the two languages. He has received numerous national and international awards in addition to the coveted Devi Shankar Awasthi Samman for his contribution to Hindi literature. He is currently working on the biography of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, the creator of the Kirana Gharana. A devoted student of Hindustani classical music, he is currently teaching in the Department of Hindi of Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh.

 

Partha Sarathi Majumder is a noted Bengali poet and Sub-Editor of the transgender magazine Abamanab. Majumder actively participates in literary meets and festivals and read out poems. He believes that writing is the only way to survive.

Paul Zacharia has authored over 50 works of fiction and non-fiction in Malayalam including short stories, novellas, travelogues, film scripts, essays/columns and children’s books. He received the Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award in 2004 and writes for leading Malayalam and national newspapers. In November 2013, he was elected as a Distinguished Fellow of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi. He has been honored with Kerala Sahitya Akademi, Odakkuzhal, MuttathuVarkey, Padmarajan, Katha, V. Vijayan and Vallatthol awards. In November 2020, the Government of Kerala presented him its top literary honor—The Ezhuthachan Award.

Prabal Kumar Basu has 21 volumes of poetry, a collection of verse drama, five collections of essays and two collections of short stories to his credit. Vice Chairman and founder trustee of Kolkata International Foundation for Art, Literature and Culture, he is the recipient of Gauri Bhattacharjee memorial award. He received the State Akademi Award in 2005 and was the writer-in-residence for two weeks at Rashtrapati Bhavan during 2017 at the invitation of the President of India.

Prabodh Parikh is a noted Gujarati poet and fiction writer, visual artist and documentary film maker. He taught Philosophy at the Mithibai College, Mumbai, from 1974 till he retired as Head of the Department of Philosophy in 2005. He was awarded fellowship at the University of Sorbonne, Paris and also got the Charles Wallace fellowship. He is a recipient of several state level awards.

Pradip Jyoti Mahanta is a professor of Cultural Studies at Tezpur University. He worked in All India Radio before shifting to academics. Presently he is the Dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences in the university. He is a distinguished scholar of cultural history of Assam who has made significant contribution towards wider understanding of diverse facets of the Sankaradeva Movement. He has written extensively on the various art traditions — both visual and performing — as well as old Assamese literature. In addition to two authored books, he is credited with several significant edited works both in Assamese and English and a good number of publications in some of the acclaimed journals.

Pranav Khullar has worked for the Central Government in the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Culture. He has been writing extensively on Indian philosophy and spirituality for the ‘Speaking Tree’ column of  The Times of India for the last 25 years. His special thrust areas have been Vedantic philosophy or Advaita Vedanta and the Vishishtadvaite schools of Vedanta.

Preeti Shenoy, who has written 15 bestsellers, ranks among the highest selling authors in India. She is also on the Forbes longlist of the most influential celebrities in India. She has represented India at International Literature Festivals in Birmingham, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and other places. She is the recipient of several awards including ‘Indian of the Year’ award for 2017 and award for Business Excellence by the New Delhi Institute of Management. An avid fitness enthusiast, she is also an artist specialising in portraiture and illustrated journals. Her short stories and poetry have been published in magazines such as Conde Nast and Verve.

Rajendra Prasad Mishra is a former Registrar of the Mahatma Gandhi Antarashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya, Wardha. He was also  General Manager (Raj Bhasa) and Associate Professor (Hindi Translation) in JNU. He has also served as Secretary General at the World Hindi Secretariat, Mauritius, between 2008 and 2011. He has been honoured with the World Hindi Samman, Johannesburg and Pravasi Odia Samman, Bhubaneswar. Mishra participated and presented papers in the 6th World Hindi Conference at London in 1999, 8th World Hindi Conference at New York in 2007, 9th World Hindi Conference at Johannesburg in 2012 and 10th World Hindi Conference at Bhopal in 2015.

Ramchandra Ramesh  Arya is the Director of the Rajbhasha related to Central Secretariat Official Language Service cadre in the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. He has authored many books like Banjara Bhasha, Banjara Bhasha Apne Aap Sikh, Banjaara Tyauhaaron Ke Geet to name a few. Apart from these, he has many translated works too to his credit. He is the recipient of several awards including Hindi SevaSamman, Manavadhikar Puraskar, Bhasha Samman of Sahitya Akademi, Sant Vinoba Bhaave Puraskaar of  Naagaree Lipi  Parishad, Government of India’s Rajbhasha Samman Puraskar and Matriseva.

Ramesh K. Mittal runs his 55-year-old family business of export of books namely D.K.Agencies. He is also Chairman, Books, Publications and Printing Panel of Capexil since October 2011 and has served on it as President. He is also the EC Member of the Indian Reprographic Rights Organisation and Secretary General of Afro-Asian Book Council. Coming to his philanthropic pursuits, Mittal manages D.K. Charitable Trust, and Leela Devi Public Library. He has been devoted to the cause of spreading education, knowledge and culture throughout his life.

Ratnottama Sengupta is a journalist with 45 years experience. She writes for newspapers and journals, teaches film appreciation and mass communication to students, writes books on cinema and art, conducts programs like film festivals and curates art exhibitions. She has written on Hindi films for the Encyclopaedia Britannica, been a member of CBFC, of the NFDC Script Committee, served on the National Film Awards jury and has herself won a National Award. Currently she has columns in Borderless Journal, Silhouette and Kanjik. She has edited Dadamoni: Life and Times of Ashok Kumar, Mistress of Melodies and many more.

Salma is a well-known name to readers of contemporary Tamil literature. With two volumes of poetry collections, a short story collection and two novels, Salma has made her mark as a distinctive literary voice. Her novel, entitled The Hour Past Midnight, was shortlisted for the Crossword Book Prize and listed for Man Asian DSC Prize. Her second novel Manaamiyangal will be published in English by Penguin Random House and her short story collection Saabam by Speaking Tiger. She also served as the Chairman of the Social Welfare Board, Government of Tamil Nadu.

Santosh Choubey, a distinguished Hindi writer and poet, is presently Chancellor of Dr. C.V. Raman University, Bilaspur, and Rabindranath Tagore University, Bhopal. He has six collections of short stories, three of poetry, four novels, three translations, two works of criticism besides several edited books, to his credit. He has also authored, translated and staged a number of plays pertaining to Science and has been the Chief Editor of Electronics, a Science magazine. He is a recipient of many awards and honours some of which include the Dushyant Kumar Puraskar, Spandan Alochana Samman, Shailesh Matiyani Puraskar, Valley of Words Puraskar, Meghnad Saha Puraskar and Indian Innovation Award.

Sharan Kumar Limbale

Sharan Kumar Limbale is an author, poet and literary critic in Marathi. He has penned more than 60 books and is best known for his autobiography Akkarmashi which is translated into a number of Indian languages. His critical work, Towards an Aesthetics of  Dalit Literature is considered as one of the most important works on dalit literature. For his novel Sanatan, he won the Saraswati Samman in the year 2020. His books are translated and published in English, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam Gujarati, Odia and Bengali.

Sheen Kaaf Nizam is an eminent Urdu poet, critic and scholar. He has extensive erudition in Persian, Urdu, Sanskrit, Hindi and Rajasthani and is a master of prosody. He has 15 published books to his credit in different genres like poetry, criticism and edited books. He has done more than a thousand readings in mushairas and literary gatherings in India and abroad as well as edited the selected works of a dozen poets in Urdu. He is the recipient of various awards and honours including Sahitya Akademi Award, Iqbal Samman, Mehmood Shirani Samman, etc. He was the Convener of Sahitya Akademi’s Urdu Advisory Board.

Shovana Narayan is a recognised Indian Kathak dancer and a career officer with Indian Audit and Accounts Service. She performs in India and internationally, and has been awarded the Padma Shri. Sadhna Bose in Kolkata and Guru Kundal Lal in Mumbai initiated Narayan into Kathak at the age of four. She studied at Miranda House in Delhi, India, graduating with a master’s degree in physics in 1972. She completed M.Phil. in Defence and Strategic Studies from University of Madras in 2008 and MPhil in Social Sciences from Punjab University in 2001. She also worked as a career officer for the Indian Audits & Accounts Service and retired in 2010. She is married to Dr. Herbert Traxl, Austrian Ambassador to India (retired). She was the creative director-producer-dancer of the first-ever trilogy involving western classical dance-Kathak-flamenco in “The Dawn After” in 1994. the classical dance sequence in the opening ceremony of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Indian Independence at National Stadium, 1997. She was also the creative director of the opening and closing ceremonies of the 6th abylimpics 2003, held at New Delhi. She delivered the opening & closing ceremonies of the Commonwealth Games Delhi in 2010.

Soma Bandyopadhyay, an author, translator and polyglot, is the recipient of various prestigious awards including Sahitya Akademi award for translation,  Meera Smriti Samman, Best Academician award by Damodar Valley Corporation to name a few. She has 35 books and 15 translated books to his credit. Editor of a multilingual dictionary published by Bangla Akademi, she has visited China and South Africa as a member of the delegation of Indian writers deputed by Sahitya Akademi. Presently she is the Vice Chancellor of Baba Saheb Ambedkar Education University, Kolkata, West Bengal.

Subodh Sarkar is an eminent Indian poet who writes in Bengali. Recipient of Sahitya Academy Award, Gangadhar Meher National award and Bangla Academy Puraskar, he has published 45 books of poems and participated in several International seminars and festivals including IWP at the University of Iowa, USA. Former editor of Sahitya Academy’s journal Indian Literature, he now edits Bhasanagar with young poets. He is Chairman of the West Bengal Poetry Academy, the first Academy of its kind in the country.

Sukrita Paul Kumar is former Fellow of Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, who held the prestigious Aruna Asaf Ali Chair at Delhi University. An honorary faculty at Corfu, Greece, she was an invited resident poet at the prestigious International Writing Programme at Iowa, USA. The recent collections of poems are Salt and Vanishing Words, to name a few. One of her latest book of poems has been translated into Italian and published by BesaMuci, Rome. Currently she is series co-editor of ‘Writer in on Text’ volumes published by Routledge UK and South Asia. She is the Guest Editor of Indian Literature, a journal published by Sahitya Akademi, India.

Suresh K. Goel is a veteran diplomat with 35 years of service, who has actively contributed to the India-ASEAN partnership. He deals with India’s relations with Central Asia as Director in the Ministry of  External Affairs. He also served in the Permanent Mission of  India in New York. He has contributed articles on India’s cultural diplomacy and Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam to several edited volumes. He is Vice President of  FOSWAL led by Ajeet Caurji. He was awarded Honorary Doctorate in 2012 by the University of Edinburgh for his work in Cultural Diplomacy.

Suresh Rituparna is a writer, poet, playwright, photographer and traveller. He has published over 20 books. He is the recipient of father Camil Bulke Samman, Videsh Hindi Prasar Samman, Hindi Bhusan Award, Hindi Nidhi Samman, Saraswati Saahitya Samman and Saahitya Shioramani Samman. Rituparna retired as a Visiting Professor from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. He is an ex-Diplomat who started the first ever Hindi course at the High Commission of  India, Port of Spain. Currently, he is the Director of K.K. Birla Foundation and Editor of Hindi Jagat.

Surjit Patar is an eminent Punjabi poet and writer who is presently the Chairman of Punjab Arts Council. He has published seven collections of poems, a book of prose and adapted the plays of many renowned Indian and foreign authors. He is the recipient of many prestigious awards and honours including Padma Shri by the President of India, Sahitya Akademi Award, Saraswati Samman, Pash Puraskar, Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad Award, Punjab Sahitya Akademi Award, Gangadhar National Poetry Award etc. He retired as Professor of Punjabi from Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana.

T.Sumathy Thamizhachi Thangapandiyan is a widely acclaimed Tamil poet, lyricist and writer. A former Lecturer, Sumathy has more than 20 publications to her name which have been included in university curriculum across India. She is recipient of several awards like Sirpi Literary Prize, The Young Achiever Trophy, Pavendhar Bharathidasan Virudhu Award, Carolina Tamil Sangam Award and many more. Sumathy is also a Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) from South Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Recipient of the Reuel International Poetry award , Poiesis Award for Excellence in Literature in Bharat Award International, the Poet of the Year Award By Ukioto,  40 under 40 Leadership Award by Business Mint.

Vanita is an eminent Punjabi writer and translator. She has more than 40 publications to her credit in different genres like poetry, novel, criticism, travelogue, short story and children’s literature. She translates from Punjabi into Hindi and English. She is a recipient of Sahitya Akademi Award, Sahitya Akademi Translation Prize, Bhasha Bharati Samman, Shiromani Sahitkar Award, Shiv Kumar Batalvi Puraskar, Punjabi Shiromani Sahitkar Samman and Punjabi Academy Award among others. She retired as Associate Professor, Department of Punjab at Shri Guru Teg Bahadur Khalsa College, University of Delhi.

Vishwas Patil is an eminent writer in Marathi. His first novel was published when he was 17. He has published 14 novels, one biography, three plays and several other literary works. Films have been made on two of  his novels, Pangira and Chandramukhi. Currently he is the Convenor, Marathi Advisory Board of Sahitya Akademi. He has been honoured with Priyadarshini Xaidu Award, Indira Goswami Award and Sahitya Akademi Award for his novel, Jhada Jhadti in 1992.