Allan Lamb was one of the most colourful and engaging characters in British sport. His record speaks for itself with over 4,600 Test runs including 14 Test hundreds and over hundred one-day internationals. He made his Test debut at Lord’s in 1982 against an Indian side captained by Sunil Gavaskar. While Lord’s was not a happy debut, lbw to Kapil Dev with whom he played for Northants for 9, later in the third Test of the series at the Oval he would make his first century before being run out by Ian Botham. Botham apologised and the two became such great friends that after retirement they formed a very popular road show which toured England drawing enthusiastic crowds eager to listen to the duo talking about cricket and life. Brought up in South Africa, he learnt his cricket in Cape Town , the sports boycott of the apartheid regime made him move to England, signing for Northamptonshire as their overseas player in 1978. But with his parents born in England he was qualified to play for England and seized that chance. He never lost his accent or his love for his native land but as he wrote in his autobiography “having decided to cross over, I didn’t mess about. I went for the whole way, and ever since then my first loyalties in cricket, as in other sports I’ve played, have always been to England”. His career coincided with the dominance of the West Indian side led by Clive Lloyd, widely considered the best ever in cricket and in many an international match Lamb was often the only England batsman who could stand up to the fearsome West Indian pace attack. After his international debut Ritchie Benaud had said on television, “Lamb is a new great power for English batting. His glorious and powerful stroke play brought a new talent to the Test arena and I am just as impressed by his willingness to sacrifice his wicket for his side.” His performances during his international career proved Benaud was right. Lamb was also an outspoken leader who refused to tow the establishment line. He captained England in three Tests and in 1995 he came close to taking Northamptonshire to their first Championship. His performance then led Matthew Engel to say that during that season he was “strutting round the county grounds like Napoleon.”
Image Courtesy : New Indian Express
Andrew Whitehead is the author of The Lives of Freda: the political, spiritual and personal journeys of Freda Bedi, the biography of an English woman who, in the 1930s, broke social convention by marrying an Indian fellow student. She made her life in India, was jailed by the British as a nationalist, joined a left-wing women's militia in Kashmir and later took ordination as a Tibetan Buddhist nun. Andrew is an honorary professor at the University of Nottingham and was for many years a news correspondent, presenter and editor with the BBC, including several years as India correspondent. His 2007 book A Mission in Kashmir used oral history and personal testimony to look again at the opening stages of the Kashmir conflict in 1947-48 and was the basis for a PhD awarded by the University of Warwick. He spends two months every year in India as a visiting professor at the Asian College of Journalism in Chennai.
Ayesha Siddiqa is the author of Pakistan’s Arms Procurement and Military Buildup, 1979-99, and Military Inc; Inside Pakistan’s Military Economy. Currently a research associate with the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD) at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, she did her Ph.D. in War Studies from King’s College, London. She was also the first civilian and woman to work as the director of naval research with the Pakistan Navy, and was a member of Pakistan’s civil service before joining academia. Dr. Siddiqa was the inaugural Pakistan fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars, Washington DC, a Ford Fellow at the Bonn International Centre for Conversion, senior research fellow at the Cooperative Monitoring Centre, Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico, and a Charles Wallace fellow at St. Anthony’s College, Oxford. She is currently working on a book that outlines the genealogy of extremism and militancy in Punjab and Sindh. It explains the deep-rooted link between South Asia and the Middle East, and how extremism may have come out from the womb of Sufism.
Bhaichand Patel was on the sta of the United Nations at its headquarters in New York for twenty-six years and retired as Director. In August this year he was the president of the jury that gave the International Critics Prize at the Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland. He is the author of four books: Chasing the Good Life, Penguin Book of Cocktails,Superstars of Bollywood and a best-selling novel, Mothers, Lovers and Strangers. In one of his last published interviews, Khushwant Singh said that Bhaichand Patel was one of his three favourite writers.
Daljit Nagra’s parents came to Britain from the Punjab, India, in the late 1950s. Nagra comes from a Sikh background and was born and grew up in West London then Sheffield. He has published three collections of poetry all with Faber & Faber. His latest collection, British Museum, is due in May 2017.
His pamphlet, Oh My Rub! was a Smith/Doorstop winner and was the Poetry Book Society’s first ever Pamphlet Choice in 2003. His poem Look We Have Coming to Dover! won the Forward Prize for Best Individual Poem in 2004. His first collection, of the same name won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection in 2007 and the South Bank Show Decibel Award in 2008, in addition it was nominated for several other prizes including the Coast Poetry Prize. His subsequent two collections, Tippoo Sultan’s Incredible White-Man Eating Tiger-Toy Machine!!! and his version of the Ramayana were nominated for the TS Eliot Prize. In 2014 he was selected as a New Generation Poet by the PBS. In 2015 he won a Royal Society Travelling Scholarship.
He is the inaugural Poet in Residence for Radio 4/4 Extra, and among his other duties, he presents Poetry Extra, a weekly programme on Radio 4 Extra. He is a Senior Lecturer of Creative Writing at Brunel University London.
He has judged many prizes including The Samuel Johnson Prize, The Costa Prize, the David Cohen Prize, the National Poetry Competition. His poems have been published in The New Yorker, Poetry Chicago, The LRB, The TLS and The New Statesman. He has written for The Guardian, The Financial Times and he has performed his work in Britain and abroad in Canada, India, Mexico, Slovakia, The Netherlands.
Davinder Toor is a leading figure among a new generation of Sikh art collectors. His passion for collecting began at the age of seventeen and led him to sign up as a volunteer for the Victoria & Albert Museum’s ground-breaking exhibition ‘The Arts of the Sikh Kingdoms’ in 1999. The experience inspired the creation of the Toor Collection (www.toorcollection.com) and within just a decade he was lending objects to the Victoria & Albert Museum’s spectacular global exhibition ‘Maharaja: The Splendour of India’s Royal Courts’.
He has acted as a consultant to major private collectors, auction houses and institutions such as the British Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum and Wallace Collection. He currently lectures on the arts of the royal Sikh courts for the Victoria & Albert Museum’s prestigious ‘Arts of Asia’ course.
Objects from the Toor Collection have been exhibited at major global institutions including at the Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung (Munich), Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), Asian Art Museum (San Francisco), Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Brunei Gallery (London). Both collection and collector were also featured on the BBC’s ‘Lost Treasures of the Sikh Kingdom’ documentary (2014).
Davinder is a familiar figure in and around the galleries and auction rooms of London and New York. When not pursuing Sikh art, or his other passion of collecting fine Indian and Islamic arms and armour (www.davindertoor.com), he runs his own pharmaceutical services business.
Farrukh Dhondy was born in Pune, India and went to school and college there before getting a scholarship to Cambridge University UK to study Natural Sciences. He took a second degree in English and began a career as a writer of short stories, novels, journalistic columns, stage and TV drama and screenplays. Among his screenplays are Bandit Queen, Split Wide Open, The Rising -Mangal Pande , Red Mercury, Exitz and Kisna.
Humra Quraishi is a Delhi based writer - columnist - journalist.
Her books include a book on the Kashmir Valley , Kashmir: The Untold Story ; a volume of her collective writings, Views: Yours and Mine; two short story collections, Bad Time Tales and More Bad Time Tales; a volume, Divine Legacy : Dagars & Dhrupad ; debutnovel - Meer … Her short stories have been published in several magazines and journals and anthologies.
She has co- authored The Good The Bad and The Ridiculous : Profiles; Absolute Khushwant and a series of writings with the late Khushwant Singh.
Her take on what’s it like to be a singleton in today's turbulent times is part of the Penguin published anthology - Chasing the Good Life: On Being Single. And one of her essays, The State Can’t Snatch Away our Children, is part of the Zubaan published anthology - Of Mothers And Others. And in the volume on the 1984 Sikh riots - 1984 :In Memory and Imagination , her essay is titled -Why Not a Collective Cry for Justice !
Dr Ian Magedera
Educated at the universities of Cambridge and London and author of Danigo! French Grammar Reorganized, Genet: Les Bonnes and Outsider Biographies on biographies of English and French-language writers who were also criminals, Ian Magedera is a would-be European who also blithely ticks the 'British Asian' box in ethnicity questionnaires. His cultural and academic travels in Europe, speaking German and French, follow on from his parents' journeys to the UK in English and Sinhala just after the end of the British Empire.
Living at an intersection between English, French and German and teaching French culture, literature and language at university, has made me aware of the enriching potential of comparative perspectives. Knowing another can mean knowing oneself better. My publications use these perspectives to give my readers entertaining and perceptive analyses of the different ways in which speakers of English and French understand India, literary biography, French grammar and the works of Jean Genet. All my writing acknowledges individual subjectivity, be it of language learners, of writers with criminal records, of those colonized and the people who colonized them. These books also get to grips with how expressions of that individual subjectivity are challenged and problematized.
What happened to Sonia Gandhi as she moved from the Italian-born wife of the non-political son closer and closer to the centre of power? Before she became Mother Teresa, how did an Eastern European-born outsider in the Loreto order of nuns present herself as she claimed to renew Indian Christianity around 1947? How did Swiss-born Simone Tata apply the visits to Parisian beauty salons in her youth to transform Tata Group’s Lakmé brand? This is the ground covered by just three of this book’s ten chapters that illuminate the careers and Indian identity formation of European-born women and their deep and sometimes controversial influence on education, religions, spirituality, commerce and politics in India. That influence began with Annie Besant’s 1893 landfall in Tuticorin (Thoothukudi) and continues today, still enabled by Indian elites such as the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, the Catholic Church and the Tata family. For their Indian supporters and opponents, these women were both Indian and videshinis (foreign women); they were also non-British (Italian, Albanian, Swiss, French, Ottoman Turkish and Irish) and thus at one remove from the colonial power. They may be the last outliers of the intercultural contact around empire and the freedom struggle, but their bumpy integration by Indians holds a lesson in inclusivity for the country’s future.
Imtiaz Dharker is a poet and artist, awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry 2014. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, she has been Poet in Residence at Cambridge University Library and worked on projects across art forms in Leeds, Newcastle and Hull, as well as the Archives of St Paul’s Cathedral. Her six collections include Over the Moon and the latest, Luck is the Hook, and her poems have been broadcast widely on BBC Radio 3 and 4 as well as the BBC World Service. She also scripts and directs video films, and has had eleven solo exhibitions of drawings.
‘Reading her, one feels that were there to be a World Laureate, Imtiaz Dharker would be the only candidate.
Whether she writes of exile, childhood, politics or grief, her clear-eyed attention brings each subject dazzlingly into focus. She makes it look easy, this clarity and economy, but it is her deft phrasing, wit and grace that create this immediacy.’
— Carol Ann Duffy
Jacqueline Crooks is a Jamaican-born writer. She has Jamaican, Indian, and European ancestry. She came to London in 1963 as part of the Windrush Generation and has worked in the charity sector for over 20 years working with migrant families.
Her debut collection of short stories, The Ice Migration, explores movement as central to the human condition. The stories encompass the vanished Tainos of Jamaica, Indian indentured labourers in the Caribbean, and the Windrush generation. The characters are enmeshed in their African/Indian Jamaican world of dreams, visions, duppies, and spiritual presences that connect them across time and place.
The Ice Migration has been longlisted in the Orwell Prize, Political Fiction category.
Jacqueline’s stories have appeared in anthologies by Peepal Tree Press, Granta, and Virago.
Jacqueline reads/performs her work regularly and has performed at various events at the Victoria & Albert Museum, performing with musicians and gospel singers.
The Ice Migration is published by Peepal Tree Press.
John Elliott is an author and foreign correspondent whose prize-winning book, “IMPLOSION: India’s Tryst with Reality”, has just come out in a new Harper Collins edition that reviews and analyses Narendra Modi’s years in power. A former Financial Times journalist, he writes a blog on South Asia current affairs called Riding the Elephant that also appears on the website of Asia Sentinel (Hong Kong). He has written, among others, for The Economist, Fortune magazine and the New Statesman.
Kanwal Madra is a trustee trustee of the UK Punjab Heritage Association. UKPHA is a world-famous heritage charity that works to promote awareness and learning in the field of Punjabi heritage. He was curator and gallery guide for the Empire of the Sikhs exhibition held at SOAS last summer. His specific interests are the art and tradition of phulkari textiles of the Punjab.
Kim A. Wagner
Kim A. Wagner teaches the history of colonial India and the British Empire at Queen Mary, University of London. He has written extensively on the subject of ‘Thuggee’, the Uprising of 1857, and colonial violence. His most recent publications include The Skull of Alum Bheg: The Life and Death of a Rebel of 1857(2017), and Amritsar 1919: An Empire of Fear and the Making of a Massacre (2019).
Mahmood Jamal was born in Lucknow, India. He came to Britain in 1967 from Pakistan. Mahmood Jamal works as an independent producer and writer and has produced several documentary series, notably a series on Islam entitled Islamic Conversations. He was also a lead writer on Britain’s first Asian soap, Family Pride, and wrote and produced the groundbreaking drama TURNING WORLD for Channel4 television. He has produced many programmes on Qawwali and Sufi music for television. Mahmood Jamal has a degree in South Asian Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
In 2016 he wrote and Produced the feature film, RAHM (Mercy), an adaptation into Urdu of William Shakespeare’s ‘MEASURE FOR MEASURE’ set in Lahore, Pakistan. A unique and engaging Sufi interpretation of Shakespeare’s play, this film will be released in Britain in 2017. He received Best Adapted Screenplay Award at the London Asian Film Festival 2017 for RAHM. Currently has two feature films in development. His poems have been published in the London Magazine and broadcast on BBC Radio and he has performed at leading poetry venues in London and around the UK. He has also featured in several anthologies including New British Poetry and Grandchildren Of Albion . In 1984 Mahmood Jamal was the recipient of the Minority Rights Group Award for his poetry, translations and critical writings. In the same year he published his first volume of poetry, Silence Inside a Gun’s Mouth
Published Works: Faiz- Fifty Poems( OUP Kar 2013) Islamic Mystical Poetry (Penguin Classics UK 2009) Sugar Coated Pill (Word Power 2006) Modern Urdu Poetry (Farida Jamal/Translit Kuala Lumpur 1995) Song Of The Flute (Culture House, London 2000) Penguin Book Of Modern Urdu Poetry (Penguin Books, London 1986) Silence Inside A Gun’s Mouth (Kala Press London 1984) Coins For Charon (Courtfield Press 1976)
Mihir Bose is an award- winning journalist and author who has written and broadcast for all the major UK media outlets. He has also authored more than 30 books which range from biography and history to sport and business. Mihir's most recent book is The Nine Waves: The Extraordinary Story of Indian Cricket. His book Silver: The Spy who Fooled the Nazis, the Most Remarkable Spy of the Second World War is now being made into a film.
He is also the author of Bollywood, the only narrative history of India’s film industry. His books on sport include The History of Indian Cricket; The Spirit of the Game: How Sport Made the Modern World; Game Changer: how the English Premier League Came to Dominate the World; False Messiah: the Life and Times of Terry Venables; and Manchester Disunited: Trouble and Takeover at the World’s Richest Football Club. He started as a journalist at LBC in 1974. He was the BBC’s first Sports Editor. He worked for the Daily Telegraph for 12 years as the Chief Sports News Correspondent, creating an innovative weekly column, Inside Sport. He joined the Daily Telegraph from the Sunday Times where he worked for more than 20 years. Today he is a regular columnist and broadcaster.
He has won several awards: Best Regular Columnist for his business journalism, the Cricket Society Silver Jubilee Literary Award, Sports Story of the Year, Sports News Reporter of the Year and two lifetime achievement awards.
Mihir was born in Kolkata just as India was becoming independent in 1947. He grew up in Mumbai which he considers his home town and was a schoolmate of the Indian cricketer, Sunil Gavaskar. He arrived in England in 1969 to study engineering at Loughborough University and qualified as a chartered accountant before turning to his first love, journalism. In 2012 Loughborough University awarded him an honorary doctorate for his contribution to journalism and the promotion of equality.
Moin Mir was born in India and lives in London. He has worked on several projects translating India's finest 19th century Urdu and Persian poets works in English. He has researched the history of Sufism, its music and cultural revivalism of the subcontinent extensively. 'The Prince Who Beat The Empire" is his latest book. He is a member of the Nawab family of Surat and next in line to succeed as the Darbar of Kamandiyah in Gujarat, India. His interest also includes the restoration of the family's manor house in India. He is currently working on his next book set in 18th century Spain, Turkey and India.
About the book: "THE PRINCE WHO BEAT THE EMPIRE" published by Amberley Publishing June 2018.
An acclaimed history of Empire and resistance.This is the moving story of the rebel prince who beat the world's most powerful colonising corporation. The ships of the English East India Company first docked at India's shores in Surat-Mughal India's eclectic and colourful port in the early 17th century. In time, through astute politics and military power, the Company became masters of this great metropolis. But the Company came not with the intention of building Indian maritime trade, but with the single-minded goal of destroying its trading prowess. By 1800 the port was completely annexed, through a treaty that gave protection to the future generations of the local Nawab rulers. By then the English East India Company was at the forefront of Empire Expansion. It was the Empire's most dreaded canon of annexation and growth. But, as elsewhere in India, the Company violated its promises. It stopped the family's income, usurping its palaces, estates, jewellery and possessions. This left the city of Surat facing unemployment and the infant granddaughters of the last Nawab on the brink of destitution.
But in an unprecedented counterattack, the father of the two girls stood to defy the Empire and expose it's corruption overseas to the British at home. Travelling to London, and backed by Victoria and Albert he would shatter the English East India Company's reputation. His large entourage in Victorian England cut exotic figures in their flowing Mughal robes and turbans, oriental cuisine and mannerisms. In a nail biting finish in 1856 Parliamentary session an Indian went onto defeat the representatives of Empire on their home turf. Not only did the Prince win back the family's possessions for his infant daughters but also found true love in Victorian England.
Praise for "THE PRINCE WHO BEAT THE EMPIRE":
Shashi Tharoor, India's former Foreign Minister and current Member of Parliament from Kerela, India: "Moin Mir weaves a fascinating story of triumph and fortitude, reanimating in delightful prose a forgotten chapter of history. Painstakingly crafted and richly researched. This is the remarkable story of of a quest for justice against the might of Empire and the travails of an Indian Prince who stood up for which was his by right"
Dominic West, Actor: "A moving story and a deeply sympathetic hero: courageous, gentle and magnificently stylish who took on and defeated a monolithic tyrant. A story of an Indian Prince who won over Victorian England with charm and decency and went onto find love in 19th century England. This is a wonderful book"
Jessica Douglas-Home: "A gripping untold history which Moin Mir has written with great knowledge and flair. Meer Jafar Ali Khan achieved what no other Indian Prince was able to-The political defeat of the English East India Company in the House of Commons. The British political establishment convinced by his passionate fight for justice rose for the first time in favour of an Indian and against its own Empire's colonising corporation. This is a stirring historical book"
Mona Arshi was born in West London where she still lives. She worked as a Human rights lawyer for a decade before she started writing poetry.
Her debut collection ‘Small Hands’ (Pavilion Poetry, Liverpool University Press 2015), won the Forward Prize for best first collection in 2015.
Her second collection ‘Dear Big Gods’ was published by Pavilion Poetry in Spring 2019.
Norma (Naomi) Levine has published 5 books on Buddhist themes: Blessing Power of the Buddhas,Sacred Objects, Secret Lands, 1993 (Foreword by HE Tai Situ Rinpoche) : A Yearbook of Buddhist Wisdom, 1997; Chronicles of Love and Death , My Years with the Lost Spiritual King of Bhutan, 2004; The Miraculous 16th Karmapa, Incredible Encounters with the Black Crown Buddha, 2013 (Foreword by HH !7th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje); The Spiritual Odyssey of Freda Bedi, 2018 (Forewords by the 12th Goshir Gyaltsabpa and Ven. Lama Chime Rinpoche).
She has organised pilgrimages to Mt Kailash in Western Tibet and the hidden land of Pemako in NE India, and written for the major London newspapers, The Times, The Observer and The Telegraph.
She has an M.Phil in Drama and Literature from the University of Toronto, and completed a PHD thesis before leaving academic life to live in the book town of Hay on Wye on the Welsh borders, famous for its International Literary Festival. She divides her time between her current home in Malvern, UK and India.
Parmjit Singh is a researcher, curator and publisher who has co-authored several highly acclaimed books on Sikh history and is a leading global player in showcasing the culture, history, art and heritage of the Sikhs and Punjab. He has worked as a special consultant for the BBC, The Discovery Channel, Warner Brothers, Victoria & Albert Museum, British Museum, British Library and Wallace Collection.
Perminder Khatkar is a senior broadcaster journalist and producer now making programmes and documentaries for Radio 4. She has worked for the BBC for over 25 years programmes across news and current affairs and a variety of radio stations and programmes.
As a Punjabi Sikh born and brought up in Britain she has always had a keen interest in stories to do with race, identity, culture and heritage. Her recent programmes on Radio 4 have been about the first memorial in Britain marking the centenary of the Jallianwalla Bagh Massacre; documentaries about Maharaja Duleep Singh and the ‘Great Lives’ series which she produces which have included people like Benazir Bhutto; The Great Gama and last week on Radio 4 the author Kamila Shamsie talked about her hero Asma Jahangir. Perminder’s still waiting for someone to nominate Khushwant Singh so she can do a programme about his life……and she’s always looking for a story !
Rachel Dwyer is Professor of Indian Cultures and Cinema at SOAS, University of London. Her most recent book is Bollywood’s India: Hindi cinema as a guide to modern India. (Picture abhi baaki hai: Bollywood as a guide to modern India) (2014) and her forthcoming book (co-edited with Prashant Kidambi and Manjiri Kamat) is Bombay before Mumbai.
Rahul Singh has been a writer, journalist and editor of Readers Digest, Indian Express, Sunday Observer.
He has penned, among other books, an engaging biography of his father Khushwant Singh,In The Name of the Father, which was launched by Amitabh Bachchan.
He has been advisor to World Literacy Canada, President of Satyagyan Foundation, India, President of the media awards committee at the Population Institute Washington. He is presently on the board of Delhi Public Schools and a Washington based
Rahul studied in about 11 schools as his father was posted all over during his years in the foreign service. He graduated in History from Kings College, Cambridge.
Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang
Rhiannon is a British writer whose work contains strong international themes. She was born and grew up in Yorkshire, read Oriental Studies (Chinese) at Oxford and is a non-practising lawyer. Her latest novel, The Last Vicereine was published by Penguin Random House (India) in August 2017 as part of their list celebrating the seventieth anniversary of the independence of India and Pakistan. Set mainly in India against the backdrop of partition, it is a story of the love affair between Lady Edwina Mountbatten, the last Vicereine of British India, and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India. The Tamil language edition of The Last Vicereine is due in mid 2019.
Robert Winder is a former Literary Editor of The Independent and the author of several works of fiction and history, including Bloody Foreigners: The Story of Immigration to Britain and, most recently, The Last Wolf: the Hidden Springs of Englishness. He is a founder-trustee of London’s Migration Museum Project.
Roderick Matthews is a freelance writer specialising in South Asian history.
He has written three books, of which the second, Jinnah vs. Gandhi, was a bestseller in India in 2012. He has recently finished a fourth, on the Chandra Shekhar government of 1990-91, which will be published this autumn by HarperCollins. A fifth, a narrative history of British India, is nearing completion.
He has contributed articles and reviews on historical subjects for a number of British and Indian publications, including the Literary Review, the Observer, the Independent on Sunday, the Times of India and Open Magazine.
Dr Satvinder Singh JussPh.D (Cantab) FRSA, is a Professor of Law at King's College London UK, Barrister-at-Law practising from 3 Hare Court, Temple, London, EC4Y 7DR, and Deputy Judge of the Upper Tribunal (IAC) He has been a Human Rights Fellow at Harvard Law School, Boston, USA and a Fellow of Emmanuel College Cambridge. He has been a Migration Commissioner at the Royal Society of Arts and contributed to the report on 'Migration: A Welcome Opportunity', and more also worked with the Centre for Social Justice in their work on Human Trafficking, which led to anti-trafficking legislation being passed in 2015. He is Member of the Panel of Advisers of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commissionin the United Kingdom. As a Barrister, he has acted for government of Belize, Bermuda and Trinidad undertaking commercial litigation. He has published widely on the subjects of human rights, constitutional law, and international refugee law. His forthcoming books include Human Rights in India (in press), where he has written on the unconstitutional nature of India's death penalty, and The Execution of Bhagat Singh: Heresies of the Raj (in preparation).
Tahmina Aziz Ayub was schooled in Karachi, Islamabad and Rome and has postgraduate degree in social anthropology from the University of Sussex, UK. On her return to Pakistan , she focused on the field of gender and development, working with several national and international NGOs and the UN in the struggle for human rights and women's empowerment.
Her interest include yoga and trekking and she has made the ardous trek to Mount Kailash. Married to a diplomat, she has lived in New York, Rome, Cairo and The Hague. She lives in Islamabad with her husband and her son, Shehryar.
Vena Ramphal is a classical Indian dancer, meditation teacher and wellbeing specialist. This summer 2019 she launches The Shape Of Stillness - Dance and Wellbeing events. Born and educated in London, Vena is of Indian ancestry and Guyanese parentage. Vedic practices and Sanskrit were part of her daily life as a child and aged 6 she saw a performance of classical Indian dance on a London stage and knew that she was going to be a dancer. She took her first dance class shortly after that and the art form remains central to her experience of life and her world view. “Dance has taught me pretty much everything I know about life,” she says. Her gap year was spent in Chennai (Madras as it was then), on scholarship from the British Arts council, learning with dance guru Padma Subrahmanyam. Here Vena delved into the relationship between dance and sculpture, deepening her understanding of the shared aesthetics between art forms in India. Her B.A. is in History with Sanskrit, and Ph.D in Philosophy and Dance - both attained at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University. As a dancer, Vena has performed for royalty, diplomats, and celebrities. Her dance has been featured on the BBC and Channel 4. In 2008 Vena started to create the wellbeing aspect of her work. A desire to do more than perform led her to train as a coach and mentor. She developed a coaching/ mentoring practice that helps people to create fulfilling love and sex lives. At the heart of this practice is the body-mind-heart connection that is experienced through classical Indian dance. Vena’s work in this area quickly gained international and media recognition. She is regular guest on BBC radio stations, and in 2018 Channel 4 selected her to co-host a TV reality show about marriage and relationships. People across the world are becoming more aware of the importance of wellbeing and the challenges posed by modern life. Mindfulness, yoga and healthy eating are growing in popularity. Vena has created The Shape Of Stillness- Dance and Wellbeing Events to answer this need for bodily and spiritual nourishment. Find out more about The Shape Of Stillness on instagram.com/VenaRamphal twitter.com/VenaRamphal www.venaramphal.com
Zareer Masani is the author of Macaulay: Britain’s Liberal Imperialist (The Bodley Head, 2013). He has an Oxford history doctorate and is the author of three other historical books: Indira Gandhi: A Biography, Indian Tales of the Raj and India from Raj to Rajiv (with Mark Tully). He has also written a widely acclaimed family memoir, And All Is Said: Memoir of a Home Divided (Penguin, 2013).
Zareer spent two decades as a producer for BBC Radio 4 and is now a freelance historian, journalist and broadcaster. His particular areas of interest include the British Raj in India. He is currently researching a biography of Warren Hastings, the first Governor-General.