Speakers for the Bridge's second edition in 2018

Guneet Monga
is an award-winning film producer. She has produced globally acclaimed films like Masaan Peddlers, Trishna and Gangs of Wasseypur. Her film Lunchbox was nominated for the Best Foreign Film at BAFTA awards and Masaan won the FIPRESCI prize at Cannes in 2015.
Harish Iyer
is an equal rights activist, columnist and a motivational speaker. He is the only Indian on the The Guardian's World Pride Powerlist of the 100 most influential LGBTQ persons in the world. He works extensively to create awareness on child abuse.
Kanika Tekriwal
is the founder of JetSetGo, which operates India's largest private jet and helicopter fleet. She is featured on numerous coveted lists such as Forbes' 30 Under 30, CNN's 20 Under 40, and BBC's 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World.
Mahua Moitra
is a member of the legislative assembly in West Bengal. She has worked as an investment banker with JPMorgan in New York and London. In 2009, she quit her job to enter active grassroots politics in India. She is currently the General Secretary of the West Bengal Trinamool Congress and serves on two Standing Committees of the Legislative Assembly- on Health & Family Welfare and on Public Estimates.
Naina Lal Kidwai
is Chairman, Max Financial Services and Advent Private Equity. She retired as the Executive Director of HSBC Asia Pacific and Chairman HSBC India. Naina has edited two books "Contemporary Banking in India" and "30 Women in Power: Their Voices, Their Stories." and is the recipient of the Padma Shri award for her contribution to Trade and Industry.
Rahul Roy
is an independent documentary filmmaker. His films explore the themes of masculinity and gender relations against the larger backdrop of communalism, labour, class identities and urban spaces. He is the author of a graphic book on masculinities titled 'A Little Book on Men' and has co-edited (with Dr. Deepak Mehta) a volume titled Violence and The Quest For Justice In South Asia.
Shehla Rashid Shora
is a Ph.D. candidate at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi and the former Vice-President of the students' union in JNU. An engineer turned activist, she's currently writing a book on student politics in India.
Sujatro Ghosh
is a 24 year old artist and a photojournalist. His satirical photo series on women wearing cow masks, which highlights the apathy towards women's safety in cities and the growing religious extremism in India, is very popular on social media and was covered by national and international media.
Swara Bhaskar
is an award winning actress in the Hindi Film Industry whose Filmography includes the critically acclaimed Anaarkali Of Aarah (2017), the critical-commercial success Nil Battey Sannata (2016); superhit blockbuster films Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo (2015), Tanu Weds Manu Returns (2015), Raanjhanaa (2013) and Tanu Weds Manu (2011). Swara is also an occasional writer and columnist and her short stories and articles have appeared in The Little Magazine, Seminar, The Himal Southasian, The Hindu and the Indian Express.
Alankrita Shrivastava
is an award-winning feature film director and screenwriter from Mumbai, with a penchant for telling women’s stories. She has written and directed two feature films: Turning 30 (2011) and Lipstick Under My Burkha (2017), which has been screened at over 60 international film festivals and won 18 international awards, apart from being a critical and commercial success in India.
Aparna Jain
is India's first certified Integral Master Coach, and coaches senior leaders and corporates in India. Before becoming a coach in 2012, she spent 23 years in various corporates, and in the media industry. An advocate for equal gender rights and inclusion, her book ‘Own It: Leadership Lessons From Women Who Do’ was shortlisted for the Tata Literature Live Best Business Book of 2016 and won her a Jury Appreciation Certificate in 2017, from the Laadli Media awards. Her third book ‘Like a Girl. Real Stories for Tough Kids’ will be out soon.
Arnav Das Sharma
is a Delhi based journalist and writer. He writes on gender, caste politics, and the arts. His debut novel, Darklands, has been published by Penguin Random House, and he is currenty writing a historical biography of Munshi Premchand, to be published by Penguin in 2019. He previously worked with Reuters and has written for various publications, including The Caravan, The Wire, Scroll.in, Indian Express, HT, and Outlook amongst others.
Freny Manecksha
is an independent journalist from Mumbai who previously worked with BLITZ, The Times of India, Mid Day, and the Indian Express. She is the author of 'Behold, I Shine: Narratives of Kashmir's Women and Children'.
Gurmehar Kaur
is the author of Small Acts of Freedom, a deeply personal family history. She is a social activist, and has co-founded the Citizens for Public Leadership, a nonpartisan movement focused on advocating for progressive public policy in India.She is also an ambassador of Postcards for Peace, a non-profit charitable organisation. Kaur currently studies English literature at Lady Shri Ram College for Women in Delhi.
Nayeema Ahmad Mahjoor
is a senior journalist, writer, and the Chairperson of Jammu & Kashmir State Commission for Women. She previously worked as a news editor for BBC Urdu at the BBC World Services in London for over two decades, and extensively covered human rights violations and women’s issues in conflict areas. Her urdu novel ‘Dahshatzadi’ was published in India and Pakistan and her book ‘Lost in Terror’ was published by Penguin Random House in 2016.
Shailaja Chandra
has been a civil servant for nearly 40 years. She was Secretary in the Ministry of Health, and later Chief Secretary Delhi: the only woman to have held the post. She is the author of ‘It Crossed My Mind’ published by Rupa, and has been awarded a fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Studies, Nantes, France in 2012. Shailaja writes regularly on governance, health, and gender-related issues.
is the author of “The Last Battle of Saraighat - The Story of the BJP’s Rise in the Northeast.” She is also a noted columnist and TV debater. She works with the Office of BJP General Secretary,
Sh Ram Madhav, in the Northeast India.
Sumukhi Suresh
is an improv, sketch and stand up comedian from Bangalore. A motormouth Hindi speaking Tamalayali, she is has written two sketches, "Sketch in the City" with Richa Kapoor, and "Go Straight Take Left" with Naveen Richard.
Angellica Aribam
is a political activist working on issues of gender, race, student welfare, and democratisation of politics. She is the former National General Secretary of the NSUI and was the first student from the northeast region to be elected in the executive committee of DUSU. Forbes India had featured her in its coveted 30 Under 30 list for her work on policy and politics. She is currently a MOFCOM scholar studying policy and gender.
Deepanjana Pal
is an author and journalist. She has written ‘The Painter’, a critically-acclaimed biography of the Indian artist Raja Ravi Varma, ‘Hush A Bye Baby’ and a children's story, ‘A Book for Puchku’ published by Pratham Books. She has written for The Atlantic, Caravan, Wallpaper*, Buzzfeed, Vogue, India Today, Firstpost and Newslaundry.
Juhi Chaturvedi
is a national award-winning screenwriter. She made her feature debut by writing the story, screenplay, and dialogues for Vicky Donor (2012). She was awarded the IRDS Film award for social concern for Vicky Donor and won two National Awards for Best Screenplay and Best Dialogue for Piku (2015). She has previously been the creative director at leading advertising agencies including McCann and Bates.
Mantasha Binti Rashid
is an undersecretary in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and the co-founder of the 'Kashmir Women's Collective’. She was awarded the Fulbright fellowship in 2014 to pursue an M.A in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies and is currently a doctoral researcher studying Gender and Violence in Kashmir from the University of Westminster, London.
is an award-winning actress who made her debut with the malayalam film ‘Out of Syllabus’ in 2006. She has been awarded the Kerala State Film Award for best actress for her roles in ‘Charlie’ and ‘Ennu Ninte Moideen in 2015 and ‘Take Off’ in 2017 and won the Silver Peacock award at the International Film Festival of India in 2017. She is the founding member of the Women in Cinema Collective, a platform for welfare of women workers in the malayalam film industry.
Rituparna Borah
is a queer feminist activist and co-founder and co-director of Nazariya, a queer feminist resource group working towards affirming the rights of queer people (LBT) by sensitising the work and culture of groups and individuals working on issues of gender based violence, livelihoods, education and health from an LBT perspective.
Sushmita Dev
is a Lok Sabha MP from Silchar, Assam. She is a member of the Indian National Congress and the leading face of campaigns like TaxFreeWings and Womenfor33. She is the President of the All India Mahila Congress and one of the prominent voices in the parliament on women’s issues.
Ananya Birla
is a singer, and an entrepreneur. She is the founder of Svatantra Microfinance, that supports rural women entrepreneurs and luxury e-commerce website Curocarte.com.
Asha Kotwal
is a Dalit Women’s Rights activist and the General Secretary of the All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch(AIDMAM). Kotwal is spearheading the Dalit Women’s Rights’ movement in India and under her leadership National Tribunal of Justice for Women came out with a report detailing violence against Dalit women in 2013. She also organised a national conference addressing the needs of Dalit women and what needs to be done about it.
Ayesha Kidwai
is a linguist, translator and a women’s rights activist. She is a Professor at the Centre for Linguistics at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi and has played a crucial role in formulating the UGC’s policy on safety of women and gender sensitization in campuses. Her book Freedom’s Shade’, an English translation of Anis Kidwai’s Urdu memoir of the Partition of India and Pakistan, was published by Penguin in 2011.
Bina Aggarwal
is a multiple award-winning economist, a Padma Shri, and Professor of Development Economics and Environment at the University of Manchester. Earlier she was Director, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi. Her 12 authored books include ‘A Field of One’s Own’, ‘Gender and Green Governance’ and ‘Gender Challenges’. In 2017 she received the International Balzan Prize (Switzerland and Italy), the Louis Malassis International Prize (France), and the Order of Agricultural Merit (France), for her contributions to gender studies and agricultural development.
Laxmi Narayan Tripathi
is a Kinnar/hijra social activist, dancer, and actress. She was the first transgender person to represent the Asia-Pacific region in the UN President’s Office Civil Society Task Force on HIV/AIDS, and is a founder member of the Asia Pacific Transgender Network. She was a core member on the UGC committee for “Right of Education of Transgenders,” and has authored ‘Me Hijra Me Laxmi' and Red Lipstick - Men in my Life'.
Maroosha Muzaffar
is a staff writer at VICE India. She was born and raised in Srinagar, Kashmir. A Fulbright scholar, she specializes in narrative writing and intimate storytelling. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, and in the Atlantic among others. Maroosha is writing her first book on urban loneliness and online dating in India.
Neeraj Ghaywan
is the National Award winning director of the critically acclaimed Indo-French co-production Masaan. He has previously assisted filmmaker Anurag Kashyap on films like Gangs of Wasseypur 1 & 2 and Ugly. Receiving wide acclaim from critics, mainstream media, and audiences alike, Masaan won the FIPRESCI prize in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes Film Festival and the Promising Future prize (Prix de l'avenir), in addition to several other awards and nominations around the world.
Rituparna Chatterjee
is a feminist writer. She started her career as a reporter and has worked at news agencies, newspapers and websites in a career spanning 15 years. Most recently, she worked at HuffPost India as the deputy editor.
Amrita Bhinder
is a tax lawyer, and the state spokesperson for the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), Chandigarh.
Aruna Roy
is an award-winning political and social activist and one of the founding members of Mazdoor Kissan Shakti Sangh(MKSS). She is the recipient of Ramon Magsaysay award(2000) and Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award(2010). She also spearheaded the Right to Information movement which eventually paved way for Right to Information Act(2005).
Samreen Mushtaq
is from Baramulla, Kashmir, and is currently a Ph.D candidate at the Department of Political Science, Jamia Millia Islamia. Her research focuses on gender-based violence in Kashmir conflict.
Suchita Salwan
has graduated from Delhi University with a degree in Economics, after which she worked with Wizcraft and the BBC. Her forte and domain interest lies in Marketing and Brand Building. She started Little Black Book as a platform for urban audiences to access recommended places, products and events. She has been featured on the Forbes India 30 Under 30 list, Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 list, and has been a guest speaker at India Conference, Harvard University.
Vasu Primlani
is one of India’s leading stand up comedians, and is an actor, triathlete, and an environmentalist. She received the Nari Shakti Puraskar from the Government of India in 2015 for her work. Primlani also works as a somatic therapist on cases of rape, suicide, idiopathic ailments, depression, and more. Crusading for LGBT rights, Primlani has been part of the Funky Funeral for Misogyny at One Billion Rising, bicycled with Delhi’s Queer Pride, and has done a set on rape at India’s first all-female stand-up comedy gig in the past.
& many more...