U Mahesh Prabhu
Born on April 26, 1982 – U. Mahesh Prabhu – is a versatile person; he’s an entrepreneur, journalist, historian as well as political analyst. With a Masters in Business Administration in Marketing he has spearheaded, under senior managerial capacities, marketing department of several million dollar enterprises before opting out of the corporate world to pursue his passion for writing and journalism.
In 2008 he was awarded the prestigious Fellowship of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, London (UK) and Membership of International Federation of Journalists in 2009. An avid reader is also a reviewer and has reviewed books by prestigious publications like that of Random House, University of Southern California Press, Stanford University Press, Free American Press as well as Routledge Publications.
He has contributed in the past to revered publications like that of Times of India, Indian Express, The Pioneer, Front Page Magazine, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society and several others. As a respected professional marketer as well as journalist he has delivered more than 100 guest lectures at prestigious institutions of management and media, across the country. Besides this he has been acknowledged by over 10 authors of repute in their various publication(s); also one book in Kannada language (Bettale Jagattu 9 by Pratap Simha) has been dedicated to him.
Dr. NS Rajaram
An acclaimed mathematician and hailed scientist – Navaratna Srinivas Rajaram – is now a distinguished for his impeccable work in history and linguistics. Popularly known as NS Rajaram, he shuttles between Houston, Texas and Bangalore, India. He has a bachelors degree in electrical engineering from the BMS College in Bangalore, and a PhD in mathematics from Indiana University, in Bloomington USA.
Formerly he was Principal Scientist at Lokheed Corporation (now Lokheed Martin) heading artificial intelligence and research. He has been an advisor to the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) and his works have been supported by several organizations including the National Science Foundation, NASA, Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the AMOCO Foundation.
After his stint with technology he turned his eyes on History where he made his, what one can term, the greatest life time contribution by deciphering Indus Scripts along with Late Natwar Jha. He has written several authoritative works in this regard and has been very successful in debunking the ‘Aryan Invasion’ idea(s). Some of his acclaimed works include:
- Aryan Invasion of India: The Myth and the Truth (New Delhi: Voice of India, 1993) ISBN 81-85990-12-3
- The Politics of History: Aryan invasion theory and the subversion of scholarship (New Delhi : Voice of India, 1995) ISBN 81-85990-28-X
- With David Frawley, The Vedic “Aryans” and the origins of civilization: a literary and scientific perspective (St-Hyacinthe, Québec: World Heritage Press, 1995) ISBN 1-896064-00-0, 2nd rev. enl. ed. (New Delhi: Voice of India, 1997) ISBN 81-85990-36-0
- Secularism: The new mask of fundamentalism: religious subversion of secular affairs (New Delhi: Voice of India, 1995) ISBN 81-85990-34-4
- The Dead Sea scrolls and the crisis of Christianity: an Eastern view of a Western crisis (London: Minerva, 1997) ISBN 1-86106-206-0
- With David Frawley, A Hindu view of the world: Essays in the intellectual kshatriya tradition (New Delhi: Voice of India, 1998) ISBN 81-85990-52-2
- Gandhi, Khilafat and the national movement: a revisionist view based on neglected sources (Bangalore: Sahitya Sindhu Prakashan, 1999) ISBN 81-86595-15-5
- Christianity’s scramble for India and the failure of the secularist elite (New Delhi: Hindu Writers’ Forum, 1999) ISBN 81-86970-09-6
- From Sarasvati river to the Indus script: a scientific journey into the origins of the Vedic Age (Bangalore, Karnataka, India : Mitra Maadhyama, 1999)
- Profiles in deception: Ayodhya and the Dead Sea scrolls (New Delhi: Voice of India, 2000) ISBN 81-85990-65-4
- Nationalism and distortions in Indian history: causes, consequences and cure (Bangalore: Naimisha Research Foundation, 2000).
- With N. Jha, The Deciphered Indus Script (New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan, 2000) ISBN 81-7742-015-1
- With David Frawley, The Vedic Aryans and the origins of civilization: a literary and scientific perspective, 3rd ed. with three supplements (New Delhi: Voice of India, 2001) ISBN 81-85990-36-0
- Nostradamus and beyond: visions of yuga-sandhi (New Delhi : Rupa, 2002) ISBN 81-7167-954-4
- Sarasvati River and the Vedic Civilization: History, science and politics, (Aditya Prakashan, New Delhi, 2006), ISBN 8177420661
Stephen Suleyman Schwartz
Born on September 9, 1948 Stephen Suleyman Schwartz is an American journalist, columnist and author whose pieces have been published across several publication(s) including the most notable – The Wall Street Journal. Interestingly, even though much of his journalistic endeavors, in the past, have been targeted at Marxism, Communism as well as Anarchism; he has been admittedly “a student of Sufism since the late 1960s and an adherent of the Hanafi school of Islam since 1997″. As Executive Director of Center for Islamic Pluralism, he happens to be a very strong critic of Islamic Fundamentalism a.k.a. Islamic Radicalism in the form of Wahhabi sect of Sunni Islam.
A voracious reader and a author has authored over a dozen books including:
- Brotherhood of the Sea: A History of the Sailor’s Union of the Pacific. New Brunswick, NK. Transaction Books, 1986 ISBN 0-88738-121-9
- Spanish Marxism vs. Soviet Communism: A History of the P.O.U.M (with Victor Alba). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1988. ISBN 0-88738-198-7
- A Strange Silence: The Emergence of Democracy in Nicaragua. San Francisco: ICS Press, 1992. ISBN 1-55815-071-4
- From West to East: California and the Making of the American Mind. New York: The Free Press, 1998. ISBN 0-684-83134-1
- Press, 2001. ISBN 1-898855-55-2
- The Two Faces of Islam: The House of Sa’ud from Tradition to Terror. New York: Doubleday, 2002. ISBN 0-385-50692-9
- Sarajevo Rose: A Balkan Jewish Notebook. London: Saqi Books, 2005. ISBN 0-86356-592-1
- Is It Good for the Jews? The Crisis of America’s Israel Lobby. New York: Doubleday, 2006. ISBN 0-385-51025-X
- The Other Islam: Sufism and the Road to Global Harmony. New York: Doubleday, 2008. ISBN 0-385-518196
Dr. Richard L Benkin
Dr. Richard Benkin is a distinguished American Jewish human rights activist, journalist, writer as well as lecturer; also, founder of ‘Interfaith Strength’. Dr. Benkin is well known for his efforts in releasing the Bangladeshi journalist – Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury – who was imprisoned, rather baselessly, after writing alarming articles warning the masses about the rise of Islamic radicals. Besides that, Dr. Benkin is also known for his efforts in urging the Government of Bangladesh to recognize the state of Israel.
Dr. Benkin has been awarded with “Special US Congressional Recognition” in 2005 and was even nominated for Lorenzo Natali Prize for Journalism in the year 2006.
Some of his publications include:
- The Social and Cultural Development of Jewish Communities in Eastern Europe, 1976 Doctoral Dissertation, University of Michigan Press
- The Battle Beneath Jerusalem (Dhaka Press, 2009)
- Our Fight for Freedom: The Story of a Falsely Imprisoned Muslim and one Jews’ Fight to Free Him
- A Quiet Case of Ethnic Cleansing: Monograph on Bangladeshi Hindus. Published in Toronto and Mumbai, 2008
- Sociology: A Way of Seeing, Wadsworth Pub Co (July 1981) ISBN 978-0534009298
Prof Narendra Nayak
Born on February 5, 1951 – Professor Narendra Nayak – is a noted rationalist of international repute from India. Founder of Dakshina Kannada Rationalist Association; he has been its Secretary for over three decades. He is also, currently, the National President of Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations – an apex body of over 60 Atheist, Rationalist as well as humanist group(s) in India. As a part of his campaign to expose the “miracles” and to debunk superstitions, he has carried on over 2000 demonstrations all over India as well as in Australia, England and Greece. He has been featured in many television programs including the one on physical feats by the Discovery Channel, “Is it Real?” by National Geographic, “The Secret Swami” by the BBC and several others.
Dr Koenraad Elst
Born on August 7, 1959 into a Flemish Catholic family Dr. Koenraad Elst is today amongst the well known Belgian academicians, historians and authors. He graduated in Indology, Sinology and Philosophy at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium from where he, also, obtained his PhD.
Dr. Elst has published articles and columns in Dutch as well as English. He has contributed to the conservative magazine “Nucleus”, the conservative internet magazine “The Brussels Journal”, The Flemish satirical weekly “‘t Pallieterke” along with other Belgian and Dutch publications. He has also written for mainstream Indian magazines including “Outlook”. Formerly he has also written a postscript to a book authored by Daniel Pipes – “The Rushdie Affair: The Novel, the Ayatollah, and the West”.
Some of his notable publications include:
- Ayodhya: The Finale – Science versus Secularism the Excavations Debate (2003) ISBN 81-85990-77-8
- Ayodhya: The Case against the Temple. 2002. ISBN 81-85990-75-1
- BJP vis-à-vis Hindu Resurgence. 1997. ISBN 81-85990-47-6
- Decolonizing the Hindu Mind – Ideological Development of Hindu Revivalism. Delhi: Rupa & Co. 2001. ISBN 81-7167-519-0
- The Demographic Siege. 1997. ISBN 81-85990-50-6
- Gandhi and Godse – A review and a critique. ISBN 81-85990-71-9
- Negationism in India: Concealing the Record of Islam. 1992. ISBN 81-85990-01-8
- Psychology of Prophetism – A Secular Look at the Bible. 1993. ISBN 81-85990-00-X
- Ram Janmabhoomi vs. Babri Masjid: A Case Study in Hindu-Muslim Conflict. Voice of India, Delhi 1990
- Return of the Swastika, Koenraad Elst, Voice of India
Dee Woo gained his international attention, for the first time, by writing a personal letter to US President Barack Obama in October 2010 asking him to refrain from initiating a trade war with China. Owing to this he was, also, featured in many of the mainland Chinese media followed by publications in Hong Kong, Singapore, Macao, Malaysia and United States. Since then he has gone on to publish numerous commentaries in many influential newspaper(s) and magazine(s) including Wall Street Journal, Forbes China, CIO&CEO, Lianhe Zaobao, Agora Financial China, Business Insider as well as The Huffington Post among scores of others.
Dr. Ashish Chopra
Dr. Chopra, currently, is the Executive Director of the Institute for Environmental Management and Social Development. He was also the former Advisor to the Governor of Indian state of Mizoram. With a PhD in Conflict Management, he has been working in the areas of environment, social development, culture and cuisine – specifically – in the North East India for over one decade. His latest work “A travel guide to North East India” was written after the much anticipated success of “NE Belly” a book on the cuisines of the eight North Eastern states of India. He calls North East India as his “obsession” which has “taught” and “given” him so much. He is now documenting the traditional tribal foods of India in a cookbook to be entitled – Tribal Cuisines of India and one on Street Foods of India.
All those apart, he has interest in regional cuisine, folk music, tribal art, indigenous knowledge and film making. Amongst his forthcoming projects is a coffee table book on the North-East (India). He is also a keen documentary filmmaker and has been working on documentaries on the Chins of Mizoram, the Nocte tribe of Arunachal, the Konyaks of Nagaland, and a television series on the migrant cuisines of India. He has published various papers on development, conflict management and culture.
He even anchored a talk show called “To the Point” on one of the prominent satellite news channels. A foodie at heart; though not by profession – but by passion- he has been a food critic with various magazines and has also been a food consultant with ITC Welcome Heritage group of hotels having documented the Royal cuisines of the erstwhile Maharajas. Amongst his latest projects are conceptualization of the first cross Cultural Heritage Cuisine Restaurant in India for the Carlson’s Country Inns and Suites Group at Jaipur and a traditional Punjabi Heritage cuisine Restaurant with Sufi as its theme at Ludhiana.
Also coming up in Goa is the World’s first North East Indian Cuisine Restaurant serving cuisines from the eight states of North East India based out of his book. He has been invited to co-author a book on the Royal cuisines of Bhagel with H.H. Pushpraj Singh – the erstwhile Maharaja of Rewa and subsequently Gajraj Singh the Thakur of Diggi State in Rajasthan has also commissioned him to do a coffee table book on the erstwhile secret recipes and food traditions of the Diggi State.
He has also consulted for the television series by BBC channel Four. Gordon Ramsey’s “Great Escapes” on North East Indian Cuisine. He firmly advocates that food, music and culture transcend all boundaries of caste, conflict, creed and religion. To respect food, tradition and culture is the best way to respect humanity.
Pratap Simha is, today, undisputedly amongst the most successful columnist(s) in the history of Kannada (an Indian vernacular language) journalism with close to a million fan-following. He started his career after receiving Masters in Communications and Journalism from the Mangalore University with Vijay Karnataka (now a Times Group Publication). After ouster of Vijay Karnataka’s editor Mr. Simha sympathizing with his boss, who he also adored as mentor, resigned from his position. Currently, he is working with Kannada Prabha newspaper and is also anchoring a popular television show in Suvarna News Channel. He has been recipient of several awards and honors at regional as well as national level.