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Our Speakers | Vichaar Manthan

OUR SPEAKERS

Over the years, VM has welcomed accomplished speakers to share their thoughts and ideas with us on our platform. This includes politicians, authors, journalists, business leaders, and activists. Here are some examples of speakers who have participated in our recent past events.

Scholar of Sanskrit and Indian philosophy

Vidyabhaskar ji gave us a clear case to introduce animal rights in the light of Dharma. 

Aditya Gurtu

Sanskrit Scholar

Aditya Gurtu teaches Sanskrit and Hindu philosophy in London. He spent four years studying classical texts and Sanskrit grammar in India. He has also completed an Engineering degree from Cambridge University. He spoke about Hindu identity.

Journalist and Founder Abhedya Voluntary Organisation

Amitabh Soni reflected on the ideas and philosophy of Vivekananda and explored the Hindu contribution to Big Society. 

Yoga teacher

Amy Fitta spoke about the benefits and psychological aspects of yoga as a lifestyle that brings harmony and well being into our lives.

Director General at Fabian Society

Andrew Harrop argued on the side of the political left in our discussion about the role of Integral Humanism as a 'third way' in the debate between socialism vs. capitalism. 

Member of Parliament for Harrow East

Bob Blackman questioned whether we can rethink the Welfare State. During this discussion, we explored capitalism, communism and a possible 'third way'. 

Acharya for Chinmaya Mission UK

Brahmacharini Shripriya spoke on the need for clarifying terms when teaching and discussing Hindu philosophy. 

Teacher of South Asian history and educationist of multicultural education

Burjor Avari explored the integration between Hindus and Muslims since 700AD, when Arab traders first began to arrive in India.

Sah-Sarakaryavah (Joint General Secretary) of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)

Dattatreya Hosabale appeared on the VM platform to have a dialogue with the audience, giving an opportunity to critically analyse the RSS and its work.

Futurist, Catalyst, Innovator, Author

David Wood spoke about how technology will alter humanity, and how our political and social institutions will be made redundant and ineffective in regulating our world unless we can seriously re-think what it means to be human.

Animal Rights Advocate

Dina Aherne explored why the current animal welfare law might not be enough and how we can support the animal rights campaign by taking small steps in changing our behaviour. 

Vice Chairman of the World Organisation of Students and Youths

Divya Prabha explains Dharma and gave the Dharmic perspective of what a Hindu wedding ought to be in Modern Britain.

UK President of the National Hindu Student Forum

Drishti Mae reflected on the ideas and philosophy of Vivekananda and explored the Hindu contribution to Big Society. 

Member of Parliament for the UK Independence Party, representing Clacton

Douglas Carswell joined us in the lead up to the Brexit vote, to debate whether we should leave or stay in the EU.

Geoff Hoon

Former Defence Secretary, United Kingdom

Geoff Hoon was a British Labour Party politician who served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ashfield from 1992 to 2010. He is a former Defence Secretary, Transport Secretary, Leader of the House of Commons and Government Chief Whip. He spoke about the ethical implications of War. 

George Thomson

Professor, Consultant Endocrinologist

George Thomson has occupied several leadership roles within the UK's healthcare system, serving as a Medical Director. He spoke on the impacts of pandemics on healthcare systems.

Chevening Scholar at the University of Oxford, Journalist, Author

Hindol Sengupta spoke on Hindu identity where he explored the emerging confidence of modern Hindus globally and emphasised the need to engage in open dialogue with other traditions.  

Research Fellow at the School of Childhood, Youth and Education Studies in Manchester

Dr James Duggan spoke about his most recent project, Loneliness Connects Us, a youth co-research project funded by the Co-op Foundation and developed in partnership with 42nd Street Manchester.

Research Director at the Institute for Economic Affairs

Dr Whyte argued on the side of the political right in our discussion about the role of Integral Humanism as a 'third way' in the debate between socialism vs. capitalism. 

European IT Director and a part time university academic

Dr Jina examined the Hindu psyche during our event on the Hindu Inferiority Complex. He attempted to explain some of the general attitudes of how Hindus see themselves in relation to others.

Best-selling author and founder of VASA – Vedic Academy of Sciences & Arts

Jeffrey Armstrong discussed the key differences between the philosophies of the East and the West, particularly Hinduism compared with prevalent Western theological world-view.

Joanne McCormack

General Practitioner (GP)

Dr. Joanne McCormack is a Medical General Practitioner in the UK. She is the founder of the charity www.PHCuk.org. She spoke on the limitations of veganism. 

Jonathan Woolley

Social Anthropologist

Dr Jonathan Woolley is a Mount Haemus Scholar of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids, he has published widely on English folklore and nature spirituality. He completed his PhD from Cambridge University.

Award-winning sex workers' rights campaigner and speaker

Laura Lee argued for the de-criminalising prostitution and the legal rights of sex workers.

H.M. King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein of Jordan Fellow for the Study of Love in Religion at Regent’s Park College, Oxford

Dr Dallh offered his perspective on what the suffering in the world tells us about God.

President of INSA and Doctorate of Quantum Entanglement at University of Cambridge

Mruttinjoy Majumadar explored the modern relationship between India and Britain and debated whether an emerging India can save a declining Britain.

Navalkant Prinja

Technical Director at Clean Energy

Professor Prinja questioned what purpose marriage serves. He explored the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects and asked whether the current generation has lost its roots. 

Leader of the Liberal Democrats from 1988 until 1999

Lord Ashdown joined us in the lead up to the Brexit vote, to debate whether we should leave or stay in the EU.

Reader in Culture & Law, Queen Mary, University of London

Dr Shah came on to the VM platform when parliament was due to debate the Caste provision of the Equality Act. We explored the history and implications for the Caste system. 

Priest-in-charge of St Mary Magdale and Fellow of Brasenose College, University of Oxford

Dr Groves offered his perspective on what the suffering in the world tells us about God.

Pippa Malmgren

Economist

Dr Pippa Malmgren is an ex-economic advisor to the Bush (Jnr) White House in the USA and was recently ranked as one of the most influential economists in the world. She spoke about the economic repercussions of Pandemics.

GP, with experience in Global Health and Humanities

Dr Chandegra examined the role of the stories we tell ourselves and how they're critical to our well being, in the context of a VM on loneliness and social isolation.

Indian–American researcher and writer

Rajiv Malhotra presented the context in which Indian history is written and interpreted in the Western world.

Sanskrit scholar and pracharak for the HSS

Dr Vaidya illustrated how the principles of Hindu philosophy are put to practice in order to lead a fulfilled life. He stressed the importance of service (Karma Yoga) and the organic society that develops when people are kind to one other.

Lecturer at University of Oxford; Trustee of Chinmaya Mission UK

Dr Pattni explored the psychology of Yoga as a model of well-being and flow for positive psychology.

Ravi Ladva

Public Historian

Historian and Writer, specialisation in Indian history between 1500 and 1947 especially the Maratha Empire. He spoke about history of pandemics and how nations managed the impacts.

Managing Director of Cynergy Bank

Ravi Sidhoo explored the modern relationship between India and Britain and debated whether an emerging India can save a declining Britain.

Rishi Handa

Head of Sanskrit at St James Senior Boys’ School, London

Dr Rishi Handa holds a PhD in Hindu and Sikh Studies focusing on the construction of religious identities. He spoke on the emerging Hindu identity in modern Britain.

Professor at the Ghent University in Belgium

Professor Balagangadhara argued against the popular translation of itihaas as 'history'. He explored the historical roots of this misinterpretation and its consequences.

Sachin Nandha

Public philosopher, writer and national coordinator of Vichaar Manthan

Dr Nandha questioned whether we can rethink the Welfare State. During this discussion, we explored capitalism, communism and a possible 'third way'. 

Indian author, Professor of Strategy and former Chairman of the Aeronautical Society of India

Professor Modh questioned whether we can rethink the Welfare State. During this discussion, we explored capitalism, communism and a possible 'third way'. 

Current Chairman and co-founder of Castewatch UK

Satpal Mumon came on to the VM platform when parliament was due to debate the Caste provision of the Equality Act. We explored the history and implications for the Caste system.