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 just a few examples of speakers who have participated in our recent past events.

Journalist and Chair of Hindu Human Rights UK

​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. 

Liberal MEP candidate

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

Scholar of Sanskrit and Indian philosophy

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

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.

Director of Event Gurus

Heena Solanki spoke on the challenges faced by parents in modern Britain. She gave practical examples based on her experiences as an entrepreneur and a mother, and explained how Hindu values help her succeed at both. 

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.

Krunal Makwana

Writer and developer of Jignasa Course

Krunal Makwana explored eduaction in our current times from the perspective of the student and the disciple. He looked to Swami Vivekananda for inspiration.

Award-winning sex workers' rights campaigner and speaker

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

IT Technical Manager

Mari-Lou spoke on the viability of micro weddings their advantages vis-avis the grandeur generally seen in the rest of the Manthan.

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. 

Litigation Solicitor and Convener of the UK-India Young Leaders Forum

Pranav spoke on his preparation to enter a marriage, his recent wedding celebrations, the unity of different cultures, communities and diverse approaches that sometimes also brings challenge and sacrifice.

Ex-Sanghchalak (Chairperson) of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh

Pravin Ruperalia took inspiration from Swami Vivekananda to explore religion, and the gulf between principle and practice. 

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.

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. 

Founder-CEO Illumine Knowledge Resources

Srinivas spoke on Vivekananda's ideas and how they can be applied in corporate settings, in a tried and successful manner.

Writes and lectures on aspects of Indian and European thought

Dr Cross explained the influence of Hindu thought on western scholars in the past, during the renaissance and in the present world. He highlighted the growing embrace of 'alternative' lifestyles as people begin to combat the forces of crude materialism and its effects such as environmental damage.

Best-selling author and psychologist, specialised in parenting and boys' education

Professor Biddulph highlighted the differences between raising boys and girls, which followed on to a discussion of the challenges we face in raising children with Hindu values in Britain today.

Investor in Disruptive Technologies

Subhash Jogia explored the pros and cons of moving into the technological age, where it has become increasingly faster to create and destroy our world, and his emphasis lay on the need for a 'Dharma centred' technology.

Professor of Educational Technology

Professor Mitra explained his research, which demonstrates how children teach themselves, and each other, in the absence of formal teaching and supervision. He put forward ideas on how should we educate the next generation to be prepared for a world that is rapidly changing. 

Minister-in-Charge of Ramakrishna Vedanta Centre

Swami Sarvasthananda argued for why Swami Vivekananda is more than a brand in contemporary modern Britain.

UK Delivery Manager for the Eden Project Communities team

Tracey Robbins leads the work on loneliness, delivering initiatives that bring people together encouraging connection, engagement and participation. She explored what causes and reduces loneliness.

Entrepreneur with a social conscience

Tushar Shah chaired the event exploring Swami Vivekananda's influence in modern Britain. 

Director at UK India Business Council

Vandana Saxena Poria spoke on 'A Path Less Trodden' about her move to India where she works with the UK government to support British companies starting business in India.

Historian and author of the most comprehensive biography on Bhagat Singh

Virendra Aurora spoke about the life and philosophy of Bhagat Singh; who he was and the underlying motivation behind his actions.