Through millennia, India has always drawn its energy from crises, each one making it stronger and more innovative. As the nation sinks its differences and gains new resolve in the wake of the latest terror attack in Jammu & Kashmir, News18 Network is bringing together the best of Indian minds across disciplines onto a single stage next week.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead from the front at the Rising India Summit 2019, delivering the opening address at the flagship event of India’s biggest media network, which, this year, is taking place against the backdrop of the Pulwama massacre and the upcoming general elections, and is, therefore, aptly themed ‘Beyond Politics: Defining National Priorities’.
It will feature the who’s who of politics, business and culture. From BJP president Amit Shah to UP and Madhya Pradesh CMs Yogi Adityanath and Kamal Nath to film stars Deepika Padukone and Kamal Haasan to mystic and spiritual leader Sadhguru, some two dozen speakers will speak at power- and eclecticism-packed summit in Delhi’s Diplomatic Enclave on February 25 and 26.
Day 1 will begin with exploration of a new growth mantra for the world’s oldest living civilisation with spiritual leader Sadhguru, founder of Isha Foundation, who will be in conversation with yoga baron Baba Ramdev in a session moderated by poet, lyricist and advertising icon Prasoon Joshi.
This will be followed by a high-power discussion between three of the top Union cabinet heavyweights — Minister for Surface Transport & Shipping Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Law and Justice, and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad and Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal. On the agenda is the theme ‘India Ahoy: Growth and Gumption’. Setting the stage for this session will be a panel discussion by a bunch of business heavyweights and top policy makers. Following them will be addresses and interactive sessions with Yogi Adityanath and Kamal Nath, chief ministers of two of India’s biggest states Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, respectively.
The day will be capped by an address by PM Modi, who will lay out his vision for the country. Only last year, in the first edition of the one-of-its-kind summit, the PM talked about how, for him, Rising India means the rise of every citizen’s self-respect. This year, he will define the contours of a new national resolve in the wake of recent events.
Day 2 will have the celebrity star cast across sectors, each panel carefully chosen to get the best of contrarian (and creative) opinion. BJP president Amit Shah will take stock of the latest political situation prevailing in the country in a session titled ‘Mahabharat’, while Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, newly minted CM of Chhattisgarh Bhupesh Baghel, Puducherry CM V Narayanaswamy, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and Himachal Pradesh CM Jai Ram Thakur will, in separate sessions, talk about burning issues from their vantage points.
Southern superstar and newbie Tamil politician Kamal Haasan will discuss the whys and hows of his electoral entry, while Deepika Padukone will share her experience as a youth icon.
There will be an interesting political duel featuring the combative Smriti Irani, Union Textiles Minister, and RPN Singh of the Congress, while BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav, one of the main architects of its now disbanded alliance with the PDP in Jammu and Kashmir, will be quizzed about whether peace can ever return to the restive state, the Northeast and India’s engagement with the world.
The summit will have a strong eclectic component too, with sessions ranging from sports to women to youth in politics. Minister of State for Sports, Youth Affairs and Information & Broadcasting Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore, cricket icon Anil Kumble and world champion boxer Mary Kom will discuss how far sporting ties can and must go in the shadow of terror and the increasing democratisation of achievements now visible in the country.
A panel of women, including Bollywood star Taapsee Pannu, Maharashtra politician Supriya Sule, Malayalam actress Padmapriya, writer and film maker Paromita Vohra and writer & social commentator Santosh Desai will discuss #metoo and the new gender equation.
Young politicians K Kavitha (of the TRS), Tejashwi Yadav (RJD), Anurag Thakur (BJP), Chirag Paswan (LJP), Divya Spandana (Congress), Jayant Chaudhary (RLD) and Nara Lokesh (TDP) will discuss new narratives in a new India, while a generation slightly older to them and with past legislative experience — Omar Abdullah, Sachin Pilot and Babul Supriyo —will debate the churn in India’s political sangam.
In sum, Rising India 2019, by far, is the biggest platform for the crème de la crème of India, and will be competing against the bars it set in 2018, when it made its debut in the Indian thought-scape.