Intesaab 2020: Speaker Line Up

Intesaab 2020

Intesaab 2020, organised by the Ishan Foundation Trust, Jaipur x Mumbai, marks a new beginning where art and artists find their way to express their inhibitions. Scheduled on the 12th, 13th, and 14th of June 2020, it is India’s first virtual festival, where these three days are an amalgamation of panel discussions, talks, events, and workshops, where Intesaab shall diverge into an iconic platform for art across the nation to be rediscovered and cherished.

With the grasping clutches of the COVID-19 pandemic, we also believe in making a change in society that sustains us. Hence all proceeds from the festival shall be donated to NGOS which provide relief to the victims of the COVID-19 crisis. Thus, Intesaab 2020 is a cradle for new avenues to emanate, reorient, and unravel incredible directions that will divulge our past, mold our present, and inspire our future.

Here, we unfold to you our speaker lineup. 

You can avail the passes for all the events through the following link:

Session 1: Roots of Feminism 

Intesaab 2020

June 12th 2020. 7:00 PM IST.

When many people hear the word “Feminism,” they think about angry, men-hating women, waiting to devour any man who walks in. However, this is far from reality. This saturation of the ideology of Feminism bothers Intesaab. That many people are unsure of what the true definition of feminism is increases the problem further. We at Intesaab 2020 believe that only by discussing feminist literature and the true essence of feminism, by discussing where stems from, where its roots are, can we make people understand feminism and what it means to be a feminist and achieve our goal. 

On the panel we have Dr. Deepa Narayan, who is the author of the ground-breaking book, Chup: Breaking The Silence About India’s Women and the founder of Chup Circles. (book ). We also have Ms. Vemulapati Mrudula who is an Anthropologist with over 23 years of experience in Non Profit organizations and has worked in projects of Women empowerment, Child Protection and Quality Education in Public Schools.  The third panelist is Ms. Nandini Sultania founded Koras Women Happiness World and Kamakhya – the plastic free mensuration campaign, which is now recognised under Startup India. The last lady of this platform is Ms. Ngurang Reena who is a researcher and writer from a Scheduled Tribe (ST) community, from Arunachal Pradesh. She has been vocal against racism and discrimination faced by the minorities in India,

Session 2: Post Pandemic Geo-Politics

June 13th 2020. 4:30 PM IST

Recession, depression, demand. These are the words that resonate throughout the fabric of India today, when the pandemic has hit. And this is intrinsically linked with Politics. The current pandemic has exposed issues within the Chinese System, and this seems to have implications on the future of the politics of the world.Further, the recent Black Lives Matter movement spreading worldwide signals a need to shift the way global and national policies and their politics work. What will be India’s position in the New Age post-pandemic world?  

We, at Intesaab 2020, believe that the youth is the future, one which must be saved at any cost. There is no doubt that there will be massive lay-offs and that the job hunting business will profit unnaturally, and that political systems will change. But how? We believe that by discussing this, we can move forward to discovering these answers.

This panel will be graced by Professor Harsh V Pant who is a Non-Resident Fellow with the Wadhwani Chair in US-India Policy Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, DC. We also have Dr. Manoj Joshi who is a Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation. He is a journalist who has specialised in foreign and security policy in the years he has worked with The Times of India, The Hindu, The Hindustan Times and the India Today Group. Finally, we have Mr. Seshadri Chari is a commentator on foreign policy, strategic and security matters. He was Consultant on Governance to the United Nations (UNDP) and posted in South Sudan from 2006 to 2009. He was formerly Convenor of BJP Foreign Policy Cell.

Session 3: Psychological Manipulation in Domestic Violence

June 13th 2020. 7:00 PM IST

Hushed whispers. Guilt. Shame. We, at Intesaab believe that there are wounds deeper and deadlier than the ones on flesh, the ones that are visible. Those are the ones whispered about, never openly talked about, always treated as a blight to society. And these wounds spring for a variety of causes, one of which is Domestic Violence. That the psychological impact of Domestic Violence is never talked about, despite it being a major issue in our country, makes it hard in today’s mainstream world to understand its relevance and importance to well-being. It is not just about being away from the person, it is about recovering from their monstrosity.

On this panel we have,  Ms. Kavita Krishnan who is a communist feminist activist, Politburo member of the CPIML and Secretary, All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA). We also have Ms. Barkha Bajaj who is the Director of Aks Foundation and Unalome Therapy, Pune and Mrs. Ankhee Gupta who is a psychological counsellor, stress management expert and a graphologist. She works as an expert therapist for ‘all women’s social networking platforms’ like Momspresso and Sheroes. The fourth panelist is Mrs Priyanka Singh from Breakthrough Tv. She has more than 14 year experience of working in the development sector especially working with domestic violence survivors. Lastly, we have Mrs. Jyoti,  the co-founder of Stree Mukti Sanghatana. She is a renowned playwright and has written numerous plays on women’s issues, children’s education, child labour, waste management and the environment.As an activist, has participated in many awareness campaigns for women’s issues going back to 1975. 

Session 4: Fighting Transphobia through Religion

Intesaab 2020

June 14th 2020. 1:30 PM IST

Through time and again, transphobia has found basis in religion by providing a strong evidence to justify one’s insecurities and hatred towards the transgender community. This has led to the demise of individual transgender identities and freedom. Today, in India alone, such gruesome and inhumane acts have led to a range of negative attitudes, feelings, and  actions toward transsexuality in general.

Yet, festivals such as the Koovagam festival, an 18-day festival celebrating transgenderism, remind us that our world is not filled with hate, but rather, love and acceptance shadowed under what people have made of religion.

This is why Intesaab questions the role of religion in promoting transphobia. We invite you to talk about how religions in themselves do not promote transphobia but rather lead one to the acceptance of transgenderism as an integral part of society. We ask for your help in making audiences realise that the very Lord Krishna that they praise once took a gender-amorphous form during the war, that even the great Arjun from Mahabharata remained Brihannalla, and that Shikhandi, a woman turned man commandeered a legion of soldiers to fight Bhishma. We would be eternally grateful for you to come and fight transphobia through Religion with us using your opinions and experience, here at Intesaab on a session exclusively about fighting transphobia cultural transphobia.

This panel is graced by:

1) Shri Laxmi Narayan Tripathi

Acharya Mahamandaleshwar Shri Laxmi Narayan Tripathi is a renowned activist and a public figure in the country. She founded noble organisations like Astitva and Kineer to represent the LGBT community, to assist and shelter sex workers and PLHIV families.

2) Ina Goel

Ina Goel is a PhD candidate at The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Founder of The Hijra Project. An INLAKS and DAAD Scholar who has written and spoken extensively about the hijra communities, Ina has also worked with FHI 360 (a nonprofit human development organization), UNICEF, the National AIDS Control Organization, the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, University College London and the humanitarian organization Plan International. 


Can Water Speak? Pani ke bhi kaan hote hain. 

Intesaab 2020

June 14th 2020. 5:00 PM IST

The chairman of Drop Dead Foundation and National Award-winning (1993) author, Aabid has written around 80 books, which have been translated into almost every Indian language. An accomplished painter, he has held 16 exhibitions in India and abroad. In 1971, the Indian government commissioned a short film ‘ABID’ on his creative work. 

Aabid Surti believes that thoughts are like seeds. Fortunately his drop of a thought turned into a vast ocean just like a small seed that turns into a massive banyan tree. He has saved 20 million litres of water single handedly, from going down the drain. He asks a very rudimentary question and tries to answer it in a manner which is bound to leave you thinking. He believes that water has hidden messages exactly like humans do, and it also shares feeling. He compares water to God, and discusses that if an atheist dives into the mysteries of water, he is sure to become a believer. He talks about the discoveries of scientists in relation to water with several facts and the journey of his esteemed foundation. 

In order to solve this social issue, Intesaab believes dialogue to be the best method as it promotes awareness for such issues, something which is crucial to modern India and the World in general. We would be eternally grateful for you to come and talk about the basic necessity of humanity and battle them  with opinions and insights, helping us make the difference today’s world needs.


Session 8: Mehfil-e-Faiz with Salima Hashmi

Intesaab 2020

June 14th 2020. 7:30 PM IST

With art flowing through her blood and flourishing through her work, we believe no one could possibly understand Faiz Ahmed Faiz better than her. She grew up watching him embark on his journey, adhering to his ideologies. Her own books ‘Unveiling the Visible: Lives and Works of Women Artists of Pakistan’ and ‘Memory, Metaphor, Mutations: Contemporary Art of India and Pakistan’, represent her extensive understanding of the transcending nature of art through all cultures. Being a renowned international artist and illustrating Faiz’s translated work, Salima Hashmi has had a profound understanding of the meaning her father’s words enveloped. We are certain that her inputs would prove to be of the utmost value to our interactive session, and our audience would learn a lot about the ideologies of the great thinker.

Presenting the closing session of Intesaab 2020, Mehfil-e-Faiz with none other than the poet’s eldest daughter, Mrs. Salima Hashmi connecting with us from Pakistan.


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