London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), is hosting twofold forums as part of the prestigious annual ‘LSE India Forum 2017’ (LIF), a leading forum in the UK involving keynote speeches and panel discussions on major economic, political and cultural issues facing contemporary India. LIF serves as a platform for students and young professionals alike to engage with some of India’s leading industrialists, politicians, economists and popular culture icons.
The first forum took place on 4th March 2017 with an in-conversation with interaction between Anupama Chopra and Karan Johar, on the topic of Bollywood and its Soft Power. The second forum will take place on 11th March 2017 with eminent business, political and Bollywood personalities sharing their perspectives on the theme: ‘India – A Superpower In The Making?’
The conference will close with the Entertainment Panel led by acclaimed film director, prouder and director Farhan Akhtar alongside author, journalist and film writer Naman Ramachandran on the topics of ‘Bollywood and its Omnipotence’ – ‘Indian film stars going beyond the realms of Bollywood’, ‘Influence of Bollywood’s soft power on Indian viewers, and ‘Censorship and freedom of artistic expression: A balancing act’.
Farhan Akhtar, is an Indian film Director, Screenwriter, Actor, Lyricist, Playback Singer, Producer and Television Host. After establishing a production company named Excel Entertainment along with Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan made his directorial debut with Dil Chahta Hai in 2001 and received critical acclaim for portraying modern youth. The film also won a National award. He started his acting career with Rock On!! in 2008, for which he won a second National Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi as producer, and indulged in further experimentation before he acted in, produced and wrote the dialogues for the critical and commercial success Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara in 2011, which won him two Filmfare Awards, including Best Supporting Actor. In the same year, he directed a sequel to Don titled Don 2 in 2011, which remains as his highest-grossing film till date. He achieved further success by portraying Milkha Singh in the 2013 film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, earning him the Filmfare Award for Best Actor. In 2016, Akhtar received praise for starring in the crime thriller Wazir and the comedy drama Dil Dhadakne Do.
The forum will be structured into five thought-provoking panels and topics will include:
- The Economics panel discusses the hot topic of the year 2016 – Demonetisation & Digitisation, India’s readiness for a Cashless Economy – the steps required, impact on inflation and economic growth, and the sectors that reap the benefits and which near the brunt. Participants: Lord Meghnad Desai, Dr. Surjit Bhalla, moderated by Prof. Maitreesh Ghatak.
- The Business & Entrepreneurship panel discusses ‘Paradigm Shifts for Business in India’, Driving Innovation; Shifting gears in the automobile landscape; the role of ‘Make in India': has it been able to transform red tape into a red carpet?; and David and Goliath: Can our home-grown brands challenge international players? Participants: Neeraj Kanwar, Sudhir Mehta, Shiv Khemka, moderated by Prof Alnoor Bhimani
- The Politics panel will debate the topic ‘Modi’fied India: The Way Ahead’, a constructive analysis on the question of ‘India, the lone bright spot in today’s global economy’, ‘Weaving India’s social fabric – are we strengthening our democratic ideals’, ‘India’s Foreign Policy push: Progressive, or Volatile?’ and ‘Decoding the 2017 state election results’. Participants: Ajay Maken, Shazia Ilmi.
- The Finance keynote address will be given by Deepak Parekh, Chairman of HDFC. Ltd, who will discuss ‘Financial Reforms in India: Challenges and Opportunities’. Participants: Deepak Parekh.
- The conference will close with the Entertainment Panel led by acclaimed film director, prouder and director Farhan Akhtar alongside author, journalist and film writer Naman Ramachandran on the topics of ‘Bollywood and its Omnipotence’ – ‘Indian film stars going beyond the realms of Bollywood’, ‘Influence of Bollywood’s soft power on Indian viewers, and ‘Censorship and freedom of artistic expression: A balancing act’.
Farhan Akhtar will be speaking at the Old Theatre at LSE on Saturday 11th March at 5pm – 6.15pm.