Through millennia, India has drawn its energy from crises, each one making it stronger and more innovative. As the nation sinks its differences and gains, as a new resolve in the wake of the latest terror attack in Jammu & Kashmir, the News18 Network is bringing together the best Indian minds across disciplines onto a single stage next week.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead the Rising India Summit 2019, delivering the opening address at the flagship event of India’s biggest media network, which is taking place against the backdrop of the Pulwama massacre and the upcoming general elections. Therefore, it is 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 CMs Yogi Adityanath and Kamal Nath to film stars like Deepika Padukone and Kamal Haasan and the spiritual leader Sadhguru and many other speakers will speak at the power and eclecticism packed summit in Delhi’s Diplomatic Enclave on 25th and 26th February 2019.
Day One will begin with an exploration of a new growth mantra for the world’s oldest living civilisation with spiritual leader Sadhguru, founder of Isha Foundation. He 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 of Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation - Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Law and Justice of India - Ravi Shankar Prasad and Minister of Railways of India - 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 policymakers. Following them will be addresses and interactive sessions with Yogi Adityanath and Kamal Nath, the Chief Ministers of two of India’s biggest states - Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
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 this 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 Two 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 Captain Amarinder Singh, the newly minted Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Bhupesh Baghel, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanaswamy, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur will, in separate sessions, talk about the burning issues from their vantage points.
Southern superstar and a new entrant to Tamil politics, Kamal Hassan 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 Textiles Minister, Smriti Irani and RPN Singh of the Congress. 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 states, the North East and India’s engagement with the world.
The summit will have a strong eclectic component too, with sessions ranging from sports to women and youth in politics. Minister of State for Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore, cricket icon Anil Kumble, and world champion 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 filmmaker Paromita Vohra and writer and social commentator Santosh Desai will discuss the #MeToo movement and the new gender equation.
Young politicians K Kavitha (of the TRS), Tejaswi 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.
To sum it up, Rising India 2019, is by far, the biggest platform for the crème-da-la-crème of India and will be competing against the bars it set in 2018, when it made its debut in the Indian thoughtscape.