Rajiv Mehrotra is an Indian writer, television producer-director, documentary film maker, a personal student of the Dalai Lama for whom he manages as Trustee/Secretary The Foundation for Universal Responsibility (www.furhhdl.org) established with the Nobel Peace Prize.He is best known as the former acclaimed host of one of India's longest running talk shows on public television, "In Conversation", that has been through several incarnations over more than twenty years, aired on the India's National broadcaster, Doordarshan News Channel, Saturdays at 9.30 pm.
As a documentary film maker, producer, and commissioning editor his 650 films have won 50 national awards from the president of India and more than 285 national and international awards. They have had more than 1500 film festival screenings around the world from Berlin, Chicago, and Rotterdam to Mumbai, Qatar, and Yamagata. Three of his documentary films have been archived by the Motion Picture Academy of America, well known for presenting the Oscars. He has authored nine books that have been published in 50 editions and languages. They are primarily on spirituality, most notably Conversations with The Dalai Lama, Thakur – a biography of Sri Ramakrishna and Mind of The Guru. He was a student of the late Swami Ranganathananda, president of The Ramakrishna Mission and of the iconic Yoga teacher BKS Iyengar. He serves as the founder and managing trustee of The Public Service Broadcasting Trust (www.psbt.org) and till recently chairman of The Media Foundation (www.thehoot.org)
Rajiv Mehrotra has twice addressed plenary sessions of the World Economic Forum who elected him a Global Leader for Tomorrow. He was a judge of the Templeton Prize, typically presented by Prince Philip in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. The monetary value of the prize is adjusted so that it exceeds that of the Nobel Prizes, as Templeton felt "spirituality was ignored" in the Nobel Prizes. He was educated at La Martiniere, Calcutta; St Stephen's College, Delhi and the Universities of Oxford & Columbia.
Rajiv Mehrotra did his schooling from La Martiniere Calcutta, and later studied at St. Stephen's College, Delhi, St Edmund Hall, Oxford, Oxford University and received his Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Film Direction from Columbia University in 1981.While in school he twice won the Best Speakers Award at the National Public Schools Debating Competition, was editor of the School Magazine and a lead actor in school productions; at Stephen's he was Secretary of The Shakespeare Society, The English Literary Society and the Cine Club and Acting President of the Students Union; at Oxford University he directed several plays including Othello, Shrivings (Peter Shaffer), The Shrew (Marowitz) and Tughlaq (Girish Karnad) as a director for the prestigious Oxford University Experimental Theatre Club at the professional Oxford Playhouse. At Columbia University he worked with the Oscar-winning film director Miloš Forman and won scholarships from the INLAKS Foundation & UNESCO.
Mehrotra today manages, as the honorary secretary/trustee, The Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama,.and is the founder and managing trustee of The Public Service Broadcasting Trust (www.psbt.org)[ He was trustee of the Norbulingka Institute of Tibetan Culture, the Navdanya Trust. He was till recently chairman of The Media Foundation that administers the Chameli Devi Awards for Journalism and a media watch dog website The Hoot (www.hoot.com) He has been a close personal student of His Holiness The Dalai for nearly thirty years.
Mehrotra has published several books, including The Mind of The Guru, Understanding The Dalai Lama, The Essential Dalai Lama, "Thakur" a biography of Sri Ramakrishna all by Penguin/ Viking,The Open Frame Reader – on the Indian documentary was published by Rupa. Recently published is a new revised and expanded edition of The Mind of The Guru by Hay House and due early next year, is a book on creativity: The Spirit of The Muse, 2009 also saw the publication of "In My Own Words" by the Dalai Lama edited by Rajiv Mehrotra and "Conversations with The Dalai Lama on Life, Living & Happiness" both by Hay House, USA. He is working on a spiritual biography of His Holiness The Dalai Lama
From 2000, he has been managing trustee, executive producer and commissioning editor of The Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT)that has produced more than 600 independent documentary films, largely by mentoring young starting out film makers, winning some 2800 awards from 1500 international film festival screenings. His films have won numerous international and more than 49 national awards from the president of India. He has directed films such as a ten-part series for television on Sri Ramakrishna (The Great Swan), Angkor Vat (Axis Mundi), the places of Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India (The Footsteps of the Buddha), the 'Krishnamurthi Schools' (Awakening of Intelligence), The Tabo Kye monastery (Sacral Legacy), on the Dalai Lama for PBS in the US (Ocean of Wisdom) etc. Three of his documentary films have been archived by the Motion Picture Academy of America, well known for presenting the Oscars.
Mehrotra has twice addressed plenary sessions at 'The World Economic Forum' at Davos and was nominated a 'Global Leader for Tomorrow' by them. He has served as a judge for The Templeton Prize for Religion, on the governing council of the Sri Aurobindo Society, The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII)and as the chairman of the jury of the 50th anniversary Indian National Film Awards for Non-feature films.
He started his career in broadcasting on All India Radio on its youth programme at age 12, on television as the anchor of 'Youth Forum' at age 17 in 1970 and as a television journalist with India's national broadcaster, Doordarshan in 1980s, where he also worked as a news anchor. Soon he switched to making television short films and documentaries, and started his in-depth talk show, In Conversation, which got him acclaim. According to TAM (Television Audience Meter) data it has had the highest viewership across all television news channels in India in its genre. The Programme also had the highest viewership across news channels when it was on air on the Doordarshan News Channel on Saturdays at 9.30 pm.[ citation needed ] It featured people ranging from several heads of state from George Bush and Václav Havel to numerous Nobel Laureates, Baba Amte, Pt. Ravi Shankar, Lord Yehudi Menuhin, and The Dalai Lama, BKS Iyengar to Richard Gere, Zubin Mehta and Mahashweta Devi. It had been through several incarnations over more than twenty years. The programme is currently taking a break.
Rajiv Mehrotra has extensive and pioneering experience in virtually all aspects of television and radio production, as director, cinematographer and editor. He has anchored a range of live and recorded programme genres in English from his early teens. He reported "live" as a news-anchor and served as a reporter for public television during the 1980s on assignments in India and abroad, in particular with Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Rajiv Mehrotra has been on the steering committees of the Planning Commission of the Government of India to recommend policy & strategies for Information & Broadcasting, Information Technology etc., The committee on Bridging The Digital Divide, The Organising Committee of the Mumbai International Film Festival and is a nominated member of the Core Group of the Press Council of India etc. He served on the high powered committees set up by the Government of India on TRP's (Television Rating Points) and to advise the Government on restructuring the National Film Awards.
Mehrotra lives in Delhi with his wife, Dr. Meenakshi Gopinath, who recently retired as the principal of the Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi University. She serves on the boards of several not for profits and as director of Women in Security, Conflict Management & Peace, WISCOMP (www.wiscomp.org)
La Martiniere (informally known as LMC) is an elite, independent private day school located in Kolkata (Calcutta), West Bengal. It comprises two single-gender boys and girls schools. It was established in 1836 in accordance with the will of the French soldier of fortune and philanthropist, Major General Claude Martin. They are Christian schools, controlled by the Anglican Church of North India and independent from the government, with English as the primary language of instruction.
P. Parameswaran, often referred to as Parameswarji, was a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak from Kerala, India who was erstwhile Vice‑President of the Jan Sangh.
Jetsun Pema is the sister of the 14th Dalai Lama. For 42 years she was the President of the Tibetan Children's Villages (TCV) school system for Tibetan refugee students.
Balmiki Prasad Singh was the 14th Governor of Sikkim, India. He is an author, thinker and a retired IAS officer. He has written number of books and articles relating to Indian culture, in particular the culture of North-East India. Among his prominent books are Bahudha and the post 9/11 World and The problem of change: a study of North East India. He presided over the four-day Global Buddhist Conference in 2011 to mark the 2,600th year of Buddha's enlightenment. Around 1,000 Buddhist scholars, thinkers and followers from over 30 countries were present. B.P. Singh is also the principal architect of the Bahudha Approach, which outlines a path towards a harmonious world, as against the clash of civilizations.
Tenzin Priyadarshi is the president and CEO of the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The 14th Dalai Lama, known as Gyalwa Rinpoche to the Tibetan people, is the current Dalai Lama, the highest spiritual leader of Tibet, and a retired political leader of Tibet. Born on 6 July 1935, or in the Tibetan calendar, in the Wood-Pig Year, 5th month, 5th day, he is considered a living Bodhisattva; specifically, an emanation of Avalokiteśvara. He is also the leader of the Gelug school, the newest school of Tibetan Buddhism, formally headed by the Ganden Tripa. The government of Tibet, the Ganden Phodrang, invested the Dalai Lama with temporal duties until his exile in 1959. On April 29, 1959, the Dalai Lama established the independent Tibetan government in exile, the Central Tibetan Administration, in the north Indian hill station of Mussoorie, which then moved in May 1960 to Dharamshala, where he resides. He retired as political head in 2011 to make way for a democratic government.
Rato Dratsang, also known as Rato Monastery, Rato Dratsang is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery of the Gelug or "Yellow Hat" order. For many centuries Rato Dratsang was an important monastic center of Buddhist studies in Central Tibet.
The Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education is an international charitable organization and education center located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Established in 2005, the center describes its mission as "educate the hearts of children by informing, inspiring and engaging the communities around them".
The 14th Dalai Lama has received numerous awards over his spiritual and political career. He was a laureate for community leadership in 1959 Ramon Magsaysay Awards, Asia's version of Nobel Prize. On 22 June 2006, he became the third person to be recognised with Honorary Citizenship by the Governor General of Canada. On 28 May 2005, he received the Christmas Humphreys Award from the Buddhist Society in the United Kingdom. Most notable was the Nobel Peace Prize, presented in Oslo on 10 December 1989.
Ishar Bindra is a Sikh American investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He was also the founder-trustee of the Sikh Forum of New York, senior vice president of the Hemkunt Foundation, and patron of the Sikh Art and Film Foundation.
Ritu Sarin is an Indian film director, producer and artist based in Dharamshala, India. She was born in New Delhi. She did her undergraduate studies at Miranda House in Delhi University and went on to do her MFA in Film and Video from California College of the Arts in Oakland. She is the recipient of Miranda House’s 2010 Distinguished Alumna Award. She is married to Tibetan filmmaker Tenzing Sonam with whom she has two children.
The Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a non-profit organization established with the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the 14th Dalai Lama in 1989. According to its website, "the Foundation brings together men and women of different faiths, professions and nationalities, through a range of initiatives and mutually sustaining collaborations."
Raja Choudhury is a National Film Award (India) winning documentary film maker, architect, public speaker, spiritual teacher on The Shift Network, and designer of multimedia installations and events and Web sites, some of which have received Webby Awards. He produces international documentary films on Indian wisdom, history and consciousness. Films he has made include Spirituality in the Modern World, I Believe:Universal Values for a Global Society, The Modern Mystic, The Quantum Indians, Yoga: Aligning to the Source and most recently India's official global film celebrating the International Day of Yoga entitled Yoga Harmony with Nature which was released on 21 June 2015. He is currently producing a new film with WTTW Chicago PBS called America's First Guru on Swami Vivekananda and the arrival of Yoga and Hinduism into the popular American conversation in 1893. Raja is on the faculty of The Shift Network online teaching subjects on Indian Wisdom. Raja is also a teacher at A Thousand Suns Academy teaching advanced programs and workshops in Indian wisdom and meditation.
Anwar Jamal is an Indian documentary filmmaker, based in New Delhi. He has been awarded the National Film Award on several occasions and had made critically acclaimed feature, short and documentary films a wide array of social, political and cultural themes. He has served as jury in many international film festivals including National Film Award Jury.
Rice and Rasam is a 52 minutes documentary film produced by Rajiv Mehrotra of the PSBT in the year 2012. It is directed by Ramchandra PN, under a fellowship that is awarded by PSBT for the year 2011-2012. The film is about the nomadic life style of the artists of the professional theater troupes in Karnataka, South India.
Khyongla Rato, also known as Khyongla Rato Rinpoche, Rato Khyongla Rinpoche, Khyongla Rinpoche and also as Nawang Losang, his monk's name, is a scholar and teacher in the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. He was born in what was then the Kham region of Tibet, and was recognized as an incarnate lama at an early age. He spent over 30 years of his life as a monk studying in the monasteries of Tibet and receiving teachings from many highly qualified lamas.
Meenakshi Gopinath is an Indian educationist, political scientist, writer and a former principal of Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi. She is the founder and incumbent director of the Women in Security Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP), a non governmental organization promoting peace and socio-political leadership among the women of South Asia and a former member of the National Security Advisory Board, the first woman to serve the Government of India agency. She has served as a member of the selection panel of the Lokpal, a legal body which has jurisdiction over the legislators and government officials of India. The Government of India awarded her the fourth highest civilian honour of the Padma Shri, in 2007, for her contributions to Indian educational sector. She is a co-editor of the International Feminist Journal of Politics, the leading journal of feminist international relations and global politics.
Aparna Sanyal is a multiple award-winning director and producer based in India.
Tibet–India relations are said to have begun during the spread of Buddhism to Tibet from India during the 7th and 8th centuries AD. In 1959, the Dalai Lama fled to India after the failed 1959 Tibetan uprising. Since then, Tibetans-in-exile have been given asylum in India, with the Indian government accommodating them into 45 residential settlements across 10 states in the country. From around 150,000 Tibetan refugees in 2011, the number fell to 85,000 in 2018, according to government data. Many Tibetans are now leaving India to go back to Tibet and other countries such as United States or Germany. The Government of India, soon after India's independence in 1947, treated Tibet as a de facto independent country. However, more recently India's policy on Tibet has been mindful of Chinese sensibilities, and has recognized Tibet as a part of China.