SHOMA CHAUDHURY, co-founder and director of Algebra – the Arts & Ideas Club, is an award-winning journalist, editor, and political commentator.
In 2011, Newsweek in the US picked her as one of 150 power women “who shake the world”. Among a slew of other journalistic accolades, she has been awarded the prestigious Ernest Hemingway Award for Political Journalism, the Mumbai Press Cluber award for political journalism, the Ramnath Goenka award and the Chameli Devi Award for Best Woman Journalist for — in the words of the citation — “going where angels fear to tread”.
Shoma has been the managing editor and one of the founders of Tehelka, an investigative public interest newsmagazine, where she also wrote and reported extensively on the Maoist crisis, issues of justice, social equity, human rights, the media, law, and the fight over resources. Several of her stories, in defence of human rights workers falsely accused by the State, were instrumental in getting people out of jail. She also founded and was the editor-in-chief of CatchNews, a digital newsplatform.
Apart from her career in print journalism, Shoma is a virtuoso speaker and has been invited to address many forums both in India and abroad, including America, Britain, Edinburgh, Italy, France, Spain, Australia, Singapore and Indonesia. She has also interviewed the most cutting edge minds globally on politics, policy, business, science, civil society, cinema, literature, sports and media.
Shoma also co-founded and was director of THiNK, a cutting-edge conference of ideas, where she hosted and interviewed people like Robert De Niro, Shahrukh Khan, Arvind Kejriwal, Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev, the former chiefs of the CIA and Mossad and the Taliban together on the same platform along with a galaxy of activists, artists, corporate czars, entrepreneurs, farmers, dalits, tribals, and politicians from India, Africa, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Afghanistan, China, Russia, Pakistan and Europe and America.
She also curated the global RIE conference Zinda Dilli for the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation in Delhi 2016, where she interviewed a range of people including Baba Ramdev, Gary Kasparov and Monica Lewinsky, and has also curated and hosted several conferences at the Royal Society of Arts in London and Asia Society.
The only thing she loves more than words are rivers, rain, birds and trees.
Algebra, the Arts & Ideas Club brings together a fellowship of people who believe great cities are built not just on infrastructure but a life of the mind; who understand robust and liberal societies need the oxygen of great conversation and nuanced thinking.
At a time when we are increasingly surrounded by rage and noise, Algebra is a live and continuous space for people to come together for a genuine exchange of ideas and exposure to issues; where new seeds could be sparked, fresh perspectives formed, and intelligent connections made.
Algebra – the Arts and Ideas Club is designed to host almost 35 engagements over the year with topline thinkers and practitioners from almost every discipline that impacts human affairs: politics, economy, environment, spirituality, cinema, medicine, science, technology, music, media, literature, the arts, sports, people’s movements, et al.