Shoma Chaudhury

Shoma Chaudhury

Co-Founder & Director - Algebra, the Arts and Ideas Club

Shoma Chaudhury is an award-winning Indian journalist, editor, and political commentator, known for her strong, often counter narrative, yet nuanced stands on national issues. She has written extensively on Constitutional issues of justice, social equity, human rights, the media, law, politics, economy and the struggle over resources. She has also written on Kashmir and the Maoist crisis and several of her stories, in defence of human rights workers falsely accused by the State, were instrumental in getting people out of jail. Her profiles on a wide range of people have been hailed for their perception and acuity.

In 2011, Newsweek in the US picked her as one of 150 power women "who shake the world". She was also invited to deliver the Gandhi Oration in Sydney in January 2018 at the university of New South Wales, the first Indian to do so. Among a slew of other journalistic accolades, she has been awarded the prestigious Ernest Hemingway Award for Political Journalism, the Mumbai Press Club 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. She was also the founder and editor-in-chief of CatchNews, a digital newsplatform.

She is currently co-founder and director of Algebra - the Arts and Ideas Club, (www.algebratheclub.com), a unique forum for critical conversation, constructed to spark new ideas and challenge perspectives. Over the past year and half, since Algebra started, she has hosted over 70 stage events and 150 topnotch speakers at the club, cutting across disciplines.

Apart from her career in print journalism, Shoma is a virtuoso speaker, both on television and stage, 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, Aamir Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Tom Friedman, Siddharth Mukherjee, Arvind Kejriwal, Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev, former chiefs of the CIA and Mossad and the Taliban together on the same platform along with a galaxy of politicians, artists, corporate czars, entrepreneurs, farmers, dalits, tribals, and activists from India, Africa, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Afghanistan, China, Russia, Pakistan and Europe and America.

She has spoken at and moderated several events for the YPO and also curated the global RIE conference for the Entrepreneurs' Organisation in Delhi 2016, where she interviewed a range of people including Gary Kasparov, Baba Ramdev and Monica Lewinsky, and has also curated and hosted several conferences at the Royal Society of Arts in London and Asia Society. She has also spoken at the Women in the World conference at Lincoln Centre, New York.
Tina Brown - director Women in the Worldand former editor of the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Daily Beast and Newsweek -- says: "Shoma Chaudhury is a powerful instrument of challenge and persuasion in India's public life and the best convenor of conversations in the world"

Pratap Bhanu Mehta - political scientist, Chancellor Ashoka University, and former director of Centre of Policy Research - says: "Shoma Chaudhury has a capacity to bring together people on opposing sides of political divides in ways that is almost miraculous"