Vandana Shiva is a burst of creative energy and intellectual power. Born in India in 1952, she is one of the Third Worlds most eloquent and passionate voices on the environment, womens rights, and sustainable development. She directs the Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Ecology in New Delhi. In 1993 she received the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the alternative Nobel Prize.
Amartya Sen of India won the Nobel Prize in economics in 1998 for his pioneering work on development issues. He has focused attention on the social sources of famine, poverty, and inequality, and he has highlighted the need for womens empowerment.
More than a decade after she burst onto the world literary scene with The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy is again working on a novel. She wouldnt say much about it, other than that Kashmir figures in it. She once told me, Fiction is the truest thing there ever was. But she is also drawn to write about politics.
Bruce Cockburn has won practically every music award that his native country, Canada, has to offer. The recipient of multiple Junos (the Canadian equivalent of the Grammys), he also has been honored with the Order of Canada. In more than three decades, he has recorded twenty-seven albums, the latest being You've Never Seen Everything.
Ahmed Rashid is a journalist based in Lahore, Pakistan. He has been covering Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia for more than twenty years for The Far Eastern Economic Review and The Daily Telegraph. He is the author of Taliban (Yale University Press), a book that has sold a million copies and has been translated into more than twenty languages. His latest book is Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia (Yale). Recognized as one of the leading authorities on the Taliban, he has been in high demand since 9/11. He has appeared on many radio and TV news shows, has spoken at universities around the world, and has even consulted with the State Department.
Tariq Ali was born in 1943 in Lahore, in what was then British-controlled India. He was educated in Pakistan and then at Oxford. His opposition to the military dictatorship in Pakistan during the 1960s led to permanent exile in Britain. He was active in the anti-war movement in Europe during the late 1960s.