The argumentative Indians

Battle lines are drawn for the city’s biggest war of words. The Camellia Group presents Calcutta Club The Telegraph National Debate 2018, to be held at the Calcutta Club Lawn this Saturday, boasts a line-up of speakers as diverse as a diplomat-turned-politician, a firebrand youth leader and a feisty lawyer.

Metro gives a glimpse of the speakers who will provide the fireworks

 WHAT: The Camellia Group presents Calcutta Club The Telegraph National Debate 2018

 WHEN: Saturday, February 10, 7pm

 WHERE: The Calcutta Club Lawn

 MOTION: In new India, the pillars of democracy are in crisis

 MODERATOR: Sandip Chatterjee


Shashi Tharoor

He’s the man who introduced Hinglish-scarred Indian social media to “exasperating farrago of distortions”. The former diplomat-turned politician wears many hats — author, an advocate of Hinduism and a crusader against Hindutva. With his razor-sharp wit and stellar oratory, trust the MP from Thiruvananthapuram to refresh your vocabulary.

Akhilesh Yadav

One of the youngest chief ministers that India has had. Six years on, he is 44 but still one of the fresh faces that politics-weary young India looks up to. The prince of the heartland is a champion of the charm offensive.

Tarun Vijay

Political correctness is not for this former editor of the RSS weekly Panchajanya. Just what a good debate needs. His pet passion is a festival to celebrate unity in Ladakh but Vijay knows what it takes to rustle up a storm out of
thin air.

Hardik Patel

Rock stars would be envious of the 346,000 Twitter followers he has at 24. Hardik, a leader of the Patidar community, challenged a regime about as old as him and almost pulled off an upset. In Narendra Modi’s backyard, his fiery speeches draw thousands. The man with the pencil-thin moustache won’t be the one to hold back his punches this Saturday.

Meenakshi Lekhi

A darling of television prime time; a spirited defender of Narendra Modi; a Supreme Court lawyer. Lekhi knows a thing or two about an argument. If her performance in the Lok Sabha is anything to go by, expect a tour de force from the New Delhi MP.

Swapan Dasgupta

The Calcutta boy is now more comfortable in the power corridors of the capital. The La Martiniere and Oxford old boy wrote in The Telegraph on Thursday: “There is nothing more appealing than the possibility of political uncertainty to excite the imagination of the editorial and intellectual classes in today’s India.”


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