Date: Sunday, December 2nd / Time: 10:00 / Venue: Samsara, The Park Chennai / Event Type: Music, Film, Culture Conference

Continuing a worldwide conversation on the critically needed movement for women’s rights, security and empowerment against sexism, workplace inequality and abuse, this session looks at the movement from India’s perspective. Change takes time, involving the unlearning of long established norms and patterns of inequality and unconscious bias: workplace harassment, safety in public spaces, moral policing, caste, dictats on the roles of woman and men, lack of diversity on festival line-ups and in positions of authority and power in the industry - the list is too long and complex for quick-fixes. In the creative industries, merit alone must the definer and qualifier, but how does one level the playing field to enable an environment that allows for wider inclusivity - of women, as well as other gender and ethnic minorities, marginalised communities, the differently-abled, the elderly, and men? Solutions must place emphasis on core values of merit and hard work, and pursue wider inclusiveness and respect for diversity. The panelists discuss perspectives towards laying the ground for an industry ethos that pursues inclusiveness, beyond the two-gender equal rights and opportunity conversation.


  • Sonya Mazumdar

    Sonya Mazumdar EarthSync

    Founder/CEO of EarthSync - a music production house and award-winning documentary film producer - and founder of IndiEarth XChange - the annual trade event in India for independent music, film and media.

  • Shubha Mudgal

    Shubha Mudgal Artist

    Born in Allahabad to a family that embraced literature as well as Indian and western music, Shubha Mudgal was trained initially as a Khayal singer by Pandit Ram Ashreya Jha. Later, she received the guidance of Pandit Vinay Chandra Maudgalya, Pandit Vasant Thakar, Smt. Naina Devi and legendary maestro Pt. Kumar Gandharva, becoming one of the most versatile and popular performers of the new generation of Hindustani musicians. She started performing as a classical singer in the 80s and gained a certain reputation as a talented singer who started experimenting with other forms of music, including pop and fusion. As a composer, her mystical poems from the Muslim Sufi-tradition and of rare Hindu texts have been highly praised by critics. She has received the National Film Award for Best Non-Feature Film Music Direction in 1996, the 1998 Gold Plaque Award for Special Achievement in Music and the Padma Shri, one of the highest civilian awards in the Republic of India.

  • Vaishna Roy

    Vaishna Roy The Hindu

    Vaishna Roy has been a journalist for 30-odd years, wandering in and out of various publications. At present, she edits the Sunday Magazine and Literary Review for The Hindu besides writing features, book reviews and interviews. She also authors a fortnightly column for The Hindu's Weekend edition on Saturdays. Called Speech Melba, the column is a semi-serious, semi-snarky look at society from the lens of feminism, art, culture and mores. But mostly it's a space that articulates her abiding belief that life is not black or white but just a lovely shade of dove grey.