For all India’s myths, its wealth of stories and moral epics, many influential figures of Indian history remain curiously unknown. In this authoritative and illuminating work, author Sunil Khilnani brings to life 50 extraordinary men and women whose contributions have shaped both India and the world.

Journeying across India in pursuit of their stories – visiting slum temples, ayurvedic call centers, Bollywood studios, textile mills and Mughal fortresses – Khilnani paints incisive portraits of emperors, warriors, philosophers, artists, iconoclasts and entrepreneurs. Some of these historical figures are famous; some are unjustly forgotten.

Join Khilnani as he explores over 2000 years of Indian and world history through the lives that light up its rich heritage and its continuous ferment of ideas, from the spiritualist Buddha to the capitalist Dhirubhai Ambani, through the ancient world to the modern day.

About The Speaker

Sunil Khilnani

Sunil Khilnani is a Professor of Politics and Director of the King’s College London India Institute. He is a scholar of Indian history and politics best known as the author of The Idea of India. He was the presenter of a BBC Radio 4 series entitled Incarnations: India in 50 Lives, which was later published as a book in 2016.

About The Moderator

Colin Philpott

Colin Philpott is a writer, producer and presenter. He is a former Director of the National Media Museum and BBC programme-maker, and ran the lobbying group Bradford Breakthrough until 2015.