Artists & Speakers 2023

Sanjiv Saraf

Founder & Trustee - Rekhta Foundation

He is also an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and author, dedicated to preserving and promoting Indian languages.

Huma Khalil

Trustee & Creative Director - Rekhta Foundation

She is also an accomplished author and director, and wears numerous feathers in her cap.

Javed Akhtar

A prolific poet & esteemed lyricist, who is a revered figure in the world of Urdu literature and the Indian film industry.

Vishal Bhardwaj

A versatile artist, renowned for his exceptional contributions to music, cinema, and storytelling, graces Jashn-e-Rekhta 2023 with his presence.

Rekha Bhardwaj

A renowned singer, known for her soulful renditions, brings her musical brilliance to Jashn-e-Rekhta 2023, leaving the audience awe-struck.

Muzaffar Ali

An Indian filmmaker, fashion designer, poet, artist, cultural revivalist, and social worker.

Waseem Barelvi

A poetic maestro, who weaves emotions into verses, enchanting audiences with his soul-stirring Urdu poetry.

Shujaat Hussain Khan

One of the most acclaimed musicians and sitar players of his generation, he was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best World Music Album for his work.

Anurag Kashyap

Acclaimed filmmaker and storyteller, joins Jashn-e-Rekhta 2023, bringing his cinematic expertise to enrich the celebration of Urdu culture with his unique narrative brilliance.

Sudhir Mishra

A filmmaker & visionary storyteller, graces Jashn-e-Rekhta, infusing the festival with his cinematic mastery & distinctive storytelling skills.

Swanand Kirkire

A lyricist & soulful storyteller, joins us, sharing his poetic brilliance & unique narrative style to elevate the celebration of Urdu culture with lyrical charm.

Varun Grover

A renowned lyricist & versatile storyteller, adds his creative flair to Jashn-e-Rekhta 2023, contributing his lyrical skills & distinct storytelling finesse to enrich the conversation.

Javed Ali

A soulful playback singer, who mesmerizes with his emotive & versatile vocals, leaving an indelible mark on the world of Indian music.

Farhat Ehsas

A leading contemporary Urdu poet, who has performed in Mushairas, globally. He has written extensively on socio-cultural and political issues.

Iqbal Ashhar

A popular face in the world of mushairas, hails from Western UP and has recited mushairas around the globe.

Rahul Ram

An Indian bass guitarist, social activist and music composer. He plays bass guitar for musical band Indian Ocean, which he joined in 1991.

Salman Akhtar

A prolific author & a psychoanalyst, who has significantly contributed to the Urdu world as well as in the field of psychotherapy.

A Naseeb Khan

A poet, author & translator, who is also the principal of Jamia Milia Islamia.

Dr. F S Sheerani

A Dean of the Faculty of Unani Medicine, Professor in Kulliyat and coordinator of the Cultural Education Center. AMU, Aligarh.

Shahzan Mujeeb

A singer, songwriter, performer and musician.

Salma Sultan

An Indian television journalist and director, who also worked as a news anchor in Doordarshan.

Dr. Haider Saif

A singer, composer, and scholar of History.

Qurban Ali

A senior tri-lingual (Hindi, Urdu, and English) journalist with more than 30 years of experience across all traditional media.

Kushagra Joshi


Seema Chishti

An author, researcher, educator, broadcaster and editor, currently joined as journalist at The Wire.

William Dalrymple

A Delhi-based Scottish historian and art historian, as well as a curator, photographer, broadcaster and critic. He is also one of the co-founders and co-directors of the annual Jaipur Literature Festival.

Khalid Alvi

A well-known as Khalid Mustafa Alvi is a professor at the University of Delhi, critic, and Urdu poet.

Abhishek Shukla

A poet, teacher of poetry and writer.

Juhi Babbar Soni

An accomplished Indian film and television actress, she has made significant contributions to theatre, excelling both as an actor and director, showcasing her versatile talent in the world of performing arts.

Navtej Sarna

An Indian author-columnist, diplomat and former Indian Ambassador to the United States.

Maazbin Bilal

A writer, translator & academic committed to multiculturalism & diversity, he forms the unifying thread across his creative, critical & translation practices.

Tahir Mahmood

Tahir Mahmood is an Indian legal scholar and author of a large number of books frequently cited in the judgments of the Supreme Court of India and numerous High Courts.

Shahnaaz Nabi

A renowned writer, poet, playwright, and critic. Her doctoral thesis, titled "The Development of Urdu Criticism after 1960," showcased her scholarly prowess.

RJ Naved

One of India's Top-Rated Radio Jockeys and was running his own show “Mirchi Murga” for years at Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM.

Dr. Vikas Divyakirti

Founder & MD of 'Drishti IAS,' an organization active in the Civil Services Preparation since 1999.

Aamir Azher Khan

A voice over artist, popularly known as Urdu-daan on social media, is also a podcaster and creative consultant.

Najeeb Jung

A retired IAS officer, who also served as the 20th Lieutenant Governor of Delhi. He previously served as the 13th Vice-Chancellor of the Jamia Millia Islamia.

Naghma Sahar

An acclaimed TV anchor who weaves insightful questions, guiding engaging discussions and navigating conversations that enhance the festival's experience.

Suhail Akhtar

Shagufta Yasmeen


A Senior Research Fellow in Ministry of Culture, and has also worked for AIR and DD News.

Karan Torani

Social Media Influencer

Qaiser Khalid

An officer of the Indian Police Service, Khalid is also a poet who writes in both Urdu and Hindi. He has written anthologies of Urdu poetry, and is the recipient of the Maharashtra State Urdu Sahitya Academy Award.



Anwar Pasha


A Professor at the Centre of Indian Languages in JNU. He is also a renowned scholar & educationist with expertise in Urdu language, literature & minorities education.

Irshad Khan Sikandar

A poet who possesses valuable experience of acting, voice over, script writing and editing.

Atika Farooqui


An artist and a skilled orator, Atika excels in diverse roles- talk show host, film critic, poet, actor, and curator. Mastering the art, she captivates audiences for two decades.

Mahendra Kumar Sani


Sarwat Khan

A noted fiction writer known for her novel "Andhera Pag".

Lokesh Jain

Hina Abbas


Rehman Khan

A stand-up comedian, acclaimed theatre artist, and writer who has performed globally.

Rene Singh

A singer trained in semi-classical music. She has an extensive knowledge of Sufi & Urdu poetry.

Gauhar Raza

An Indian scientist by profession, and a leading Urdu poet, social activist & documentary filmmaker working to popularize the understanding of science.

Supriya Joshi

An Indian playback singer who has sung over 300 songs and performed in over 1000 live shows in India and abroad.

Moin Shadab


Najma Rehmani

A language and linguistics expert in Urdu. She is also a professor at the University of Delhi.

Athar Farooqui

A writer and General Secretary of Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu & the Secretary of Zakir Hussain Study Circle. He is also a Sahitya Academy Award winner.

Priyanka Barve

An Indian playback singer and actress. Barve has sung songs in Marathi, Hindi and in some other Indian languages.

Salman Saeed


Priyamvada Ilhaan


Prithvi Gandharv


Pervaiz Alam

A seasoned broadcast journalist and editor, renowned for transforming challenging situations into viable solutions with exceptional skill and expertise.

Geetanjali Shree

An Indian Hindi-language novelist and short-story writer based in New Delhi, India. She is the author of several short stories and five novels.

Pallav Mishra


Harshit Mishra


A young and enthusiastic poet hails from Lucknow.

Sarfaraz Khalid

A poet educated at Aligarh Muslim University, he has crafted numerous Ghazals, Nazms, and couplets, showcasing his profound literary prowess and contribution to Urdu poetry.

Rahman Abbas

An Indian fiction writer and the recipient of the India's highest literary Award Sahitya Akademi Award.

Shafey Kidwai

An Indian academic, bilingual critic, translator, columnist, and author. He is the professor in the Department of Mass Communications at Aligarh Muslim University.

Naima Jafri Pasha

An acclaimed female fiction writer, who drew upon sensitive social issues.

Sheeraz Khan


Ubaid Najibabadi


Dr. Syeda Hameed

Dr. Syeda Hameed is an Indian scholar, women's rights activist, and former member of the Planning Commission of India. She has been actively involved in various social and development issues, particularly focusing on women's empowerment and gender equality.

Mahmood Farooqui

A proclaimed artist specializes in story-telling, an Indian writer, performer and director.

Darain Shahidi

A content writer, video journalist, award winning TV anchor, voice artist, and a storyteller.

Shinjini Kulkarni

A professional kathak dancer and writer by passion, who has also performed globally.

Danish Iqbal

A Delhi-based playwright, Danish Iqbal excels as a performer, teacher, writer, researcher, cultural organizer, arts administrator & media professional. He has also won many national awards.

Faisal Fehmi


Azhar Nawaz


Azeem Haidar


A master of calligraphy or khattati, the art of fancy handwriting. His expertise is also the form of Tughra calligraphy, where images are created using calligraphy.

Saleem Shah

An acclaimed theatre artist, who studied engineering but theatre has always been his first love.

Minu Bakshi

A multifaceted artist, proficient in authorship, poetry, and singing. She captivates with her expressive & versatile vocals.

Aalok Shrivastav

A poet, lyricist and journalist. His critically acclaimed works include Afreen & Aameen, a poetry collection. His works have also earned him a number of accolades.

Kamna Prasad

A cultural activist, who is also the head of a popular not-for-profit organization. Her contribution to the Urdu literary world is invaluable.

Saif Mahmood

A renowned legal expert & insightful commentator, who brings depth & expertise to discussions on contemporary, legal & social issues.

Nusrat Mehdi

A renowned poet, who is also a Director - Madhya Pradesh Urdu Academy, Department of Culture.

Adil Mustaqeem


Manish Shukla

A poet of national and international repute, who is a recipient of numerous prestigious awards and has been writing a number of Urdu ghazals for last 20 years.

Abrar Kashif


Nadeem Shad


A contemporary Urdu poet, with an expertise in Classical Ghazal singing. He is extremely popular in Mushairas.

Hashim Sabri

Sabri Brothers is a popular name in the Qawwali world. They are acclaimed musicians who have performed globally.

Aftab Sabri

Sabri Brothers is a popular name in the Qawwali world. They are acclaimed musicians who have performed globally.

Asghar Hussain

A violinist, who brings a rare combination of Indian classical music’s rich heritage & Western music’s modern touch to his art.


Social Media Influencer


Social Media Influencer

Jashn-e-Rekhta 2023