GUEST 1:  Chandrakant Babubhai Patel

Chandrakant Babubhai Patel was born in Bhadran in the western Indian state of Gujarat in 1938. CB graduated from MS University in Baroda, where he was general secretary of his college student union and Under Officer in the National Cadet Corps. In 1960 he migrated to Tanzania in East Africa, where he worked with the civil service and studied law before moving to England in 1966 where, after spectacular success as financial consultant, he bought a large number of retail shops. CB found his intellectual and spiritual home in 1976 when he took over a Gujarati newsweekly called Gujarat Samachar. Indeed, under CB’s stewardship, Gujarat Samachar and its sister titles have not only become the largest selling publications of their kind in the UK, but have earned high respect and credibility within the community. CB has personally been involved with some of the campaigns which were propagated through his newspapers. He has also helped raise funds for worthy causes, which have been sponsored or cosponsored by Gujarat Samachar in the UK, East Africa and India especially in health and education projects.  He is involved with many religious, cultural and service oriented organisations. CB is widely travelled and has been attending gatherings in the US, East Africa and India for various bodies represented by the hoteliers, doctors, human service activities and community development. He is also a very well-known public speaker.

 

GUEST 2: JAY LAKHANI

School to continue his studies, later in 1966 he went to study Physics at Imperial College and qualified with a BSc Honours in 1969. He continued on with postgraduate studies in Quantum Mechanics under Sir Roger Penrose and obtained a Master’s degree with distinction in 1970

He joined his father in business and continued in business trading in rice and coffee till his retirement from business activities from 1971 to 1994. Since his retirement from business in 1994, he has been working as a philanthropist presenting comprehensive Hinduism through a broad range of media, including television, radio and various articles and publications through the Hindu Academy. This has enabled him to work with schools, colleges and universities to present the deeper ideas of religion and bring about natural cohesion in society through education. He is a very well-known speaker on Religious Pluralism and offers this broader vision of religions at many temples, churches and at interfaith gatherings. Because of his background in Theoretical Physics he often gives talks on Science and Spirituality at universities to explore the links between the esoteric teachings of religions and the discoveries at the cutting edge of modern sciences, thereby reconciling the gap between religious and secular world-views.  He presented several TED talks and television debates, challenging the paradigm of strict monotheism, materialism, and the connection between spiritual humanism and science

 

Guest 3: TOAHA QURESHI

Toaha Qureshi is a Member of the Order of The British Empire after being conferred an MBE by Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II for his services rendered to the community. He is a British national and is CEO of School of Economics and Law (SOEL, formerly known as LCBMIT), and Chairman of the Forum for International Relations Development (FIRD)-a UK based conflict resolution think tank. He is also Chairman of a leading social housing association in London with 250 properties under management. He is a philanthropist and has supported numerous humanitarian and charitable organisations to help displaced persons, orphans, prisoners, ex-offenders, and marginalised members of the community.  He is headhunted for positions in other organisations many of which are voluntary (and at one point was board member for 25 local, regional and national organisations) in order to provide them expert advice and raise their profile, particularly in fields of education, interfaith harmony, housing, poverty, counter radicalisation, employment, counter extremism, counter terrorism and quality management. He specialises in community relations, conflict management, and counter radicalisation/extremism. He has designed and delivered numerous capacity building, preventative and diversionary programmes to address the trend of extremism and its root causes before 9/11 and 7/7 with partners such as the Home Office (Office for Security & Counter Terrorism), Metropolitan Police, London Probation, European Union (EU), local authorities, multi-faith organisations, parliamentarians and universities in the UK and abroad.