Just in time for the second season of TED Talks India, Bollywood actor, producer and series host Shah Rukh Khan selects 8 talks that have inspired him and tells us why.
Nearly two years ago, TED launched its first-ever TV series in India: TED Talks India: Nayi Soch (New Thinking). Filmed in Hindi, hosted by actor and producer Shah Rukh Khan, and broadcast on Star Plus, the eight-episode series showcased 42 performers and speakers on topics including social entrepreneurship, parenting, pollution, gender equality, and artificial intelligence. (Watch Shah Rukh Khan’s TED Talk: Thoughts on humanity, fame and Love.)
Now TED Talks India has returned for a second season. In its seven episodes, TED Talks India Nayi Baat (New Things) is highlighting inspiring performers and speakers from all over India, including a 13-year old inventor creating life-saving tools, a young man determined to wipe out hunger, a VR/AR storyteller, and a rural reporter exposing injustice and promoting gender equality in her region. The show is streaming in Hindi and English on Star World and Star Plus, and it’s also been dubbed in Tamil, Telugu and Bengali.
Through its two seasons, Khan has been an enthusiastic and welcoming host. “On the show, I witnessed so much passion — people with path-breaking ideas are disrupting the shackles of the impossible and finding solutions,” he says. “TED Talks India is a mirror of the new face of India.”
Enjoy this playlist of unforgettable talks — personally curated for TED by Khan — and read his comments on each below.
Shejla Sen: How to talk (and listen) to your children
“It is no secret that my children are the light of my life, but as any parent knows, it can be difficult to let them start to make their own decisions when we parents feel like we know so much more! This talk helped me reframe that way of thinking. I’ve felt an even closer connection to my children since I’ve taken the time to understand them.”
Ajit Narayanan: A word game to communicate in any language
“I couldn’t speak Hindi very well when I was growing up. It wasn’t until my mother promised me a trip to the cinema, a big event for me, that I decided to buckle down and study hard. Now I speak fluently, but back then, it was a challenge. I like to think that if I’d had this word game, the process would have been more enjoyable and easier. Learning should be fun, and Ajit’s talk is an excellent reminder of how wonderful it can be.”
Anirudh Sharma: Could we capture air pollution to make the world more beautiful?
“India is a hub for innovation. There’s nothing I love more than watching young people create amazing solutions to address big challenges. Anirudh left a high-paying job overseas to come back home to try to solve the persistent issue of air pollution, and what he’s created is really one of a kind.”
Jasmeen Patheja: Everyone deserves to be safe
“I have three children: one daughter and two sons. I’m much more protective of my daughter than my sons, because I know that the world she lives in is not as safe as the one they occupy. Jasmeen’s talk moved us all to tears. Listening to her speak so fearlessly and passionately, I thought of how important it is for us to encourage our sons to be as sensitive and compassionate as they are strong so women everywhere can live their happiest lives.”
Manu Prakash: Paper instruments that bring science to everyone
“When I was young, I loved science, but I was intimidated by it. There were so many big words, equations and compounds that I couldn’t pronounce. Thanks to Manu’s talk, I rediscovered my love for science — without the fear. His invention makes science accessible to anyone, from a child of 5 to a grandmother of 95.”
Trisha Prabhu: Rethink to stop cyber bullying
“It’s so easy to write a mean or hateful comment online because people feel protected by the anonymity of the web. As a public figure, I get my fair share of cyberbullying and I often wonder why some of us engage in this kind of behavior. What if there was a way to pause and reflect before sending a nasty message or making an unkind remark? Trisha blew us away with her idea.”
Reshma Saujani: Teach girls bravery, not perfection
“Often, many of us are afraid to try anything new or challenging because we worry so much about failure. But some of the problems of our society are so large that they can only be solved by those willing to be brave enough to act. Reshma’s talk encourages us to change how we talk to our young girls about bravery, fear and failure.”
Chetna Gala Sinha: How women in rural India turned courage into capital
“The women in my life have taught me many things over the years, and one of them is that when courage meets opportunity truly amazing things can happen. Prepare to be inspired by a group of rural women who, through courage, turned what society thought was their disadvantage — being poor and uneducated — into a surplus of capital and abundance.”
Go to TED and start watching the entire playlist now.
Watch Bhakti Sharma’s talk from season 2 of “TED Talks India: Nayi Baat” here: