Lekha Rattanani is a journalist with over three decades of work in the newsrooms of establishments like The Telegraph, Kolkata, and India Today and Outlook, both leading newsmagazines published from New Delhi. Lekha began her career with Russi Karanjia's Blitz, the tabloid weekly known at its time for being "free, frank, fearless, first", then went on to work the crime beat for the Free Press Journal and its ‘eveninger’, the Free Press Bulletin. Lekha has covered city news, urban affairs, politics and business news.
Lekha has researched and reported for several leading global publications like The Mail on Sunday, The Sunday Times, London; Stern, Germany; Radio France. She authored a India report on some trends in media communications in India, with specific reference to new media and its alleged use by militants, as the first level of inputs for “THE PREVENT Strategy” for UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).
Lekha moved away from day-to-day news writing and went on to focus on long form copy and has since been working on issues that are less discussed in mainline media. She edited an interesting book focused on the food choices and nutrition needs of people with kidney disease, and another on standards and safety issues in modern-day electrical systems used in homes, offices and industry. Her special interests are studying and working with ideas around waste recycling, environmental issues, reducing inequality and the rights of the disadvantaged.
For the last several years, Lekha has been volunteering full time to set up the Foundation of The Billion Press, where she is a Director and also the Managing Editor. The vast array of goodwill, support, writers and publishers who add to the work of the Foundation is largely due to her efforts.
She is now engaged in building and writing a new form of journalism focused on listening and enabling reflections by senior policy leaders, whose ideas will be captured for a series of proposed books under the aegis of The Billion Press.
It is true that the RBI is currently headed by a leader who is not comfortable speaking freely and openly. This by itself is not a disadvantage as (contrary to modern day received wisdom), the quiet doer is more appreciated than the loud talker. The idea is not to speak as much as to have an attitude of openness and sharing that can enable people to see what the RBI is doing to manage the situation.