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A smuggler of priceless antiquities, a scrap dealer turned millionaire accused in the Coalgate scam, an electrical engineer from rural Chhattisgarh, on his way to winning a one-way ticket on the Mars One mission, the controversial former Comptroller Auditor General of India, a prominent editor accused of sexually harassing one of his colleagues and a flamboyant businessman whose airline took a nosedive.

The Newsmakers is an anthology of ordinary and extraordinary Indians, who have made headlines over the past two years. 2012 and 2013 were dominated by corruption scandals, many of which find mention, in various guises, in the lives of the people written about in this book. Some have been celebrated and some castigated. Often, however, it was not the news story itself that was the highlight of these profiles. The early careers and backgrounds of the people involved set the news in a context that changed the way we thought about current events. Each subject, in his or her own way contributed to the wider India story that has unfolded in an era of great progress and greater uncertainty.