Deliver Everyday Justice Through the Pay Check

By the way, India is still running, people are working and life is going on.

NRC and CAA, in spite of being deeply flawed are not the only agendas being pursued in this country. There is a fumbling economy to be arrested and brought to health.

If oppression is to be tackled, the emphasis on being just in our daily lives is more salient. If you are a lawyer, help your staff in getting documentation. I have worked under a dynamic Bihari Muslim Entrepreneur, and he was the most fair boss ever (thank you!). Hire more minorities in your business. Give them scholarships. Deliver justice in real terms. Dharna for a day makes for a good sharable picture on social media.

Speak to the Muslim auto driver who takes on a Hindu name to survive. Bigotry is just underneath the surface. The fear even if we wish to deny, is present.

Understand the issues, learn Urdu, Farsi and Arabic to delve in their world view. I speak Arabic well, grew up in the Gulf and understand the Indian Muslim, they are as diverse as anyone. Being Muslim is only one layer on their sense of self.

I enjoy being blocked by western liberal academics holding OCI cards who feel assaulted when i write supporting CAA, but don’t understand that as a cultural insider, i have worked under and with Muslims all my life. As an entrepreneur, i have always hired Muslims and Christians when i can as jobs support families.

Instead of protesting on social media, hire a poor Muslim PhD student who will go on and support the community intellectually and financially.

Analysing Politics of CAA

Dissent should be ideally expressed at the ballot box. The street protests will only galvanise the core voter of the current dispensation and will backfire. Bad optics will hurt investor sentiment in the short run but no major player wants to miss out on the massive domestic consumption in India. Years of mixed economy, made India build internal capacity in every sector.

The big plus is the emergence of an opposition which is not in the hands of the high command. Asad Saab and Kejriwal are the biggest beneficiaries in the long run.

Good to see some middle class josh. The poor will still vote for reduced corruption at the point of service access such as public hospitals.

The BJP with NRC and CAA has written off power in Assam already. Bengal 2021 majority and Rajya Sabha MPs with it and 44 seats in Bengal and Tripura will make up for 13 seats in Assam.

UP and Bihar politics don’t operate out of liberal seminar halls.

Don’t miss the woods for the trees.

A Year in Writing 2019

It has been an incredible year as I lived, worked and traveled to Muscat, Dubai, Ibri, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Kuwait City. It has truly been the year of the Khaleej for me. The work and travel reflect in my writing as I wrote a lot based on my travels on my blog as field notes towards a book on the transformation of the Khaleej. Some of my most valuable posts were written after conversations with brilliant cab drivers in Dubai and Doha as a part of my conversations with Cabbie series. I followed these up with conversations with auto drivers in Pune in the past 75 days. I managed to get in a few dozen poems and photo essays as well which I am keen to develop as a narrative artist.

I have written for SAFPO, a boutique research platform focused on the Indo-Pacific this year on migration governance and environmental data politics. In Pune, I am fortunate to have founded an opportunity to write an article weekly for The Tilak Chronicle, a policy think tank here starting this month. I am looking forward to writing more in 2020 as I plan to completing my book project which has been under ‘work in progress’ mode for a while.

I was blessed to speak at a WHO Global Health Histories Seminar 124 at Doha in April and the Sustainable Mining Conference in September. On the technical front as an ESIA practitioner, I co-authored an abstract for the World Desalination Congress 2019 which was accepted and have a paper accepted at the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA 2020) Conference in Spain next year.

I managed to read intensely on the history of the gulf and have started picking up an interest in oral histories and digital archives. Hence, in order to plug in a gap in literature and cultural memory, I have co-founded ‘The Omani Bania Archive’ with a third generation Kutchi Bania Sadiq in Masqat.  In this post truth and text era, we need even more thoughtful work in order to build the ‘gyms of the mind’ in the words of Spivak to combat the waste accumulated by mindless constant distractions.

I write therefore I exist has been my working philosophy as the limits of language are the limits of our world.

Wishing all friends, a Blessed Holiday Season.

In Solidarity



Economic power matters.

The present dispensation in Delhi has a mandate, and it is fulfilling it effectively. It cares about the people who have voted for them. The conservative mandate in the UK proves that the Brexit vote was no fluke.

Liberals and Academics (often of Indian origin on OCI cards) can protest on social medla from their faculty offices in plush western universities but it makes no impact on the ground. We live in an era where economic heft matters and India is a major regional player.

Al Qods, Urumqi, Islamkot, Grozny and Sitwe are all tragedies but the status quo remains. They have no economic relevance. Remember Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield of early 90s in Kuwait? They had the oil.

Why CAB Matters

My family has a history of Partition, and they had to rebuild everything post 1947. They were persecuted for being Hindu, lost their home, identities and never forgot what happened to them. I grew up on these stories, and it is even more poignant to my Smita Prasad , my Mother, a Mumbai kar- never forgot the trauma which her Father and her Uncle’s and Aunts faced.

The reality is that people were thrown out for property, so that the neighbors could grab them. There was no love lost. If we remember the Rohingya’s today we should also remember Bengali Hindus from East Pakistan and Tamil Hindus and Christians from Jaffna.

Every time I have spoken to a Bangladeshi Hindu or Christian in Muscat, Dubai or Singapore/ the conversation has centred around religious persecution, and how many of their relatives live in Kolkata.

The liberal lens does not discount the suffering. The CAB has flaws however it gives the persecuted an opportunity to live again. The Rohingya’s need protection as well in India and should be given asylum under a humanitarian program.