Rajat K. Gupta scaled the highest peaks of his profession. At the top, he rubbed shoulders with Bill Clinton, Bill Gates and Kofi Annan. In the November of 2009, when US President Barack Obama hosted his Administration’s first state dinner in honour of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Gupta and his wife Anita were among those to be invited to the exclusive soiree. Gupta’s life was an inspiration. He was living the American dream. But that dream turned into a nightmare less than two years ago.
One year since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its special status and downgraded its statehood to a centrally controlled union territory—an act it argued was intended to improve governance and attract investment to the region—residents’ lives remain upended by continued conflict and a high level of militarization.