I’m an author and journalist—among other things: I also have a few other vocations—born and brought up in the intentional community of Auroville, in South India. My first book, India Becoming: A Portrait of Life in Modern India, was published in 2012 by Penguin-Riverhead, and a French edition, titled L’Inde de Demain, came out in 2014 from Albin Michel. Better to Have Gone, published by Scribner in 2021 in the USA, UK and India, received a Whiting Nonfiction award. I’m also the editor of Auroville: Dream and Reality, an anthology of writing.
I write or have written for various publications, including The Atlantic, The Economist, Granta, The Hindu, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Outlook, and The Wall Street Journal. Among other topics, I write about utopia (here, and here), technology policy and regulation (here , and here), and sometimes about tennis. I used to write a fortnightly “Letter from India” column for the international edition of The New York Times. I’m also a Senior Fellow at New York University’s The GovLab, where I work on a range of issues, including open data, Internet governance, and technology law and policy.
I got a bachelor’s degree at Harvard University in Social Anthropology, and a DPhil at Nuffield College, Oxford University, which I attended as a Rhodes Scholar. The DPhil was in the Law faculty, and was on the regulation of technology for economic development and the public good. I consult in this field, researching and writing reports for, among other places, UNDP, The Markle Foundation, and Network Dynamics Associates. Some of this work is online (see, for example, a Primer on Internet Governance I prepared for UNDP).
You can follow my writing by joining my page at Facebook, or of course by visiting this site regularly. Please contact me if you’d like to comment on any of my writing, or if you have any ideas for good stories.