The Gulf Special

Missing a golden chance?

Thanks to setbacks suffered in recent years, investors in the Gulf are not exactly enthused about betting on India

Photographs by RA Chandroo

It is a quarter past eight and one can hear strains of Hindustani classical music wafting across the main hall of Anurag Bhushan’s plush home in Emirates Hills. A motley crowd of Indian men and their spouses mills about the ethnically decorated living room as we introduce ourselves to the 14th consul general of India in Dubai. The setting is a special sit-down dinner hosted by the Bhushans for a very special guest — senior BJP leader and former finance and foreign minister Yashwant Sinha, who is in Dubai to speak at a public event. Though it’s been some time since the Modi-led government took over at the Centre, the small talk in the room still revolves around the new PM and whether his regime will change the way the world perceives India. “Overseas envoys are the first barometer of how a foreign country perceives a particular leader or head of state,” says Bhushan, whose spouse Neeta is a career diplomat currently stationed as the deputy chief of mission at the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi. Sinha, whose son Jayant is now the minister of state for finance, patiently listens to Bhushan, who continues to articulate his thoughts on the new government.