Kunal Purohit Profile picture
Is a pun-loving Journalist. Loves books, poetry, music, podcasts and good cinema. A @SOAS Development Studies alumnus. kunal(dot)purohit06@gmail.com
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8 Jun 20
An update: My uncle's 86-year-old ailing mother died yesterday, before she could be tested. Not sure of the cause because we couldn't test her.

Two of my cousins in the same family have tested positive.
Both are receiving medical care. It took an intervention from @AUThackeray to set things rolling. The tests finally happened yesterday. Very grateful to him.
Read 2 tweets
5 Jun 20
Over the last two days, I have seen first-hand the absolute collapse of health infrastructure in Mumbai. My uncle died of COVID-19 and here's what I know--be very scared.

A thread.
Uncle was persistently coughing for 3 days, had breathlessness. For 2 days, he couldn't get a test. Third day, he got a test. Report only in 2 days.

But, 24 hours after the test, he was dead.
When we tried getting a bed just hours before his death, most private hospitals refused. He died on the way to the BMC-run Rajawadi hospital. It only got worse.
Read 8 tweets
16 May 20
Spent the day on Mumbai's borders, amidst the unending exodus of migrant workers. Here is why #SelfReliantIndia is not really a choice.
Illyas has been waiting on the highway in Thane for 2 days. He had 100 rupees, borrowed money from 20 people and now has 500. He wants to go back home to West Bengal.
All three, barely out of their teens, used to work at a restaurant in Thane and hail from West Bengal. A truck owner agreed to take them home but is charging them Rs 5,500 EACH.
Read 6 tweets
27 Jan 20
I decided to fact-check Piyush Goyal's outburst against Amazon a week ago, and realised that he might have a point or two. A thread about Amazon's trade practices:
Over the last one week, I spoke to numerous traders as well as sellers who sell on Amazon and Flipkart. Flagging major issues they raise: Amazon Global owns 24% stake in two of the biggest sellers on Amazon-Cloudtail and Appario. Here's why this gets problematic:
Each product is sold by multiple sellers at different prices. Sellers claim that Amazon has been manipulating the listings to push products sold by its own sellers right up. So, when you try searching for a product, most chances are the first few will be products sold by Amazon..
Read 7 tweets
3 Jun 19
A quick thread into the little-known world of Hindutva Pop Music. I spent a couple of weeks in Jharkhand, investigating hate crimes and polarisation. One big annual event that I found was driving tensions up was the local Ram Navami procession. Here's what would happen.
Typically, armed processions would stop in front of mosques and play communally-charged songs. Songs were the weapon. That's when I discovered this parallel world of Hindutva music. It's what many, many youngsters are listening to, using them as caller tunes, popular ringtones.
This is possibly one of the most popular songs. It's lyrics, "Har Ghar Bhagwa Chhayega." Talks of violence against those who oppose Ram, how Hindus are India's pride, that everyone must say Vande Mataram if they want to live in India. 23 MILLION VIEWS. It even has a sequel now.
Read 5 tweets
23 May 19
Unpopular opinion on Twitter, but here's what I found in my travel across Jharkhand and UP. People are always not voting for Modi because they are rabid right-wingers, fans of nationalism etc. Many are voting simply because their lives are better off now. (Thread)
Like Geeta Devi, who has always backed the JVM, in this village of Jharkhand. She got a free gas cylinder. She saw everyone else getting a free home, too. That's why, she like villagers around her, backed Modi.
Like Motilal and his family in Gumla district, a Naxal-affected district in Jharkhand. They told me how they could never go out after dark, earlier--the violence was so bad. But, the Modi govt acted against Naxals. (Data proves this). They feel safe.
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29 Sep 17
The story of #Elphinstone is the story of Mumbai: each piece sold away by scum politicians, babus, builders, no care for the common man 1/n
#Elphinstone was d heart of Mumbai's mill economy. When mills shut down, govt had land all around, which it could have used to plan better 2
In fact, the Govt in '96 appointed a committee with experts like Charles Correa, R Mehrotra and UDRI. They came up with a plan as well. 3/n
Read 9 tweets