India and the United States will each next year hold what could be the most significant election in generations. This event aims to facilitate an in-depth conversation about what’s at stake. The program features prominent panelists: Ali Velshi, Naresh Fernandes, Mitra Kalita, and Suketu Mehta.  The panel will be moderated by Hunter professor Manu Bhagavan. 


Panelist Bios:

Naresh Fernandes is the Editor of, India’s most widely-read independent news outlet with seven million monthly readers, including one million in the United States and Canada. Before founding Scroll in 2014, Naresh worked at The Times of India in Mumbai and earlier at The Wall Street Journal in New York. He is the author of Taj Mahal Foxtrot: The Story of Bombay’s Jazz Age in 2012 and City Adrift:A Short Biography in Bombay in 2013, among other books.

Mitra Kalita is a veteran journalist and co-founder/CEO of URL Media, a network of Black and Brown community news outlets that share content and revenue. Earlier she was Senior Vice President at CNN Digital, overseeing the national news, breaking news, programming, opinion pieces, and feature teams. Before that she was the managing editor for editorial strategy at the Los Angeles Times.

Suketu Mehta is the New York-based author of Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found. Mehta’s work has been published in the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Granta, Harper’s Magazine, Time, and Newsweek, and has been featured on NPR’s Fresh Air and All Things Considered. Mehta is an Associate Professor of Journalism at New York University. His book about global migration, This Land is Our Land, was published by Farrar Straus & Giroux in June 2019.

Ali Velshi is an award-winning journalist, host of Velshi, chief correspondent for MSNBC, and a weekly economics contributor to NPR’s Here and Now. He has covered multiple U.S. presidential elections and significant news stories around the globe, including extensive reporting from Ukraine and across Central and Eastern Europe during the Russian invasion, the Syrian refugee crisis from Turkey and Jordan, the Iran nuclear deal in Tehran, the Greek debt crisis in Athens, and the funeral of Nelson Mandela in South Africa. He previously worked as an anchor and correspondent for Al Jazeera America and CNN.

Manu Bhagavan is Professor of History, Human Rights, and Public Policy at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center, where he is also Senior Fellow at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies. He is author or editor of seven books, including India and the Cold War and the critically-acclaimed The Peacemakers. His next book, releasing this December, is a biography of Madame Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, one of the most important and celebrated women of the 20th century.

A Tale of Two Elections — India and the United States, 2024 | Posted on September 27th, 2023 | Human Rights Program Events