How Air India bled out under Praful Patel

The aviation minister’s often ill-considered decisions led to the airline’s losses ballooning and rivals overtaking it, resulting in a slew of corruption charges and investigations.

In February 2012, even as the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government was going through a turbulent phase during its second term in power, Praful Patel, then heavy industries minister, hit the headlines over an alleged bribery scandal in Canada during his seven-year stint as the civil aviation minister between 2004 and 2011.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, which happily welcomed Patel as an ally in July 2023 after he ditched his mentor and head of the Nationalist Congress Party, Sharad Pawar, had at that time vociferously demanded a special probe into allegations that Patel had received a kickback from a Canadian …


Paranjoy Guha Thakurta

Paranjoy is a writer, speaker, anchor, interviewer, teacher and commentator. His main areas of interest are the workings of the political economy and the media in India and the world, on which he has authored/co-authored books and directed/produced documentary films.


Ayaskant Das

Ayaskant Das has been a journalist for 15 years. His interests include environment, mining, coal and thermal power, land acquisition, human displacement, and forests and wildlife. He has reported extensively on how local communities in India’s hinterlands face the worst onslaughts of mining and industrial projects.