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NL Hafta

NL Hafta

Author: Newslaundry

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Weekly wrap of events of the week peppered with context, commentary and opinion by a superstar panel.

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9 Episodes
In this week’s episode, host Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Anand Vardhan, Washington Post's India correspondent Niha Masih, and Sneha Koshy, the head of NDTV's Kerala bureau. The podcast starts with the panel’s take on BBC’s report on Kashmir, which was rumoured to be untrue. Niha was in Kashmir for five days and she talks about the communication shutdown there, also describing how restrictions on movement for the media was different on each day. Abhinandan asks: “Why does a Washington Post correspondent get a curfew pass [while] a HT bureau chief who has been working for three decades in Kashmir is denied one?” Niha responds, “It was not my pass, but I was travelling with someone who had a curfew pass. But a lot of people said that the local Kashmiri journalists found it harder to get curfew passes, but the ones from Delhi found it easier.” Abhinandan expresses how he felt about the sound of bullet firings in the BBC video. Anand points out: “It could be a deliberate message to suppress information and then release it later.” He urges the audience and the panel to read his piece on Kashmir to have a clearer view of the limitations of constitutional patriotism and why the claims of the nation-state are still thriving.Moving to the Pehlu Khan case verdict, Anand feels the problem in India is “more of mob justice than about mob lynching”. About the recurring floods in Kerala and most of South India, Sneha explains how environmental exploitation and urbanisation has taken a toll on Kerala. Paddy plantation in Kerala has seen a downward graph, and the sustenance of the growth of paddy has also become an issue. She describes how mono-cropping is becoming a huge challenge.The panel then discusses Sonia Gandhi stepping up as the interim president of the Congress. Anand says charisma or tradition is the appeal of leadership. Abhinandan feels there is no representation in the Congress and jokes that the party should get Kanhaiya Kumar as president, saying: “In today’s’ day and age, a good speaker is what you need.”For more, tune in!
In this week’s Hafta, Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Manisha Pande, Raman Kirpal, Anand Vardhan, and R Jagannathan, Swarajya's Editorial Director. The discussion kicks off with the panel talking about the abrogation of Article 370, and the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories: Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Abhinandan said, “I thought it would be impossible in my lifetime." R Jagannathan also weighs in about the government’s actions. The panel also discussed the triumphalism portrayed by a majority of the Indian public. Manisha said that rhetorics like “teaching them a lesson” are demeaning. Focusing on the current state of communications in the former state, the panel examines the role of the media in providing information to the rest of the country. The panel discussed claims such the move being for improvement of employment opportunities and literacy rates in the state. The panel also talks about the inability of individuals in Jammu and Kashmir to communicate. Jagannathan states, “The first job of any state is to ensure law and order.” The panel also speaks about Sushma Swaraj's demise, her legacy and achievements are also discussed. Anand speaks on the glorification of famous individuals after their demise. Abhinandan recalls his personal interaction with her when he was in his twenties. There’s this and so much more, tune in!
This very special episode of NL Hafta is recorded on location at The Media Rumble at India Habitat Centre, Delhi. Host Abhinandan Sekhri discusses views and news with actress Swara Bhaskar; software engineer-turned-journalist Kavya Sukumar; VP of engineering at Quintype, Rashmi Mittal; writer and editor Supriya Nair; Swarajya's editorial director R Jagannathan; and journalist David Usborne.This episode isn't behind the paywall, so what are you waiting for? Tune in!
In this week’s episode, host Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Manisha Pande, Madhu Trehan, Raman Kirpal, and author and columnist Sushant Sareen.The podcast kicks off with a discussion on the life and times of Sheila Dikshit. Sushant says, “There was decency about her, the way she managed to get things done. She was a performer.” The panel talks about her achievements as Delhi's chief minister and the political maneuvering that made her successful. Speaking about her death, the panel notes Rahul Gandhi’s absence and what that means.Up next is the RTI amendment and its impact. According to Abhinandan, “The RTI was the only good thing to come out of policy and Parliament that actually impacted citizens.” They discuss the probable reasons behind the government pushing this amendment and the lacklustre coverage in the media. Raman says, “The government was foolish in bringing in the amendment because the RTI is more or less dead.”The podcast moves on to Donald Trump’s offer to mediate on Kashmir and the furore that followed. Sushant thinks India’s response should have been a lot firmer. They discuss the reasons behind Trump’s statements and the US president's capabilities when it comes to such a situation. In Madhu’s opinion, the Indian government's response was appropriate and avoided a direct confrontation between Trump and Modi. Finally, the panel talks about the open letter issued by celebrities and its counter-letter. They analyse the underlying issue of the weaponisation of the phrase “Jai Shri Ram”. Abhinandan says: “We as a nation are so disempowered that when people do something vile, they feel empowered.” The panellists also talk about Arnab Goswami’s response to the letter which leads to a heated discussion on Arnab’s way of covering issues.For this and more, tune in!
In this week’s episode, host Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Manisha Pande, Anand Vardhan, and author and blogger Arnab Ray.The podcast kicks off with a discussion on Richa Bharti who was arrested for putting up an objectionable post. The judge asked her to distribute copies of the Quran as punishment.The panel then moves to discuss the controversy surrounding Tiranga TV, which Abhinandan refers to as “fracas”. They talk about Barkha Dutt’s tirade against Kapil Sibal and the larger protest against the channel by fired employees. Arnab noted, “They bet on the Congress winning in the election and they were obviously wrong.” The panel then moved to a larger discussion about the content industry. Abhinandan said, “Anything related to content will go through a huge churn in the next few years.” Moving on to the Chandrayaan-2 mission, Abhinandan questioned the very purpose of going to the moon when so many have already gone. He said, “I think it's a vanity project just to make us feel good.” The panel discussed space programmes in other countries and how India, in general, manages to pull off feats cheaper than in other countries.The panel also talked about the floods in Assam which have submerged large parts of the state. They discuss the problems the floods have caused, its impact on the NRC process and more.They also discussed the latest twist in the Kangana Ranaut-media saga. The panel uses this as a lens to talk about the media and journalists’ behaviour in general.For this and more, tune in!
In this week’s episode, host Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Madhu Trehan, Anand Vardhan, Raman Kirpal and journalist and author Vivek Kaul.The podcast kicks off with a discussion on the 2019 Cricket World Cup and Team India’s loss in the semi-finals. According to Anand, “it was a bubble waiting to burst”. The panel talks about their personal reactions and the country’s response to the loss. Abhinandan says: “I felt really bad because I really like Dhoni.”Discussing the crisis in the Congress in both Goa and Karnataka, Abhinandan comments, “It’s collapsing everywhere, kuch toh sharam karlo.” Raman notes that there's a "churning" going on within the party. They talk about the lack of leadership in the Congress and its consequences, as well as the history and legacy of the anti-defection law. Moving to the 2019 Union Budget, Vivek feels it was "much ado about nothing". He notes the Budget's lack of numbers and any detail on revenue and expenditure as well as other problems. The discussion shifts to the nature of business and the black economy in India.Next up is the installation of CCTV cameras in Delhi schools and the concerns raised by the public regarding privacy and surveillance. Anand says he “does not believe in privacy as an absolute right” while Madhu feels this move is absolutely all right. The panel also discusses the flying banner over the India-New Zealand match in England and the privatisation of railways in India.For this and much more, tune in!
In this week’s episode, Meghnad wears the host’s hat. He is joined by Manisha Pande, Madhu Trehan, Anand Vardhan and Raman Kirpal.The discussion kicks off with the panel talking about the 2019 Budget. They speak about the good, the bad and the ugly. Manisha finds the five per cent duty on imported books weird and briefly discusses Air India's privatisation as well.The panel then moves on to discuss Rahul Gandhi’s resignation from his post as the Congress Party president. They also talk about who could be the next party chief. Madhu talks about Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s tweet on his resignation and Meghnad says, “Congress basically now is just hollow, it has no ideology per se."The panel also talks about the Zaira Wasim controversy. The actress quit Bollywood citing her work's interference with her religion. To the question of why she took this step, Anand says, “Maybe, she didn’t have the gift of articulation to put her position and she rationalised it in a wrong way.”The panel talks about the vandalisation of a temple in Chandni Chowk and the misreporting that followed. Listen up, there’s more.
In this week’s episode, Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Madhu Trehan, Anand Vardhan, Manisha Pande, and journalist and author Salil Tripathi.The discussion kicks off with speeches and controversies in Parliament this week. This includes the super-viral speech by MP Mahua Moitra as well as the chants of “Vande Mataram” during various swearing-ins.The panel then talks about the recent case of lynching of a Muslim man in Jharkhand who was beaten up and forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram”. Abhinandan found the coverage of this case to be “deeply problematic” and noted that “what-aboutery has become almost a legitimate argument” on primetime shows. Anand talks about the culture of mob justice in India and how it’s fueling communal lynchings.Moving to the water crisis in Chennai, the panel discusses its effects as well as the solutions that could help alleviate this problem. Anand discusses the urban/rural divide on this issue while Salil talks about steps taken in other countries that have had an actual effect on the water crisis.The podcast wraps up with Abhinandan bringing up the controversy around BJP MP Kailash Vijayvargiya and his son BJP MLA Akash Vijayvargiya who was filmed beating up a government official with a cricket bat. The panel observes the lacklustre questioning by the media and the relative impunity with which politicians in India operate with.For this and more, tune in!
NL Hafta Episode-228

NL Hafta Episode-228


n this week’s episode, host Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Madhu Trehan, Raman Kirpal, Manisha Pande and journalist Supriya Nair.The podcast opens with the panel discussing the ongoing doctors’ strike all over the country following the attack on doctors by a deceased patient’s relatives in West Bengal.Abhinandan references a study, which will be unveiled at August's The Media Rumble, on the share of women's sports stories in newspapers. He asks Supriya for her views since she's a sports columnist with Mumbai Mirror. Supriya says even though there are prominent female sports journalists, the coverage of women’s sports in general is quite low. However, things are improving, she says, especially after recent victories of women athletes like PV Sindhu.The panel moves to the attacks on journalists across India, from the attack on Amit Sharma in UP, to the arrest of Prashant Kanojia, to the attack on a group of journalists in Karnataka. They discuss partisanship in journalism and how loyalties now determine facts. Madhu says that “journalism has been reduced to a fish market”.Newslaundry’s Ayush Tiwari also pays this week's Hafta a visit to talk about his ground report on the Aligarh murder case. He recalls how the village of Tappal has become a hot spot of communal violence and how the police did a commendable job of calming them down.The podcast wraps up with a discussion between Abhinandan and Supriya on the difference between a game and a sport, and whether cricket is a sport or not. Abhinandan says, “There needs to be a certain sense of athleticism in order for a game to be a sport, carrom could be a sport.” Supriya retorts: "So your argument is that cricket is not a sport just because a few athletes are fat?”For this and more, tune in!
Comments (2)

Apurva Mehta

Why do I have to pay twice to listen to this? I'm already a Newslaundry subscriber. Now I have to pay $6.99 per month at cast box also?

Aug 17th

Abhijit Kenavdekar

Disappointed with the news that I have to pay to listen to this

Aug 1st
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