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NL Hafta

NL Hafta

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Weekly wrap of events of the week peppered with context, commentary and opinion by a superstar panel. Click here to support Newslaundry: http://bit.ly/paytokeepnewsfree

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This week on NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri and Raman Kirpal are joined by Abantika Ghosh, journalist with ThePrint and Revati Laul, an independent journalist and author of The Anatomy of Hate.The discussion begins with the current situation of Covid-19 in India—from the sero surveys to the possibility of a vaccine in a few months and if it will even be reliable. Abantika pointing towards the failure of the lockdown says,“The claim that lockdown saved lives is not accurate.” The panel talks about people’s growing negligence towards the pandemic. Revati talks about the Covid situation in her neighbourhood stressing on the low number of tests. The panel then moves on to Sudarshan TV’s problematic show, ‘UPSC Jihad.’ They discuss the Supreme Court’s intervention in the matter and the reasons why hate-ridden shows are not censored by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and National Broadcasters Association. The panel, highlighting how an atmosphere of hate has been created over the last few years, also explains how this is just not a media-related issue. Revati weighs in saying, “We have to agree that hate is the most contagious thing and it is much easier for the media to sell hate.”The conversation finally switches to the arrest of Umar Khalid and the 17,000-page chargesheet filed by the Delhi Police in the Delhi riots case. Raman believes the police have already “built a narrative” and it is on the basis of this very conspiracy theory that they are investigating the Delhi riots.  All this and more, only on this week’s NL Hafta. Tune in!Timecodes 00:00 - Introduction and headlines09:06 - Mishandling of Covid data and vaccine skepticism26:01 - Subscriber letters30:28 - Suresh Chavhanke's bigoted show, media regulation, and politics of hate59:49 - Subscriber Letters01:03:54 - Umar Khalid's arrest and the 17,000 page Delhi riots chargesheet01:12:54 - Subscriber letters01:22:46 - RecommendationsRecommendationsAbantika GhoshFactfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You ThinkRevati LaulIndia in the Persianate AgeRaman KirpalThe Social Dilemma Abhinandan SekhriWaste LandNearly seven months after Delhi violence, a continuing attempt to target dissenting voices See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
This week on NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Anand Vardhan, Manisha Pande, and Raman Kirpal are joined by M. K. Venu, founding editor of The Wire to discuss the recession, the state of the media, and everything that happened this week.The panel discusses and debates the possible paths of India’s economic recovery, whether the government’s approach to the lockdown made things worse, and why India has experienced greater negative impacts due to the coronavirus than other global economic powerhouses. Venu gives insight into the predicaments of the Indian worker, and says, “In India, we claim to be socialist, but we are the harshest capitalist state that can ever be.”Venu also weighs in on the “sensationalist end of broadcast media,” The Wire’s approach to journalism, and how the distribution of corporate spending on advertising is changing rapidly. They also discuss the paradigm shift in which news organisations influence, and which ones are influenced. On the prevailing respectability of the print media, Anand observes, “You don’t see people saying, ‘Ye maine iss channel pe dekha tha’ with the confidence with which they cite the printed word.”The panel also discusses a possible future constitutional crisis arising from the Central and Maharashtra governments’ uses of state machinery for personal gain, lawfully or unlawfully, in the Sushant Singh Rajput-Rhea Chakraborty-Kangana Ranaut case.Also on this edition of NL Hafta: the significance of the bad-faith allegations against Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair, the imprudent Republic reporters, and highlights from the run-up to the upcoming elections in Bihar.All this and more, only on this week’s NL Hafta. Tune in!Timecodes00:00 - Introduction & Headlines05:41 - Economy of India & Negative GDP Growth35:39 - Print Vs TV News Media55:09 - Subscribers Mails1:05:36 - Subscribers Mails1:10:49 - Kangana Ranaut’s office demolition and destroying institutions1:28:39 -  Role of Media in India1:39:57 -  Subscriber Mails1:46:55 - Bihar Elections1:49:35 -  RecommendationsRecommendationsM. K. VenuLaunching vicious campaign against judges in the event of an adverse verdict threatens judiciary’s independence Raman Kirpal‘It’s not a newsroom, it’s a durbar’: Inside the Republic of Arnab GoswamiInside the online cult of #JusticeforSSRThe Modi regime couldn’t capture PTI, so it launched PBNS. How is the enterprise going?India’s 49 million Covid tests hide more than they revealManisha Pande‘It’s not a newsroom, it’s a durbar’: Inside the Republic of Arnab GoswamiWhat the moral lessons for journalists quitting Republic TV miss outInside the online cult of #JusticeforSSRJournalists Aren’t the Enemy of the People. But We’re Not Your Friends.Anand VardhanThe India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain WorldAbhinandan SekhriPlanet Money podcast episode: The Murderer, The Boy King, And The Invention Of Modern Finance See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
On this week’s episode of NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande and Mehraj D Lone are joined by Patricia Mukhim, editor of Shillong Times.Patricia opens the conversation by providing insight into Meghalaya’s maternal and neonatal mortality crisis. She speaks about her personal experiences in working to create awareness about contraception, reproductive rights, and family planning in rural parts of the state, and the “vicious cycle” of malnutrition that is one of the principal causes of this problem.On the death of Pranab Mukherjee, the panelists reflect on their experiences of reporting on and about the former president. Abhinandan recalls being invited to Mukherjee’s garden for an interview, while Patricia describes him as “the only Delhi politician who really understood the Northeast”.The panel then discusses last week’s pellet firing by policemen on a Muharram procession in Srinagar. Mehraj says, “Pellet guns are used for hunting. In Kashmir, they’re being used on people...That’s been the idea all along — to subjugate the population, to reduce them, to dehumanise them.” The conversation also spans the recent decision to end the 131-year-old status of Urdu as the sole official language in Jammu and Kashmir by adding four others, and why this move is facing opposition.Also in this week’s edition of NL Hafta: Trump’s “shocking” speech in Kenosha, breaking down India’s GDP slump, the news media’s response to the economic fallout, and Facebook’s “interrogation” in Parliament.All this and more, only on this week’s NL Hafta. Tune in!Timecodes00:00 - Introduction and Headlines07:45 - Maternity and infant deaths in Meghalaya21:55 - Power of media in Northeast India, its stand on the Citizenship Amendment Act28:24 - Announcements and subscriber letters40:27 - Pranab Mukherjee’s death and legacy54:44:05 - Subscriber letters01:02:14 - Domicile laws in Jammu and Kashmir, the Official Languages Bill 202001:10:43 - Subscriber letters01:43:25 - India's GDP and how the media covered it1:53:49 - RecommendationsRecommendationsMehrajOperation Condor: the illegal state network that terrorised South AmericaManishaThe impeachment trial didn't change any minds. Here's why.What makes Modi's BJP invincible? The cynicism that India is deadAbhinandanCaste Matters See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
This week’s episode of NL Hafta features an all-star panel of Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Anand Vardhan, Manisha Pande, Mehraj D Lone, and Raman Kirpal. They are joined by Banjot Kaur, health and public policy correspondent for Down To Earth magazine.The conversation begins with a round-up of Covid developments from the past weeks, including progress being made in India and abroad towards the production of a suitable vaccine. Banjot addresses common misconceptions about vaccine implementation, serological surveys, and herd immunity, noting that even after a vaccine becomes available, the possibility of life returning to normal is “a long shot”, and that we must be prepared for “huge changes in our daily lives” in the long run. The panel also talks about the accuracy of case numbers across the country, some states’ over-reliance on rapid antigen detection tests, and the government’s “foolhardy” denial of the existence of community transmission.Another topic of discussion is the government’s decision to allow the JEE and NEET exams to take place as scheduled in September, and the impact this might have on the spread of Covid across India. Anand summarises the academic implications of canceling the exam cycle and having a “zero year”, while Banjot gives insight on the “fear of a super-spreading event” occurring, transportation and access issues for students and states, and how other countries have dealt with similar dilemmas.On Bloomsbury India cancelling the publication of Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story, Raman contends that “the book was complete propaganda...legitimising and institutionalising violence against one particular community.” Anand says Bloomsbury India pulling the book resulted in the authors benefitting from the Streisand effect and a newfound sense of victimhood. The panel also debates issues arising from a lack of clarity in liberal definitions of free speech and justice that may have exacerbated this incident.All this and more, only on this week’s NL Hafta. Tune in!Timecodes:0:00 - Headlines05:51 - Covid In India, vaccines, herd immunity25:24 - JEE-NEET row56:04 - Bihar floods and the run-up to their state election01:08:24 - The public outrage around Bloomsbury India and the Delhi riots book 01:26:28 - Subscriber letters on Bloomsbury India, secularism, period leave, and more01:41:16 - RecommendationsRecommendationsBanjotPandemic: How to Prevent an OutbreakAnandMaking Sense Of Indian Democracy: Theory as Practice by Yogendra YadavThe urban migrant and the ‘ritual’ tug of homeThe Greatest Ode to Lord Ram: Tulsidas's Ramcharitmanas; Selections & Commentaries by Pavan K. VarmaRaman'I have waited 11 years': Covid delays the urban Indian's dream to own a homeMehrajThe Revolt of the Upper CastesChristophe Jaffrelot writes: If Modi sealed the fate of quota politics, the “Mandal moment” was over many years earlierWhat Yogendra Yadav, Pratap Bhanu Mehta Don't Get About SecularismManishaBarkha Dutt on covering the migrant exodus and falling out with promoters | NL InterviewAbhinandanNBA playoffs to resume after boycott over Jacob Blake police shootingBloomsbury Bends: This is what an ideological victory should look likeRepublic National Convention Speeches See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
This week on NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, and Mehraj D Lone are joined by Pratik Sinha, founder of Alt News.First up, the panel discusses the Wall Street Journal report on political partisanship within Facebook India. The panelists talk about Facebook’s “special relationship” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, how news dissemination has changed over the past decade, and whether social media should be considered a public service.Manisha reflects on Facebook’s influence on international affairs and its responsibility in ensuring impartiality in non-Western countries. “We need to judge them for at least the façade of the global company they portray themselves to be,” she says.In the context of Australia ordering social media sites to share news advertising revenue with traditional media organisations, Pratik notes that Facebook has “overarching control over internet infrastructure...and very little transparency and accountability”. He highlights the need for independent media organisations to come together to reduce their dependence on Facebook and Google.The conversation also spans new developments in the investigation into actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, lawyer Prashant Bhushan’s “ridiculous” sentencing hearing for being ruled guilty of contempt of court, and the controversy surrounding the release of Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl.All this and more, only on this week’s NL Hafta. Tune in!Timecodes:0:00: Headlines08:46: Facebook being a platform for hate in India39:01: Subscriber letters, rumours around SSR’s death, transparency at Newslaundry, liberalism in Islam, secularism01:18:22: Prashant Bhushan and the Supreme Court01:22:27: Gunjan Saxena and the IAF's reaction01:30:11: On making Bengaluru rioters pay for damage01:33:01: Subscriber letters01:44:17: RecommendationsRecommendations:PratikTo read up on surveillance capitalismMehrajKamala Harris Tells Big Lie: That 2012 Mortgage Settlement Was a Good Deal for HomeownersManishaWhere are those 'toxic Bihari families' being blamed for reactions to Sushant Rajput's death?AbhinandanHow The Pandemic Is Making The Gender Pay Gap WorseHow Facebook Is Failing Myanmar Again | Time See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In this week’s episode of NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Raman Kirpal and Mehraj D Lone are joined by Hartosh Singh Bal, political editor of the Caravan magazine.The conversation begins with an analysis of the events surrounding last week’s attacks on three Caravan journalists while they were interviewing residents in Northeast Delhi’s Subhash Mohalla. One of the journalists, a woman, was sexually harassed. “They were taking photographs out in the street, not in somebody’s house, not of anybody,” Hartosh explains. “I have been detained before...Never have I encountered what happened with our reporter...what literally amounts to assault and sexual harassment.”On Kamala Harris being announced as the presumptive Democratic candidate for vice president of the United States, the panel discusses reactions from the Hindu Right in India and the US, and Harris’s controversial career as an attorney general. They also talk about the newfound disillusionment in her campaign by the Indian media after discovering that Harris “believes in human rights”.The conversation also spans the moral and economic implications of Zomato’s “period leave” policy, how TV news channels “jump the gun” to break news, diversity in Indian newsrooms, local and political reactions to the recent violence in Bengaluru, and a lot more.Tune in!Song: Woh Kehte Hain Ranjish Ki Baaten - Tahira SyedHafta letters: Indian employers and taking leave, secularism, pronouncing words correctlyTimecodes0:39: Headlines8:40: Caravan journalists attacked26:49: 743 Tirupati temple staff tested Covid-19 positive28:46: Bengaluru violence47:00: Letters from subscribers52:43: Kamala Harris nominated as vice president candidate59:13: Hartosh’s recommendations1:02:37: Supreme Court’s order on daughters’ equal rights to joint Hindu family property1:03:58: Letters from subscribers1:15:20: Rahat Indori’s death1:17:35: Zomato introduces “period leave”1:29:08: Pranab Mukherjee’s health and how journalists tweeted fake news1:34:39: Letters from subscribers02:00:57: Announcements and recommendationsReferencesWhy I Agree With Bill Maher’s Views On IslamSecularism gave up language of religion. Ayodhya bhoomi pujan is a result of thatIn the post-mortem of secularism, we are hand wringing over religion, missing the real crisis.RecommendationsHartoshQuanta magazineUnder pressure from Sikh clergy, Punjab Police book ten-year-old Dalit girl for sacrilege. The Alienation of Adivasis From Our Identity, or How I Unlearned My Hinduisation.RamanIn the post-mortem of secularism, we are hand wringing over religion, missing the real crisis.The Rama I sing about comes to life in Tyagaraja’s kirtanas, which beseech you to seek the Rama within. MehrajThat Home in our Heart: An Allegory of a Struggle against Forgetting in Kashmir. ManishaCoping With a Deadly Virus, a Social One, TooAbhinandanThe Next Global Depression Is Coming and Optimism Won’t Slow It Down See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In this week’s episode, the in-house panel featuring Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande and Raman Kripal is joined by Mayank Shekhar, a film critic and recipient of the ‘Ramnath Goenka Award. He’s also the author of Amazon’s bestselling book, ‘Name Place Animal Thing’ and also has a podcast titled ‘Sit With Hitlist’The discussion begins with the problematic coverage of Sushant Singh Rajput’s death and how it has now transformed into a political issue. Mayank says, “It’s a toxic mix of everything that is wrong with the country — the state of politics, and news media.” “ Whatsapp messages are now taken seriously on news channels” which has led to ED inquistioning Rhea Chakraborty about her makeup, adds Abhinandan.Raman is of the view that the Enforcement Directorate’s involvement in the entire affair confirms that the case has become political. Manisha thinks this will last till the Bihar elections. She also expresses her shock at women anchors like Anjana Om Kashyap and Navika leading the toxic reportage with, Kyu iske paise kharch karwa rahi thi, pyar tha ya dhoka tha? Why did she spend his money? Was it love or betrayal?The discussion also touches upon the media circus around the ‘Ram Mandir bhoom ipujan‘ which demolished any hope of secularism. Abhinandan says, “It'd need another Bapu-like leader to undo the damage.”This and a lot more, only on NL Hafta. Tune In!Timecodes: 05:18 - Headlines and announcements09:23 - Media coverage of Sushant Singh Rajput's death and Bollywood's silence30:58 - Subscriber letters43:42 - On media coverage of Ayodhya's Mandir Bhoomi Pujan and India's shifting political climate01:17:34 - Subscriber letters01:26:22 - Prashant Bhushan and the contempt proceedings against him01:32:38 - Announcements and RecommendationsRecommendations:MayankBandish Bandits -Prime VideoAmar Singh Obituaries by Priya Sehgal, Vir SinghviThe DiscipleRamanPB Mehta writes: Ayodhya’s Ram temple is first real colonisation of Hinduism by political powerDeeno Daan - Poem by Rabindranath TagoreRebellion - NetflixManishaWhat's At Stake For Bollywood 'Elite' In Sushant Singh Rajput CaseAbhinandanSomali rights activist, Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Hawa Abdi diesSecularism gave up language of religion. Ayodhya bhoomi pujan is a result of that See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In this week’s Newslaundry’s panel of Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Raman Kripal, and Anand Vardhan are joined by Suraj Yengde, an award winning scholar, author, and activist in the field of caste, race, and ethnicity studies and labour migration in the Global-south. Currently, he is a senior research fellow at Harvard-Kennedy School. Suraj has also been nominated for the ‘Sahitya Akademi Award’ and is a recipient of  the ‘Dr.Ambedkar Social Justice Award’ in 2019 and the ‘Rohith Vemula Scholar Award’ in 2018.  The conversation begins with discussing the reclamation of Dalit identities in pop culture. Explaining this with the rise of Chamar pop with tracks like ‘Put Han Chamara De’, Suraj says it is counterintuitive to the masculine, toxic Jat pride seen in pop-culture spaces and the embracing of Dalit identity, but not through the Brahiminical lens. ‘The way that Jat is used not just as Jat pride, but also to make other people feel low’, he adds. Suraj also talks about the discomfort around Dalit folks owning their ancestry, and the reason behind the loudness of Dalit politics. He says, “ If a Dalit claims his or her Dalitness, the other person feels attacked all of sudden. They say, ’Why do you even mention that, I don’t look at you as a Dalit’.” Raman asks Suraj whether there are any Dalit political leaders who can match Kashi Ram’s counter-culture since Mayawati’s impact seems to fading. To this, he says “India is a petri-dish of identity-based politics,” and there needs to be a decentralisation of Dalit political future. He also discusses the role of media and how it only highlights a few individuals. Suraj adds, “Media manufactures leaders in India. Media manufactured Modi as a leader, and even in the Dality community that’s the same.” He also explains the deep distrust amongst Dalits against the current political dispensation, “where it will probably take two Ambedkars and two Gandhis to really bring back the faith in electoral democracy.” Abhinandan brings up Chandrashekhar, the emerging face of Dalit politics in India and asks Suraj about his impact. Suraj points to the immense pressure on the Bhim Army leader who has been slapped with draconian laws. He says, “Chandrashekhar really needs to embrace Kanshi Ram,” and start caderising to  bring out the subaltern stories.  The panel also discusses the ‘survival burden’ of Dalits and the exclusion of Dalit voices in national matters, the New Education Policy, and how far has RSS been successful in shaping it since 2014. This and a lot more, only on NL Hafta. Tune In! Song: Jhootha Kahin KaTimecodes0:21:  Introduction and Headlines09:51:  Caste Annihilation45:48:  India’s new education policy1:17:37:  Subscriber Letters1:35:58:  Saifuddin Soz’s Detention1:50:26:  Subscriber Letters 2:07:23:  Recommendations See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In this week’s NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Raman Kirpal, Mehraj D Lone and Manisha Pande are joined by Sushanta Talukdar, editor of NEZINE, an online magazine focusing on India’s Northeast region.The discussion starts off with the Assam floods, which has affected over 28 lakh people so far. Floods are a recurring issue during the monsoons in Assam, but the government has still not found a way to contain the toll it takes. “The problem is, people forget about the Assam floods after the last day of the floods,” Sushanta says.The conversation shifts to a National Centre for Disease Control survey that said nearly 23 percent of people surveyed in Delhi had developed antibodies for the Covid infection. Manisha calls the survey heartening, since it “shows that the pandemic is not that terrible, because a lot of people survived”, though Mehraj disagrees. India’s increasing cases and low death rate has also been controversial, and Raman says he’d like to “investigate” the Covid death toll, since it’s not very clear.On the ongoing political crisis in Rajasthan, the panel debates the importance of a floor test. Abhinandan asks if the situation is nearing a “constitutional crisis” with all the horse-trading going on. The panel also discusses the Supreme Court issuing suo motu contempt proceedings against lawyer Prashant Bhushan over his allegedly derogatory tweets against the judiciary. Can a tweet about a judge be considered contempt of court? Mehraj says, “You can criticise their judgements but you cannot criticise the judges. You will be hauled up for that.” Raman says contempt of court is an “outdated law”.The podcast also covers the recent death of a journalist in Ghaziabad, and a lot more. Tune in!Song: Mast PunjabiTimecodes00:05: Introduction and headlines04:59: Assam floods33:07: Uttar Pradesh journalist’s murder35:35: How subscriptions fund independent journalism at Newslaundry41:54: Subscriber letters52:33: Delhi's serology survey and questions over community transmission, deaths and vaccines01:03:22: Rajasthan political crisis01:11:32: Subscriber letters01:20:35: Supreme Court’s contempt of court proceedings against Prashant Bhushan01:29:46: Subscriber letters01:32:48: Recommendations See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In this week’s NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Raman Kripal, Mehraj D Lone, Manisha Pande and Anand Vardhan are joined by Suhasini Haider, diplomatic editor of the Hindu. The conversation kicks off with discussing how Iran dropped India from the Chabahar-Zahedan rail project. Abhinandan asks Suhasini how this might affect India. “There’s this kind of FOMO. Right now, you don’t want to be cut out of any geo-strategic game, especially when a country like China is signing a massive deal with them,” she says. She also talks about the scanty coverage of foreign policy issues in the current political climate.The discussion moves on to “cancel culture”. Has it been taken too far, or is it a “conspiracy” by boomers to call post-millennials “too soft”? In Manisha’s opinion, “Cancel culture kills innovative thoughts.” Mehraj brings up the privileges and narrowed gaze of cancel culture. He adds, “There’s no greater threat to free thought than self-censoring.” The panel also discusses whether cancel culture is an elite fad of the West, and if it works in the Indian context.On the ongoing political crisis in Rajasthan, Raman believes it was triggered by chief minister Ashok Gehlot, whom he says was promoting his sons and the Gujjar netas in the state. Sachin Pilot, he says, was “hardly functional” as deputy chief minister, and “at this juncture, it was important for him to revolt”. Mehraj thinks the victimhood of Pilot is “amusing, as there’s no ideological battle here” .The panel also compares Jyotiraditya Scindia and Pilot, discusses the curious case of apologies by Indian comedians, and debates whether ideology really matters in Indian politics. Tune in!Timestamps:00:00: Introduction and headlines8:43: India dropped from Chabahar Rail Project36:01: Subscriber letters on safetyism, cancel culture, and freedom of speech1:10:51: Sachin Pilot vs Ashok Gehlot1:28:48: Subscriber rebuttal to Anand's article1:33:15: Agrima Joshua, limits of comedy, and apologies1:46:00: Subscriber letters1:56:43: Assam floods and the inevitability of disasters2:00:40: Recommendations See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In this episode of NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Mehraj D Lone, Raman Kirpal, and Anand Vardhan are joined by two guests: Mohan Guruswamy, author and chairman-founder of the Centre for Policy Alternatives & The Guruswamy Center, and Tanmoy Goswami, the Correspondent’s sanity correspondent who writes on mental health. Among other things, the panel talks about the India-China border flare-up, and Sushant Singh Rajput’s death and how the media covered it.Mohan explains the location of the Line of Actual Control and how the India-China skirmish came about. “There are two LACs, the Chinese LAC and the Indian LAC; they overlap,” he says. Abhinandan asks him what triggered the Chinese action. Mohan speculates that alarm bells in China could have been raised by Amit Shah’s statement on recovering Aksai Chin, and India’s push for a WHO investigation into Covid-19. Mohan adds that the Chinese are “hyper-aggressive on all sectors of their borders”. Anand weighs in by pointing out the recent pattern of China’s militarism and aggression. The panel also discusses the difficulties in reporting on issues like this one, given the ambiguity surrounding the whole episode. Moving on to the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, Abhinandan asks Tanmoy about the media coverage, and the broader norms of reporting on people who die by suicide. Tanmoy says the attitude of many senior media professionals towards suicide is informed by the fact that suicide was criminalised in India for a long time. “Suicide was reported by crime reporters, and so there’s a legacy of those days,” he says. Now, Tanmoy says, editors have started responding positively to contentions against sensationalist headlines or triggering illustrations. “The number of vigilant eyes in India has multiplied,” he says. He also talks about the intersectional nature of problems causing suicide, and how always equating suicide and mental illness is a “horrible myth”.The panel also discusses the lacunae in entertainment and sports reporting, nepotism and cliques in several industries, frivolous court cases, and much more. Tune in! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In this week’s NL Hafta, the Newslaundry panel of Abhinandan Sekhri, Raman Kirpal, Mehraj D Lone and Manisha Pande discuss gangster Vikas Dubey’s arrest, Jyotiraditya Scindia’s speech, and cancel culture.The discussion starts with Scindia naming former chief ministers Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh in a speech, where he reminded them that he’s still around and powerful. Talking about Scindia’s legacy, Raman says, “Scindia may become a power figure with the Centre’s help.”Moving to the arrest of Vikas Dubey for killing eight policemen, Mehraj talks about how Dubey flourished in Uttar Pradesh “because of political patronage.” (Note: This podcast was recorded before Dubey was killed.) The panel also discusses how casteism runs the police and bureaucracy in Uttar Pradesh, and how people are likely to applaud the police and chief minister Adityanath, who openly boasted about controlling crime in the state with encounters.The discussion then moves on to CBSE scrapping chapters on citizenship, nationalism and secularism from the curriculum of some classes. The revisions were made to “rationalise” the syllabus in view of the pandemic, CBSE said. Abhinandan questions the choice of the chapters that were deleted, and the panel discusses whether the decision was politically motivated.Abhinandan brings up a letter on free speech, signed by multiple bestselling authors and intellectuals, which acknowledges the national reckoning over racism and social injustice, but also argues that the protest movements have helped weaken the norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favour of ideological conformity. The panel also discusses the idea of “safetyism” — that people are weak and should be protected, rather than exposed to challenges. Manisha points out, “The word ‘trigger’ is being used very loosely and when used so loosely, somehow the heft goes.”This and a lot more, only on NL Hafta. Tune in! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In this week’s NL Hafta, the Newslaundry panel of Abhinandan Sekhri, Raman Kirpal, Mehraj D Lone, Manisha Pande and Anand Vardhan are joined by Sandhya Ravishankar, award-winning journalist and editor of the Lede. The conversation centres on police brutality in India, in the context of the custodial deaths of a father and son in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi.Sandhya talks about how the vernacular media in Tamil Nadu covered the custodial deaths of Jayaraj and Bennix from the start. Manisha and Abhinandan point out how Delhi-based news channels offered greater coverage of George Floyd than the Thoothukudi case. Describing the past record of the policemen involved in the deaths, Sandhya says that police brutality in the southern states is “as bad, if not worse, than our north Indian counterparts”, in response to Abhinandan calling some northern states “especially notorious” when it comes to police brutality. Anand says this incident is not an outlier, and that the human rights departments within some police forces are viewed as “punishment postings”. Mehraj discusses instances of brutality and corruption by the Jammu and Kashmir police, while Raman describes problems in police and constabulary recruitment and training.The panel moves on to the crossfire between armed forces and militants in Sopore, and the death of a CRPF jawan and a civilian. They bring up the controversy around the BJP’s Sambit Patra’s tweet on the incident, and the journalistic ethics of publishing controversial photographs, especially of minors. Anand lists instances of the regional press publishing very graphic images. He says the use of pictures to evoke horror only becomes controversial when political forces use them to score points. Abhinandan talks about magazines in the West that publish photographs of children dying in the Middle East. He wonders if they’d do the same thing if the photos were taken in the US.In the context of Prime Minister Modi’s recent speech on extending the Garib Kalyan Yojana, Mehraj says the public distribution system is “robust”, despite its flaws. Abhinandan highlights the importance of transparency to ensure last-mile delivery of welfare schemes.The panel also talks about Modi’s new look, life in Kashmir, and a lot more. Tune in! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In this week’s NL Hafta, the Newslaundry team of Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Mehraj D Lone and Raman Kirpal are joined by Anoo Bhuyan, a reporter with IndiaSpend currently writing on healthcare. Among other things, the panel talks about the healthcare crisis and challenges brought about by the Covid-19 outbreak, the fire in Assam’s Baghjan oil field, and two important media-related developments.Beginning with the Delhi government’s handling of the Covid crisis, Anoo discusses the perceived binary between affordable-but-bad government hospitals and good-but-expensive private hospitals, mentioning the lack of accountability in the latter. She thinks that declaring community transmission is a political call, as it has to do with the admission of failure. “To say that there is community transmission is to say that it’s not in our hands anymore,” she says.While explaining how the fire in the Baghjan oil field came about, Mehraj says: “They have been trying to douse the flames, but it will at least take a month.” He also draws attention to the ecological, economic and human costs of the fire. Abhinandan and Manisha add that a story like this would have received much more attention if it had happened close to Delhi and not in Assam.Moving on to the new media policy in Jammu and Kashmir, Raman says it should be struck down by the judiciary. “This is in violation of Article 14,” he says. He thinks that if the policy finds success in Jammu and Kashmir, “it will spread over to the entire country”. Mehraj points out that much of what the new policy says has already existed in practice in Kashmir. The panel discusses another media story: the resignation of James Bennet, the editorial page editor of the New York Times, after publishing a piece by Senator Tom Cotton that argued in favour of calling the military to control the Black Lives Matter protests in the US. Manisha reads out an excerpt from the op-ed, pointing out the irony in how the NYT has in the past championed sending US troops to the Middle East. She says the newspaper could have published a counter-view, adding: “An editor need not have lost a job because of that.” Abhinandan says, “On stuff like this, I don’t have a theorem I go by. I go by the specifics.” Also, Mehraj has something to say about liberal hypocrisy. The panel also talks about previous NL Sena projects, racism in cricket, the silence of Indian elites, India’s obsession with fairness, and much more. Listen up! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In this edition of Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Mehraj D Lone and Raman Kirpal are joined by Ajai Shukla, a defence journalist, former colonel of the Indian army, and current consulting editor at Business Standard. The panel discusses the developments in and the broader implications of the India-China border flare-up, Patanjali’s Coronil debacle, and the Jagannath Rath Yatra.Ajai explains the chronology of events from April onward at the border. He says Chinese soldiers “marched into three different sectors of India and occupied a chunk of Indian territory”, measuring about 60 sq km, where they started building defences. Initial reports were either ignored or dismissed by official sources until 20 Indian soldiers were killed, he adds. The panel discusses why this episode is unique, why the government might have denied these reports, the reasons for China’s new aggression, and how this incident might affect the balance of power between India and China. “There is absolutely every prospect that China might do something to activate the Arunachal border,” Ajai says. The conversation shifts to the Supreme Court allowing the Jagannath Rath Yatra to take place in Puri. The panel talks about how the state government and public health experts should have made this decision, not the court. In the context of how Patanjali used its licence to manufacture immunity boosters to promote “Coronil” as a cure for Covid-19, Manisha says questioning Ramdev has been equated to questioning ayurveda itself. Mehraj details the bogus testing methods that Patanjali followed. The conversation also spans the complexity of calls to boycott Chinese products, the development of indigenous industrial capacity, whether there is a global resurgence of socialism, Delhi’s coronavirus mathematics, and much more.Tune in! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Chhota Hafta 282

Chhota Hafta 282

2020-06-2731:29

In this edition of Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Mehraj D Lone and Raman Kirpal are joined by Ajai Shukla, a defence journalist, former colonel of the Indian army, and current consulting editor at Business Standard. Ajai explains the chronology of events from April onward at the border. He says Chinese soldiers “marched into three different sectors of India and occupied a chunk of Indian territory”, measuring about 60 sq km, where they started building defences. Initial reports were either ignored or dismissed by official sources until 20 Indian soldiers were killed, he adds. To listen to the full episode, subscribe to Newslaundry. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In this episode of NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Anand Vardhan, Mehraj D Lone and Manisha Pande are joined by Emily Schmall, South Asia correspondent for the Associated Press. The panel discusses the murder of George Floyd and the protests that followed. “Polls show that most Americans are in favour of these protests,” Emily says. “You can get a sense of that by seeing how corporate America has responded.” The panel also compares the reaction of Indian celebrities to police brutality in the US to their silence when it comes to similar incidents in India.Anand talks about migrant workers returning to Bihar, even as Covid-19 cases climb in the state. He says the condition of Bihar’s quarantine centres “has not been consistent” and is “largely bad”. Abhinandan is pessimistic about the spread of Covid-19 in India, saying: “I don’t think we will be able to flatten the curve. I think India should be ready for a steep rise until a cure or a vaccine or herd immunity happens.” The group discusses India’s comparatively low mortality rate, and Mehraj suggests that one should be sceptical of official data.The discussion shifts to the role of social media platforms in publishing and moderating content. Mehraj says that Twitter’s recent fact-checking of Donald Trump was “not out of the goodness of their heart”, pointing out that the organisation gave blue ticks to “rabid bigots and Islamophobes”. Manisha argues that Twitter’s decision was not very smart because “fundamentally, there is a difference between a platform and a publisher.” She adds that if you want to be a publisher, you had “better face the music that publishers face”.The panel also discusses the possible opening of religious places, tackling bigotry at home, subscription models of journalism, principles of equality in Indian politics, and Indian conservatism.For this and much more, tune in! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In this episode of NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande and Mehraj D Lone are joined by Shoaib Daniyal, associate editor at Scroll. The panel starts with a discussion on Cyclone Amphan and the resultant devastation in West Bengal. Shoaib says: “This was so fearsome that it came into Kolkata also, which is a good 100 km from the sea...It was a pretty scary sight that day and, of course, the city then went through terrible problems for the next few days.” He adds that casualty numbers are relatively low, despite the cyclone’s severity, “because of basic precautions. Just putting people in a pakka house — that very simple act saves lives.”The panel also discusses the media coverage of Amphan. Manisha acknowledges that there are possible constraints for media organisations. However, channels like Zee Bangla and News18 Bangla still managed to cover the cyclone, but Zee and News18’s Hindi counterparts did not, “despite having this great resource of reporters being on the ground for the Bengali channels,” she says. “So I think it’s more wilful than the lack of being able to get someone.”Moving on to the rerouting of Shramik Special trains, Mehraj says, “I am just at a loss. Even incompetence alone doesn’t explain this. This is a time when they are running a fraction of the usual number of trains...It is not just that these trains are getting lost, but they are also not providing food or even water.” Bemoaning the government’s inability to coordinate the provision of food with civil society groups, Abhinandan says the government “doesn’t want to talk to anyone. Because they think of everybody as an enemy. When you are such a hostile and venom-filled entity, you will not reach out to anyone to collaborate.”The panel also discusses the recent India-China dispute, Newslaundry’s coverage of different issues under constraints, lockdowns in other countries, Rahul Gandhi’s recent comments on the Maharashtra government, and the possibility of opening places of religious worship. For this and much more, tune in! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Chhota Hafta 281

Chhota Hafta 281

2020-06-2031:51

In this episode of NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Mehraj D Lone, Raman Kirpal, and Anand Vardhan are joined by two guests: Mohan Guruswamy, author and chairman-founder of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, and Tanmoy Goswami, the Correspondent’s sanity correspondent who writes on mental health. Abhinandan asks Mohan what triggered the Chinese action. Mohan speculates that alarm bells in China could have been raised by Amit Shah’s statement on recovering Aksai Chin, and India’s push for a WHO investigation into Covid-19 See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Chhota Hafta 280

Chhota Hafta 280

2020-06-1336:28

In this week’s NL Hafta, the Newslaundry team of Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Mehraj D Lone and Raman Kirpal are joined by Anoo Bhuyan, a reporter with IndiaSpend currently writing on healthcare. While explaining how the fire in the Baghjan oil field came about, Mehraj says: “They have been trying to douse the flames, but it will at least take a month.” He also draws attention to the ecological, economic and human costs of the fire. Abhinandan and Manisha add that a story like this would have received much more attention if it had happened close to Delhi and not in Assam.To listen to the full episode, subscribe to Newslaundry. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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Comments (2)

Dhishan Kudwalli (Dinky)

off the paywall

Aug 16th
Reply

Dhishan Kudwalli (Dinky)

Hafta is off the paywall.

Aug 9th
Reply
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