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NL Hafta

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 See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap Ep 106: Captain Marvel, Leaving Neverland and more

In this episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, hosts Rajyasree Sen and Abhinandan Sekhri discuss Captain Marvel, Surf Excel’s advertisement #RangLaayeSang, Leaving Neverland and more.The podcast kicks off with Abhinandan who, though a Marvel Universe enthusiast, wasn't convinced by their latest offering Captain Marvel. Rajyasree expresses her lack of interest in watching the movie. She then discusses Ricky Gervais’s Netflix series After Life, saying: “It is one of the finest shows that he’s created in a while.” Abhinandan chimes in, mentioning Gervais’s endearing performance that accompanies his dark humour.The conversation moves to the Surf Excel ad #RangLaayeSang which, contrary to its intentions, invoked some amount of communal disharmony. Both Abhinandan and Rajyasree think the ad managed to convey its message and express their dissatisfaction with the kind of responses that have popped up on social media.The duo then discusses the documentary Leaving Neverland. Talking about the documentary's format, Abhinandan says it's a compelling watch. Rajyasree praises the extensive detailing of facts to allow viewers to reach their own conclusions. Abhinandan tries to dissect Micheal Jackson’s position while emphasising that it shouldn't be taken as a justification. He says, "I believe Micheal Jackson was insane … on a different wavelength … I think he was coming from a place of love and not damage ... he truly believed this love was genuine love.” Rajyasree disagrees, citing examples of warped love and sexual grooming.This and a lot more, so tune in! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

1hr 4mins

14 Mar 2019

Rank #1

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#MediaRumble: News as Investment

During the second edition of the Media Rumble, in a session moderated by Suresh Venkat, Roopa Kudva (Managing Director, Omidyar Network India) talks about investing in news and tries to answer some of the most asked questions: Why do people invest in news? Is it viable to do so? Is it worth the risk? Or is it just soft power? Is it soft power? How does one make it more attractive? See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


25 Aug 2018

Rank #2

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NL Hafta 191: #AadhaarVerdict, #RafaleDeal and More

It’s been a crazy week with the Supreme Court giving us one verdict after the other to discuss and dissect. In this episode, we have our in-house columnist and Constitution expert Meghnad and freelance journalist Rishi Majumder join the regular Hafta gang of Abhinandan Sekhri, Madhu Trehan and Manisha Pande.Abhinandan and Meghnad are distraught since they finally have to get their Aadhaar cards made. The SC has upheld its constitutional validity and mandated it for filing income tax returns. The team discusses the verdict and its high and low points. The conversation then moves towards the Rafale deal. Madhu suggests an all-new pronunciation and Abhinandan wonders if we’re living in an age where we are desensitised to scams. Amit Shah’s ‘termite’ speech also gets discussed and Rishi, who’s from Assam, tells us about the narrative of ‘the other’ in the state. Listen up.PS: Subscribers, don’t forget to register for our NL Hindi event on October 2 and catch us for the NL Chatbox this Saturday at 10 am, IST. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

1hr 22mins

28 Sep 2018

Rank #3

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Hafta 218: Coalitions & Campaigns, AFSPA, NaMo TV and more

In this week’s podcast, Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Anand Vardhan and Manisha Pande. Also joining them is political journalist and author of Politics of Jugaad: The Coalition Handbook, Saba Naqvi.The discussion kicks off with Saba’s new book. Saba also briefly describes the farmers' coalitions and the constant splitting of party members from the Congress that kept it at an unstable position in UP. “Most of us who follow politics seem to believe the change happened with Mandal and Mandir…[however] The history of this [coalitions]… goes back to the late sixties,” she says.Abhinandan asks Anand whether coalitions can form a “stable government”. He also asks him about Bihar politics. “Coalitions depend on the reciprocity of interest,” responds Anand, and further mentions that politicians must embody reciprocal interests in case situations for a coalition arise. He also mentions that the only benefit with “stable governments” is that the policies for different stakeholders are kept constant and that these stakeholders know what to expect from the Budget.Anand also talks about the “dramatic stage in Lalu’s family”—sibling rivalry between brothers Tej Pratap Yadav and Tejashwi Yadav. Saba seeks Anand’s opinion on Kanhaiya Kumar contesting from Begusarai. He thinks Kanhaiya Kumar has a chance and remarks: “Anyone who comes from Bihar in his twenties is a careerist.” He also mentions the demographic factors, political history of Begusarai and determinants of other contestants like Giriraj Singh and Tanveer Hasan.Further, Abhinandan asks Saba about the election campaign in UP. She responds: “there is no one campaign …the demographics are changing seat by seat." She lists a few unexpected elements that have happened like the SP and BSP coalition, Priyanka Gandhi’s arrival, Muzaffarnagar’s muslim vote turn-out and the likes.The panel discusses the spread of propaganda through popular culture like Eros Now’s series Modi: Journey of a Common Man and Omung Kumar’s movie, PM Narendra Modi. Manisha says: “EC’s model code of conduct applies to the Government that it cannot use Doordarshan to propagate Narendra Modi’s speeches,” as that uses taxpayer’s money. However in the case of such movies, “…These are private citizens who can launch a movie whenever they want to.”“The role of propaganda or any form of political communication can be of a force multiplier…it cannot win you elections,” remarks Anand. He believes that the consumptions of news and the influence it exerts on the voting decisions of people is not directly correlated. Saba, however, disagrees. “There is too much data to the contrary to show that television slants and propaganda influence voters,” says Abhinandan.With reference to Congress’ manifesto on AFSPA, Manisha tells us that it reads: “they will remove immunity for enforced disappearance, sexual violence and torture,” and the panel believes it to be “absolutely reasonable”. Anand mentions that the manifestos are majorly for electoral significance and academic value, however, with the proliferation of media there has been many discussions on the issues that gives various undertones to it.Other topics broadly discussed in this podcast include NaMo TV, Vivek Oberoi’s appearance in news interviews, a few election speeches made by different politicians, references made to various historical events in the politics of UP and Bihar, Mayawati’s affidavit and many passing anecdotes given by our NL gang. Listen up! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

1hr 19mins

8 Apr 2019

Rank #4

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एनएल चर्चा 32: एनआरसी, एससी-एसटी एक्ट, आधार व अन्य

असम का एनआरसी का फाइनल ड्राफ्ट जारी होना, सरकार का एससी-एसटी एक्ट पर बदला रुख, ट्राइ के चेयरमैन आरएस शर्मा का आधार चैलेंज व अन्य मुद्दे इस हफ्ते के प्रमुख विषय रहे.चर्चा में शामिल रहे आजतक के पत्रकार नवीन कुमार, न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के संवाददाता अमित भारद्वाज और राहुल कोटियाल. चर्चा का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया. पूरी बातचीत के लिए सुनें न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री पॉडकास्ट. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

1hr 6mins

4 Aug 2018

Rank #5

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चर्चा 59: सांसद-विधायक जूतम पैजार, अयोध्या, राफेल और अन्य

बीते हफ़्ते एक तरफ़ जहां कुछ बेहद अहम मुद्दे चर्चा में रहे वहीं कुछ घटनाएं मीडिया गलियारों में सनसनी की तरह छाईं रहीं. इस हफ़्ते की चर्चा में हमने उन्हीं में से कुछ को विषयों के लिया. उत्तर प्रदेश के संत कबीरनगर में सांसद और विधायक के बीच हुई जूतम-पैजार की घटना और भारतीय राजनीति की अहंकार-नीति, अयोध्या में राम मंदिर-बाबरी मस्जिद विवाद और विवाद सुलझाने के लिए सुप्रीम कोर्ट द्वारा हुई तीन मध्यस्थों की नियुक्ति, राफेल डील से जुड़े कुछ दस्तावेज़ों की चोरी, सरकार के रवैये और द हिन्दू को निशाने पर लिए जाने और प्रधानमंत्री द्वारा मानवीय गरिमा और समझ-बूझ को परे रखते हुए बेहद संवेदनहीनता से डिस्लेक्सिया पीड़ितों का मज़ाक उड़ाए जाने की घटना को चर्चा के विषय के तौर पर लिया गया.चर्चा में इस बार ‘पेट्रियट’ न्यूज़पेपर के सीनियर एसोसिएट एडिटर मिहिर श्रीवास्तव ने बतौर मेहमान शिरकत की. साथ ही चर्चा में लेखक-पत्रकार अनिल यादव भी शामिल हुए. चर्चा का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया.चर्चा की शुरुआत में ‘न्यूडिटी’ पर अपने शोध और क़िताबों के लिए मशहूर मिहिर इस विषय पर अपनी संक्षिप्त राय रखते हुए कहते हैं, “जहां तक न्यूडिटी का सवाल है, इसके नाम पर कुछ लोग संस्कृति के ठेकेदार बने फिरते हैं. लोगों को मारते हैं, पेंटिंग फाड़ देते हैं, उन्हें यह समझना चाहिए कि जिस चीज़ की वह सुरक्षा करने में लगे हैं, वह भारत की संस्कृति नहीं है. वह ‘विक्टोरियन मोरैलिटी’ है. यह ‘विक्टोरियन मोरैलिटी’ ढाई-तीन सौ साल पहले अंग्रेज़ी शासन के दौरान हम पर थोपी गई है.”इसके बाद उत्तर प्रदेश के संत कबीर नगर में हुए ‘जूता-प्रकरण’ से चर्चा के निर्धारित विषयों की ओर लौटते हुए चर्चा की शुरुआत हुई. भारतीय समाज और राजनीति में पद-प्रतिष्ठा और नाम की भूख और इससे पैदा अहंकार पर बात करते हुए अतुल सवाल करते हैं, “नाम की भूख और यश लोलुपता की यह परंपरा इस स्तर तक पहुंच जाए कि वह ‘जूता’ चलने की एक परंपरा को जन्म दे और वह परंपरा अमर हो जाए, आप इसे कैसे देखते हैं?”जवाब में बरसों पहले उत्तर प्रदेश विधानसभा में जूतम-पैजार की घटना का ज़िक्र करते हुए अनिल कहते हैं, “जो लोग पॉलिटिक्स में हैं, वो अपनी जो छवि पेश करते हैं, वो असल में वैसे हैं नहीं. वो पोज़ करते हैं कि वो लोगों की सेवा करने के लिए, अपने इलाके का विकास करने के लिए या जो अन्याय, ग़रीबी है उसे ख़त्म करने के लिए वो पॉलिटिक्स में हैं. लेकिन वो मूलतः पॉलिटिक्स में अपनी प्रतिष्ठा के लिए हैं, अपने अहंकार, अपने जलवे, अपने दबदबे के लिए हैं. इस बात को वो आम तौर पर छिपाए रहते हैं लेकिन ये बात छिपती नहीं है. और जहां भी ज़रा सा ऊंच-नीच होता है यह छवि उभर कर सामने आ जाती है.”इसी बात को आगे बढ़ाते हुए मिहिर कहते हैं, “इसमें महत्वपूर्ण बात यह भी है कि कोई परोपकार करने तो पॉलिटिक्स में आता नहीं है और किसी को इस ग़लतफ़हमी में रहना भी न चाहिए. लेकिन जो बात ये जूताबाजी सामने लाती है, वो है असहिष्णुता. यहां ये बात है कि अगर पद-प्रतिष्ठा में मैं ऊंचा हूं तो आप मेरी बात सुनेंगे और अगर नहीं सुनेंगे तो जूता खाएंगे.”चर्चा में अतुल ने श्रीलाल शुक्ल के उपन्यास ‘राग दरबारी’ का एक अंश पढ़ा जिसे इस घटना से जोड़कर देखना बेहद मौजूं है, “इस बात ने वैद्यजी को और भी गंभीर बना दिया, पर लोग उत्साहित हो उठे. बात जूता मारने की पद्धति और परंपरा पर आ गई. सनीचर ने चहककर कहा कि जब खन्ना पर दनादन-दनादन पड़ने लगें, तो हमें भी बताना. बहुत दिन से हमने किसी को जुतिआया नहीं. हम भी दो-चार हाथ लगाने चलेंगे. एक आदमी बोला कि जूता अगर फटा हो और तीन दिन तक पानी में भिगोया गया हो तो मारने में अच्छी आवाज़ करता है और लोगों को दूर-दूर तक सूचना मिल जाती है कि जूता चल रहा है. दूसरा बोला कि पढ़े-लिखे आदमी को जुतिआना हो तो गोरक्षक जूते का प्रयोग करना चाहिए. ताकि मार तो पड़ जाए, पर ज़्यादा बेइज्ज़ती न हो. चबूतरे बैठे-बैठे एक तीसरे आदमी ने कहा कि जुतिआने का सही तरीक़ा यह है कि गिनकर सौ जूते मारने चले, निन्यानबे तक आते-आते पिछली गिनती भूल जाय और एक से गिनकर फिर नये सिरे से जूता लगाना शुरू दे. चौथे आदमी ने इसका अनुमोदन करते हुए कहा कि सचमुच जुतिआने का यही तरीक़ा है और इसीलिए मैंने भी सौ तक गिनती याद करनी शुरू कर दी है.”इसके अलावा अन्य विषयों पर भी बेहद दिलचस्प चर्चा हुई. बाकी विषयों पर पैनल की राय जानने-सुनने के लिए पूरी चर्चा सुनें. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


9 Mar 2019

Rank #6

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Hafta 216: Christchurch shooting, Samjhauta blast verdict & more

In this episode of NL Hafta, Abhinandan Sekhri, Raman Kirpal and Anand Vardhan are joined by journalist Maya Mirchandani.The discussion kicks off with Amit Shah getting Lok Sabha elections ticket from LK Advani’s constituency, Gandhinagar. The panel also discusses Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s role in the current political scenario. Maya says, “Priyanka Gandhi is great optics for Congress.” The panellists agree that she is creating enough ripples as a new leader and is making BJP nervous. However, Raman differs, “Congress seeking an alliance is openly declaring that they have reduced to a regional party.”Moving forward Abhinandan and Maya appreciate the Election Commission's idea of increasing the transparency by asking for details of commutation of politicians via personal choppers and chartered flights. Talking about elections and parties, the panel also talks about Shah Faesal’s new political party, J&K Peoples' Movement. While Abhinandan is skeptical about the party's success, Maya also agrees that the party has no clear agenda. Raman adds, “As the polling percentage is low in J&K, so at this point, it might be a gamechanger.”The panel also talks about the ardent and strong leadership of New Zealand’s PM Jacinda Ardern, who imposed an immediate ban on all military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles and stood in complete solidarity with the community. Raman says, “Its an example of how to handle a crisis." The panelists agree in unison that if she wouldn’t have called the incident a terror attack, nobody would have stood up.The panel also discusses Shashi Tharoor's defamation case against the derogatory remarks of Ravi Shankar Prasad in the Samjhauta Express verdict. For this and more, tune in! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

1hr 32mins

23 Mar 2019

Rank #7

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Hafta 217: Modi's interview with Arnab, Mission Shakti, NYAY and more

In this week’s episode, host Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Madhu Trehan, Raman Kirpal, Manisha Pande, and lawyer Gautam Bhatia.The podcast kicks off with Gautam talking about his latest book, The Transformative Constitution: A Radical Biography in Nine Acts. It draws on pre-Independence legal and political history and is an analysis of the oppressive forces apart from the State. In his book, he argues that the Constitution was intended to transform not only the political identity of Indians but also the social relationships on which legal and political structures rest.Abhinandan proceeds with a comparative interpretation of the attitude of Americans and Indians toward their respective constitutions. Gautam responds: “They [Americans] actually treat is like a religious text which is way more than India … The Constitution [in India] comes with an in-built flexibility, adaptability to change … Ours is pretty supple, flexible and keeps changing.” Raman and Madhu question the status of secularism and socialism, respectively, in the Constitution. Gautam says: “The Constitution supports the socialist government, it doesn’t mandate one.”Manisha and Abhinandan move on to Arnab Goswami’s interview with PM Narendra Modi. In the context of professional dignity, Raman describes the 1996 Indian Express reportage on "political pimps", while Manisha talks about the importance of objectivity in journalism.The discussion moves on to ad revenue after Abhinandan reads a mail from a subscriber. “The more broad-based your revenue streams, the less compromised you are. And, nothing can be as broad-based as subscriber model” says Abhinandan. Madhu remarks, “People should be better informed and aware that all the advertising they see from governments and departments is our [taxpayers'] money”. The panel compares content and perspectives in newsrooms in the United States and India.Discussing Mission Shakti, Madhu describes what she calls the “remarkable discomfiture” with which Modi made his announcement. “When you rehearse something too many times it becomes trite,” she adds. The panel then moves on to the group of filmmakers appealing against voting for the BJP. Abhinandan asks if film actors and artists should take positions in political narratives. Madhu says: "You want to be normal and give your political opinion on any issue but are you willing to pay the price of having your life being turned upside down?” Gautam says, “You could make statements without being partisans about it.”The discussion shifts to the credibility of news sources in reference to recent reports by Reuters and Caravan. Abhinandan says: "Whether a story is complete or not is always a judgement call, there is no one determinant that will seal the deal … in different stories there will be different determinants that will legitimise the story.” The panel also discusses Vijay Mallya recent statements after the Jet Airways bailout, cessation dialogues in Kashmir and Sikkim, Rahul Gandhi's announcement of the NYAY scheme—and a whole lot more! Listen up. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

1hr 31mins

8 Apr 2019

Rank #8

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Hafta 226: Analysing the Modi wave, media and the voters, and more

In this week’s episode, Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by the regular gang of Madhu Trehan, Manisha Pande and Anand Vardhan, and special guest Saurabh Dwivedi, journalist and founder of news website The Lallantop.The discussion kicks off with Abhinandan asking Saurabh whether there was a Modi wave before the elections. Saurabh recounts realities he noticed on the ground in states like Uttar Pradesh and Odisha, saying people have glorified Modi to a point where they don't know their own candidates. He says they've spun stories around Modi similar to those about Indira Gandhi. On the other hand, voters laughed when asked about Rahul Gandhi.Anand talks about the possibility of underestimation bias and its associated risks. Manisha critiques the media for not having focused adequately on the schemes rolled out by the government and the responses to them. Saurabh quickly pins it down to the “gyaan ka bojh” of the journalists that keeps them from preparing before going to report on the field.The panel tries to analyse whether the media influences voters and the narrative. Madhu refers to Tavleen Singh’s article and Swati Parashar’s article in Indian Express, both of which talk about the need for the upper classes to accept that this is the new India and the realities associated with it. She stresses the need to “decolonise the mind” and not try to manufacture a mandate that pleases Western ideals of liberalism. Abhinandan points out the fallacy in taking one argument and positioning it to be “the definitive argument” while ignoring the existence of the spectrum. Manisha thinks the media has mass reach which is why politicians want it under their control. Anand believes that the news is an “accelerator” of pre-established views.Listen up, there’s more! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

1hr 54mins

22 Jun 2019

Rank #9

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एनएल चर्चा 62: मोदी का राष्ट्र के नाम संदेश, राहुल की न्याय योजना और अन्य

चुनावी गहमा-गहमी के बीच बीता हफ़्ता तमाम अच्छी-बुरी खबरों के साथ हिंदुस्तान के लिए एक उपलब्धि लेकर आया. इस हफ़्ते प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी द्वारा खगोल विज्ञान के क्षेत्र में भारत की हालिया उपलब्धि को बताते हुए राष्ट्र के नाम संदेश जारी संदेश, राहुल गांधी द्वारा चुनावी अभियान के तहत की एक बड़ी योजना ‘न्याय’ का ऐलान, पिछले हफ़्ते होली के रंगों को धूमिल करती हुई व सामाजिक ताने-बाने को नुकसान पहुंचाने वाली गुड़गांव में एक मुस्लिम परिवार के साथ हुई हिंसक वारदात और सामाजिक कार्यकर्ता व अर्थशास्त्री ज्यां द्रेज़ की झारखंड में हुई गिरफ़्तारी, प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी का रिपब्लिक भारत चैनल को दिया गया इंटरव्यू आदि चर्चा में विषय के तौर पर लिया गया.चर्चा में इस बार लेखक-पत्रकार अनिल यादव व हिंदुस्तान अख़बार के विशेष संवाददाता स्कंद विवेकधर शामिल हुए. चर्चा का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया.प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी द्वारा ज़ारी राष्ट्र के नाम संदेश में उपग्रह को मार-गिराने की क्षमता के ज़िक्र के साथ चर्चा की शुरुआत हुई. अतुल ने पॉलिटिकल पार्टियों का हवाला देते हुए सवाल किया कि क्या इसकी ज़रूरत थी कि प्रधानमंत्री इतना ज़्यादा सस्पेंस बनाते हुए इसकी घोषणा करें? इसमें दूसरी बात यह भी शामिल की गई कि इसको भारत सरकार की तरफ़ से इस तरह पेश किया गया कि इसमें 1974 या 1998 में हुए परमाणु परीक्षण जैसी कोई बात है. आप इन दोनों ही बातों को किस तरह देखते हैं?जवाब देते हुए अनिल ने कहा, “वास्तव में प्रधानमंत्री को राष्ट्र के नाम विशेष संबोधन के ज़रिए इसे बताने की आवश्यकता नहीं थी. अगर राष्ट्र के नाम संबोधन की आवश्यकता थी तो वह पुलवामा हमले के समय ज़्यादा थी. पूरा देश उस समय बहुत सदमे में था, लोगों में नाराज़गी थी. वो एक बड़ी घटना थी, पूरे देश को हिला देने वाली. लेकिन उस वक़्त प्रधानमंत्री को यह ज़रूरत नहीं महसूस हुई कि राष्ट्र के नाम विशेष संबोधन दें. लेकिन ये जो घटना हुई कि तीन मिनट के भीतर अपने ही कबाड़ हो चुके एक उपग्रह को एक मिसाइल द्वारा नष्ट कर दिया गया तो उन्होंने पूरे देश को बताया. तो इसके पीछे जो मकसद है वो प्रोपेगैंडा का है.”इस घटना पर विपक्ष द्वारा सवाल उठाए जाने पर- ‘विपक्ष हर चीज़ पर सवाल खड़े कर रहा है’- जैसी बात भारतीय जनता पार्टी व प्रधानमंत्री द्वारा बार-बार कही जा रही है. इस बात का ज़िक्र करते हुए अतुल ने सवाल किया कि अब जबकि इस समय आदर्श आचार संहिता लागू है तब इसे राजनीति के चश्मे से देखा जाए या नहीं?जवाब देते हुए स्कंद ने कहा, “ये कहना कि इसमें राजनीति नहीं है, बिल्कुल ग़लत होगा. प्रधानमंत्री ने अगर राष्ट्र के नाम संबोधन किया तो उन्होंने यह भी राजनीतिक नज़रिए से ही किया है क्योंकि अभी चुनाव सिर पर हैं और सत्तारूढ़ दल भाजपा चाहता है कि पूरा का पूरा चुनाव इस बात पर हो कि राष्ट्र के लिए मजबूती से निर्णय लेने वाला दमदार प्रधानमंत्री कौन है. वो पूरा नैरेटिव इस पर ही शिफ्ट कर रहे हैं. यह हमारी बड़ी उपलब्धि हैं, हम इनकार नहीं कर सकते. ख़ास तौर से तब जबकि चीन जिससे आपके बहुत अच्छे रिश्ते नहीं हैं, उसके पास यह ताकत है. और आने वाले वक़्त में ऐसे मौके बने हुए हैं कि युद्ध के दौरान कोई देश आपके उपग्रहों को नष्ट कर दे तो आपके पास एक डेटरेंस होना चाहिए.”इसके साथ-साथ बाकी विषयों पर भी चर्चा के दौरान विस्तार से बहस हुई. बाकी विषयों पर पैनल की राय जानने-सुनने के लिए पूरी चर्चा सुनें. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


30 Mar 2019

Rank #10

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The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap Ep 79: Mission Impossible, IIFA awards and Who Is America?

On this episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, Rajyasree and Abhinandan discuss the 19th IIFA awards, Kangana’s comments on Modi and laying down her life for the country, Chalo Jeetein Hain, a film on Narendra Modi, the sixth instalment of the Mission Impossible series, Sharp objects and Sacha Baron Cohen’s ‘Who is America?’.They begin the podcast by discussing the IIFA awards, which was hosted by Karan Johar, again; had ‘Gay’ jokes that are no longer funny and lacked almost all the major celebrities from Bollywood.The two then go on to discuss Chalo Jeetein Hain, a film based on an episode from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Childhood. It was released on Hotstar and all the star properties. Abhinadan, who criticised almost everything about the film, asks Modi supporters to write in and state what they thought of the film and what they think of a person who would approve a film like this about himself.For more on these, Kangna’s comments, Mission Impossible 6 and Baron Cohen’s ‘Who is America?’, listen up! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


2 Aug 2018

Rank #11

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Hafta 249: Climate emergency, Delhi police vs lawyers, RCEP trade deal, and more

In this episode of Hafta, host Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Newslaundry’s Madhu Trehan, Manisha Pande and Mehraj D Lone as well as two guests, Shreeshan Venkatesh, editorial head at CarbonCopy, and Vivek, a Newslaundry subscriber who is a journalist based in Chennai.The discussion kicks off on the recent study by Climate Central, a news organisation in the United States, which estimates that coastal cities such as Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai will be underwater by 2050. “It is not a new projection, rather it is a new estimate of the impacts of earlier projections,” notes Shreeshan. He points out that this scenario is with “moderate cuts” to emissions, when the real picture is much worse. Speaking about the ongoing clash between police and lawyers in Delhi, Madhu says, “Why do the lawyers believe they need special treatment? The way they have taken the law into their hands, beaten up cops, they really seem to think they are above the law.” Manisha adds, “Police brutality is a fact. But I don’t know if those cops who are protesting have indulged in it, so I would be sympathetic to them. I won’t judge them by the actions of their entire tribe.”Speaking about India’s decision to pull out of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, Vivek says, “I think there is a sense of uncompetitive behaviour in the Indian industry because we are protecting them from the competition.” Mehraj points to the ideological aspect of such trade deals. “If you go back in history, there have been similar agreements like NAFTA that have been disastrous. Such deals are the reason for Latin America’s backlash against neoliberalism that has destroyed their economies.”The panel also discuss the revocation of the writer Aatish Taseer’s Overseas Citizenship of India card, North India’s air pollution, and more. Tune in! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

1hr 56mins

9 Nov 2019

Rank #12

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Hafta 256: Jharkhand elections, Modi’s Speech, citizenship law stir, Delhi winter, and more

In this episode of NL Hafta, Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Anand Vardhan, and Mehraj D Lone of Newslaundry are joined by Aditya Menon from The Quint.They begin with a discussion on BJP’s offensive tweet about the Tamil icon EV Ramasamy Periyar. Pointing out the reason for BJP’s dislike for Periyar, Aditya notes, “It's the Periyar legacy that is preventing the BJP from growing in Tamil Nadu, so they do want to attack the icon somehow.” Mehraj joins in and says it is more to do with ideology than political point-scoring.Talking about Narendra Modi’s mega rally kicking off the Delhi election campaign, Abhinandan expresses disgust at the messaging that asked people to come and thank Modi. About the falsehoods in the prime minister’s speech for which he was widely criticised, Anand argues that it had to be full of bombast given the prime minister was in a mood for tactical retreat.On the Jharkhand election, Manisha says she was impressed by Hemant Soren and how he campaigned and took on the incumbent chief minister, Raghubar Das. Aditya sheds light on the tactics used by Soren’s campaign team which portrayed him as being humble as opposed to Das.On the subject of Soren winning the election by running a campaign focused on local issues, Mehraj says, “That I think is the only turf that you can fight the BJP on right now, hyperlocal issues.”Talking about the protests against the citizenship law, Manisha notes that they have largely been peaceful. But this has been completely whitewashed by the media. She adds that this has been used to justify the police’s brutal response. Anand jumps in to speak on behalf of the police, “The police does not share all information with the media also.”The panel also discuss the Delhi cold, Centrism, and more.Tune in! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

1hr 50mins

28 Dec 2019

Rank #13

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Reporters Without Orders Ep 29: Alwar Lynching, #Section377, state of health journalism and more

The latest episode of Reporters Without Orders features our host Cherry Agarwal, along with Amit Bhardwaj, Rohin Verma, two-time Ramnath Goenka awardee Rahul Kotiyal, and Anoo Bhuyan from The Wire.The podcast kicks off with a discussion on media's narrative around Akbar Khan's lynching in Alwar. “If you go through our story, we have actually demolished the police’s version of what happened that night, point by point," says Amit. He also points out the importance of the three hours that elapsed between the incident and the time taken to reach the Ramgarh CHC.Cherry adds, “What I found missing from the larger media narrative was that the two accused were moving around with the policemen.” Amit weighs in to add that the media's narrative changed on July 22 -- the blame shifted from the gau rakshaks to gau rakshaks and the police.Rest of the panel weighs in too. Anoo adds that she didn’t feel the issue had been obfuscated in the English print and online media, while Rahul emphasises the need for minutely questioning the police’s version of events.Amit expresses his concerns over the disturbing parallels that exist between Akbar’s case and Pehlu Khan’s case.Subsequently, the panel discusses media's coverage of #Section377. Anoo weighs in on the problems that exist across Indian news organisations and stresses upon the need for more inclusive newsrooms.Rohin concurs with Anoo, and points out that sometimes a callous attitude is adopted by the media in its reportage on LGBTQ issues.Speaking on the issue, Rahul points out the clear division that still exists between Hindi and English media's reportage of the issues related to Section 377. Nevertheless, he says, “things have gotten better”. The panel also discusses if reporters are equipped to handle sensitive conversations.The gang also discusses the state of health journalism in India. Anoo details the challenges faced by health reporters in India, with people still having regressive attitudes and at times, treating it as an extension of 'Lifestyle and Wellness' reporting.Rohin points out the hazards of what he calls “baba ji ki booti" reporting, which is reportage done at the cost of important issues like the death of children in Bihar from Japanese encephalitis.The panel also discusses how Muzaffarnagar case was under-reported. For this and more, Listen up! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


25 Jul 2018

Rank #14

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The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap Ep 87: Tanushree Dutta,’Ask the Sexpert,’ and more

The latest episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap brings you all-that-happened in the past week. Hosts Rajyasree Sen and Abhinandan Sekhri talk about an advertisement on ‘Kerala Tourism’ by Samsonite, on the occasion of World Tourism Day. Both hosts were impressed by the message sent across by the ad and recommended that everyone give it a watch. “I love that it is sensitive and woke on gender,” expressed Abhinandan.The conversation then moves towards Tanushree Dutta’s sexual harassment controversy where both our hosts discuss the issue. They debate whether #MeeToo will work even in the realm of Bollywood, and discuss the reasons whether it will or will not work. Rajyasree expresses that “No A-list star has spoken” and that even women weren’t coming forward to speak up. Abhinandan says: “The stakes in showbiz are so high that if you make it, I mean just the power of the star is so huge that you don’t want to compromise.” Moving on from women in Indian Cinema to Farhan Akhtar’s Rearview Mirror, both our hosts were disappointed with the single from Farhan’s upcoming album called “Echoes.”Both hosts then talk about a documentary movie called Asked the Sexpert, directed by Vaishali Sinha. It is about a sex advice columnist who gains popularity after a school bans sex education. Abhinandan says: “I thought there were a couple of bloopers, the background score, the music was outstanding, perfect not in your face….”Rajyasree moves on to Shilpa Shetty’s new reality show called “Hear me, Love me,” which is the remake of an Italian reality dating show, and expresses how she detests it. Abhinandan talks about the trailer of Thugs of Hindostan which is a Hindi remake of Pirates of the Caribbean and The Joker.Tune in to listen to more. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


3 Oct 2018

Rank #15

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Hafta 223: Indian newsrooms, PM Modi's 'interview spree' and more

n this week’s episode, host Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Madhu Trehan, Raman Kirpal, Manisha Pande, and journalist and author Sandeep Bhushan.The podcast starts off with a peek into the complex and ever-changing realm of Indian journalism through the lens of Sandeep’s book, The Indian Newsroom: Studios, Stars and The Unmaking of Reporters. Abhinandan agrees partly with its central analysis regarding the undercurrents of the profession and says, “This entire liberal cabal is a reality in media, I don’t think there’s any doubt about it and the metrics of what was an achiever or what was a good reporter were ... someone who can sit with me over dinner and discuss wine rather than be able to crack a story, so social comfort took primacy over any kind of achievement”. The panel discusses issues of diversity in the newsrooms. Though it's come a long way today, everyone agrees that you can't ignore the fact that English news channels are still dominantly comprised of the upper class when compared to Hindi channels.Sandeep says the reality of journalism is that it's based on “brand as power and the power of access, both rolled into one”. He highlights the uncomfortably intimate influence growing between reporters and management. “Technically there’s no problem with it [the hands-on involvement of the management], but in a media organisation, I believe it has to be run differently. It cannot be run in the way other organisations are run wherein there’s Reliance, where Mr Ambani feels that his children should take over. It cannot run like that.” Madhu adds, “Their culture is well-entrenched enough for journalists who work there to know that it will be market-driven and it's not going to be journalism.”The panel moves on to PM Narendra Modi's "interview spree". Will it impact Modi's image if he takes people into his confidence during interviews regarding his failings on issues such as unemployment? “I think we are talking of an ideal situation and politics is not an ideal place … this is how political discourse should happen but it doesn’t,” says Raman. He believes that the strategy of providing the people with a false consciousness of nationalism as a distraction plays in Modi’s favour. Sandeep says this strategy of willful ignorance is beneficial to him since it helps him steer clear of the vulnerabilities associated with providing explanations for failed policies.The discussion steers towards the various events surrounding the Supreme Court. Referring to the handling of the sexual harassment allegations against CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Manisha says, “How the Supreme Court has acted is really ridiculous. What is an in-house committee? You [are supposed to] set up a Visakha committee, it's sexual harassment at the workplace.” Discussing fake news tweeted by politicians' Twitter handles, Abhinandan points out that one “cannot tackle fake news … when the political establishment’s main tool for information is fake news because they will not make laws to take that on”.The panel also discusses the nurturing of "stars" as brand-building exercises in journalism, survival tactics employed by anti-Modi supporters in the face of a hostile fan base, and much more.Tune in! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

1hr 26mins

11 May 2019

Rank #16

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Chhota Hafta — Episode 218

NL Hafta has gone behind the paywall, but we love our listeners. So, here's a little sneak peek into the complete episode.In this week’s episode, Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Anand Vardhan and Manisha Pande. Also joining them is political journalist and author of Politics of Jugaad: The Coalition Handbook, Saba Naqvi.The discussion kicks off with Saba’s new book. Saba also briefly describes the farmers' coalitions and the constant splitting of party members from the Congress that kept it at an unstable position in UP. “Most of us who follow politics seem to believe the change happened with Mandal and Mandir…[however] The history of this [coalitions]… goes back to the late sixties,” she says.Other topics broadly discussed in this podcast include Bihar politics, NaMo TV, Vivek Oberoi’s appearance in news interviews, a few election speeches made by different politicians, references made to various historical events in the politics of UP and Bihar, Mayawati’s affidavit and so much more. Listen up!Listen to the full Hafta here: https://www.newslaundry.com/2019/04/05/hafta-218-coalitions-campaigns-afspa-namo-tv-uttar-pradesh-bihar See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


5 Apr 2019

Rank #17

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Hafta 248: EU delegation's Kashmir visit, Delhi pollution, WhatsApp snooping, and more

In this episode of Hafta, Abhinandan Sekhri, Madhu Trehan, Manisha Pande and Mehraj D Lone of Newslaundry are joined by Suhasini Haidar, national and diplomatic affairs editor of The Hindu. The panel discusses a range of issues that made news this week.They start with the controversial visit of a delegation of the European Members of Parliament to Kashmir earlier this week. “I think it was a case of misplaced priorities as far as the government is concerned,” Suhasini says. She questions why the government used an obscure think tank rather than one of its own agencies to invite the delegation. Could it be that Prime Minister Narendra Modi doesn’t care about what the international press says about him? Suhasini disagrees, “I don’t think that is true. I definitely think they were tracking very closely what happened in the international media, particularly before Modi went to the US because they were worried about the kind of coverage that was coming out.”They move on to discuss the WhatsApp snooping row. Mehraj is of the view that Ravi Shankar Prasad, who said the government has sought a response from WhatsApp, is “passing the buck” when the messaging platform itself is a victim in this instance. Suhasini says, “I think WhatsApp has been passing the buck as well. Why do they have a software that is so easy to hack?” Speaking about the deteriorating air quality in Delhi and its coverage in the media, Manisha says, “When journalists are only going to talk about this as an issue around Diwali, then you are just minimising the scope of the problem.” Suhasini and Mehraj point towards the systemic causes of the problem that are rarely talked about. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

1hr 45mins

2 Nov 2019

Rank #18

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Hafta 254: Citizenship law, Delhi fire, death penalty, and more

In this episode of NL Hafta, Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Anand Vardhan and Mehraj D Lone of Newslaundry are joined by author and journalist Samrat X.They begin with a discussion on the Citizenship Amendment Bill that has garnered massive attention in the media. Abhinandan questions whether the BJP had anticipated the reaction to the passage of the law. Mehraj responds, “Maybe they even figured this in their calculations and are fine with it. I mean like in Kashmir, they are fine with what happens in Kashmir as long as they get the votes elsewhere." Manisha points to the misconception that persecuted minorities in Afghanistan and Bangladesh can find refugee in India after this law comes into force. Manisha also says she was extremely disappointed that the opposition did not corner Amit Shah in the Parliament over the Citizenship Bill.Talking of the Anaj Mandi fire and its media coverage, Anand says, “I think it has to do with the media’s imagination of the public. In that imagination, the only profitable binary is State versus something or government versus something." He says though there was an air of horror around the incident, because the owner was an ordinary citizen and the people killed were also ordinary citizens, they didn't matter to the media.Samrat adds, “We have an imagination of the poor, where poor lead a miserable life and often die miserable deaths."The panel also discuss the public demand for death penalty to rapists, the British election, and much more. Tune in! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

1hr 35mins

29 Feb 2020

Rank #19

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Hafta 222: India Positive, Hindutva politics & much more

In this week’s episode, Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Manisha Pande, Raman Kirpal, Anand Vardhan, and author Chetan Bhagat.The podcast kicks off with a deep dive into Bhagat’s book, India Positive: New Essays and Selected Column. The author explains that the title of his book is inspired by the idea of positivity. He believes that although there are several issues affecting the country, sitting for hours on Twitter and complaining about them will not make them go away. He says, “At the end of the day there are certain structural problems with India which are not necessarily Congress- or BJP-driven and we need to fix them and that’s positive to me.”When Abinandan questions Bhagat about putting a disproportionate amount of onus on the ordinary Indian to be self-employed in his book, he responds by saying, “I am not shifting the onus away from policymakers…[I’m] trying to protect the guy [ordinary Indian] …because you can’t keep fighting. Activism isn’t a very profitable trade for an individual.” He continues to say that the world is changing fast and the skill sets required are also going to change dramatically, merely defending a leader of a particular party on Twitter won’t conjure up an offer letter. The panel also talks about the dangers of the ‘messiah complex’.The panel also discusses the BJP's rise to power. Abhinandan says, “Bigotry was an acceptable price to pay for economic prosperity. For me, it's not but for a lot of people, it was.” Anand says, “When India became independent there was a subterranean domain of communalism which was not getting a politically-organised outlet. The historical processes are such that…any identity kind of politics finds an outlet…there is a kind of inevitability and it’s a kind of political catharsis for a lot of suppressed religious problems in the country.”The panel also talks about the Indian media's role in South Asia. Manisha talks about it in terms of the content produced and observes that the fundamental issues that plague journalism in India are “mediocrity of thought and group think”. She adds that there is a “complete disregard for readers and news consumers”. Raman talks about the increased dependence of media on government advertisements and says, “When they [media] are heavily dependent on the government the news automatically gets softer on them and this has happened at a very rapid pace of late.”For this and more, tune in! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

1hr 49mins

4 May 2019

Rank #20