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Cover image of The Seen and the Unseen - hosted by Amit Varma

The Seen and the Unseen - hosted by Amit Varma

The Seen and the Unseen, hosted by Amit Varma, features longform conversations that aim to give deep insights into the subjects being discussed. Timeless and bingeworthy.

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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Ep. 115: The Intellectual Foundations of Hindutva

The ideology of Hindutva dominates our political and cultural landscape today. How did it begin, and what is it precisely? Aakar Patel, author of the forthcoming book Our Hindu Rashtra, joins Amit Varma in episode 115 of The Seen and the Unseen to shed light on three important Hindutva thinkers. Also check out: Hindutva – VD Savarkar Bunch of Thoughts – MS Golwalkar Integral Humanism – Deendayal Upadhyay Ayodhya: The Dark Night – Dhirendra Jha and Krishna Jha The Coffeehouse of Surat – Leo Tolstoy Why I Write – Saadat Hasan Manto (translated by Aakar Patel) The Story of Our Ancestors – Episode 112 of The Seen and the Unseen The BJP’s Magic Formula – Episode 45 of The Seen and the Unseen You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios

1hr 55mins

8 Apr 2019

Rank #1

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Ep. 145: The Indian Conservative

Is there such a thing as Indian conservatism? What does it mean and where did it come from? Jaithirth Rao joins Amit Varma in episode 145 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss his latest book. Also check out: The Indian Conservative -- Jaithirth Rao Conservatism: Ideas in Profile -- Roger Scruton Why I am Not a Conservative -- Friedrich Hayek The Intellectual Foundations of Hindutva -- Episode 115 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aakar Patel) Religion and Ideology in Indian Society -- Episode 124 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Suyash Rai) Political Ideology in India -- Episode 131 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rahul Verma) The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism -- Episode 139 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshaya Mukul) Our Colourful Past -- Episode 127 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manu Pillai) The Right to Property -- Episode 26 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan) Marching for Salt -- Amit Varma The works of Edmund Burke on Amazon. The column archives of Jaithirth Rao in Indian Express. You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios

2hr 28mins

4 Nov 2019

Rank #2

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Ep. 02: Demonetisation

On November 8, 2016, India’s prime minister Narendra Modi announced that 500- and 100-rupee notes would cease to be legal tender from midnight that day, which removed 86% of the cash from circulation. Demonetisation (aka "DeMon" or "Notebandi") had humanitarian and economic effects that might take years to play out. In Episode 2 of The Seen and the Unseen, Amit Varma is joined by Suyash Rai, an economic analyst from Delhi, as they examine whether demonetisation achieved any of its intended effects, and try to come to terms with some of its unintended (but foreseeable) consequences. Follow The Seen and The Unseen: Website: www.seenunseen.in Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theseenandtheunseen/ This is an IVM Production; for more such awesome podcasts, come find us: Website: ivmpodcasts.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ivmpodcasts Twitter: https://twitter.com/IVMPodcasts Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ivmpodcasts/

38mins

24 Jan 2017

Rank #3

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Ep. 95: The Indianness of Indian Food

What does it mean when we say that something is 'Indian'? Does origin matter? Food writer Vikram Doctor joins Amit Varma in episode 95 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about how most of what we think of as Indian food originated elsewhere -- and it doesn't matter. Also check out The Real Food Podcast on Audiomatic

1hr 7mins

19 Nov 2018

Rank #4

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Ep. 134: Kashmir and Article 370

Kashmir is in lockdown, and Article 370 is history. What does this mean for Kashmir -- and for India? Historian Srinath Raghavan joins Amit Varma in episode 134 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the historical, geopolitical, ideological and moral questions at the heart of the Kashmir problem. Also check out: War and Peace in Modern India -- Srinath Raghavan The Geopolitics of the Bangladesh War -- Episode 113 of The Seen and the Unseen. Understanding the India-Pakistan Conflict -- Episode 111 of The Seen and the Unseen. Uncle Sam in South Asia -- Episode 93 of The Seen and the Unseen. We Won’t Need To Fight A War If We Can Win The Peace -- Amit Varma. The Article 370 Amendments: Key Legal Issues -- Gautam Bhatia Article 370: A Constitutional History of Jammu and Kashmir -- AG Noorani A People's Constitution -- Rohit De The Generation of Rage in Kashmir -- David Devadas This episode is powered by Storytel: https://www.storytel.com/in/en/ Use the link storytel.com/ivm to get a 30 day free trial as opposed to a 14 day free trial. You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios

2hr 26mins

19 Aug 2019

Rank #5

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Ep. 41: Money in Cricket

Cricket has been transformed in the last four decades, first because of Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket, and then recently by the IPL. Noted cricket writers Gideon Haigh and Prem Panicker join Amit Varma in episode 41 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the enormous impact of this commercialisation. Check out www.seenunseen.in for more episodes You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5 You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com/

50mins

6 Nov 2017

Rank #6

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Ep 152: The Citizenship Battles

Why is India burning over the Citizenship Amendment Bill? Why does the NRC matter? What is happening in Assam? Srinath Raghavan joins Amit Varma in episode 152 of The Seen and the Unseen to give historical perspective on our current ferments. For detailed show notes, head on over to seenunseen.in.

2hr 31mins

22 Dec 2019

Rank #7

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Ep. 104: Understanding Gandhi. Part 1: Mohandas

Mahatma Gandhi is one of the most fascinating characters in history: complex, misunderstood, deeply impactful. Ramachandra Guha, author of two acclaimed biographies of the man, joins Amit Varma in episode 104 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the first 45 years of Gandhi's life, before he returned to India to catalyse the Indian freedom struggle. Do check out: Ramachandra Guha's books on Gandhi, Gandhi Before India and Gandhi: The Years That Changed the World . You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5 You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com

1hr 28mins

21 Jan 2019

Rank #8

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Ep. 03: GST (Goods and Services Tax)

There are two kinds of diversity in India, one good, and one not so good. Our greatest strength is our diversity of people and cultures and languages. But one of our great weaknesses is our diversity of taxes, across states and regions. We have so many different kinds of taxes that the cost of compliance is the most daunting cost for many businesses, and corruption is out of control. Also, taxes create friction in trade, and the costs are borne by consumers and businesses alike. It’s a negative-sum game. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) was supposed to the panacea that would get us out of this mess. While India has been one country since 1947, it hasn’t been one market, and the GST was expected to get us to that promised land. It has been many years in the making, though, and has become more and more convoluted in the process of political and bureaucratic negotiation. Thus, while the Seen Effects of a perfect GST would normally be excellent, the potential Unseen Effects of the GST in its evolving form could be quite messy. In Episode 3 of The Seen and the Unseen, Devangshu Datta takes Amit Varma through the nuances of the GST and their possible implications. Follow The Seen and The Unseen: Website: www.seenunseen.in Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theseenandtheunseen/ This is an IVM Production; for more such awesome podcasts, come find us: Website: Indusvox.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ivmpodcasts Twitter: https://twitter.com/IVMPodcasts Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ivmpodcasts/ Tags: #AmitVarma, #Bastiat #Public #policy #government #DevanshuDatta #economics #business #Goods #Service #Tax #GST #Bill #FreeMarket #Trade

30mins

31 Jan 2017

Rank #9

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Ep. 113: The Geopolitics of the Bangladesh War

The formation of Bangladesh was neither inevitable nor a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan. Historian Srinath Raghavan joins Amit Varma in episode 113 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe the geopolitical forces that shaped those events of 1971. Also check out: 1971: A Global History of the Creation of Bangladesh -- Srinath Raghavan The Blood Telegram  -- Gary Bass Uncle Sam in South Asia -- episode 93 of The Seen and the Unseen, with Srinath Raghavan Understanding the India-Pakistan Conflict - episode 111 of The Seen and the Unseen, with Srinath Raghavan The formation of the Mujibnagar interim government Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's speech at the UN You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios

2hr 10mins

25 Mar 2019

Rank #10

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Ep. 102: The Paradox of Narendra Modi

Shashi Tharoor, author of The Paradoxical Prime Minister, joins Amit Varma in episode 102 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about the many faces of Narendra Modi, as well as the nature of politics, the idea of India and his own journey as a politician. Also read: The Paradoxical Prime Minister on Amazon, as well as Shashi Tharoor's other books. The Facts Do Not Matter  -- Amit Varma No Free Trade For Horses  -- Ep 13 of The Seen and the Unseen, on the Anti-Defection Law. You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5 You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com

1hr 12mins

7 Jan 2019

Rank #11

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Ep 156: Kerala and the Ivory Throne

Kerala has a madly interesting history. It was a hub of globalisation centuries ago, an exemplar of tolerance. Almost in contrast, it took casteism to an extreme. It also had a matrilineal system, a tradition of empowered women, and some badass queens. Historian Manu Pillai joins Amit Varma in episode 156 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss all this and more. Also check out: 1. The Ivory Throne -- Manu Pillai 2. Our Colourful Past -- Episode 127 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manu Pillai) 3. The Deccan Before Shivaji -- Episode 98 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manu Pillai) 4. The Indianness of Indian Food -- Episode 95 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vikram Doctor) For complete archives, do visit seenunseen.in.

2hr 20mins

20 Jan 2020

Rank #12

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Ep. 04: Immigration

In Episode 4 of The Seen and the Unseen, Amit Varma discusses Immigration with Shikha Dalmia. Are the demagogues right about immigration being a bad thing? Do immigrants take jobs away from locals? Are they a strain on resources? Should we build yuge walls? Follow The Seen and The Unseen: Website: www.seenunseen.in Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theseenandtheunseen/ This is an IVM Production; for more such awesome podcasts, come find us: Website: Indusvox.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ivmpodcasts Twitter: https://twitter.com/IVMPodcasts Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ivmpodcasts/ #AmitVarma, #Bastiat #Public #policy #government #ShikhaDalmia #Immigration #immigrants

33mins

7 Feb 2017

Rank #13

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Ep 163: Who Broke Our Republic?

Seven decades after Independence, India is still wracked by poverty and strife. Who is responsible? Kapil Komireddi joins Amit Varma in episode 163 of The Seen and the Unseen to excoriate every political player of Independent India. No prisoners taken. Also check out: 1. Malevolent Republic -- Kapil Komireddi. 2. Kashmir and Article 370 -- Episode 134 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Srinath Raghavan). 3. Understanding Gandhi. Part One: Mohandas -- Episode 104 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ram Guha). 4. Understanding Gandhi. Part Two: Mahatma -- Episode 105 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ram Guha). 5. The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism -- Episode 139 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshaya Mukul). 6. Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India -- Akshaya Mukul. 7. India's Founding Moment -- Madhav Khosla. 8. Where Have All the Leaders Gone? -- Amit Varma. 9. Democracy in Pakistan -- Episode 79 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pranay Kotasthane & Hamsini Hariharan). 10. The 2019 Elections -- Episode 122 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Sadanand Dhume). 11. Radically Networked Societies -- Episode 158 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pranay Kotasthane). 12. The Emergency -- Episode 103 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Gyan Prakash). 13. Taking Stock of Our Republic -- Episode 157 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ram Guha). 14. A Game Theory Problem: Who Will Bell The Congress Cat? -- Amit Varma. 15. An Area of Darkness -- VS Naipaul. 16. India: A Wounded Civilization -- VS Naipaul. 17. The Discovery of India -- Jawaharlal Nehru.

1hr 55mins

8 Mar 2020

Rank #14

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Ep. 78: Crowd Violence in India

More and more, across this country, violent crowds are taking the law into their own hands. What's going on? Legal experts Madhav Chandavarkar and Alok Prasanna Kumar share their insights with Amit Varma in episode 78 of The Seen and the Unseen. We Don't Need Another Law (https://express.thinkpragati.com/2018/07/18/why-dont-need-another-law/)-- Amit Varma You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5 You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com/

1hr 4mins

23 Jul 2018

Rank #15

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Ep. 114: Crime in Indian Politics

Why is crime ubiquitous in Indian politics? Why is your neta also a dada? Political scientist Milan Vaishnav joins Amit Varma in episode 114 of The Seen and the Unseen to speak about the incentives in play that have brought us to this place. Also check out: When Crime Pays -- Milan Vaishnav The Grand Tamasha -- Milan Vaishnav's podcast You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios

1hr 12mins

1 Apr 2019

Rank #16

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Ep. 67: Ask Me Anything

This is an AMA (Ask Me Anything) episode, in which host Amit Varma answers questions from both in-studio guests and Twitter and Facebook users. You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5 You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com/

1hr 32mins

7 May 2018

Rank #17

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Ep. 50: The State of Indian Politics

Indian politics is complex to the point of being almost unfathomable. JP Narayan, that rare public intellectual who also embraced electoral politics, joins Amit Varma in episode 50 of The Seen and the Unseen to share his learnings. You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5 You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com/

46mins

8 Jan 2018

Rank #18

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Ep. 35: The Bhopal Gas Tragedies

In episode 35 of The Seen and the Unseen, economist and lawyer Shruti Rajagopalan joins host Amit Varma to explain why there were three Bhopal Gas Tragedies, and not just one. Check out www.seenunseen.in for more episodes You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5 You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com/

34mins

11 Sep 2017

Rank #19

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Ep. 36: SEZs (Special Economic Zones)

Special Economic Zones are usually set up with the best intentions: to attract businesses and create employment. But what are their Unseen Effects? Karthik Shashidhar joins host Amit Varma in episode 36 of The Seen and the Unseen. Check out www.seenunseen.in for more episodes You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5 You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com/

21mins

18 Sep 2017

Rank #20