NL Hafta

Aug 01 2020 55 mins 1.9k

Weekly wrap of events of the week peppered with context, commentary and opinion by a superstar panel. Click here to support Newslaundry: See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 288: Media's coverage of Sushant Singh Rajput’s death and the Ram Mandir bhoomi pujan
Aug 08 2020 105 mins  
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 announcements 09:23 - Media coverage of Sushant Singh Rajput's death and Bollywood's silence 30:58 - Subscriber letters 43:42 - On media coverage of Ayodhya's Mandir Bhoomi Pujan and India's shifting political climate 01:17:34 - Subscriber letters 01:26:22 - Prashant Bhushan and the contempt proceedings against him 01:32:38 - Announcements and Recommendations See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 287: The Dalit identity and Indian politics, New Education Policy, and more
Aug 01 2020 139 mins  
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 for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 286: Assam floods, contempt proceedings against Prashant Bhushan, Covid sero survey, and more
Jul 25 2020 103 mins  
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 for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 285: Chabahar-Zahedan project, Rajasthan political crisis, cancel culture, and more
Jul 18 2020 128 mins  
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 for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 281: India-China conflict, Sushant Singh Rajput, reporting on suicide, and more
Jul 11 2020 112 mins  
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 for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 284: Vikas Dubey, CBSE’s revised syllabus, Jyotiraditya Scindia, and more
Jul 11 2020 90 mins  
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 for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 283: Thoothukudi custodial deaths, police brutality in India, Sopore photograph, and more
Jul 04 2020 112 mins  
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 for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 280: Baghjan fire, healthcare in Delhi, J&K’s media policy, and more
Jul 04 2020 99 mins  
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 for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 282: India-China conflict, Patanjali’s Coronil, Jagannath Rath Yatra, and more
Jun 29 2020 94 mins  
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 for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 279: George Floyd, content moderation on social media, bigotry at home, and more
Jun 27 2020 112 mins  
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 for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 278: Cyclone Amphan, rerouting of Shramik Special trains, India-China dispute, and more
Jun 20 2020 91 mins  
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 for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 277: India-Nepal border dispute, Covid-19 cases at Zee News, Cyclone Amphan, and more
May 27 2020 104 mins  
In this episode of NL Hafta, Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by our in-house team of Raman Kirpal, Mehraj D Lone, Manisha Pande and Anand Vardhan. Discussing the recent border dispute between India and Nepal, Anand describes the dispute’s historical context and the causes of the current fracas. Mehraj argues that this could be attributed to India’s “projection of power” since the start of the new millennium, which might have become less effective after a decade-long slowdown in economic growth. Mehraj adds that “our national imagination, especially the kind that the BJP and the Hindutva camp has...can’t accept that we are equal with these people. You have to project power, you have to project greatness. But the basis of that greatness is no longer there. Because your own economy is struggling.” Abhinandan says: “As long as Covid is dominating the world, these will be just side acts.”The panel shifts to the controversy over the Congress providing the Uttar Pradesh government with buses to transport migrant workers. Abhinandan says, “I am no fan of the Congress, but here I think there is a lot of monkey balancing [by the media]. What the UP government is doing is disgusting.” Mehraj agrees, deploring the government’s general treatment of migrant workers. Moving on to the finance minister’s announcements over the past week, Mehraj says the government should have put more money in the hands of the people. Raman says, “You introduced Aadhaar. You made it compulsory for people to open bank accounts. But when the time has come to transfer money, you aren’t doing it.” Anand suggests that the government focused on structural reforms. However, he acknowledges Abhinandan’s point about “the lack of policy imagination in offering immediate succour”. In response to a subscriber email, the panel also discusses conservatism in India, and Anand argues that the ideology is essentially “continuity with change”. Finally, the panel talks about the Covid-19 cases at Zee News, and Newslaundry’s recent report about the cluster. Abhinandan says the employees who tested positive “might not get the sympathy that they should get, because of how Sudhir Chaudhary and other people like him have positioned themselves. That is a sad outcome.” Manisha is more optimistic, hoping that “people will make the distinction between Sudhir and regular Zee workers who are living alone or living with family.”The panel also talks about Cyclone Amphan, Barkha Dutt’s ground reporting during the pandemic, and the arrest of Rwanda genocide suspect Felicien Kabuga.For this and much more, tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 264: Amulya Leona, Trump’s visit, AAP’s Hanuman politics, and more
May 19 2020 116 mins  
In this episode of NL Hafta, Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Mehraj D Lone, and Anand Vardhan of Newslaundry are joined by Shelly Walia, senior editor at the Quint.Rather surprisingly, this episode kicks off with a healthy debate on whether litti chokha belongs to Uttar Pradesh or Bihar. The panellists then engage in an extended discussion on their favourite regional delicacies. Mehraj finally ends the discussion with a tongue-in-cheek remark: “Vegetarian and delicacy don’t go together in the same sentence.” Shelly then turns to the subject of Amulya Leona, a young woman from Karnataka, being slapped with a sedition case for saying “Pakistan Zindabad” at an AIMIM rally in Hyderabad. Mehraj explains how this issue pertains to which side of the free speech debate one stands on. Shelly argues that the BJP latches onto such statements to divert attention from real problems. “Just think of the things that you got to hear before the Delhi election when it was constantly, like, India, Pakistan, Muslim, Hindu, current puhuch jayega and goli maaro. The kind of shit that is being said by our ministers...and here is a 20-year-old ‘woke’ woman who says something like that and we call her idiotic. I don’t think that’s a fair thing because I just feel things are going off track.”Abhinandan disagrees, arguing that every protest can’t be about everything. “If every protest becomes bhadaas nikalna, then the repercussions will also be bhadaas nikalne wala,” he says. While Mehraj bats for absolute freedom to say whatever one wants, Abhinandan puts the AIMIM at fault for not vetting what was to be spoken from their stage. “I think it is a dumb thing to give platform to someone like that to make a fool of themselves. Of course, the person has the right to make a fool of themselves, but is that good for the movement I am fighting for?”On Donald Trump’s visit and the possibility that there won’t be a trade agreement, Anand opines that the fact the US president is visiting India alone is a symbolic step towards de-hyphenating India-Pakistan. “We are in a phase where the big power and the emerging power equations would be more guarded by complex interdependence rather than clear takeaways from each other.” Bringing in a less discussed nuance, Abhinandan argues that Trump’s visit will refuel the BJP’s discourse which has been dulled by its electoral loss in Delhi. The panellists also talk about AAP legislator Saurabh Bharadwaj organising monthly Hanuman Chalisa prayers in his constituency, and his demand for erecting a Hanuman statue at the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya; the Supreme Court’s order granting women permanent commission in the Army; the importance of formal education; the New York Times publishing an article by Taliban leader Sirajuddin Haqqani; and much more. Tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 265: Delhi violence, Trump’s visit, Weinstein’s conviction, and more
May 19 2020 101 mins  
In this episode of NL Hafta, Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Mehraj D Lone, and Raman Kirpal of Newslaundry are joined by Neha Dixit, journalist and professor at Ashoka University.The podcast starts with a discussion on media reports on the Delhi riots. Neha says, “Lots of people are claiming that their relatives are missing. Dead bodies have been dumped at the hospital with no identification made since the investigation officers are too busy to get the post-mortem started. So the death toll will still go up.”Talking about the overnight transfer of Justice S Muralidhar, Abhinandan says, “It is rather alarming the brazenness with which the state is carrying out whatever their project is.“ Manisha reasons why the violence is centred in North East Delhi, saying, ”This is where Amit shah gave his ‘Shaheen bagh ko jhatka lagega’ speech, along with a large number of unemployed youth from both sides present there.” Regarding the Delhi police’s inaction during the riots, Abhinandan says this “disrespect” now for the police will outlast Modi and Shah. “The police have shot themselves in the foot.” Mehraj talks about the judiciary’s role in the violence. “If you go back and see books and reports on instances of communal violence since 1947...if you take the names of the places away, you can’t tell one from the other,” he says. “Everywhere, the police has sided with the rioters and the judiciary has been stacked against the victims. The only difference this time is that everything is being recorded on camera.”Raman believes the riots were orchestrated. ”The circumstantial evidence, so far, are strongly indicating that the people who orchestrated all this came from the border areas,” he tells the panel. The panel also discusses the media coverage of Trump’s visit, the Delhi government’s inaction during the violence, #MeToo in India, and more. Tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 266: Delhi violence, coronavirus, parliament ruckus, and more
May 19 2020 111 mins  
In this episode of NL Hafta, Abhinandan Sekhri, Raman Kirpal, Anand Vardhan, and Mehraj D Lone of Newslaundry are joined by Kapil Komireddi, author and journalist.They start with a discussion on the Delhi violence. Abhinandan asks the panellists how precisely they will describe what happened. Was it “riot” or “pogrom”? Kapil believes it was more than a riot and, had it continued to escalate, could have become a pogrom. Anand sees it purely as communal violence and a confrontation between supporters and opponents of the citizenship law. Mehraj prefers the term “communal carnage”.Talking about the foreign media’s coverage of the violence, Kapil says there’s a lack of nuance. “When a piece is written in Delhi and sent to London or New York for editing, I think the editors add their own language, they compress language, nuance somehow gets eliminated from that coverage,” he adds.He, however, rejects the suggestion that such coverage is a conspiracy to defame India. “I think India is supplying enough material to people who dislike the country,” he argues.Kapil goes on to question Narendra Modi’s competence as a leader, “For weeks, Gujarat burnt around him and he did nothing. In Delhi, in the capital of the country, the city burnt for three days and again he was incompetent, he could not do anything. So the defining characteristic of the prime minister is incompetence.”Speaking about how the violence started, Raman says, “I think prima facie, it was deliberate. It was started with some intentions to teach a lesson.” He adds that Muslims retaliated where they were in large numbers, making it a full-blown riot.About the police’s role, he says, “There are few brilliant individuals in any institution. But let us face it, on those three days, these men in khaki, they behaved like Hindus.” Anand, however, argues that it is early to say the police were incompetent considering the sequence of the events is still unclear. He says, “The cause and effect relationship, what caused it, is still very hazy.”Mehraj disagrees. “If we have to find the truth, we have to go beyond these institutions, beyond the police,” he says. “This is a police that not only sided with the rioters but was complicit in the violence”. He notes that the police actively destroyed CCTV cameras to ensure there was no evidence of their actions.The panel then discuss the coronavirus pandemic. “It seems a lot more alarming but when you see the age-wise break-up of fatality, for a young fit person, this is like a flu that goes away,” Abhinandan says, initiating the conversation.Mehraj, however, points out that the fatality rate being low doesn’t mean that the threat isn’t severe for a country like India, where “without a proper healthcare system, you are asking for disaster.”They also discuss the suspension of seven Congress MPs, Justice S Muralidhar’s transfer from the Delhi High Court to Punjab, freedom of speech, and much more.Tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 268: Coronavirus hits India, Modi speaks, Gogoi goes to Rajya Sabha, and more
May 19 2020 93 mins  
In this episode of NL Hafta, Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande and Mehraj D Lone of Newslaundry are joined by Suhasini Haider, diplomatic editor of the Hindu newspaper, and Dr Arjun Dang, CEO of Dr Dang’s Labs.Starting off with a discussion on the coronavirus pandemic, Abhinandan wonders why India’s approach to containing it differs from that prescribed by the WHO, and what impact this will have. To Abhinandan’s question about the government not allowing healthcare professionals to use existing kits to test for coronavirus, Dang explains that this is to ensure uniformity in and quality of testing. All testing kits for coronavirus must be approved by the National Institute of Virology, Pune. “If the testing isn’t done in a controlled and regulated manner, we will actually go from the frying pan into the fire”. To Mehraj’s question about India’s testing capacity, Dang points out that the pandemic has disrupted the supply chains of the kits manufactured in Europe and China. India now faces an uphill battle to get more kits. So, it should judiciously use the kits it has.Talking about Modi’s address to the nation on the pandemic, Suhasini says it lacked substance but was reassuring. Abhinandan remarks that it was the first speech in which Modi showed some humility. Manisha notes that he talked up solutions taken from Western countries without thinking whether they would work in India. While it was high on emotion, it lacked substance. Abhinandan doesn’t think India has a plan to tackle the economic fallout of the pandemic. Mehraj argues that the prime minister didn’t address the nation but only those privileged sections of society that can afford to stay home; he didn’t address the anxieties of those who have no choice but to go out to feed their families. The panel also discuss Ranjan Gogoi’s nomination to the Rajya Sabha. Abhinandan wonders why Indians do not want to retire. Mehraj quips, “This is probably the only country in the world where people agitate for the retirement age to be raised rather than to be lowered.”They also discuss the political stalemate in Madhya Pradesh; the Press Council of India’s notice to the Telegraph for a headline that allegedly mocked India’s president; nepotism and mediocrity in the media industry and other sections of society, and much more. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 269: India’s lockdown, the role of journalists during a crisis, police brutality, and more
May 19 2020 94 mins  
In this episode of NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Raman Kirpal, Manisha Pande, and Mehraj D Lone are joined by data journalist Rukmini S.Abhinandan begins by bringing up Rukmini’s piece in The Print where she wrote that India could see up to 30,000 COVID-19 deaths by May. She says this is not her prediction — it’s based on current growth rate of cases, trajectories of other countries, and predictable modeling done by statisticians that show similar pathways, so this could be the direction India is headed. “Even with significant intervention, there will be not an ending, but a reduction [in cases],” Rukmini says.Discussing how the 21-day nationwide lockdown was imposed by Narendra Modi to enforce social distancing, both Raman and Mehraj think India won't be able to handle that many patients. Mehraj asks what measures exist for the homeless, and those dependent on daily wages. Raman also cites data* on the state of public healthcare in India, such as the fact that India has only 9,512 ICU beds for its 130-crore population.Bringing up the WHO’s guidelines and its emphasis on community outreach, Manisha says she was stunned by Modi’s decision on the lockdown and the manner in which he communicated it to the public. “Someone who supposedly was a chaiwallah, who rose from nowhere, is so out of touch with how Indians live.” Abhinandan says there’s a sense of “theatre” in what Modi does, in contrast to the Kerala health minister’s low-profile press briefings every day. The panel also discusses the role of journalists during a crisis like the coronavirus pandemic, India’s support for public institutions, police brutality, and much more.Tune in!*The data Raman cited — number of ventilators, ICU beds, isolation beds exclusively earmarked across states to treat COVID-19 patients — is as of March 24. This data is changing dynamically as more capacity is added on a daily basis. For instance, on March 26, the capacity was upgraded to 85,976 isolation beds, 22,772 ICU beds, and 14245 ventilators.Correction: Raman said Delhi has 252 ICU beds. The number is actually for ventilators. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 276: Bois Locker Room, Atmanirbharta, changes to labour laws, and more
May 19 2020 108 mins  
In this episode of NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Mehraj D Lone, Raman Kirpal, and Manisha Pande are joined by Pragya Tiwari, journalist and regional director of Flint Asia. Starting off with the “Bois Locker Room” controversy, Pragya suggests that the group was “a manifestation of an endemic crisis” that we tend to ignore. “We keep forgetting how thin a line it is between inappropriate conversation and rape culture. It is on a spectrum,” she says. “The same thing about the guy’s death. That is another thing we don’t talk about as a society, as families, which is mental health. So this is just a manifestation of two conversations we radically need to have — in our schools, in our colleges, in our homes, through counselling — which is mental health and addressing rape culture, patriarchal attitudes.” Manisha says the incident demonstrates that social media allegations should be taken with a grain of salt, especially as they detract from legitimate societal challenges. Raman agrees, suggesting that the problem was further compounded by the “social media trial”.With regards to the prime minister’s recent speech, Pragya bemoans Modi’s use of “tyag” and “tapasya” to describe the distress faced by migrant workers, since it implies that their struggles were of their own volition. The panel discusses Modi’s emphasis on “atmanirbharta” and the concept of “self-reliance”. Raman points out the dire state of manufacturing in India over the past decade, and suggests that protectionism is not the answer. Mehraj is more sympathetic to the concept of Swadeshi, but laments that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s conception of Swadeshi is only centred on the capitalist class. Manisha brings up the media’s misreporting of Modi’s announcement as a new “Rs 20 lakh crore package”, when the prime minister actually included previously-announced schemes and the RBI’s liquidity measures as part of the “package”. Pragya agrees, arguing that it is “slightly inappropriate because the RBI is technically an independent institution that decides monetary policy by itself”.The panel also discusses the recent changes to labour laws in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat. Pragya describes the changes as “abject regulations” and deplores the use of the ordinances to bring about these changes. She points out that labour and capital do not have equal bargaining power and that labourers have very little legal recourse. “Instead of rationalising compliance, you have basically thrown out the baby with the bathwater,” she says. Abhinandan agrees, suggesting that the government is just “taking a flamethrower to a problem”. He adds that the power of labourers and trade unions has greatly decreased over the past three decades.To listen to this and much more, tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 275: Pulitzer Prize, Karnataka’s migrant workers, liquor stores reopening, and more
May 19 2020 102 mins  
In this episode of NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Raman Kirpal, Manisha Pande, Mehraj D Lone, and Anand Vardhan are joined by Yogita Limaye, the India correspondent for the BBC. The conversation begins with the gas leak in Visakhapatnam and how the BBC, which has a Telugu language service, is covering it. Abhinandan asks Yogita about how the BBC has been criticised for not serving Indian interests. Yogita says she hasn’t been accused of anti-India bias by anyone she knows in the Indian newspace, though the organisation is attacked at a personal and organisational level on television and social media. She adds, “That entire thing about toeing a foreign line: I’m not entirely sure where that comes in.”Moving on to the three photojournalists in Kashmir who won the Pulitzer, and the controversy that followed in India, Anand points out that the award citation says India revoked “Kashmir’s independence” which he finds misleading, since Kashmir never had any sovereignty even when Article 370 was in place.Raman says he feels a “sense of pride” that an Indian won. While he doesn’t want to make it political, he says, what was in the photos was “absolutely real”. Mehraj says the government can be critical of the photos since they do not reflect the government in a good light, but “what is more distressing” is the criticism of the award by “so-called journalists who should be celebrating it”, even if they don’t agree with what the photos represent.Manisha says the biggest problem with people’s dislike for the award is their “refusal to accept that Kashmir is a conflict zone”. She adds that it’s scary how the Indian media has influenced people in such a way that “the tolerance to see what is happening in Kashmir has been reduced to zero”. Talking about liquor stores being opened, Manisha says the moralistic argument of closing them during the lockdown in the first place is wrong. “The judgement of people standing outside thekas is classist,” she says. Raman says there’s a history to the moral judgement attached to alcohol, bringing up how alcohol is sold in black polythene bags to “hide” it. Anand says it boils down to the question of what is essential and what isn’t. “Given it’s very low space in the priority list that people should have, I think it was not a well thought-out idea,” he says. Abhinandan moves on to the Karnataka government’s decision to not send its migrant workers back home. Anand says that restricting movement is a violation of the migrants’ fundamental rights. “The charm of cheap labour and the fear of losing that is always there,” he says, which explains the builders’ lobby urging that the migrant workers stay behind. Raman calls it a “state-sponsored kidnapping” that amounts to slavery.Mehraj digresses into how the lockdown was intended to give the government time to prepare for a surge in the number of positive cases, but this hasn’t happened. “By the end of this, God forbid, we’ll see more people have died from the fallout of this, rather than from the disease itself,” he says. The panel also discusses the Aarogya Setu app, militancy in Kashmir, bias in the media, and much more. Tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 274: Fake news and TV channels, Aarogya Setu, Arnab Goswami’s interrogation, and more
May 19 2020 89 mins  
In this episode of NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Madhu Trehan, and Mehraj D Lone are joined by Pratik Sinha, co-founder of AltNews.Abhinandan asks what everyone thinks about the interrogation of journalists during the pandemic, Arnab Goswami being the most prominent example. Pratik says the issue comes down to “what is more primary: freedom of speech, or right to life”. He brings up how Goswami once targeted Umar Khalid and a subsequent attack on Khalid’s life. “Is it okay for news anchors to carry out hate-mongering day in and day out, endangering the lives of people much less privileged than them?” he says.Madhu believes free speech is important, and Goswami should be allowed to say whatever he did. But, she adds, “everybody else also has the freedom to follow up on it”. On Arnab being questioned for 12 hours, she says “the police rarely acts on its own”, and something as major as questioning a journalist “usually comes somewhere from the top”. What one needs to ask, she says, is who is instructing the Maharashtra police? Mehraj adds that he thinks it’s harassment but not a freedom of speech issue. “Going on TV and lying, blatantly lying, communalising an incident” doesn’t come under freedom of speech, he says.Discussing fake news during the pandemic, Pratik says misinformation has “spiked’, and there have been varying patterns of fake news. First about the Chinese state, then medical misinformation and later, when the focus shifted to the Tablighi Jamaat, “for the past 30 days, there has been a majority of communal misinformation”. Pratik says news channels are “becoming megaphones for these false claims”, and that the pattern of misinformation is part of a well-organised effort. Abhinandan says it’s a “well-oiled machinery” and while he can’t prove it, he believes it’s funded by political parties. The conversation shifts to the government’s Aarogya Setu app. It might be an invasion of privacy, Abhinandan says, but in today’s circumstances, it’s “not such an easy liberty versus government-control-over-you choice”. Ideally, Madhu adds, the data on the app should be such that “we put it in and then, say, within six months or a year, it expires”. Mehraj says, “The best way to do surveillance for coronavirus is to do testing.” He thinks Aarogya Setu has practical problems, apart from privacy. “Once you’re in a lockdown, the app doesn’t make sense because if you’re in a lockdown, you’re not going out,” he points out. The panel also discusses the deaths of Irrfan Khan and Rishi Kapoor, and much more. Tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 273: Kashmiri journalists, Arnab Goswami on Palghar, Ramachandra Guha, and more
May 16 2020 90 mins  
In this week’s episode of NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Raman Kripal, Manisha Pande, Mehraj D Lone, and Anand Vardhan are joined by Anuradha Bhasin, executive editor of Kashmir Times.Abhinandan asks Anuradha how reporting is being carried out in the valley at the moment. Anuradha says they’re “unable to bring out print editions”, and printed copies aren’t being distributed by hawkers. Barring a few newspapers, she adds, the government has “stopped all ads”.Discussing the few journalists bringing out stories, Anuradha says, “The pandemic is being used as a cover to target them and harass them.” Mehraj agrees, saying: “Journalism has been declared a crime in Kashmir.” He adds that this has been the case for a while, and legal coercion is used to ensure that “self-censorship becomes pervasive”. Manisha comments on how journalists are being “called and questioned” over their stories. Raman brings up the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, which empowers those in power to arrest journalists. Anuradha calls the UAPA a “stringent and disproportionate law” since the onus to prove one’s innocence lies on the person booked under the act. Abhinandan brings up how historian Ramachandra Guha moved his column from Hindustan Times. He adds that Guha had accused HT of censoring his column back in 2007-08, but it got no attention since social media was not big at the time. Anand says there are two ways of looking at it. The first is “a matter between a private company and a man who writes for it”, and the second is about what is acceptable and what isn’t in the press. In the first case, he says, “We don’t know what the company has to say about it.” Considering Guha has options for where he could publish his column, Anand doesn’t think Guha represents the “larger scheme of things” for columnists as a professional group.Mehraj points out that the conversation isn’t really about Guha, but about how “a very powerful media organisation decided to censor a piece they didn’t like”. Manisha adds that this shouldn’t be confused with editorial inputs.Moving on to Arnab Goswami’s show on the Palghar lynching, Raman says, “Arnab manufactured the news and made it communal.” Discussing the alleged attack on Goswami, Abhinandan says Goswami’s statement on it “made it seem like there was an attack on his life”. He adds: “And then he says, ‘Now you give me sympathy’. You are taking away what he had done to journalism the night before.”Manisha says Goswami’s introduction of a communal angle into the lynching, when rumours are actually to blame, is “criminally irresponsible, it’s not journalistic, it makes no sense.”The panel also discusses All India Radio’s casual employees losing their livelihood, and the backlash to Tejasvi Surya’s tweets. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 272: Arrest of ABP Majha journalist, India Today’s ‘sting operation’, and more
May 09 2020 92 mins  
In this episode of NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Raman Kripal, Manisha Pande, and Mehraj D Lone are joined by Supriya Sharma, executive editor of Scroll.Abhinandan asks Supriya about the arrest of an ABP Majha journalist for allegedly spreading false information that might have prompted the gathering of migrant workers in Bandra, Mumbai. Was the arrest warranted, or is the journalist a scapegoat?Supriya calls it a “complete overreach”, suggesting authorities found a journalist to blame and that a lot doesn’t add up. She adds that it’s “unlikely” that the migrant workers watch a Marathi news channel, since a lot of them are from non-Marathi speaking regions. Raman thinks the journalist “became an alibi for government miscommunication”. Mehraj says “blaming the person on the lowest rung” is wrong. “If the journalist was hauled up for misreporting, what about the editor and owner of the channel?” he adds. Manisha says, “Histrionics aside, I don’t see where the reporter screwed up so massively as to warrant an arrest.”Abhinandan brings up Supriya’s report on migrant workers camping out under Delhi’s Yamuna Bridge. Supriya adds that people are reluctant to speak on camera, since they are apprehensive of the consequences of their identities being revealed. Abhinandan says a “distrust of the government”, due to previous experiences, makes people unwilling to get tested for Covid-19.Mehraj explains how this distrust is seen “more starkly” in Kashmir. When a soldier visits your home to beat you up or haul you off to an army camp, he says, your instinct is to run and hide even if they come as part of census activities. “There’s no switch for trust that you can turn it off and on,” he says. Moving on to India Today’s “sting operation” in three madrasas in Delhi, Abhinandan says it adds to the “anti-Muslim rhetoric” in the media. Mehraj thinks the sting happened because of this pre-existing narrative, and “they were trying to find something to force-fit into it”. Manisha says the report didn’t warrant a sting in the first place, considering one of the madrasa representatives voluntarily participated in an India TV report.The panel also discusses the media's “broken model”, Bill Maher’s rant on whether the term “Chinese virus” should be used, and much more.Tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 270: Tablighi Jamaat, Covid-19 testing in India, media coverage of the outbreak, and more
May 02 2020 92 mins  
In this episode of NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Raman Kirpal, Manisha Pande, and Mehraj D Lone are joined by Dhanya Rajendran, editor-in-chief of The News Minute.Starting off with the Tablighi Jamaat controversy, Dhanya explains how the event had hundreds of participants from the southern states, but governments took a long time to address the problem. Manisha asks why tourists from coronavirus-affected nations like Thailand and Malaysia were allowed to attend in the first place. Mehraj dispels Manisha’s theories of the Tablighi Jamaat being a radicalised group, explaining that it started as an Islamic revivalist movement that, like every other movement over time, became rigid in its thinking. “The Indian media only starts to care about Muslims when they have to demonise them,” he says.Abhinandan asks what we can really know about the Covid-19 spread in India if we’ve only conducted as few as 47,000 tests. Dhanya thinks this figure is not uniform across India; it’s just a handful of states where testing has been ramped up. Raman says that the problem is not with the test kits, but that tests aren’t being conducted due to the criteria set by the central government on who qualifies for the test. Manisha feels the government is “completely opaque” with the numbers, except for a few state governments. The panel discusses the Supreme Court order that the media should carry the government’s official version of the outbreak and not create panic. Raman says it’s risky, since the order can be interpreted however the government wants. Mehraj says, “The problem with giving out government data is the government seldom gives out any information.” Manisha agrees that the media has spread panic, singling out the “pro-Modi media” which uses phrases like “corona jihad” and “jihadi biowarfare”. The panel also discusses positive stories in these dark times, Kerala’s handling of the crisis, China reopening its wet markets, the Central Vista redevelopment plan, and much more. Tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 271: Media and government ads, #9Baje9Minute, Covid-19 in West Bengal, and more
May 02 2020 102 mins  
In this episode of NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Raman Kirpal, Manisha Pande, and Mehraj D Lone are joined by Anand Vardhan and Shaoib Daniyal, associate editor at Scroll.Abhinandan asks Shoaib about the situation in West Bengal, regarding people’s distrust for the number of cases released by the government and the committee formed by Mamata Banerjee to tackle Covid-19. Shoiab says it isn’t clear what powers the committee will have and for now, we can assume it’s a “PR move” to “grab headlines”. Mehraj says the world over, countries use different methodologies to report deaths. What’s different here, he says, is India isn’t reporting infections in the first place. “And that’s where the problems begin.” Manisha says the south Indian states have been “great at giving out data”. About Bihar, Anand says the infection rate is “as low as one percent”, mostly from people who have returned from Gulf countries. He adds that Bihar has received thousands of testing kits, and the pace will pick up soon.Abhinandan brings up Sonia Gandhi’s letter to the prime minister, focusing on her recommendation to scrap government advertising across all media. Shoiab asks if the press can be a “true watchdog of the government, if its financial pillars are dependent on government funding”. Raman says this recommendation will be the “death of the newspaper industry”. Mehraj asks if the media is “a public good”, since most mainstream media, even during a pandemic, has been whipping up hate and bigotry that is sponsored by these ads. But Manisha criticises Gandhi’s recommendation, saying the print media are the ones doing “honest, accountable and strong journalism”. Discussing the #9Baje9Minute event of April 5, Manisha says she was “appalled” by the media coverage of it, and the way people celebrated as if it was Diwali. Raman points out instances of coercion by resident welfare associations, and Abhinandan calls it “Modi’s event altogether”. Anand says the event had “the appeal of a symbolic gesture”, which is valued in Indian culture. Abhinandan compares it to advertising, where you first need a good product to advertise — which was lacking in this case. The panel also discusses the Trump-Modi hydroxychloroquine saga, the power that journalists hold, and much more. Tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 267: AAP’s response to Delhi riots, Jyotiraditya Scindia, coronavirus pandemic, and more
Mar 14 2020 90 mins  
In this episode of NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande and Mehraj D Lone are joined by Arfa Khanum, senior editor at The Wire.Kicking off with the Aam Aadmi Party’s involvement — or lack of it — in the aftermath of the Delhi violence, Arfa says she’s very surprised. She says she’s heard that the party “is punishing its voters who just voted them back to power for the third consecutive time”. Mehraj asks why the state government seems to have outsourced its own work to third parties. Manisha recalls many volunteers said they didn’t see many AAP workers on the ground in the early days after the violence.The panel then discusses patriotism. Abhinandan says he doesn’t see the value in patriotism. “It doesn’t have a place in the 21st century,” he says. Manisha describes patriotism as a “value of oneness”. Arfa says her country is her people, and standing up for minority rights that are being trampled is “real patriotism”. Mehraj points out how movements like the BJP and the Sangh Parivar have “blurred the distinction between nationalism and patriotism”.Moving on to the coronavirus pandemic, the panel debate whether the frenzy around it is justified. Mehraj quotes the scientific community’s consensus that this is serious, “since the human body hasn’t encountered it before”. In the context of the dismal state of India’s healthcare system, he says: “This is what you should prepare for, this is why you need robust healthcare.” The conversation also spans the media’s coverage of the pandemic, and the panellists agree that Indian authorities have done a decent job of dealing with it — unlike the US.Ending with Jyotiraditya Scindia’s defection to the BJP, Mehraj says, “This is a symptom of a dying party.” He says theCongress has become a party of grifters and there’s nothing binding their people together unlike the BJP. Manisha disagrees, saying the Congress could revive, “only if we remove the Gandhis”. Abhinandan says “Gandhi” is the party’s ideology and it’s nothing without his name. The panel agrees that Scindia will not have any future in the BJP.They also discuss the relationship between caste and power and institutions, women in the media, and a lot more. Tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 262: PSA slapped on Kashmiri leaders, Delhi election, and more
Mar 14 2020 118 mins  
In this episode of NL Hafta, Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Mehraj D Lone, and Anand Vardhan of Newslaundry are joined by journalist Faye D’souzaThey discuss the issue of Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah being slapped with the Public Safety Act. Mehraj gives the historical context of the draconian law and what its application entails. Faye says laws like the PSA are emergency laws and "we are obviously no longer in an emergency". “If you join all of these dots, the suggestion that because people are making statements in your opposition you’re going to keep them in detention is actually very worrying for a democracy,” she adds.Abhinandan expresses his concern over Prime Minister Narendra Modi using a quote from a satirical website to denounce Abdullah. "When the PM says something that's a headline on a satire website, it shows the level of politics we have gone into now,” he remarks.Faye points out that the government has not provided any evidence that the Kashmiri leaders intended to incite violence. Even if they wanted to mobilise people to protest in case they were released, it would be their democratic right. Abhinandan then discusses comedian Kunal Kamra’s ambush of Republic TV boss Arnab Goswami with Prateek Goyal, Newslaundry's correspondent based in Pune. Prateek argues that by tweeting a mildly abusive rant against Goswami, Kamra did what he accuses Goswami of. Abhinandan, on the other hand, sticks to his argument that people in positions of power need to be held accountable for their conduct.Anand adds to the discussion saying one should stick to more formal language in such instances, especially in public. “The language of his heckling, in my view, was in poor taste," he says, referring to Kamra. Faye chimes in, “Apart from the legal aspect, there’s the ethical grey that our country seems to have discarded.” Manisha says people need to file civil defamation suits against mediapersons who daily demonise them. “If you are going to keep saying something that puts lives in jeopardy, it’s no joke anymore,” she says. “And you can't keep appealing to their good sense.” Moving on to the next big news, Manisha expresses sadness that the Delhi election discourse does not include pollution as a major issue. On the TV coverage of the election, she says, “I don't think anywhere in the world it is possible for people – and blame for this is on the media – to be so careless about something so important.” The panellists also discuss Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's singing of Hanuman Chalisa. Faye articulates her displeasure at the fact that it was a journalist who asked Kejriwal to recite the prayer. “The credibility of that news network and the journalist went completely down the drain,” she says. In the context of the Aam Aadmi Party's campaign rhetoric, Mehraj argues, "If you’re competing for the hardcore Hindu vote with the BJP, you are not going to get that. Because the BJP has a monopoly on that.”Reflecting the panel's collective displeasure at the Delhi election discourse, Anand opines, “Speaking from a distance of approximately a thousand kilometres in Bihar, I think the election’s coverage has been quite disproportionate to its importance in national politics.” The panellists also talk about how religion has long played a role in India’s electoral politics, the Shiv Sena's shifting ideological positions, and much more.Tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 254: Citizenship law, Delhi fire, death penalty, and more
Feb 29 2020 95 mins  
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 for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 255: Citizenship law, Data Protection Bill, and more
Feb 29 2020 116 mins  
In this episode of NL Hafta, Abhinandan Sekhri, Raman Kirpal, Meghnad S and Mehraj D Lone of Newslaundry are joined by Betwa Sharma, Politics Editor at HuffPost India.They begin with a discussion on the nationwide protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Talking about the timing of the protests, Betwa says, “If you had actually built that momentum, maybe the bill wasn’t gonna get passed in the first place.'' Meghnad echoes her view.On the violent police crackdown in Jamia Millia Islamia University and elsewhere, Mehraj points out, “Police are doing this because they know they are not going to be held accountable. In fact, some of them might get rewards and promotions.” He also wonders why anybody in a democracy should need the police’s permission to stage a protest.Raman, discussing the media’s reporting of popular movements, points out, “As reporters, we need to go back to the field and do a deep dive and that's what we have been doing.” As he narrates how Newslaundry reporter Veena Nair ended up on a bus filled with protesters detained by the police, Betwa expresses her dilemma about the extent to which a journalist should be involved in a story. Meghnad says, referring to Veena, “I think her first person account of how she did this is also important where she is the story but she is also doing the story.”Speaking about the Data Protection Bill, Abhinandan says, “Complete privacy I don’t think is possible in today's age.” The question, however, is to what extent personal data of citizens should be available to governments or corporations.The panel also discuss a Pakistani court’s sentencing of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf to death for treason.Tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 257: Modi’s speech, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Iranian general’s assassination, and more
Feb 29 2020 73 mins  
This episode of NL Hafta is hosted by Manisha Pande, who is joined by Mehraj D Lone, Raman Kirpal and Meghnad S of Newslaundry.Manisha starts by asking her colleagues about their highs and lows of the year gone by and their hopes for 2020. They all identify the protests against the new citizenship law as a high and mostly the police’s brutality against the protesters and the government’s indifference as a low. Manisha sums up her highlight of the year thus, “Ordinary people doing ordinary acts of resistance.” She cites as an example the many lawyers who gave legal support for the detained protesters.Talking about Narendra Modi’s speech where he urged Indians protesting against the citizenship law to protest against Pakistan instead, Meghnad exclaims, “We are heading towards a genocide because the signs are all there. We have seen in history how it works.” On Modi and his claims, Raman says, “In recent times, I have not seen any other leader speaking lies through his teeth.” Delving into why the government is not taking a more sensible approach, Manisha argues, “We aren’t doing anything to push Pakistan to be more responsible towards its minorities because that would mean we have to be more responsible towards our minorities.”In a brief discussion on Jaggi Vasudev’s remarks on the citizenship law, Mehraj feels the reason his remarks were amplified by Modi and Amit Shah was because he is a prominent Hindu religious leaders who can speak fluently in English and, thus, can connect with the elite.On Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s poem Hum Dekhengae being denounced as “anti-Hindu”, Mehraj says this happens when we “decontextualise stuff”. Faiz, he points out, is talking of a communist revolution. He adds, “In our daily lives, in the art we create, the words we speak, we use idioms, metaphors that come from the culture we live in.”The panel also discuss the assassination of the Iranian military general Qassem Suleimani by the US, and how it could make the Middle East even more volatile.Tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 261: Budget and Economic Survey, Kunal Kamra, Jamia shooter, and more
Feb 29 2020 86 mins  
In this episode of NL Hafta, Manisha Pande, Raman Kirpal, Mehraj D Lone and Madhu Trehan are joined by Vivek Kaul, an author who’s been writing a series on the Union Budget for Newslaundry.Vivek starts the conversation with the 2020 Budget and the Economic Survey. “What used to be a remarkably esoteric document suddenly became very readable,” he says. Vivek says the invariable economic slowdown India is witnessing is a result of a lack of investments. He speculates that the reason for this might be the fact that it’s incredibly hard to carry out any economic activity in India right now, and blames this on operational issues.Mehraj brings up the huge tax cut the government gave mega corporations a few months ago, and wonders why this hasn’t resulted in a jump in investments. Vivek responds, “When a corporate invests, they hope to see a return on their investment, but there has been a consumption dip.”Madhu chimes in, “I’m wondering about the inconvenience that so many traders complain about when they talk about the problems that GST and such have caused them. But they then turn around and express their vehement support for Modi.” Manisha asks: “How much are people driven by the economy, actually, as opposed to ideas?” Madhu calls this a “psychological disconnect between your vote and your daily troubles”.Moving on to the big news of the week, Manisha talks about how Kunal Kamra gave Arnab Goswami “the Republic TV treatment” on an IndiGo flight. Manisha likes the term Abhinandan used in his piece on the incident — “ambush monologue” — and asks Madhu, “How many times have you been accosted by viewers?” “Thousands!” Madhu responds, talking about being waylaid in planes, washrooms, and even restaurants and parties. “Especially after the contempt of court thing,” she adds, “but I don’t object to it.” Madhu then explains how journalists write in a public space and that the public have a right to argue with reporters, and it is a journalist’s responsibility to deal with it.In the context of the ethics of Kunal’s actions, Mehraj queries whether Arnab can even be called a journalist. “Technically Radio Rwanda was considered journalism as well,” he points out. “And because there is no culture of accountability in this country, we just let this happen.”The panel also discusses the shooting at Jamia Nagar, Sharjeel Imam’s sedition case, Prashant Kishore’s ousting from the JDU, and much more. Tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 260: Delhi election, Jeff Bezos hack, Coronavirus in China, and more
Feb 22 2020 120 mins  
In this episode of NL Hafta, Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Anand Vardhan, and Mehraj D Lone of Newslaundry are joined by Advaita Kala, novelist and commentator.They talk about the impending Delhi election and the nomination process. In a strange turn of events, Chief Minister Arvind Kerjriwal’s nomination almost didn’t happen because of a backlog of almost a hundred people filing their papers before him. “I mean it was clearly a tactic to delay or harass him or try to ensure he doesn’t contest,” Abhinandan argues. On Kejriwal’s Times Now “town hall”, held earlier this week, Abhinandan wonders if it could be called that. “Did the audience get to ask questions?” he asks. “Someone should tell them that if you do it in a hall doesn’t make it a town hall.” Mehraj points out that criticising raving TV anchors such as RSS (Rahul Shivshankar), Navika Kumar and Arnab Goswami is easy. “These channels, these media organisations are owned by some very wealthy, very rich, very influential people. Why is nobody holding them accountable for this?”Abhinandan notes the BJP’s no-holds-barred campaign strategy in Delhi, citing the hoardings put up by the party across the city. “They are showing things like triple talaq, CAA, surgical strikes,” he says, wondering how smart it’s strategically, “So, desh badlaa ab Delhi badlenge. But none of these things actually address development issues for Delhi!”Anand is convinced that this is because the BJP recognises AAP’s hold on Delhi. “National elections are a combination of addressing tangible and intangible issues but municipal elections focus on the tangible,” he says, noting the BJP doesn’t have much grounds to campaign on development issues in Delhi.Admiring AAP’s smart election tactics, Advaita notes, “We haven’t seen a level of vitriol and nastiness. And that’s because Kejriwal has stuck to, you know, the work that he has done. And on the ground, I do see appreciation for the work that he has done.”In a sidebar on reports of Amazon head Jeff Bezos’s phone being hacked by the Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, Manisha muses about the likely motivations for the hack. “It’s because of the Washington Post. MBS was upset with the Post’s reporting, so he leaked Bezos’s affair to the National Enquirer…Turns out he had been sending him WhatsApp viruses.”Mehraj notes the irony of Amazon’s boss being hacked while “running one of the world’s largest surveillance companies”. The panel also discuss the coronavirus in China and the legitimacy of what the Hindu nationalist blog OpIndia publishes as “reporting”, and offer some meta news analysis. Tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 263: Delhi election results, Shikara, reservation in promotions, and more
Feb 17 2020 143 mins  
In this episode of NL Hafta, Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande and Mehraj D Lone of Newslaundry are joined by Kaveree Bamzai, author and former editor of India Today, and Sanjay Rajoura, stand-up comedian and a member of Aisi Taisi Democracy. This episode was recorded live at Bedlam, Hauz Khas Village, Delhi.Mehraj kicked off the discussion explaining the recent Supreme Court judgement on the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities Act, and what it means for Dalits and Adivasis subjected to hate crimes.Speaking about the Delhi election, Kavaree says, “We were too excited by the fact that Delhi did not vote for the BJP, but what is worrying is how migrant-dominated northeast Delhi overwhelmingly voted for them.” She adds that the normalisation by the media of binaries such as “tukde tukde gang versus the rest of us” worries her. Abhinandan asks Sanjay why he feels his political commentary and that of fellow comedians isn’t making much difference when it comes to changing the minds of voters.“I don't have any such notion that what I am saying on stage will make any difference or have any kind of impact, neither do I have any intention of doing so,” Sanjay replies. “My aim is to make sure that the question stays alive.”Talking about contemporary trends in world politics and how they reflect in the Indian context, Mehraj argues that technocratic centrism is always just one crisis away from enabling an authoritarian takeover as has happened in the UK, US and Brazil, and that Aam Aadmi Party is destined for a similar fate if they do start providing an ideological alternative. On the controversy over the film Shikara, Manisha says, “I find the expectations from creative people to live up to political expectations to be tedious. The issue was actually that of marketing as they tried to sell the movie as ‘the untold story of kashmiri pandits’.”The panellists then fielded questions from members of the live audience, all of whom were Newslaundry subscribers since it was a subscriber-only event.Tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 259: Davinder Singh, JNU sting, Delhi election, and more
Jan 18 2020 89 mins  
In this episode of NL Hafta, Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Raman Kirpal, and Mehraj D Lone of Newslaundry are joined by Anuradha Bhasin of Kashmir Times. Abhinandan begins the discussion by asking Anuradha about the significance of the arrest of Davinder Singh, a deputy superintendent of police in Kashmir, along with two militants he was ferrying in his private car. She responds that Singh has a shady record. “Obviously these people are not operating on their own,” she adds, “That there’s somebody patronising them, to which level and how deep does this go, these are very vital questions.”Abhinandan agrees, “It is not unheard of for governments to use militants or other people, or even the armed forces.”On whether Singh’s is a case of a cop gone rogue, Raman argues, “If nothing comes out, let’s say in the next two months, three months, then obviously the government has something to hide.”Mehraj doesn’t buy the argument of the cop gone rogue. It’s preposterous, he says. Pointing out that there’s evidence of Singh enjoying patronage, he adds, “A person who is admitting in an interview, on record to a journalist, that he tortured people is sent as a peacekeeper.”Talking about the Indian media’s silence on the matter, Manisha remarks, “I thought it was very fascinating that there was complete silence from this ecosystem for about 24 hours till Sambit Patra gave his press conference blaming the Congress.” Abhinandan believes that it wasn’t a case of the media ignoring the story, it was them being told not to talk about it.Discussing India Today’s JNU sting, Abhinandan expresses his discomfort with the news channel’s “monkey balancing” act on the matter. “Dude, one party was trying to break people’s heads with hammers and hiding their faces doing it, the other party was pulling cables and not hiding their faces doing it.” Mehraj adds that the leftist students were disrupting services which is a legitimate form of protest. Anuradha agrees, saying the whole balancing act was disproportionate.On the ethics of sting, Raman says, “I always say that a sting can be part of an investigation, but it can’t be an investigation in itself.” Manisha’s concern is with the idea of stinging the lowest common denominator. “I would be happy if you sting the VC, sting the Delhi police guy who was incharge, sting the top ABVP guys.” Mehraj echoes her view, noting the Indian media usually go after small fry.The panel also discuss the hanging of Nirbhaya’s rapists becoming a campaign issue in Delhi, Bipin Rawat’s remarks about deradicalisation centres, and much more. Tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 258: JNU Violence, Kanhaiya’s speech, Delhi elections, and more
Jan 11 2020 116 mins  
In this episode of NL Hafta, Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Anand Vardhan, and Mehraj D Lone of Newslaundry are joined by Rohan Venkataramakrishnan from Scroll. The episode also features three Newslaundry subscribers, Dhiraj Krishna Kumar, S.Harikrishnan and Jefferson Simon.Abhinandan begins the podcast by asking subscribers why they chose to subscribe to Newslaundry. The trio also shares feedback about areas where Newslaundry can improve.Moving to the violence in Jawaharlal Nehru University, Rohan gives a blow by blow account of how he was roughed up by middle-aged, saffron-clad men while he was reporting, while personnel from the Delhi police looked on.Expressing his sympathy towards students who had nothing to do with the incident, Anand notes, “Loss of one year is costly for them. Perhaps more costly than a fee hike”. Manisha, on the other hand, thinks Anand’s view is a misreading of what actually happened. She emphasizes how the on-campus scuffle changed when men from outside entered the university, pointing to a criminal conspiracy. Dhiraj seconds Manisha and believes that it was unacceptable.Speaking on the role of the police in JNU violence, Abhinandan says,“ The police’s culpability and involvement in this is so clear.”Meanwhile, Mehraj backs the protest carried by the students and adds, “As long as there is no violence, it is a pretty legitimate form of protest”. Rohan agrees and adds,” Sure, we can discuss JNU separately. But what was happening outside that gate was a law and order situation. That mob, if they wanted to do something else, they had the impunity to.”The panel also talks about Kanhaiya Kumar’s oratory skills, Deepika Padukone’s JNU visit, and Delhi elections among other things.Tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 253: Hyderabad killings, Citizenship Bill, Donald Trump’s impeachment, and more
Jan 10 2020 97 mins  
In this episode of NL Hafta, Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Raman Kirpal and Mehraj D Lone of Newslaundry are joined by Joanna Slater, the India Bureau Chief of The Washington Post. They begin with a discussion on the gangrape and murder of a veterinarian in Hyderabad, and the subsequent killing of the four accused by the police. Delving on the psyche of the rapists, Abhinandan says, “I could not believe they actually plotted this all evening. I mean with the intention that they just wanna have sex and they would rape a woman and kill her.”On the police’s shooting of the four accused men, Mehraj talks about the culture of impunity that exists in this country and the lack of accountability. Raman adds that the mindset for lynching the rapists was already out there.Pointing finger at the media discourse surrounding this case, Manish remarks, “One thing that’s really disturbing in cases like these is how the media frenzy just takes over any sane discourse.” By way of example, she mentions TV anchors who ran hashtags calling for the death of the alleged rapists.On the Citizenship Amendment Bill, Mehraj explains how the BJP is selling it as a measure that would help the millions of Hindus left out of the National Register of Citizens in Assam but how it might actually only add to their misery.Speaking about US President Donald Trump’s impeachment process, Joanna says, “From the kind of polling that I have seen from afar it seems the percentage of people who say that he should be impeached and removed has gone up over the course of this process. So it is changing some people’s mind on that.”On senior Congress leader P Chidambaran being released on bail in the INOX Media case, Raman argues, “This has come across as political vendetta. There is not really any case against him in the INOX Media case – and that comes out really clearly.”The panel also discusses the Unnao rape case, the falling GDP in September, the Delhi University teachers’ protest against the anticipated sacking of adhoc teachers, and much more. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 256: Jharkhand elections, Modi’s Speech, citizenship law stir, Delhi winter, and more
Dec 28 2019 110 mins  
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 for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 252: Maharashtra, Pragya Singh Thakur, Trans Bill 2019, and more
Dec 21 2019 107 mins  
In this episode of Hafta, host Abhinandan Sekhri, Raman Kirpal, Manisha Pande and Meghnad S are joined by Sudhir Suryawanshi, the man behind Katta News, the only media outlet that managed to sift through the chaos during the Maharashtra political crisis. The panel discusses the Maharashtra political drama, Pragya Thakur’s recent remark on Nathuram Godse in Lok Sabha, the controversial Transgender Persons Bill, among other things.Uddhav Thackrey was sworn in as chief minister of Maharashtra after a failed attempt by Ajit Pawar to split Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party. Katta News, managed by Suryawanshi had announced Ajit’s coup two days in advance. Suryawanshi gives us insights on Maharashtra political drama and how Maha Vikas Aghadi (Congress, Shiv Sena and NCP alliance) came to power. On the Godse row, Manisha says, “There is genuinely an active push now to turn the narrative on Godse as a patriot and you can see this in the way his supporters have reacted on Twitter to Pragya’s remark .” Meghnad retorts saying, “This is not just about twitter trolls but the way news channels are calling them on panels and normalising whatever they are saying, that is problematic. So, now twitter trolls are not just on twitter anymore.” On the government’s plan to move a Registration of Press and Periodicals Bill, Abhinandan says, “I think this is a way to kind of try and get control on digital publications which they have the least control over. They can control satellite channels and newspapers much better than digital. I think it’s going to backfire.”Speaking on the Transgender Persons Bill, Meghnad says, “The whole law-making process is so male-dominated. Like when men make laws about women they’re insensitive, when they make laws about LGBT+ community they are inhuman.”They also discuss the removal of SPG cover for Gandhi family and much more. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 251: Electoral Bonds, JNU, Pragya Thakur, and more
Dec 14 2019 76 mins  
In this episode of Hafta, host Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Meghnad S are joined by freelance journalists, Nitin Sethi and Vrinda Gopinath. The panel discusses the big news of the week -- electoral bonds, Pragya Thakur’s nomination on parliamentary defence panel, massive protests by JNU students, among other things.Speaking on the issue of electoral bonds, Nitin Sethi says, “If you pay for journalism, journalism will respond to your requirements and desires and expectations. Similarly, for politics. This is why electoral bonds is such a big issue. Because if you want politics to be responsible to citizens then you can’t have corporates paying for politics. You need to have transparency. You need to have answerability to citizens.” Abhinandan says, “This pretty much implicates the government for lying to the Parliament, ministries and the Election Commission.”On Pragya Thakur’s nomination to the Parliamentary Defence Committee, the panel wonders which committee the Bhopal MP should have been ideally given. Meghnad argues that the decision should not whip up outrage as he reasons, “This was a natural course of action that was supposed to happen.”They also discuss the recent JNU protests. Manisha argues, “I think this just needs to be drummed into everyone, of all the tax that is collected only three per cent is personal income tax. 70-80% taxes are indirect taxes which everyone, even the poor pay for it. So, you are not running the country.” While Vrinda says, “I think it’s very obvious that it’s JNU that they are after. There are hundreds of other universities but they want to finish JNU because they think it is the fountainhead of all your radical, rebellious, leftist thought.” The episode also features a discussion on the announcement of nation-wide NRC by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Rajya Sabha, water impurity issue in Delhi, and more.NL Sena - TSRTC-KCR Stand-Off: See for privacy and opt-out information.

NL Interviews: GD Bakshi in conversation with Abhinandan Sekhri (Teaser)
Dec 11 2019 14 mins  
To watch the unedited interview, Subscribe to Newslaundry.Click here to watch the full 1 hour 7 minute interview: General GD Bakshi is a decorated Indian Army officer, a veteran of many skirmishes along the Line of Control and counterinsurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab. He served in the military for 37 years, winning the Vishisht Seva Medal for commanding a battalion during the Kargil War and the Sena Medal for distinguished service in commanding a battalion during counterinsurgency drives. He has authored as many as 36 books, including on information warfare and psychological operations. In conversation with Abhinandan Sekhri, he talks about how the Army is represented in the media and popular culture, human rights violations, psychological warfare, collateral damage in war. Speaking about psychological warfare, Bakshi says, “There are two negative emotions in combat. These are disorganising emotions. One is fear, the other is guilt.” He claims the Indian Army has been the victim of a sustained campaign painting it as one of the worst perpetrators of human rights violations. “Where human rights stem from compassion, I’m all for it,” he says. “But where they’re used as a pretext to hamper operations, induce guilt and to make sure the insurgent gets away, that I’m totally against.” Discussing his latest book, The Saraswati Civilization, Bakshi says the British colonial historiography had an ingrained bias, for it was employed to justify foreign rule to the Indian population. “There is an amazing level of cultural continuity that comes down to us from that ancient era,” he adds.Tune in. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 250: Ayodhya, Sabarimala, JNU protests, and more
Dec 07 2019 105 mins  
In this episode, the usual Hafta gang of Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Mehraj D Lone, Anand Vardhan and Madhu Trehan is joined by Alok Prasanna Kumar, a senior resident fellow at Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy. The podcast begins with the panellists airing their views on the Ayodhya verdict and the Sabarimala issue. While discussing the Supreme Court’s verdict on Ayodhya, Alok says, “The burden of proof falls on both people and both sides have to prove this claim. What the Supreme court has said is quite puzzling.” He points out that the Muslims had been offering namaaz on that particular piece of land since 1857 and that one could not deny their claim to the particular part of that property. Speaking on the Sabarimala issue, he suggests, “You cannot, by law, impose a certain kind of religious prohibition that goes against the constitutional principles.”Speaking about an email by a subscriber about political advertising on Twitter, Mehraj comments, “One person shouldn't have the power to decide what goes and doesn’t go on social media platforms”. He thinks it is ‘undemocratic’.The panel then moves on to discuss the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance in Maharashtra and the political logistics of the coalition. The discussion was sparked by an opinion piece that suggested the trio has fallen into a trap laid down by Amit Shah. The panel disagrees. The panel also discusses the air pollution in Delhi and JNU protests among other things. Listen in! There’s more. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 249: Climate emergency, Delhi police vs lawyers, RCEP trade deal, and more
Nov 09 2019 116 mins  
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 for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 248: EU delegation's Kashmir visit, Delhi pollution, WhatsApp snooping, and more
Nov 02 2019 105 mins  
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 for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 247: Maharashtra and Haryana Elections, National Crime Records data and more
Oct 31 2019 79 mins  
In this episode of Newslaundry Hafta, host Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Madhu Trehan and Mehraj Lone are joined by Diksha Madhok, Editor and Director of Quartz India. They discuss the recently concluded assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana, the release of National Crime Records Bureau data, the epidemic of protests all across the globe, and other issues.On the missing details of lynching, religious killings in the latest NCRB data, Abhinandan says, “I am not entirely of the view that these have been left out because of malicious intent. I do genuinely believe it’s too subjective.” However, Manisha argues, “I think for the police collating lynching data should be easy.”Apart from the assembly election results, the panel also discusses the local Block Development Council elections in J&K. Mehraj says, “The way they have been represented in the media is misleading because these are indirect elections as people don’t vote, only panchs and sarpanchs vote in them.” They also discuss the exit polls in the run-up to the assembly elections. Madhu argues that the way channels were carrying how their exit poll got the results right, it is “non-journalistic”. “Nobody cares whether you got it right or wrong”, she adds.Speaking on the epidemic of protests that have broken out in Hong Kong, Lebanon, Chile, etc., Madhu says, “No matter what hardships people are going through in India, our people have a spirit that is generally a fighting, joyous spirit.” Abhinandan’s remark, “We, Indians are aggressive” sparks a debate on the panel with Mehraj responding, “Isn’t that a bit of generalization? If you see there are small stories, small acts of kindness everywhere.” On the other hand, Diksha reasons that we are overworked and stressed that probably manifests itself in some of the ways as aggressiveness. Tune in, There’s more. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 246: Land Acquisition Act, Ayodhya and more
Oct 31 2019 83 mins  
This week’s Hafta features host Manisha Pande, Madhu Trehan, Mehraj Lone and Raman Kirpal. Kumar Sambhav Shrivastava, Contributing Editor with Business Standard joins in as a special guest.Manisha kicks off the discussion by asking Sambhav why we don’t hear as many land conflict cases now. Sambhav reasons that we only hear of the long-pending cases because the economy, construction sector, infrastructure have slowed down in recent years. “A lot of big projects are not coming up because of the shape of the economy that we are in right now and have been in the past few years”, he adds. They move on to discuss the manner in which the top courts are responding to cases in recent times. Madhu says, “I think one should address that the country is facing huge cynicism of every institution whether it’s CBI, RBI, educational institutions or the Supreme Court.”Speaking on media’s coverage of the Ayodhya dispute’s final hearing, Manisha talks about how media houses painted the common practice of shredding papers in the court as blasphemy against the Hindu religion. Raman was quick to point out how the CJI himself said that the evidence provided (map) was not relevant to the bench so he himself asked Rajeev Dhavan to tear it up if he wanted to. The panel also discussed the outright violation of News Broadcast Standards Authority’ s guidelines by TV channels on the very day it was published. They also discuss the “vendetta politics” that has been doing the rounds in the current political scenario as opposition leaders are being questioned for their involvement in multi-crore scams, and much more. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 241: #MediaLayoffs, #PiyushGoyal, #TrafficFines and more
Oct 12 2019 84 mins  
Besides Manisha Pande and host Abhinandan Sekhri, this episode of Hafta includes Jaskirat Singh Bawa, Senior Editor at The Quint and Vivek Kaul, author and a columnist for Newslaundry.The episode begins with Manisha briefing the panel with the week’s headlines, including Faye D’Souza stepping down as Mirror Now’s executive editor, recent arrests of journalists, and Tabrez Ansari’s case, amongst others.Abhinandan talks about Modi’s speech on the prevention of livestock diseases in Mathura and the follow up it received on primetime debates. “ I am dumbstruck at how far we have come,” says Abhinandan wondering if the speech was a ‘dog whistle’ by Modi. Vivek Kaul is of the view that these are regular deviations. He says, “They have all these distractions planted regularly at different points of time to deviate attention from what should essentially be the issue we should be talking about.” Manisha too thinks these prime-time debates are completely ‘made-up’.The discussion moves to Piyush Goyal’s statements on Maths, Einstein, and Gravity. Manisha says these incidents “demonstrate how these guys are so not used to being questioned.”The panel also talks about the series of arrests of journalists. On being asked if he worries about the safety of his journalists now, Jaskirat says, “Not just now; some sort of a layer or feeling of insecurity has been there.”The podcast includes conversations on a series of other issues including the rise in traffic fines, news coverage of Chandrayaan 2, Pallav Baghla and Ram Jethmalani’s death.For more, listen up to the whole podcast! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 244: NRC, #GandhiJayanti, International Podcast Week, and more
Oct 05 2019 90 mins  
Newslaundry Hafta is back with Abhinandan, Raman and Manisha, and this week they are joined by Arunabh Saikia, who reports from the Northeast for the news website Scroll, and Amit Varma, editor of Pragati and host of the podcast The Seen and the Unseen. They discuss Assam’s National Register of Citizens and its likely consequences. Referring to the government’s proposal to extend the NRC to the whole of India, Abhinandan says, “There’ll be these camps around the country like some dystopian Mad Max film with little townships of people who are not Indian citizens, who do not have the rights but they cannot get out of there.” Since India marked Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary this week, the panellists duly talk Gandhi as a person, politician, and public figure. Raman remarks that Gandhi has received “strategic attention” from the Narendra Modi government. “They are trying to appropriate Gandhi for their theme of nationalism because Gandhi is the one common binding factor of this country,” he explains.They also discuss climate change and why it is not receiving adequate coverage in the Indian media, the FIR filed against a group of eminent persons for writing a letter to the prime minister over mob lynchings that have been taking place in India, and exchange views on how Modi and Donald Trump are representing their respective countries.This week was also celebrated as the International Podcast Week. In the spirit of celebration, we are not putting this episode of Hafta behind the paywall. It is free. Tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 240: #NRC, #Kashmir, #Chidambaram and more
Sep 28 2019 93 mins  
In this episode of Newslaundry Hafta, The Caravan’s Staff Writer Praveen Donthi and Independent Journalist Makepeace Sitlhou join host, Abhinandan Sekhri, Newslaundry’s Managing Editor, Raman Kirpal and Correspondent, Gaurav Sarkar.Abhinandan begins the podcast with the National Register of Citizens (NRC). He asks if NRC is “some sort of a political masterstroke”. Makepeace, who covers stories from Northeast India and has been covering NRC, draws out the details of the situation. She says the enactment of NRC and the issues of foreigners has been a “long-burning issue.” Praveen talks about the obsession with the number 50 lakh concerning the register.The panel moves on to talk about recent developments in Kashmir. They discuss the Kashmir Press Club’s denouncement of the curb on journalists in the valley, the communication clampdown and a piece by Indian Express that questioned the methods of proceedings concerning the revocation of Article 370. Abhinandan talks about the international coverage of the issue and moves on to question Praveen on how the Kashmiris are taking the decision. He asks, “Are there people in Kashmir who are okay with this?” Praveen examines the points of views of separatists and mainstream politicians. He says “The mainstream politicians have never had a history of agitating against Indian state.” Raman points to the radicalization of the Kashmiri youth saying, “There were internal reports claiming that seventy percent of Kashmiri youth has been radicalized in the past four-five years.”Later, Gaurav Sarkar, who has been covering the Chidambaram case joins the conversation. Abhinandan asks him to spill the beans on the informal happenings in the court that did not make into the report. Gaurav narrates a funny incident from the proceedings. He also talks about the specificities of the cases on Chidambaram and his arrest.Abhinandan also talked about Ravish Kumar’s acceptance speech for the Ramon Magsaysay Award, the rise of fake news and the choice and plight of young journalists.For this and more, listen in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 239: #RBIReserves, #Kashmir, #ArunJaitley and more
Sep 21 2019 107 mins  
In this week’s episode, host Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Newslaundry’s Editor-in-Chief Madhu Trehan, Nwslaundry’s Managing Editor Raman Kirpal, Author & Journalist Puja Mehra, and France 24 Correspondent Surabhi Tandon. The podcast kicks off with Puja Mehra, author of The Lost Decade, explaining the relevance of surplus funds with the Reserve Bank of India and how the way these funds will be used by the government could decide the country's economic future. When Madhu wonders if people who didn't care much about business earlier will reform now, Puja says, "I think they'll come up with new ways to do exactly what they did earlier." She adds, "The key policy challenge right now is that policies are not thought through. Decisions are taken but not followed up with what needs to be done to make implementation painless." The panel also notes the kind of changes in statistical calculations the administration is trying to make and how it'll all lead to a crisis. Talking about the humanitarian crisis' cases in Kashmir, Surabhi says, "It's also a lack of respect for ordinary life and for human beings. I think the Indian state and the machinery repetitively demonstrates a complete disregard for the dignity of ordinary human beings" before the panel wonders why both the Supreme Court and the Press Council seem to be in support of the government. Abhinandan then questions the need of journalists gloating over their closeness with Arun Jaitley. Madhu feels that maintaining a certain kind of distance is important in personal/professional relationships before most of the panel goes on to share anecdotes involving politicians' attempts to get close to journalists. Everyone in the panel then expresses opinions about Modi's demeanor whenever he goes abroad. Raman says, "Over the years, I think he has really groomed himself up very well to the camera. Every time he speaks out a word, I feel like doing a fact-check" to which Abhinandan adds, "The contrast in his body language when he's dealing with his own people and when he's dealing with people who aren't his people is so off-putting." The panel also discussed the significance of renaming Feroze Shah Kotla stadium and the United States backing out from the Indo-Pak dispute amongst other things. For this and more, listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 238: Article 370, #ChidambaramArrest, Ravidas Temple and more
Sep 14 2019 103 mins  
In this week’s episode, host Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Madhu Trehan, Raman Kirpal, the political editor of The Caravan magazine Hartosh Singh Bal, and a Newslaundry subscriber of Kashmiri origin.The podcast kicks off with the Newslaundry subscriber expressing her sentiments on the abrogation of Article 370 and the heavy deployment of troops in the region. She says, "For us, it is a progression of the loss in the faith in the Indian Constitution." The panel talks about why Ladakh and Jammu will soon ask the government to ban people from other states from buying land in the region, and the chances of a plebiscite. Hartosh notes the impact of the Modi-Shah-Doval trinity on the minds of the Indian people.The panel goes on to discuss how members of the Congress who didn’t even want to share space with P Chidambaram earlier are now supporting him inside and outside court. Raman wonders if political influence caused the CBI to dramatise the arrest and questions the credibility of Indrani Mukerjea's statement. Abhinandan tries to understand the reason behind primetime reporters spitting venom against the former finance minister.The deficient media coverage this week on recent protests over the Ravidas Temple demolition urges the panel to thrash out why this wasn’t given space on primetime news. The panel also discusses this movement’s rise in Punjab. Hartosh says, “The thing angering them the most was that green zone exceptions have been made for hundreds of thousands of reasons and it couldn’t be made for this?”The group also discusses fake news and why people don’t mind spreading it, before moving on to remember legendary music composer Mohammed Zahur Khayyam Hashmi.For this and more, listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 237: Article 370 and Kashmir, #Kerala Floods, Sonia Gandhi and more
Sep 07 2019 89 mins  
In this week’s episode, host Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Anand Vardhan, Washington Post's India correspondent Niha Masih, and Sneha Koshy, the head of NDTV's Kerala bureau. The podcast starts with the panel’s take on BBC’s report on Kashmir, which was rumoured to be untrue. Niha was in Kashmir for five days and she talks about the communication shutdown there, also describing how restrictions on movement for the media was different on each day. Abhinandan asks: “Why does a Washington Post correspondent get a curfew pass [while] a HT bureau chief who has been working for three decades in Kashmir is denied one?” Niha responds, “It was not my pass, but I was travelling with someone who had a curfew pass. But a lot of people said that the local Kashmiri journalists found it harder to get curfew passes, but the ones from Delhi found it easier.” Abhinandan expresses how he felt about the sound of bullet firings in the BBC video. Anand points out: “It could be a deliberate message to suppress information and then release it later.” He urges the audience and the panel to read his piece on Kashmir to have a clearer view of the limitations of constitutional patriotism and why the claims of the nation-state are still thriving.Moving to the Pehlu Khan case verdict, Anand feels the problem in India is “more of mob justice than about mob lynching”. About the recurring floods in Kerala and most of South India, Sneha explains how environmental exploitation and urbanisation has taken a toll on Kerala. Paddy plantation in Kerala has seen a downward graph, and the sustenance of the growth of paddy has also become an issue. She describes how mono-cropping is becoming a huge challenge.The panel then discusses Sonia Gandhi stepping up as the interim president of the Indian National Congress. Anand says charisma or tradition is the appeal of leadership. Abhinandan feels there is no representation in the Congress and jokes that the party should get Kanhaiya Kumar as president, saying: “In today’s’ day and age, a good speaker is what you need.”For more, tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 236: #Article370, Sushma Swaraj & more
Aug 31 2019 99 mins  
In this week’s Hafta, Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Manisha Pande, Raman Kirpal, Anand Vardhan, and R Jagannathan, Swarajya's Editorial Director. The discussion kicks off with the panel talking about the abrogation of Article 370, and the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories: Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Abhinandan said, “I thought it would be impossible in my lifetime." R Jagannathan also weighs in about the government’s actions. The panel also discussed the triumphalism portrayed by a majority of the Indian public. Manisha said that rhetorics like “teaching them a lesson” are demeaning. Focusing on the current state of communications in the former state, the panel examines the role of the media in providing information to the rest of the country. The panel discussed claims such the move being for improvement of employment opportunities and literacy rates in the state. The panel also talks about the inability of individuals in Jammu and Kashmir to communicate. Jagannathan states, “The first job of any state is to ensure law and order.” The panel also speaks about Sushma Swaraj's demise, her legacy and achievements are also discussed. Anand speaks on the glorification of famous individuals after their demise. Abhinandan recalls his personal interaction with her when he was in his twenties. There’s this and so much more, tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 234: RTI Amendment, Trump on Kashmir, Letter Wars and more
Aug 24 2019 100 mins  
In this week’s episode, host Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Manisha Pande, Madhu Trehan, Raman Kirpal, and author and columnist Sushant Sareen.The podcast kicks off with a discussion on the life and times of Sheila Dikshit. Sushant says, “There was decency about her, the way she managed to get things done. She was a performer.” The panel talks about her achievements as Delhi's chief minister and the political maneuvering that made her successful. Speaking about her death, the panel notes Rahul Gandhi’s absence and what that means.Up next is the RTI amendment and its impact. According to Abhinandan, “The RTI was the only good thing to come out of policy and Parliament that actually impacted citizens.” They discuss the probable reasons behind the government pushing this amendment and the lacklustre coverage in the media. Raman says, “The government was foolish in bringing in the amendment because the RTI is more or less dead.”The podcast moves on to Donald Trump’s offer to mediate on Kashmir and the furore that followed. Sushant thinks India’s response should have been a lot firmer. They discuss the reasons behind Trump’s statements and the US president's capabilities when it comes to such a situation. In Madhu’s opinion, the Indian government's response was appropriate and avoided a direct confrontation between Trump and Modi. Finally, the panel talks about the open letter issued by celebrities and its counter-letter. They analyse the underlying issue of the weaponisation of the phrase “Jai Shri Ram”. Abhinandan says: “We as a nation are so disempowered that when people do something vile, they feel empowered.” The panellists also talk about Arnab Goswami’s response to the letter which leads to a heated discussion on Arnab’s way of covering issues.For this and more, tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 233: Richa Bharti, Tiranga TV, Chandrayaan-2 & more
Aug 17 2019 96 mins  
In this week’s episode, host Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Manisha Pande, Anand Vardhan, and author and blogger Arnab Ray.The podcast kicks off with a discussion on Richa Bharti who was arrested for putting up an objectionable post. The judge asked her to distribute copies of the Quran as punishment.The panel then moves to discuss the controversy surrounding Tiranga TV, which Abhinandan refers to as “fracas”. They talk about Barkha Dutt’s tirade against Kapil Sibal and the larger protest against the channel by fired employees. Arnab noted, “They bet on the Congress winning in the election and they were obviously wrong.” The panel then moved to a larger discussion about the content industry. Abhinandan said, “Anything related to content will go through a huge churn in the next few years.” Moving on to the Chandrayaan-2 mission, Abhinandan questioned the very purpose of going to the moon when so many have already gone. He said, “I think it's a vanity project just to make us feel good.” The panel discussed space programmes in other countries and how India, in general, manages to pull off feats cheaper than in other countries.The panel also talked about the floods in Assam which have submerged large parts of the state. They discuss the problems the floods have caused, its impact on the NRC process and more.They also discussed the latest twist in the Kangana Ranaut-media saga. The panel uses this as a lens to talk about the media and journalists’ behaviour in general.For this and more, tune in! NL Sena Project for TMR: See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 232: India's loss at #WorldCup2019, Congress crisis, Delhi CCTVs and more
Aug 10 2019 99 mins  
In this week’s episode, host Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Madhu Trehan, Anand Vardhan, Raman Kirpal and journalist and author Vivek Kaul.The podcast kicks off with a discussion on the 2019 Cricket World Cup and Team India’s loss in the semi-finals. According to Anand, “it was a bubble waiting to burst”. The panel talks about their personal reactions and the country’s response to the loss. Abhinandan says: “I felt really bad because I really like Dhoni.”Discussing the crisis in the Congress in both Goa and Karnataka, Abhinandan comments, “It’s collapsing everywhere, kuch toh sharam karlo.” Raman notes that there's a "churning" going on within the party. They talk about the lack of leadership in the Congress and its consequences, as well as the history and legacy of the anti-defection law. Moving to the 2019 Union Budget, Vivek feels it was "much ado about nothing". He notes the Budget's lack of numbers and any detail on revenue and expenditure as well as other problems. The discussion shifts to the nature of business and the black economy in India.Next up is the installation of CCTV cameras in Delhi schools and the concerns raised by the public regarding privacy and surveillance. Anand says he “does not believe in privacy as an absolute right” while Madhu feels this move is absolutely all right. The panel also discusses the flying banner over the India-New Zealand match in England and the privatisation of railways in India.For this and much more, tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 230: #ChennaiWaterCrisis, Jharkhand lynching, Akash Vijayvargiya and more
Jul 20 2019 118 mins  
In this week’s episode, Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Madhu Trehan, Anand Vardhan, Manisha Pande, and journalist and author Salil Tripathi.The discussion kicks off with speeches and controversies in Parliament this week. This includes the super-viral speech by MP Mahua Moitra as well as the chants of “Vande Mataram” during various swearing-ins.The panel then talks about the recent case of lynching of a Muslim man in Jharkhand who was beaten up and forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram”. Abhinandan found the coverage of this case to be “deeply problematic” and noted that “what-aboutery has become almost a legitimate argument” on primetime shows. Anand talks about the culture of mob justice in India and how it’s fueling communal lynchings.Moving to the water crisis in Chennai, the panel discusses its effects as well as the solutions that could help alleviate this problem. Anand discusses the urban/rural divide on this issue while Salil talks about steps taken in other countries that have had an actual effect on the water crisis.The podcast wraps up with Abhinandan bringing up the controversy around BJP MP Kailash Vijayvargiya and his son BJP MLA Akash Vijayvargiya who was filmed beating up a government official with a cricket bat. The panel observes the lacklustre questioning by the media and the relative impunity with which politicians in India operate with.For this and more, tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 229: #Muzaffarpur, Sanjiv Bhatt, Doctors' strike & more
Jul 13 2019 112 mins  
In this episode of NL Hafta, host Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Madhu Trehan, Raman Kripal, Anand Vardhan and Nistula Hebbar, The Hindu's Political Editor.The panel talks about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's “One Nation, One Election” proposition, encephalitis-related deaths in Muzaffarpur, Anjana Om Kashyap’s controversial reporting from Bihar's Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital and more. Nistula shares anecdotes from a recent parliamentary session. Doctors' strike, and Sanjiv Bhatt's life imprisonment are also discussed.On the issue of “One Nation, One Election”, Nistula said, “You can’t have a situation where the political class basically looks at the elections as a blanket validation for all policies." Talking about the encephalitis outbreak in Bihar, Madhu says, “It’s the systematic historical neglect of the medical area” which has led us to this situation.While talking about Anjana Om Kashyap’s controversial reporting, Anand said, “The demonstration of orchestrated anger is a spectacle something that suits television news, this kind of drama sells."Moving on the panel discusses a June 16 incident where two civilians were thrashed by cops. “Anywhere in the world, you cannot take out a weapon against a cop, yet the amount of sympathy that he (Sarabjeet, the victim) has got is enough for the Home Ministry to ask for a report and no one has the guts to back-up the cop,” Abhinandan said. For this and more, tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 227: Reporting on environment, AAP's free ride for women plan and more
Jun 28 2019 76 mins  
In this week’s episode, Manisha Pande wears the host’s hat and is joined by Newslaundry’s Raman Kirpal and guests Nitin Sethi and Hridayesh Joshi to discuss climate change and environment reporting in India, among other topics.The discussion kicks off with Nitin discussing his latest story in Business Standard on how Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali has crept into the Aravalli hills. Patanjali bought spans across 400 acres which amount to “one-third of a village”. Nitin says the land is forested land which cannot be used for commercial purposes, and expresses his reservations about the fact that the land has been “privatised and cordoned off” which is unlawful as the land is supposed to remain in the “commons of the panchayat”. Hridayesh weighs in about the mining activity that has been taking place despite the Supreme Court ruling. He appreciates Nitin’s article for adding a deeper perspective to the discourse.The panel moves on to the forest fires in Uttarakhand. Manisha asks Hridayesh whether the situation has become worse considering it is common practice to burn the ground to grow grass. Hridayesh agrees that the “people (there) have lived with fire” but this occurrence has become severe to the extent that people are forced to migrate from their villages. He adds, “More than 1,200 villages have become ghost towns.” Nitin talks about the need to draw fire lines to prevent the fires from spreading—a job of immense commitment on the part of the government and forest officials.Manisha asks the panel how they would rate the attention to environmental issues in newsrooms and the associated hindrances. Nitin thinks that the media is doing a “spectacular job” of reporting with “very limited resources and individuals who are motivated across newsrooms”. He also commends the vernacular press, and believes the coverage of environmental journalism has expanded since 2007, when people would think of environmental journalism as akin to writing about tigers. Hridayesh talks about how locals and committed on-ground reporters who take journalists to ground zero and give them all the information are not mentioned in the national media.Following a feedback letter, the panel discusses how sources of news work. While Manisha is against any legislation to reveal sources, she also acknowledges the distrust among general readership. The panel agrees that the instincts of a journalist need to develop over time to be able to validate a source’s credibility.Discussing Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s announcement to make bus and metro rides free for women in Delhi, Raman thinks it’s a “good idea” and “definitely political”, though it does not solve the issue of security. Nitin thinks that leaders “should get a political advantage” if they make a good decision. He also thinks that the rich need to be taxed to be able to bear the financial burden of this policy, especially when “11 per cent of Delhi’s geography is covered in cars”—a dimension that the government is avoiding. He points out the lack of data to enable an analysis of the feasibility of this policy, calling it a “half-a-cookie job”.The panel also discusses the debate around the Draft National Education Policy and Hindi imposition. Listen up! There’s more. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Chhota Hafta — Episode 230
Jun 28 2019 27 mins  
In this week’s episode, Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Madhu Trehan, Anand Vardhan, Manisha Pande, and journalist and author Salil Tripathi.The discussion kicks off with speeches and controversies in Parliament this week. This includes the super-viral speech by MP Mahua Moitra as well as the chants of “Vande Mataram” during various swearing-ins.The panel then talks about the recent case of lynching of a Muslim man in Jharkhand who was beaten up and forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram”. Abhinandan found the coverage of this case to be “deeply problematic” and noted that “what-aboutery has become almost a legitimate argument” on primetime shows. Anand talks about the culture of mob justice in India and how it’s fueling communal lynchings.Moving to the water crisis in Chennai, the panel discusses its effects as well as the solutions that could help alleviate this problem. Anand discusses the urban/rural divide on this issue while Salil talks about steps taken in other countries that have had an actual effect on the water crisis.The podcast wraps up with Abhinandan bringing up the controversy around BJP MP Kailash Vijayvargiya and his son BJP MLA Akash Vijayvargiya who was filmed beating up a government official with a cricket bat. The panel observes the lacklustre questioning by the media and the relative impunity with which politicians in India operate with..For this and more, tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 226: Analysing the Modi wave, media and the voters, and more
Jun 22 2019 114 mins  
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 for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 225: Lok Sabha Election Results 2019, affirmative action, and more
Jun 16 2019 94 mins  
In this week’s episode, host Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Madhu Trehan, Manisha Pande, Anand Vardhan and Christina Thomas Dhanaraj, co-founder of the Dalit History Month collective.The podcast begins with Manisha describing the election week that went by and the BJP’s enormous victory. After a recap of the election results announced on May 23, Abhinandan and Manisha highlight some of the keynotes, including Rahul Gandhi’s loss in Amethi, and Atishi and the Aam Aadmi Party’s loss in Delhi. Moving to Narendra Modi's speech after his victory, Abhinandan says, "The one thing that I thought was a bit cringe-inducing was his mocking the term ‘secularism’. Even if he is saying he is only mocking those people who use it as a badge ... clearly, he was mocking the term.”A letter from a subscriber sparks a discussion on the idea of affirmative action and its application over generations. Christina says: “No one seems to get the basic point that none of the problems gets solved in one generation. And two, there is something called ‘inter-generational deficit’. We are talking about 2,000-year-old oppression.” She asks the panel, “How can one generation completely remove all of that deficit?” The discussion continues with Madhu and Anand chipping in with their opinions.Going back to the elections, Abhinandan asks what the big takeaways were. Manisha says, "Of course, exit polls were super interesting this time. When the Axis poll came up with the 360 figure ... they got a lot of flak on Twitter. It turned out they were correct.” Among other things, Christina weighs in on the political scenario in Tamil Nadu while Anand talks about the results in Bihar.This and a lot more, so listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 228: Sports journalism, #DoctorsStrike, Aligarh murder case and more
Jun 15 2019 102 mins  
In this week’s episode, host Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Madhu Trehan, Raman Kirpal, Manisha Pande and journalist Supriya Nair.The podcast opens with the panel discussing the ongoing doctors’ strike all over the country following the attack on doctors by a deceased patient’s relatives in West Bengal.Abhinandan references a study, which will be unveiled at August's The Media Rumble, on the share of women's sports stories in newspapers. He asks Supriya for her views since she's a sports columnist with Mumbai Mirror. Supriya says even though there are prominent female sports journalists, the coverage of women’s sports in general is quite low. However, things are improving, she says, especially after recent victories of women athletes like PV Sindhu.The panel moves to the attacks on journalists across India, from the attack on Amit Sharma in UP, to the arrest of Prashant Kanojia, to the attack on a group of journalists in Karnataka. They discuss partisanship in journalism and how loyalties now determine facts. Madhu says that “journalism has been reduced to a fish market”.Newslaundry’s Ayush Tiwari also pays this week's Hafta a visit to talk about his ground report on the Aligarh murder case. He recalls how the village of Tappal has become a hot spot of communal violence and how the police did a commendable job of calming them down.The podcast wraps up with a discussion between Abhinandan and Supriya on the difference between a game and a sport, and whether cricket is a sport or not. Abhinandan says, “There needs to be a certain sense of athleticism in order for a game to be a sport, carrom could be a sport.” Supriya retorts: "So your argument is that cricket is not a sport just because a few athletes are fat?”For this and more, tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

NL Hafta 224: Priyanka Sharma, the Khan Market Gang, Mani Shankar Aiyar and more
Jun 10 2019 103 mins  
In this week’s episode, host Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Madhu Trehan, Manisha Pande, and investigative journalist Josy Joseph.The podcast kicks off with Joseph talking about the ₹1,000-crore civil defamation suit that Naresh Goyal of Jet Airways filed against him after the release of his book, A Feast of Vultures: The Hidden Business of Democracy in India. The book, he says, is a product of 15 years of investigation into government records available in the public domain. In response to Abhinandan’s question about what he thought of the coverage of the Jet Airways crisis, he says, “I think the Jet Airways collapse and Naresh Goyal to me in many ways capture the crisis of Indian democracy...the crisis that we see when you have the Prime Minister of the country on a daily basis assaulting the basic constitutional commitment to scientific temperament.” He also believes that our country is not an imperfect democracy, rather a "democracy in crisis".The panel also discusses Narendra Modi’s interview with The Indian Express. Manisha says, “[It is] one of his best interviews that I have really get a sense of this guy and he has so much disdain for the media, every answer is a potshot at the that one interview you really get an insight into how much he hates the media.” Madhu also speaks of Modi's "shenpa" and why he needs to get over it”.The panel also talks about the centrality of Mani Shankar Aiyar in the political discourse despite his negligible impact on Indian politics. They also deconstruct the implications of Priyanka Sharma’s arrest on free speech. Joseph says the lack of codification of law has to be tackled urgently to prevent a breakdown of institutions. Manisha says, “At least [journalists] should have a standard understanding of what constitutes free speech and we should push back every time a case like this comes."They also talk about a potential rethinking of the BJP’s extremist politics in light of their response to Pragya Singh Thakur’s recent comment on Nathuram Godse.For this and more, tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 69: साध्वी प्रज्ञा का विवादित बयान, मोदी की छवि व खान मार्किट गैंग और अन्य
May 18 2019 59 mins  
इस हफ़्ते की चर्चा ऐसे वक़्त में आयोजित हुई जब राजनीति के गलियारों से लेकर पान की दुकानों तक संभावित चुनावी परिणामों की ही चर्चा हो रही है. इस बीच साध्वी प्रज्ञा सिंह ठाकुर ने एक विवादित बयान दिया, जिसमें उन्होंने गांधी के हत्यारे नाथूराम गोडसे को देशभक्त बता दिया. ये मामला काफ़ी विवादों में आ गया और यहां तक कि पीएम मोदी को भी इस पर अपनी प्रतिक्रिया देनी पड़ी. पश्चिम बंगाल में इस पूरे हफ़्ते अमित शाह के रोड शो और उसमें हुई हिंसा के बाद बवाल खड़ा हुआ, जब ईश्वरचंद्र विद्यासागर की प्रतिमा गिरा दी गयी. वहां की स्थितियों को देखते हुए चुनाव आयोग ने 1 दिन पहले ही चुनाव प्रचार को रोकने का आदेश दे दिया. इसी क्रम में सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने पश्चिम बंगाल की भारतीय जनता पार्टी की कार्यकर्ता प्रिंयका शर्मा को कंडीशनल बेल दी, जिन्हें ममता बनर्जी की एक फोटोशॉप्ड इमेंज शेयर करने की वजह से गिरफ्तार कर लिया गया था. इसी बीच कांग्रेस के मणिशंकर अय्यर ने मोदी के ऊपर की गयी ‘नीच’ की टिप्पणी को एक लेख के द्वारा जारी रखा, साथ ही सैम पित्रोदा ने 84 सिंख दंगों पर ‘जो हुआ सो हुआ’ बोल कर कांग्रेस की परेशानी भी बढ़ा दी, जिसके बाद राहुल गांधी को इसके लिए सफाई देनी पड़ी. दूसरी ओर नरेंद्र मोदी ने इंडियन एक्सप्रेस में दिये साक्षात्कार में कहा कि मेरी छवि को किसी खान मार्किट की गैंग ने नहीं बनाया, बल्कि 45 साल की तपस्या से मैं यहां पहुंचा हूं. इसलिए इसे कोई खान मार्किट गैंग ख़त्म नहीं कर सकता. इसके अलावा, ईरान-भारत संबंधों, आने वाले मानसून और संभावित सरकार को भी चर्चा के विषयों में शामिल किया गया.चर्चा में इस बार तेज़-तर्रार युवा पत्रकार राहुल कोटियाल और अमित भारद्वाज शामिल हुए. साथ में वरिष्ठ लेखक-पत्रकार अनिल यादव ने चर्चा में शिरकत की. चर्चा का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया.अतुल ने बातचीत शुरू करते हुए सवाल उठाया, साध्वी प्रज्ञा की जो राजनीति है, और जिस तरह की विचारधारा से वह आती हैं, उसमें गांधी और आज़ादी की लड़ाई से जुड़े अन्य नेताओं के प्रति घृणा का भाव दिखता है. जब ऐसा कोई बयान आया हो तो उसमें कोई आश्चर्यचकित होने वाली बात दिखती है?जवाब में अनिल ने कहा- “देखिये, इसमें मुझे कोई आश्चर्यचकित होने वाली बात नहीं दिखती, लेकिन इस बयान के बाद उस बड़ी विडंबना की ओर इशारा मिलता है, जिससे आरएसएस और भारतीय जनता पार्टी को अपने जन्मकाल से ही दो-चार होना पड़ता है. आप अगर देखेंगे तो पायेंगे कि आरएसएस ऐसे मौकों पर अपने आप को एक बड़ी विचित्र स्थिति में पाता है. उसके पास ऐसे बहुत से नायक हैं, जो उसने उधार के लिए हुए हैं और वह उनके बारे में बता भी नहीं सकता और उनको इग्नोर भी नहीं कर सकता. इस मसले के साथ-साथ बाक़ी विषयों पर भी चर्चा के दौरान विस्तार से बातचीत हुई. बाकी विषयों पर पैनल की राय जानने-सुनने के लिए पूरी चर्चा सुनें. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Chhota Hafta — Episode 224
May 17 2019 30 mins  
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, host Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Madhu Trehan, Manisha Pande, and investigative journalist Josy Joseph.The podcast kicks off with Joseph talking about the ₹1,000-crore civil defamation suit that Naresh Goyal of Jet Airways filed against him after the release of his book, A Feast of Vultures: The Hidden Business of Democracy in India. The book, he says, is a product of 15 years of investigation into government records available in the public domain. In response to Abhinandan’s question about what he thought of the coverage of the Jet Airways crisis, he says, “I think the Jet Airways collapse and Naresh Goyal to me in many ways capture the crisis of Indian democracy...the crisis that we see when you have the Prime Minister of the country on a daily basis assaulting the basic constitutional commitment to scientific temperament.” He also believes that our country is not an imperfect democracy, rather a "democracy in crisis".The panel also discusses Narendra Modi’s interview with The Indian Express. Manisha says, “[It is] one of his best interviews that I have really get a sense of this guy and he has so much disdain for the media, every answer is a potshot at the that one interview you really get an insight into how much he hates the media.” Madhu also speaks of Modi's "shenpa" and why he needs to get over it”.You can listen to the full Hafta here: See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 223: Indian newsrooms, PM Modi's 'interview spree' and more
May 11 2019 86 mins  
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 for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 222: India Positive, Hindutva politics & much more
May 04 2019 109 mins  
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 for privacy and opt-out information.

Reporters Without Orders Ep 64: The Yeti Scheme of Things, Bhopal and Rajasthan poll climate & more
May 02 2019 57 mins  
In this episode of Reporters Without Orders, host Cherry Agarwal sits down with Newslaundry correspondent Ayush Tiwari, Desk Writer Gaurav Sarkar and Quint's Senior Correspondent Aishwarya Iyer to talk about the #Yeti, the Utsav Bains hearing, Elections 2019 and more.Aishwarya and Ayush were covering elections in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh respectively. They were gauging support for parties and how people in these places are forming their electoral opinions.Apart from elections, the panel also talks about the Yeti sighting and its news value. The Indian Army had tweeted out a photo of a trail of footprints in the Himalayan snow, claiming to have found footprints of the mythical creature. The panellists are clearly divided. While Ayush gushes about its history and Gaurav hopes that Yetis exist, Aishwarya and Cherry cannot help but stress on the point that it gained way more attention than it should have. In all the Yeti news, the duo felt a recently-released UN climate report got very little coverage.Utsav Bains had filed an affidavit claiming that he was approached with a “huge bribe” of ₹1.5 crore to frame the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi in a false sexual harassment case. Gaurav shares the details of proceedings, the courtroom drama and more.Although there is too much news to discuss, Gaurav points out that Game of Thrones didn't get as much hype as it should have.For all this and more, listen in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 66: सीजेआई विवाद, बिलकीस बानो, श्रीलंका में आतंकी वारदात और अन्य
Apr 27 2019 53 mins  
ग़ालिब का एक शेर है- “हम वहां से हैं जहां से हमको भी/ कुछ हमारी ख़बर नहीं आती”. मौजूदा वक़्त में देश ऐसे ही दौर से गुज़र रहा है. पंजाबी के कवि ‘पाश’ के शब्दों में कहें तो एक हद तक यह वह दौर भी है, जब बिना ज़मीर होना ज़िंदगी की शर्त बन गयी है. ठीक उसी वक़्त यह बात जोर-शोर से कही जा रही है कि सारे सवालों में सबसे ऊपर है देश और देश की सुरक्षा का सवाल तो इसके ठीक समानांतर एक विडंबना भी है कि हमें देश की इस तथाकथित सुरक्षा से खतरा है.इस हफ़्ते की चर्चा ऐसे वक़्त में आयोजित हुई जब इस तरह की तमाम चर्चाओं के बीच देश के प्रधानमंत्री ‘पूर्णतः अराजनैतिक साक्षात्कार’ देने के बाद लोकसभा चुनावों में ‘पूर्ण बहुमत’ हासिल करने के अभियान में लगे हुये थे. इसी कड़ी में बनारस की सड़कों पर जनता ने ख़ुद को फ़कीर कहने वाले प्रधानमंत्री का शक्ति-प्रदर्शन देखा. चुनावी सरगर्मियों के बीच नेताओं के बयान पूरे परिदृश्य को सनसनीख़ेज बना रहे थे. यह वह समय भी था, जब देश-विदेश से कुछ दुर्भाग्यपूर्ण ख़बरें आयीं तो कुछ ख़बरें ऐसी भी रहीं जिनसे डगमगाते भरोसे को तनिक बल मिला.इस हफ़्ते की चर्चा में भारत के मुख्य न्यायाधीश रंजन गोगोई पर उनकी एक महिला कर्मचारी द्वारा लगाया गया यौन-उत्पीड़न का आरोप और न्यायपालिका के दायरे में इस संबंध में हुई उठा-पटक, 2002 के गुजरात दंगे की पीड़िता बिलकीस बानो के बलात्कार मामले में सुप्रीम कोर्ट का मुआवजे का निर्णय व उसके निहितार्थ, देश का चुनावी परिदृश्य और श्रीलंका में हुई आतंकवादी घटना को चर्चा के विषय के तौर पर लिया गया.चर्चा में इस बार न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के स्तंभकार आनंद वर्द्धन ने शिरकत की. साथ ही चर्चा में लेखक-पत्रकार अनिल यादव भी शामिल हुये. चर्चा का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया.इस तरह मामले की संक्षिप्त रूपरेखा प्रस्तुत करते हुए अतुल ने सवाल किया कि सुप्रीम कोर्ट द्वारा ख़ुद सवालों के घेरे में आने के बाद अपनायी गयी प्रक्रिया व जस्टिस रंजन गोगोई द्वारा उठाये गये क़दम को आप कैसे देखते हैं?जवाब देते हुए अनिल कहते हैं- “यह मामला सामने आया तो लोगों ने पहला सवाल यह करना शुरू किया कि ऐसे मामलों में कानूनी स्थिति क्या है क्योंकि आरोप चीफ़ जस्टिस ऑफ़ इंडिया पर लगे थे. किसी का स्कॉलर होना, कानून का जानकार होना एक अलग बात है लेकिन इस वजह से यह नहीं मान लेना चाहिए कि जो बहुत बड़ा स्कॉलर है या जानकार है, वह अपनी यौन विकृतियों व यौन इच्छाओं से भी विवेकपूर्ण ढंग से निपट पायेगा. आनन-फानन में जस्टिस रंजन गोगोई ने एक समिति बनायी और समिति की कार्यवाही से बहुत ख़राब संदेश गया. जस्टिस गोगोई के इस कहने को देखें- ‘यह सुप्रीम कोर्ट को और मुझे निशाने पर लेने की कोशिश है, मुझे ख़रीद पाने में नाकाम रहे तो यह रास्ता अपनाया गया’- तो हमारे यहां यही होता रहा है. आरोपी यह कहता रहा है कि आप मुझसे कैसे यह उम्मीद कर रहे हैं कि मैं इस तरह का काम करूंगा, मुझे विरोधियों द्वारा साजिश के तहत फंसाया जा रहा है. तो यह जो तर्क रंजन गोगोई दे रहे हैं यह कोई नया तर्क नहीं है.”अतुल आगे कहते हैं कि हमारे समाज का यह सामूहिक चरित्र रहा है कि वह इस तरह के किसी मामले में फ़ौरी तौर पर पीड़िता के आरोपों को खारिज़ कर देता है. मामले को संजीदगी से देखने-सुनने का कोई ख़ास चलन हमारे यहां नहीं है. जस्टिस रंजन गोगोई द्वारा अपने पक्ष में बयान दिये जाने व पीड़िता को ही कटघरे में खड़ा कर देने से भी इस बात की तरफ़ ही संकेत मिलता है कि सबसे पहले चरित्र हनन उसी का होता है जो पीड़िता है. तयशुदा नियम-प्रक्रिया की तरफ़ ध्यान दिये बिना जस्टिस गोगोई द्वारा भी ऐसा ही किये जाने को आप कैसे देखते हैं?जवाब देते हुये आनंद कहते हैं- “इसमें एक पुनर्विचार उच्चतम न्यायालय के ढांचे के संबंध में होना चाहिए. जो मुख्य न्यायाधीश होता है वह न केवल न्यायिक मामलों का प्रमुख होता है बल्कि न्यायालय के साथ-साथ वह इसकी प्रशासनिक इकाई का भी मुखिया होता है. गोगोई उस प्रशासनिक इकाई की भी अध्यक्षता कर रहे हैं. यह जो फ़ौरी तौर पर तीन जजों की बेंच बनाकर मामला खारिज़ कर दिया गया यह जस्टिस गोगोई ने प्रशासनिक अध्यक्ष के तौर पर किया. शायद इसमें ‘सेपरेशन ऑफ़ पॉवर’ की सख्त जरूरत है. और इस पर विचार होना चाहिए कि क्या जुडीशियल पॉवर के साथ-साथ एडमिनिस्ट्रेटिव पॉवर भी मुख्य न्यायाधीश को दिया जाय?”इसके साथ-साथ बाक़ी विषयों पर भी चर्चा के दौरान विस्तार से बातचीत हुई. बाकी विषयों पर पैनल की राय जानने-सुनने के लिए पूरी चर्चा सुनें. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 221: India's Growth Story, Sadhvi Pragya, Chief Justice of India & more
Apr 26 2019 120 mins  
In this week’s episode, host Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Madhu Trehan, Raman Kirpal, Anand Vardhan, and journalist and author Puja Mehra.The podcast kicks off with a deconstruction of Mehra’s book, The Lost Decade (2008-18): How India's Growth Story Devolved into Growth Without a Story. Abhinandan asks Puja why she believed that the decade was indeed lost. In response, she says both Prime Ministers (Manmohan Singh and Narendra Modi) were equally responsible for ineffectively dealing with the crisis. She also states that temporary emergency measures were relied upon to compensate for a mammoth crisis that demanded a permanent solution.She adds, “When an economy grows at that rate [8.8 per cent GDP growth] and is hit by a crisis, a shock, to bring it back to that level you need to take some steps. That follow-through was not undertaken.” When Abhinandan asks her if she believed that the Modi government’s economic agenda was cemented in a cultural singularity, she says that the government’s attitude is more symptomatic of a policy inattention than anything else.She describes her book as a documentation of governance in the last ten years that analyses the policies adopted while also discussing the policies that should have been. Talking about its essence, she says, “The whole argument of my book is that our politicians just don’t listen to expert advice and they assume that an economy as large as India, as complex as India, can be driven by policies that are crafted keeping political objectives in mind with complete disregard for underlying economics.” The discussion then moves to sexual harassment allegations levied against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi. Madhu makes a compelling case of the escalating hubris of the Supreme Court. She says, “The Indian judiciary, for decades, has avoided any accountability. Every time they are asked for accountability, they behave like [they] are above the law. Well [they’re] not. It’s a democracy.” Puja says she prefers a system governed by rules rather her perception of the credibility of individuals in it so that one’s faith in the system remains uninfluenced by fallible individuals.Sadhvi Pragya’s media portrayal was next on the panel's list. Anand says, “In this age when you have preconceived ideas about political inclinations of a journalist, it becomes very easy to pigeonhole them and say that this will be this kind of interview…in that case it is important that [the journalist] asks controversial questions…but it is not a debate to be settled in an interview.”The panel also discusses the granularity of demonetisation, the significance of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra not contesting from Varanasi and a lot more. Tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

NL Interviews: Govindraj Ethiraj on data-led stories, public interest journalism and more
Apr 25 2019 25 mins  
In this edition of NL Interviews, Cherry Agarwal speaks to Govindraj Ethiraj about the importance of data-led stories, the credibility of data and the role of data and evidence in the public discourse. Ethiraj is a television and print journalist, who founded IndiaSpend, a data-driven journalistic platform, as well as a fact-checking website, BOOM.The discussion kicks off with the 2019 General Elections. Ethiraj says, "We've seen a steady increase in the amount of misinformation and fake news being generated. It is only getting sharper, more intensive and more creative as we go along." This is adding to the overall election temperature, he adds.Ethiraj also speaks about how data can be used during the 2019 elections. "There are two kinds of data points, one is to do with elections, candidates, what they have done and what they didn't. While they are insightful, they (such data) are a little late in the day to make electoral decisions," he says. However, he adds, over time, data can be used to empower people and informing electoral decisions.Ethiraj also speaks about why there's a need to focus on data and evidence, how data can be used to tell stories in public interest and how it can improve the public discourse. Can data be used to counter divisive, political rhetoric? Can data be used to enforce better governance and accountability? What are the challenges of making data accessible and appealing to a larger audience? The interview addresses all these questions.Listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

“अगर सीटें आती हैं तो राहुल गांधी को प्रधानमंत्री स्वीकारने में कोई दिक्कत नहीं है”
Apr 23 2019 17 mins  
राज्यसभा सांसद और लालू प्रसाद यादव की बेटी मीसा भारती एक बार फिर से पाटलीपुत्र लोकसभा सीट से किस्मत आजमा रही हैं. पिछली बार उन्हें पाटलीपुत्र सीट से उनकी ही पार्टी छोड़ गये रामकृपाल यादव ने भाजपा का साथ पकड़ कर पटखनी दी थी. लालू यादव इस बार चुनावी परिदृश्य से ओझल हैं, पार्टी में उत्तराधिकार का मसला जब-तब सिर उठाता है, चुनाव के बाद की परिस्थितियों में क्या राजद राहुल गांधी को प्रधानमंत्री स्वीकार करेगा और क्या कन्हैया कुमार की पार्टी सीपीआई को गठबंधन से बाहर रखकर आरजेडी ने गलती की है? इन तमाम सवालों पर मीसा भारती के जवाब जानने के लिए सुनें यह पॉडकास्ट. See for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 65: साध्वी प्रज्ञा को भोपाल से बीजेपी का टिकट, जूलियन असांज की गिरफ़्तारी और अन्य
Apr 20 2019 55 mins  
बीते हफ़्ते राष्ट्रीय व अंतर्राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर घटित हुई घटनाओं ने कई मायनों में नयी बहस को जन्म दिया. चर्चा में इस हफ़्ते उन्हीं में से तीन बेहद ज़रूरी विषयों- जेट एयरवेज़ की उड़ानें बंद होने व हज़ारों की तादाद में लोगों के बेरोज़गार होने, विकीलीक्स के संस्थापक जूलियन असांज की इक्वाडोर के लंदन स्थित दूतावास से गिरफ़्तारी और भाजपा द्वारा तमाम आतंकवादी गतिविधियों में सह-अभियुक्त रही साध्वी प्रज्ञा सिंह ठाकुर को 2019 के लोकसभा चुनावों में भोपाल से टिकट दिये जाने पर विस्तार से बातचीत की गयी.चर्चा में इस बार ‘प्रभात ख़बर-दिल्ली’ के ब्यूरो चीफ़ प्रकाश के रे ने शिरकत की. साथ ही चर्चा में लेखक-पत्रकार अनिल यादव भी शामिल हुए. चर्चा का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया.भारतीय जनता पार्टी द्वारा साध्वी प्रज्ञा सिंह ठाकुर को भोपाल से टिकट दिये जाने के बाद एक बार फिर देश में उग्र हिंदुत्व की राजनीति ने जोर पकड़ लिया है. साध्वी प्रज्ञा सिंह ने 2019 के लोकसभा चुनावों को धर्मयुद्ध करार दिया है. साध्वी प्रज्ञा सिंह ठाकुर के बयानों के बाद अब धार्मिक भावनाओं के आधार की जाने वाली राजनीति तेज़ हो गयी है, जिसमें देशभक्ति का भी फ़्लेवर पड़ गया है. इसी मुद्दे से चर्चा की शुरुआत करते हुए अतुल ने सवाल किया कि जिस तरह की उनकी छवि है व जिस तरह के उनपर आरोप हैं, उसके बाद उन्हें या उन जैसे किसी व्यक्ति के उम्मीदवार बनाये जाने के कुछ मक़सद होते हैं. ध्रुवीकरण होता है और जीत की संभावनाएं ऐसे में बढ़ जाती हैं. और जबकि भोपाल की सीट भाजपा के लिये सालों से सुरक्षित सीट रही है, तो पार्टी द्वारा ऐसे किसी उम्मीदवार के ऊपर दांव लगाने के पीछे क्या मक़सद हो सकता है?जवाब देते हुये प्रकाश कहते हैं- “उनको खड़ा करने के पीछे जो मक़सद है, उसपर बात करने के पहले हमें यह देखना चाहिए कि उनकी उम्मीदवारी के तकनीकी या कानूनी पहलू क्या हैं. एक समय स्वास्थ्य के आधार पर लालू प्रसाद यादव जमानत की अर्ज़ी दाख़िल करते हैं, तो उनकी अर्ज़ी खारिज़ कर दी जाती है और यहां स्वास्थ्य के नाम पर एक व्यक्ति जमानत पर बाहर है और वह जमानत भी अपने आप में सवालों के घेरे में है. एक और मामला हार्दिक पटेल का भी है, जिन्हें चुनाव लड़ने की अनुमति नहीं दी गयी. तो प्रज्ञा ठाकुर के मामले में यह एक बड़ा सवाल है और इसमें चुनाव आयोग के काम-काज पर भी सवालिया निशान है. मुझे लगता है कि आने वाले वक़्त में जब इन सब के कानूनी पहलुओं पर बहस होगी, उनका विश्लेषण किया जायेगा तब अदालतों को भी इसमें क्लीनचिट नहीं दी जा सकती है.”प्रकाश ने आगे कहा- “मुझे लगता है कि इस कैंडिडेचर के माध्यम से भारतीय जनता पार्टी व राष्ट्रीय स्वयंसेवक संघ की साफ़-साफ़ घोषणा है कि अब हम उस मुक़ाम पर खड़े हैं, जहां हमें पर्दादारी की बहुत ज़रूरत नहीं है.”इसके साथ-साथ बाक़ी विषयों पर भी चर्चा के दौरान विस्तार से बातचीत हुई. बाकी विषयों पर पैनल की राय जानने-सुनने के लिए पूरी चर्चा सुनें. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 220: Jallianwala Bagh, Julian Assange, Sadhvi Pragya and more
Apr 19 2019 109 mins  
In this week’s episode, host Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Madhu Trehan, Anand Vardhan, Manisha Pande, and author Kishwar Desai. The podcast starts off with a discussion on Desai’s latest book, Jallianwala Bagh, 1919: The Real Story, and why she believed that this was a book that needed to be written. She says that writing the book became “a journey of discovery” for her as she uncovered unknown facts of the incident like the “sadistic tortures that were inflicted on the people of Amritsar”, especially in its build-up and aftermath. The panel also discusses the importance of an apology, as opposed to regret, from Britain now. Anand observes that although “national psyches have this need for reconciliation with historical memory”, after the decades that have passed, “even if it [an apology] comes, it would not serve that instrumental purpose.”Abhinandan shifts the conversation towards the arrest of Julian Assange and the panel debates if his work qualifies as ethical journalistic enterprise or if it is an instance of the phenomenon of ‘information banditry’, as Anand puts it. Madhu says, “What they did was they just hacked everything and dumped it all…the way it was done was not journalism.” The panel agrees that editorial discretion is crucial when dealing with data as raw as this and that it should have been processed in a more refined manner to serve public interest.The panel picked up the recent appointment of Sadhvi Pragya by the BJP to contest the seat in Bhopal. While the panel was initially unsurprised by this decision, given the Hindutva roots of the party, Abinandan points out how indefensible this decision was. He says, “He [Kamal Nath] was in politics, he’s accused of that [1984 anti-Sikh riots] and in continuation, he got a ticket again. Sadhvi Pragya has got a ticket because of her accusation…there’s a big difference.” Anand says that Pragya embodies the victimhood narrative that is “deeply entrenched in the psyche [of the voters] that they [the BJP] want to appeal to”.The discussion steers towards: what makes a great leader and why. The panel also talks about Mukesh Ambani’s endorsement of Milind Deora, a Congress candidate. For this and more, listen up. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Reporters Without Orders Ep 63: The Ambani-IANS connection, hate speech, GoT and more
Apr 18 2019 40 mins  
This week’s Reporters Without Orders features host Cherry Agarwal with Newslaundry's head of research Ayush Tiwari and desk writer Gaurav Sarkar. The panel talks about the impact Sandeep Bamzai’s tutelage has had on IANS, a petition presented to the Supreme Court seeking permission for Muslim women to offer namaaz in mosques and Maneka Gandhi’s comments on the un-secret nature of secret ballots.Ayush kickstarts the discussion with his own article about how a news agency, IANS, that has off late become "a part of the larger trend of media layoffs" as it suffocates under the corporate ownership of Mr Anil Ambani. He reveals examples of reporters at IANS and establishes a growing pattern alongside other media organizations such as Vice and Buzzfeed. The panel goes on to discuss the intricacies of corporate ownership and the direct influence they exercise on editorial management. Ayush also talks about a Swarajya Magazine report about how the family of a minor Dalit girl who was kidnapped by a man that happened to be Muslim were denied the right to file an FIR by the police since they did not want it to flare up into a ‘Hindu-Muslim’ issue. The panel then went into discussing the implications of ‘pseudo-secularism’ that dominates the Indian narrative today.Gaurav discusses an archaic ritual that Shashi Tharoor made a mockery of himself participating in. The ritual, called ‘Tulabharam’, is one where a person’s “BMI is weighed in phool, phal and gold” and Tharoor fell off the scales having to endure 11 stitches afterwards. The panel delved into the problems associated with the endorsement by politicians of religious traditions such as these and the implications that such engagement had on the sentiments of the voting public. He also brought up a recent plea put before the Supreme Court by a Pune-based couple that sought permission to let women offer prayers in mosques. The discussion questioned the fast-paced nature of the proceedings as well nuances of religion such as the “contest between personal liberty and religion” and the stronghold of the religious orthodoxy.Cherry drives the conversation towards the larger question of the responsibility of the media. She references a specific tweet by Times Now that says, “A political leader has said something communal, listen in” and questions the ethicality of cashing in on hate in the name of journalism. While Ayush agrees that its ‘clickbait’ tone was questionable, it is not the place of the media to dictate whether something, communal or otherwise, should be censored or not. The media should contextualize information, is what the panel agrees on, irrespective of that content that is. Cherry goes on to talk about Maneka Gandhi’s comment on not helping Muslim voters if they didn’t vote for her and lays down the reality of contemporary times wherein the concept of secret ballots is conceptually dead. With the Election Commission now providing politicians with a constituency-wise break up of votes via Form 20, the panel dived deep into the vulnerability of voters today.The panel also brings up the ineffectiveness of the EC and the Supreme Courts backhand comments on its exercise of powers, the trend of the Supreme Court gaining an “inordinate amount of power”, as well as the oft-ignored details of Islam in terms of its various schools of law.This and more, so listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 64: राफेल मामले में सुप्रीम कोर्ट का फैसला, इमरान खान का नरेंद्र मोदी प्रेम और अन्य
Apr 13 2019 51 mins  
बीता हफ़्ता तमाम तरह की घटनाओं का गवाह रहा. इस बार की चर्चा जब आयोजित की गयी, उस वक़्त देश के कुछ हिस्सों में साल 2014 के बाद तनाव, द्वंद्व, संघर्ष, भ्रम व मायूसी के 5 सालों से हताश-निराश अवाम एक बार फ़िर उम्मीदों से बेतरह लैश होकर पहले चरण के मतदान में अपने मताधिकार का प्रयोग कर रही थी. चर्चा में इस हफ़्ते सुप्रीम कोर्ट द्वारा राफेल मामले में प्रशांत भूषण, यशवंत सिन्हा और अरुण शौरी द्वारा दायर पुनर्विचार याचिका पर सुनवाई करते हुए दिये गये फैसले, चुनाव के धड़कते माहौल में सीमा पार से आती ख़बर जिसमें इमरान ख़ान ने प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी व उनकी पार्टी द्वारा बहुमत हासिल करने पर भारत-पाकिस्तान संबंधों में गर्माहट आने की उम्मीद जतायी, बस्तर में नकुलनार इलाके में हुआ नक्सली हमला जिसमें बीजेपी के विधायक व 5 सीआरपीएफ जवानों समेत कुल छः लोगों की मृत्यु हो गयी और भाजपा के वरिष्ठ नेता लालकृष्ण आडवाणी के ब्लॉग अपडेट व भाजपा के चुनावी घोषणापत्र पर चर्चा की गयी.इस हफ़्ते की चर्चा में वरिष्ठ पत्रकार हृदयेश जोशी ने शिरकत की. साथ ही लेखक-पत्रकार अनिल यादव भी चर्चा में शामिल हुए. चर्चा का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया.राफेल मामले में दायर पुनर्विचार याचिका पर सुनवाई करते हुए दिये गये फैसले से चर्चा की शुरुआत करते हुए, अतुल ने सवाल किया कि एक तरफ़ सरकार द्वारा इस मामले से लगातार पीछा छुड़ाने के प्रयास लगातार जारी रहे और अब चुनावी उठापटक के बीच सुप्रीम कोर्ट द्वारा इस तरह का फैसला दिये जाने के बाद अब आप राफेल मामले को किस तरफ़ जाता हुआ देखते हैं? क्या बात राहुल गांधी द्वारा लगातार लगाये जा रहे आरोपों की दिशा में आगे बढ़ गयी है?जवाब में पेंटागन पेपर्स का ज़िक्र करते हुए हृदयेश ने कहा, “यहां पर एक तो प्रोसीजर का मामला इन्वाल्व है, इसके साथ ही मामला पॉलिटिकल परसेप्शन का भी हो गया है. इस वक़्त कांग्रेस ने मैनिफेस्टो में जिस तरह से ख़ुद को सोशल प्लेटफ़ॉर्म पर ऊपर दिखाने की कोशिश की थी, इसके बाद प्रोपराइटी के मामले में एक बयानबाजी करने में उसको मदद मिलेगी.”इसी कड़ी में मीडिया के नज़रिये से इस मसले को देखते हुए अतुल ने सवाल किया कि इस मौके पर यह फैसला सरकार के लिए तो झटके जैसा है, लेकिन जबकि पिछले पांच सालों में लगातार यह बात चर्चा में रही कि मीडिया पर सरकारी दबाव है, मीडिया की आज़ादी के लिहाज़ से इसे कैसे देखा जाये? क्या मीडिया के लिए यह ऐसा मौका है, जो आगे बार-बार ऐतिहासिक संदर्भों में याद किया जायेगा?जवाब देते अनिल ने कहा, “देखिये! जहां तक मीडिया की बात है तो सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने ये सारी बात मीडिया के संदर्भ में नहीं की हैं. उसके द्वारा पेंटागन पेपर्स का ज़िक्र करना दरअसल एक लोकतंत्र में अभिव्यक्ति की आज़ादी की बात करना है. वर्ना भारत में, ख़ास तौर से पिछले कुछ सालों में मीडिया में जो कुछ उठापटक, मनमुताबिक़ या डर वश फेरबदल चल रहा है, यह सबकुछ सुप्रीम कोर्ट की आंखों के सामने हो रहा. तो अगर सुप्रीम कोर्ट मीडिया की स्वतंत्रता का असल में पक्षधर होता, तो वह ज़रूरी दखल देता. लेकिन सुप्रीम कोर्ट की चिंता ये नहीं है. दूसरी बात ये है कि जो मीडिया आर्गेनाईजेशन्स हैं, वो भी इस हालत में नहीं हैं कि अगर सुप्रीम कोर्ट मीडिया के पक्ष में कोई सकारात्मक बात करता है तो वो उसका फ़ायदा ले सकें, उसे आगे ले जा सकें. जो ज़्यादातर मीडिया आर्गेनाईजेशन्स हैं, वो बिना नाखून व दांत वाली संस्थाओं में तब्दील हो गये हैं.”इसके साथ-साथ बाक़ी विषयों पर भी चर्चा के दौरान विस्तार से बातचीत हुई. बाकी विषयों पर पैनल की राय जानने-सुनने के लिए पूरी चर्चा सुनें. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 219: Model Code of Conduct, Dalit politics, AgustaWestland and more
Apr 12 2019 105 mins  
In this week’s episode, host Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Madhu Trehan, Raman Kirpal, Manisha Pande and journalist Sudipto Mondal.The podcast kicks off with Sudipto talking about the book he’s working on which is centred around the 25-year history of the Ambedkar Students' Association. Although the book was originally intended to be about Rohith Vemula, the Dalit PhD student and ASA member who committed suicide in 2015, Sudipto says: "There were four other students who were suspended with him, do they not deserve to be written about? Just because they didn’t kill themselves? That for me became a big question … that made me expand my quest.”Sudipto also talks about the politics of violence used by the ASA, adding that it's "not pro-violent that it attracted the greyhounds and the anti-Naxal police”. He points out that the frames used to categorise Dalits as "thugs" is what constituted the foundation of their fight. He says it's in the granularity of the politics of representation that we can find the essence of the fight between the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and Vemula.Abhinandan steers the discussion towards the elections and the panel reminisces on how it has changed over the years. They debate the idea of voter suppression as a genuine concern or general paranoia. Madhu observes, “This election is going to stand out for messing up of the honesty of the elections. Because everywhere you go, it is far more sophisticated than booth capturing.” The conversation moves to the Model Code of Conduct which, as Raman says, "does not even exist anymore”. They discuss how the EC isn't doing itself any favours with its soft attitude, especially in terms of its (non)response to things like NaMo TV. Sudipto compares it to a “nagging South Delhi parent” in the way it's executing its duties.Shifting to AgustaWestland, the panel talks about the recent attack on the credibility of journalists such as Shekhar Gupta. They delve into the ED chargesheet's accusations that journalists such as Gupta were bought off, and describe it as an "outright criminal act" that immediately disregards years of great journalistic practice.The conversation also covers what's right and what's wrong with Dalit politics, the problems with the phrase "Main Bhi Chowkidar" and its casteist connotations, the importance of media literacy—and a whole lot more.Listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Reporters Without Orders Ep 62: #AugustaWestlandScam, Uttar Pradesh politics & more
Apr 11 2019 45 mins  
This week’s Reporters Without Orders features host Cherry Agarwal, Head of Research Ayush Tiwari, Desk Writer Gaurav Sarkar and Newslaundry Hindi reporter Basant Kumar. The panel talks the Enforcement Directorate's fourth supplementary chargesheet in the AgustaWestland chopper deal scam, increasing propaganda in daily soaps, the impact of communal violence in Western Uttar Pradesh, Congress' demonetisation sting operation and more.Speaking about the allegations that journalists "toned down" reportage on the AgustaWestland scam, Ayush says: “ Manu Pubby and Shekhar Gupta broke the story on the Augusta Westland scam and if they wouldn’t have done it we wouldn’t have known about it." He also makes a case for why there is a need to look at the full chargesheet, going beyond sections of the document that was leaked to the media. He adds these are baseless allegations and do not make a strong case against the three journalists who were allegedly named.Moving on, Gaurav points out political propaganda is increasingly being embedded in daily soaps such as Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hain. He also talks of various such videos doing the rounds on Twitter. He questions the intent of such propaganda and says, “The Model Code of Conduct is in effect, is this (such content) even allowed during this period?” Basant speaks about his ground report from Western UP which focused on understanding the impact of communal violence in the area. He is surprised that many young voters have fallen into a communal trap and are in favour of divisive politics. He says, “Hindus have hatred for Muslims while Muslims are fearful." There's also talk about what UP politics and 2019 general elections. Gaurav talks about a sting operation shown by the Congress and raises questions about its credibility. He feels it's edited and says: “How do you get hard cuts in raw unedited video?” See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 218: Coalitions & Campaigns, AFSPA, NaMo TV and more
Apr 08 2019 79 mins  
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 for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 217: Modi's interview with Arnab, Mission Shakti, NYAY and more
Apr 08 2019 91 mins  
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 for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 215: Pollachi case, Lok Sabha elections, Assam newspapers protest, Nirav Modi and more
Apr 08 2019 96 mins  
In this week’s podcast, Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Raman Kirpal, Anand Vardhan and Manisha Pande. Joining them over the phone is The News Minute's deputy news editor, Ragamalika Karthikeyan, to talk about the Pollachi case.The podcast begins with Ragamalika detailing the Pollachi sexual abuse and extortion case. The four men accused “seem to be doing it as a racket”, she says. She also mentions the controversy with the AIADMK since an FIR is registered against AIADMK functionary A Nagaraj over the assault of a victim’s brother. Manisha says she agrees with the Madras High Court's observations on Delhi media's lack of priority in covering the case, but Abhinandan says he's conflicted. He says: “This is a problem not just related to Chennai or Kerala … It is more true of the Northeast … If judges start commenting on everything then it just dilutes the impact when they something that is truly about justice rather than a social observation.” Ragamalika indicates the importance of giving incidents national coverage in order to formulate appropriate and more nuanced laws on sexual violence.Abhinandan talks about how newspapers in Assam went on a three-day boycott of all state government news, ads and photographs in protest against its alleged apathy. Anand mentions how India still imports newsprint which makes it quite expensive. Though local papers buy cheaper versions, it's not a sustainable model. “State governments control a lot of things through government ads,” he says.The discussion moves on to journalist Sunetra Choudhury’s exclusive on the UK’s efforts to extradite Nirav Modi and India’s absence of a response. While Anand examines the validity of Sunetra’s report, Abhinandan emphasises the need for extensive reports on Nirav Modi across media as it affects informed citizenry.The panel discusses the Meghalaya High Court’s sentence—which was stayed by the Supreme Court today—to Shillong Times editor Patricia Mukhim and publisher Shoba Chaudhuri. Manisha says, “We still have the thing called scandalising the court which exists in India, which you can be hauled up for just shocking the court.”Abhinandan goes on to discuss Chandrashekhar Azad who has announced he will contest against PM Modi from Varanasi. Anand says that there are no foregrounds to assume either’s victory. On the Election Commission’s announcement to monitor political content across social media, the panel jokes about the primitive understanding of technology by most EC officials.This and a whole lot more, so listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 63: कांग्रेस का चुनावी घोषणापत्र, मॉडल कोड ऑफ़ कंडक्ट, पीएम नरेंद्र मोदी फ़िल्म और अन्य
Apr 06 2019 55 mins  
बीता हफ़्ता बहुत सारी घटनाओं का साक्षी रहा है. इस हफ़्ते की चर्चा तब आयोजित हुई, जबकि चुनावी सरगर्मियां चरम पर थीं और पहले चरण के चुनाव में हफ़्ते भर से भी कम वक़्त रह गया था. इस हफ़्ते की चर्चा में ‘टाइम मैगज़ीन’ द्वारा पेशे का जोख़िम उठा रहे पत्रकारों की सूची में इस बार हिंदुस्तान की स्वतंत्र पत्रकार राना अयूब का नाम दर्ज़ करने व पेशे में पत्रकारों के लिए लगातार बने हुए खतरों, देशभर में महिलाओं के लिए रोजगार की संभावनाओं पर विस्तार से बात करती ऑक्सफेम इंडिया की रिपोर्ट, राहुल गांधी द्वारा पहली दफ़ा दो जगहों से लोकसभा चुनाव लड़ने, कांग्रेस पार्टी के चुनावी घोषणापत्र व आदर्श आचार संहिता के उल्लंघन की घटनाओं पर चर्चा के क्रम में ही प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी की बायोपिक, जिसमें अभिनेता विवेक ओबेरॉय उनका किरदार निभा रहे, पर चर्चा की गयी.चर्चा में इस बार वरिष्ठ पत्रकार हृदयेश जोशी ने शिरकत की. साथ ही लेखक-पत्रकार अनिल यादव व न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के स्तंभकार आनंद वर्धन भी चर्चा में शामिल हुए. चर्चा का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया.कांग्रेस पार्टी के चुनावी घोषणापत्र से चर्चा की शुरुआत करते हुए अतुल ने कहा कि कांग्रेस के चुनावी घोषणापत्र में शिक्षा व कृषि के क्षेत्र के लिए किए गये वायदों, अलग से कृषि बजट जारी करने व ‘न्याय’ योजना जिसमें देश में ग़रीबी रेखा के नीचे जीवन-यापन कर रहे पांच करोड़ परिवारों को 6000 रुपये की मासिक आर्थिक मदद की बात कही गयी है. अतुल ने इसी में अपनी बात जोड़ते हुए कहा कि इन सबको ध्यान में रखते हुए अगर चुनावी घोषणापत्र पर गौर करें तो इसमें समाजवादी रुझान की झलक मिलती है, साथ ही इसमें उस लीक से थोड़ा हटकर चलने का प्रयास भी देखने को मिलता है, जिसका निर्माण ऐसे समय में हुआ जब बाज़ारवाद ने अर्थव्यवस्था को अपनी पकड़ में ले लिया है, इस संबंध में आपकी क्या राय है?जवाब देते हुए हृदयेश जोशी ने कहा- “आपने सोशलिस्ट शब्द का इस्तेमाल किया. यहां मूल बात समझने की ये है कि शुरुआत से ही पार्टियों का और ख़ास तौर पर कांग्रेस पार्टी का ये अनुभव रहा है कि जब-जब वो अपनी इस सोशलिस्ट लाइन से हटी है, उसका जनाधार बुरी तरह खिसका है. अगर आप कुछ वक़्त पहले अर्थशास्त्री ज्यां द्रेज़ के इंडियन एक्सप्रेस में छपे लेख ‘रैश यू टर्न, हाफ-बेक्ड प्लान्स’ पर गौर करें तो उनका कहना है कि ये जो कैज़ुअल एप्रोच है, चाहे वो प्रधानमंत्री मोदी का ही रहा हो जबकि वो दक्षिणपंथी पार्टी के नेता हैं और खुलेआम पूंजीवादी रुझान में बातें करते हैं, उनका भी किसानों को 6000 रुपये देना सोशलिस्ट स्कीम ही कही जायेगी. लेकिन यह एक तरह का एड-हॉक एप्रोच है कि जब आपको लगे कि लोगों को ख़ुश करने की ज़रूरत है और कुछ ऐसा कर दिया जाये. साल 2004 में कांग्रेस की जब सरकारी बनी, तो मनरेगा जैसी योजनाएं चलाने के बाद अगले चुनाव में उनका जनाधार बढ़ा था, मुझे लगता है कांग्रेस उसी लाइन पर लौटने का प्रयास कर रही है.”जाति-धर्म, संप्रदाय या देश व देशभक्ति के नाम पर किए जा रहे ध्रुवीकरण व हर सवाल के ऊपर आख़िरी ट्रंप-कार्ड की तरह राष्ट्र को रख देने के दौर में कांग्रेस का चुनावी घोषणापत्र कहता है कि सत्ता में आने पर पार्टी आफ्सपा को डाइलूट करेगी, उसके प्रावधानों में कमी लायेगी, साथ ही राजद्रोह के कानून को ख़त्म करेगी. इन्हीं बातों का ज़िक्र करते हुए अतुल ने सवाल किया कि ऐसे वक़्त में कांग्रेस के इस कदम को किस तरह देखना चाहिए? क्या यह साहसी कदम है? या कांग्रेस ने एक तरह से रिस्क लिया है?जवाब देते हुए अनिल ने कहा- “मुझे जो पहली चीज़ लगी, वो ये कि कांग्रेस ने यह कदम हताशा में उठाया है. मुझे ऐसा लगता है कि पिछले पांच सालों के दौरान सेडीशन के मामले हुए हैं, आफ्सपा के भी हुए हैं तो इन सारे मुद्दों पर कांग्रेस की अगर कोई स्पष्ट नीति होती तो वो इन पर बात करती हुई दिखाई देती. मुझे लगता है राहुल गांधी को लग रहा है कि यह डू ऑर डाई का मामला है.”इसी सवाल पर अपना नज़रिया रखते हुए आनंद कहते हैं- “मुझे लगता है चुनावी घोषणापत्र अकादमिक रुचि व उपभोग की ही चीज़ें होती हैं, चुनाव प्रचार और रैलियों में क्या बोला जा रहा है, वह अधिक महत्वपूर्ण है.”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 for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 214: Official Secrets Act, media and the national security beat, Balakote and more
Apr 05 2019 97 mins  
In the latest episode of NL Hafta, Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by the usual gang of Raman Kirpal, Manisha Pande and Madhu Trehan, and special guest Praveen Donthi, staff writer at The Caravan.The discussion takes off with Praveen discussing his cover story on the rise of ANI news agency during the NDA government's tenure. He emphasises how ANI is considered over any other publication and that it reports the government's version of the truth. He adds: “It (ANI) has a monopoly … the story is: the government allowed it to be a monopoly, discouraging other people.”The discussion moves to Attorney General KK Venugopal's remarks in the Supreme Court, where he accused The Hindu of putting "stolen" documents from the Defence Ministry in the public domain which he said violated the Official Secrets Act. Madhu says, “The Official Secrets Act was written in 1923, the date itself should explain it.” The panel unanimously stands for the freedom to question the government. The panel also discusses the aftermath of the Balakote airstrikes, especially the varying numbers cited as "casualties" by media houses with no official confirmation. Praveen talks about how compromised India's national security beat is, citing his 2013 story on the same issue, and the damage these "source-based" reports do. The panel brings up the story on the "lynched" Pakistani Air Force pilot, which later turned out to be fake. Abhinandan asks, "How can the Opposition be accused of setting narrative … does anyone buy that this narrative is set by the Opposition and those who question Modi?" Manisha responds: “Forget the BJP and Congress, the international media … they are testing India’s claims of major damage, destruction of a terror camp … so all the sceptics are responding to what the government has said from day one."This and much more, so listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Reporters Without Orders Ep 61: SSC Paper Leak, NaMo TV, Congress Manifesto and more
Apr 04 2019 45 mins  
This week’s Reporters Without Orders features host Cherry Agarwal with Newslaundry's head of research Ayush Tiwari and desk writer Gaurav Sarkar. The panel talks about the SSC paper leaks, Yogi Adityanath’s rally, the Congress manifesto and the newly launched NaMo TV.Ayush talks about the press conference he attended on the SSC paper leaks conducted by Yogendra Yadav and Kanhaiya Kumar, an SSC aspirant from Bihar. He explains what happened and how the government and authorities were hand-in-glove. He says: “The Chairman of the SSC should be taken into account because this incident has happened under his nose.”Cherry discusses the recently released Congress manifesto which made a slew of promises including some focusing on the media, like the amendment of Press Council of India Act to strengthen self-regulation of the media, and the empowering of the Press Council of India to fight the menace of fake news and misinformation. Most fake news is amplified by TV news on a daily basis, and Cherry says: “TV newsrooms have whipped up war hysteria, communal mongering ... Be it Ayodhya, Pulwama, Balakot—I mean TV newsrooms go insane.” She also discusses the Congress’s promise of making defamation a civil offence and the removal of the controversial sedition law.Gaurav tells us about Yogi Adityanath’s rally in Bisara village near Greater Noida where the prime accused in the Akhlaq lynching case were present in the front rows, attending the rally. Gaurav quotes one of the accused as saying “we are out on bail and nothing can happen to us”. Ayush adds, “When one of the accused died, he was wrapped in a tricolour.” The panel discusses religion and the caste system in the context of the beef ban, and its impact on people. Cherry also brings up NaMo TV—now renamed Content TV—and how most details about the channel are hidden. "The Election Commission should examine its funding, violation of the Model Code of Conduct, ownership and whether the broadcasting rules are being violated or not,” she says.This and more, so listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap Ep 108: Vice, Us, The Favourite, Nani and more
Apr 03 2019 43 mins  
In this episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, hosts Rajyasree Sen and Abhinandan Sekhri discuss the latest How To Train Your Dragon, Vice, Us, A Star is Born, The Favourite and much more.The podcast kicks off with Abhinandan and Rajyasree discussing animated movies, particularly the How To Train Your Dragon series. Though Abhinandan liked the earlier parts, the latest offering didn't captivate him. Rajyasree, who's not passionate about animated movies, moves on to the Oscar-nominated movie Vice, a comic-biopic on former US Vice President Dick Cheney. She says the movie captures the nature of politics at the time, Cheney’s relationship with Donal Rumsfeld, and the charismatic interactions and motivations of the wives of prominent political leaders.Abhinandan expresses his dissatisfaction with Jordan Peele’s movie Us (2019) which may also stem from his dislike of horror films in general. He says he predicted the plot minutes into the movie. Rajyasree says she enjoys most of Peele's work. "Everything is a commentary with Jordan Peele.” She recommends Get Out by the same director. Moving on to the movie A Star is Born, Rajyasree says the actors' performances and the movie in general were adequate, but not challenging. Abhinandan remarks that with musicals, there are often two kinds of reviews: those who like the movie too much, and those who didn't. He says: "A Star is Born, like La La Land, had two kinds of reviews. There were the La La Land haters and there were people who said it was just the most amazing film ever. Same thing with A Star is Born.”Rajyasree then gives a brief synopsis of the movie The Favourite, saying she enjoyed watching it and found it funny. Abhinandan seems to lose interest just from its description. Rajyasree then says she found the mini-series A Very English Scandal extremely intriguing and amusing, and a wonderful commentary of the time. "It's very funny because it's British, right?" she says. Abhinandan agrees that British humour is very good.The discussion also spans Akshay Kumar's new advertisement for Suthol and Madhur Jaffrey's music video Nani. Rajyasree and Abhinandan also plan on watching the upcoming movies PM Narendra Modi and The Tashkent Files—notwithstanding their dread.Tune in for more! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 213: #Pulwama attacks, Indo-Pak conflict, Arunachal Pradesh protests and more
Mar 30 2019 99 mins  
In the latest episode of NL Hafta, Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by the usual gang of Raman Kirpal, Manisha Pande and Madhu Trehan, as well as Nitin A Gokhle, a national security analyst, and Samrat, a journalist and author.The conversation kicks off with Indo-Pak tension, with Abhinandan asking Nitin about the details of the air strikes on JeM camps and the non-credible information that flowed with it. Nitin rules out the possibility of ascertaining the "number of terrorists killed in the strike". However, he says: “To me, the significance of the strike was not in numbers, it was about crossing the red line … and planning.” Madhu explains the reportage of the air strike, saying, “When we get statements from the government during the conflict, I think it has to be just context with government sources.” She says it prevents journalists from jumping the gun and puts the onus on government. The panel is unanimously annoyed about the unconfirmed and propagandist reportage by sections of Indian media. Manisha feels it warrants criticism from the international community.When asked about dos and don’ts for defence correspondents, Nitin says, “Don’t be in a hurry to give out everything you get … It’s more important what you don’t write than what you write.”The conversation moves to a discussion on the protests in Arunachal Pradesh over the Permanent Residence Certificates. Abhinandan says: “I don’t get that feeling when I went to Arunachal … it doesn’t seem like a kind of place which I would imagine would burn deputy CM’s house down.” He asks Samrat why it reached such a level. Samrat says, “Politics of indigeneity is very much there, inter-tribal rivalry … tribal divide … these are actually big things.” He adds that tourists don't face things like this.The discussion covers Caravan’s article where reporter Ajaz Ashraf tabulated soldiers killed in Pulwama on a caste basis. Raman says, “The sample that they have taken is very, very small … I think caste still dominates the class.” Manisha says, “I think the article borrows its narrative from … American media after the Iraq war. I have a central problem with one saying that the war in India is driven by Hindu nationalism—because Kashmir and Chhattisgarh where most of the CRPF is deployed have existed before Hindu nationalism rose.”Listen up! There’s more. See for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 62: मोदी का राष्ट्र के नाम संदेश, राहुल की न्याय योजना और अन्य
Mar 30 2019 52 mins  
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 for privacy and opt-out information.

Reporters Without Orders Ep 60: Nyuntam Aay Yojana, Model Code of Conduct and more
Mar 28 2019 46 mins  
This week’s Reporters Without Orders features host Cherry Agarwal, Business Standard's Arup Roychoudhury, Newslaundry’s head of research Ayush Tiwari, and Newslaundry's associate editor Meghnad. The panel talks about the Election Commission of India's Model Code of Conduct, a recent study by Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism on Indian digital media, and Rahul Gandhi’s announcement of the Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY).The discussion starts with the Reuters report with Ayush explaining the nuances of the survey. The panel discusses its important aspects like the sample size and type of questions, and examines why some news sites are more trusted by Indians. Arup says, "Times of India right now in this country is almost as synonymous as 'Xerox' versus 'photocopy'."Meghnad tells us about the guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India with respect to social media for the conduct of political parties and candidates during elections. Ayush and Arup share their opinions on why the EC may face a lot of trouble in the absence of laws regarding political advertisements. On the EC's effort to keep a check on social media, Meghnad says, “Maybe they are just putting out reports of ‘we have taken action’, whereas there might be thousands and thousands which have just been ignored.” The panel also discusses the "ghost advertisers" on Facebook and the effectiveness of the EC’s guidelines. Cherry discusses the recent announcements made by the Congress as poll promises, focusing on the NYAY, which is the party's minimum income guarantee scheme. “This is a poll promise, how well this gets implemented—if it gets implemented—is what we have to see.” NYAY offers ₹12,000 per month for a family (up to ₹72,000 per year) as basic income. When it comes to how the scheme will be funded, Ayush says: “Till the coming election they won’t clarify it, because keeping it vague is the best idea.” Arup also gives an in-depth analysis of the basic structure of a minimum income guarantee scheme and ways to fund it.For all this and more, listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 216: Christchurch shooting, Samjhauta blast verdict & more
Mar 23 2019 92 mins  
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 for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 61: येदियुरप्पा की डायरी, आडवाणी का टिकट कटना और अन्य
Mar 23 2019 55 mins  
बीत रहा हफ़्ता रंगों के त्यौहार ‘होली’ के उल्लास में डूबा रहा. इस बीच तमाम घटनाएं अप्रभावित अपनी गति से घटती रहीं. तमाम चिंताजनक वारदातों से अप्रभावित प्रधानमंत्री के कार्यक्रम वक़्त और तारीख़ में बिना किसी फेरबदल के आयोजित होते रहे. ऐसे में नज़ीर अकबराबादी का होली पर लिखा गीत ‘होली की बहारें’ बेहद मानीखेज़ है. उनके लिए फिराक़ गोरखपुरी लिखते हैं कि नज़ीर दुनिया के रंग में रंगे हुए महाकवि थे. वे दुनिया में रहते थे और दुनिया उनमें रहती थी, जो उनकी कविताओं में हंसती-बोलती, जीती-जागती त्यौहार मनाती नज़र आती है. गीत के कुछ अंश इस प्रकार हैं-“जब फागुन रंग झमकते हों तब देख बहारें होली कीऔर दफ़ के शोर खड़कते हों तब देख बहारें होली कीपरियों के रंग दमकते हों तब देख बहारें होली कीख़ुम, शीशे, जाम झलकते हों तब देख बहारें होली की.”अनिल यादव गीत के बारे में बताते हुए कहते हैं कि ऐसे वक़्त में जब सांप्रदायिक आधारों पर समाज को बांटने की कोशिशें बदस्तूर जारी हैं, यह गीत इस लिए भी सुना/ पढ़ा जाना चाहिए क्योंकि इससे पता चलता है कि हमारी साझी संस्कृति का रंग कितना गहरा है.रंगों के त्यौहार पर संक्षिप्त बातचीत व गीत के ज़िक्र के बात चर्चा के विषयों की ओर लौटना हुआ. इस हफ़्ते की चर्चा में भारतीय जनता पार्टी के लोकसभा उम्मीदवारों की पहली सूची जारी हुई जिसमें वरिष्ठ नेता लाल कृष्ण आडवाणी का नाम नहीं होने के बाद अब उनके राजनीतिक अवसान, पंजाब नेशनल बैंक से तकरीबन 13000 करोड़ रूपये के गबन के बाद देश से फरार चल रहे नीरव मोदी की लंदन में हुई गिरफ़्तारी, पत्रकार बरखा दत्त को गालियां देने व जान से मारने की धमकी देने वाले कुछ लोगों को पुलिस द्वारा हिरासत में लिए जाने, न्यूज़ीलैण्ड में मस्जिदों में घुसकर दो बन्दूकधारियों द्वारा तकरीबन 50 लोगों की हत्या की आतंकवादी घटना, प्रधानमंत्री के चुनावी अभियान ‘मैं भी चौकीदार’ और कर्नाटक के पूर्व मुख्यमंत्री बीएस येदियुरप्पा की सीक्रेट डायरी प्रकाश में आने, उससे सामने आ रहे तथ्यों को चर्चा में विशेष तौर पर लिया गया.चर्चा में इस बार लेखक-पत्रकार अनिल यादव व न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के स्तंभकार आनंद वर्धन शामिल हुए. चर्चा का संचालन हमेशा की तरह न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया.कर्नाटक के डायरी-प्रकरण से चर्चा की शुरुआत करते हुए अतुल ने सवाल किया कि यह डायरी कथित तौर पर कांग्रेस के नेता वीके शशि कुमार के घर से ज़ब्त की गई थी. 2017 से यह डायरी वित्त मंत्रालय के संज्ञान में होने के बावजूद सरकार द्वारा डायरी को दबाकर बैठे जाने को राजनीतिक प्रक्रिया के लिहाज़ से कैसे देखा जाए? क्या इसे तेज़ होती चुनावी सरगर्मियों के बीच कांग्रेस पार्टी द्वारा सनसनी पैदा करने की एक कोशिश कह सकते हैं या फिर यह डायरी बताती है कि राजनीतिक संस्कृति में भारतीय जनता पार्टी भी उतनी ही करप्ट है जितनी कि कांग्रेस?जवाब देते हुए अनिल ने कहा, “देखिए! करप्ट तो सारी पार्टियां हैं. असल बात ये है कि कोई राजनीतिक पार्टी उस करप्शन का पॉलिटिकल मैनेजमेंट कैसे करती है. बीजेपी ने इसका मैनेजमेंट करने के लिए अरसा पहले ही ‘पार्टी विद अ डिफरेंस’ का नारा दिया.” इसी क्रम में 2014 के चुनाव के वक़्त के प्रधानमंत्री मोदी के नारे ‘न खाऊंगा न खाने दूंगा’ का ज़िक्र करते हुए अनिल ने कहा, “पूरे कार्यकाल में बीजेपी के बड़े नेता लगातार कहते रहे हैं कि हमारी सरकार में सब हुआ लेकिन करप्शन नहीं हुआ. लेकिन अब एक के बाद जैसी ख़बरें आ रही हैं वो बताती हैं कि उनका जो करप्शन का प्रबंधन करने का तरीक़ा था वो नाकाम हो गया और ये जो करप्शन हो रहे हैं वो पहले से भी बड़े करप्शन हैं. मुझे लगता है कि नैतिक मुद्रा अपना करके, झूठ बोल करके बीजेपी ने छवि-प्रबंधन की जो कोशिश की थी अब उसके चीथड़े उड़ रहे हैं.”इसी कड़ी में इस बात का ज़िक्र करते हुए कि जब येदियुरप्पा का पूरा कार्यकाल भ्रष्टाचार के आरोपों से घिरा रहा व उन्हें इस्तीफ़ा भी देना पड़ा अतुल ने सवाल किया कि उस पूरे मामले के लिहाज से इस पूरी राजनीतिक संस्कृति पर गौर करते हुए क्या आपको लगता है कि यह महज़ चुनाव के पहले महज़ एक हथकंडा अपना जा रहा है?अपने जवाब में आनंद वर्धन ने कहा, “चुनाव के मौसम में इस तरह की तमाम कहानियां दोनों पक्षों से आएंगी. दूसरी बात कि ‘पार्टी विद अ डिफ़रेंस’ नब्बे के दशक में भाजपा की अपील रही है. मेरे ख़याल से उसके बाद उसकी यह अपील नहीं रही है. यह मुख्यधारा की राष्ट्रीय पार्टी है जो परसेप्शन की लड़ाई ज़्यादा लड़ेगी. और राजनीति में यह तात्कालिक जरूरतों पर हमेशा भारी पड़ता है.” See for privacy and opt-out information.

The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap Ep 107: Hasan Minhaj, Cricket Fever and more
Mar 22 2019 60 mins  
On this week's episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, hosts Rajyasree Sen and Abhinandan Sekhri cover the Patriot Act episode by Hasan Minhaj on India's elections, Netflix shows Delhi Crime and Cricket Fever, a short film, and a lot more. Holding the conversation baton, Abhinandan kicks off with a rant on the quality of short films being made, saying: "Short films are an indulgent filmmaker’s time pass.” They then discuss Cricket Fever, which is a sneak peek into the lives and dressing rooms of players and officials, spiced with how efficient and decisive Akash Ambani is as a leader. Abhinandan narrows the discussion down, saying: "So it's basically positioning Akash Ambani as a genius taking our country to a different level of success.”Next up is Hasan Minhaj's India episode of Patriot Act, where the hosts discuss how Minhaj simplified the idea of India's elections without taking any sides and presented a neutral show. They mention how Minhaj not only talked about Yogi Adityanath but also questioned Shashi Tharoor about his own controversies. Rajyasree points out the hurdles Hasan faces, saying: "He’s Indian, he’s Muslim, he’s brown. It’s not easy for him.” Abhinandan says he found the show a bit "plain". They then discuss the latest ad films by Mothers Recipe, specifically their idea of unrealistic cooking timeframes. Referring to a play, Rajyasree decodes this mystery of fast cooking: "Maybe they have a hidden Ramu who does all the cooking for them." For this and a lot more, tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 60: लोकसभा चुनाव की तारीखें, सर्फ एक्सेल विवाद और अन्य
Mar 15 2019 54 mins  
बीता हफ़्ता कई वजहों से चर्चा में रहा. चुनाव आयोग ने लोकसभा चुनाव की तारीखों की घोषणा की जिसके साथ ही नेताओं की बयानबाजी का दौर शुरू हो गया. इस हफ़्ते की कुछ प्रमुख घटनाओं मसलन कर्नाटक के बीजेपी नेता अनंत कुमार हेगड़े का राहुल गांधी और उनके परिवार पर आपत्तिजनक टिप्पणी करना, हिंदुस्तान यूनीलीवर के उत्पाद ‘सर्फ़ एक्सेल’ के होली से जुड़े एक विज्ञापन पर उठा विवाद, अदालत की अवमानना के आरोप के चलते शिलॉन्ग टाइम्स की एडिटर पैट्रीशिया मुखीम पर मेघालय हाईकोर्ट द्वारा लगाया गया जुर्माना और जुर्माने की अदायगी में असफल रहने पर 6 महीने की जेल के साथ अख़बार बंद करने का आदेश, आदि विषय इस बार की चर्चा में शामिल रहे.चर्चा में इस बार पत्रकार राहुल कोटियाल ने बतौर मेहमान शिरकत की. साथ ही न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के स्तंभकार आनंद वर्धन व लेखक-पत्रकार अनिल यादव भी चर्चा में शामिल रहे. चर्चा का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया.चर्चा की शुरुआत करते हुए अतुल ने कहा कि हमारे समाज या समय में हर चीज़ के साथ विवाद जुड़ जाने की एक परंपरा विकसित हो गई है और अब किसी भी चीज़ का विवादों के साए में चले जाना आम सी बात हो गई है. चुनाव की तारीख़ों के ऐलान के बाद रमज़ान के महीने में चुनाव होने और चुनाव की तारीख़ों व फेज़ को लेकर भी विवाद हो गया. राजनीतिक गलियारों में लगाई जा रही इन अटकलों का ज़िक्र करते हुए कि चुनाव की तारीख़ें बीजेपी के मुफ़ीद हैं, अतुल ने सवाल किया कि इस विवाद को कैसे देखा जाए? क्या इसमें विपक्ष को किसी भी तरह का डिसएडवांटेज है?जवाब देते हुए अनिल ने कहा, “ये चुनाव काफ़ी अविश्वास के माहौल में हो रहे हैं. एक संभावना यह भी थी कि क्या पता चुनाव हों ही न. सर्जिकल स्ट्राइक के बाद ये अटकलें लगाई गईं कि हो सकता है प्रधानमंत्री मोदी आपातकाल लागू करने के लिए इस अवसर का इस्तेमाल करें और चुनाव आगे चलकर तब कराएं जब परिस्थितियां उनके पक्ष में हो जाएं दूसरा एक बहुत बड़ी आशंका पिछले पांच सालों में हवा में रही है कि ईवीएम के ज़रिए चुनाव में गड़बड़ी की जाती है. तो एक तरह से सरकार और चुनाव आयोग के प्रति पिछले पांच सालों में एक अविश्वास का माहौल हवा में रहा है और उसी पृष्ठभूमि में ये चुनाव हो रहे हैं. तो जहां असुरक्षा होती है, अविश्वास होता है, हर चीज़ के दूसरे अर्थ निकाले जाते हैं. और मुझे यह लगता है कि चुनाव का कई फेज़ में होना किसी के भी पक्ष जा सकता है. सिर्फ भाजपा को ही इसका फायदा मिलेगा, यह सोचना ठीक नहीं है.”विवाद लाज़मी था या ग़ैरज़रूरी? इस सवाल का जवाब देते हुए आनंद कहते हैं, “हम लोग अतिविश्लेषण युग में रह रहे हैं, हर चीज़ का विश्लेषण बहुत अधिक होता है, और अतिविश्लेषण के बाद कुछ न कुछ तो निष्कर्ष निकलता ही है. या निष्कर्ष तय करके फिर विश्लेषण कर लिया जा रहा है. यह दोनों ही चीज़ें हो रही हैं.” आनंद ने इसी में आगे जोड़ते हुए कहा कि अगर इस तरह कि अटकलें इवीएम के स्तर पर हैं तो फिर चुनाव की तारीख़ें और चरण क्या हैं उस आरोप का कुछ ख़ास मतलब नहीं रह जाता.नवीन पटनायक द्वारा 33% और ममता बनर्जी द्वारा 35% टिकट महिलाओं को दिया जाना क्या बाकी दलों पर एक दबाव की तरह काम करेगा? महिला आरक्षण का कानून पास हुए बिना ही राजनीतिक दल इस तरह के सकारात्मक बदलाव करने के लिए मजबूर हैं? इस सवाल के जवाब में राहुल कहते हैं, “बिल्कुल! पहली ही नज़र में यह बहुत सकारात्मक कदम लगता है. अब बीजेपी-कांग्रेस जैसे दलों में फैसले आलाकमान की तरफ से लिए जाते हैं. टिकटों का निर्धारण वहीं से होता है. ऐसे में इन पार्टियों के लिए टिकट बंटवारे में 33% सीटें महिलाओं के देने की बात करना मुश्किलों भरा हो जाएगा क्योंकि तब इन्हें कैंडिडेट ढूंढ़ने में ख़ासी मशक्कत करनी पड़ेगी.”इसी क्रम में बाकी विषयों पर भी बेहद गंभीर व दिलचस्प चर्चा हुई. बाकी विषयों पर पैनल की विस्तृत राय जानने-समझने के लिए पूरी चर्चा सुनें. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 212: #PulwamaAttack, Saudi Prince's visit and online harassment of Barkha Dutt
Mar 15 2019 85 mins  
In the latest episode of NL Hafta, the usual gang of Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Raman Kirpal and Anand Vardhan are joined by journalist Kaveree Bamzai to discuss Pulwama attack, harassment of Kashmiri student in Dehradun, MBS’ visit to India and more.The conversation kicks off with Kaveree talking about surviving as an independent, freelance journalist in the industry. She also talks about the casual sexism and misogyny in newsrooms.Then, the panel moves on to discuss the attack on CRPF convoy in Pulwama where 44 soldiers lost their lives. Manisha, while talking about the news coverage of the Pulwama attack, says, “Newspapers did a far better job of telling us what happened, the mastermind, raising questions on how 300kgs of explosive just goes through undetected.” Kaveree jumps in and feels the basic questions were ignored, she says, “It was a marketing opportunity which both PM Modi and TV channels saw.” She also mentions how Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Yasin Malik were forgotten, in the recent order of security withdrawal of separatists.Following the discussion on Pulwama attack and the back and forth between India and Pakistan, the panel also discusses how some journalists in India had to go through harassment. Journalists like Ravish Kumar and Barkha Dutt were harassed with lewd messages and photos. Defending Barkha’s move to put out all the messages and photos on Twitter, Kaveree said, “She has every right to tell people that this is the kind of abuse I am getting and if they don’t understand, to give them visual proof, it’s called shock therapy and it usually works.”The panel also discussed CobraPost’s Operation Karaoke, Supreme Court’s order asking Anil Ambani to pay dues in the Ericson case, Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman’s visit to India and more. Listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Reporters Without Orders Ep 59: #ElectionCommission, Jammu and Kashmir & more
Mar 15 2019 58 mins  
This week’s Reporters Without Orders features our host Cherry Agarwal, award-winning reporter Amit Visen, Newslaundry’s head of research Ayush Tiwari and desk writer Gaurav Sarkar. The panel talks about gender pay gap across newsrooms, Rahul Gandhi's use of "ji" for Jaish chief Masood Azhar, Election Commission's presser, custodial deaths in Bihar, government advertisements and more.The discussion starts with Ayush talking about a YouGov poll on dwindling job opportunities in the country. He mentions that the females surveyed are conscious of the disparity in pay. Cherry mentions the BBC's gender pay gap story and asks Amit about his experience with different media organisations. Amit speaks of the prejudice against women journalist that restricts them to female-centric content. Reflecting on what was over-reported by sections of the media, Gaurav talks about the internet outrage over Rahul Gandhi using "ji" to address Masood Azhar. The panel also discusses the misuse of laws such as sedition.Amit talks about the announcements made by the Election Commission and what does no-go for simultaneous elections in Jammu and Kashmir mean. He also expresses his disappointment at the under-reporting of the custodial deaths in Bihar. Ayush and Gaurav share their opinion on the Huffington Post report about the Indian cricket team wearing camouflage caps. “…It's not difficult to see the emotion that they are coming from, post-Pulwama, but does it really require PCB [Pakistan Cricket Board] …to say that you all are hurting our sentiments?” says Gaurav. Ayush remarks, “They [Indian government] have given patriotism a bad name by taking it to very irrational extremes but that shouldn’t limit our horizon of looking at things.”Cherry discusses the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and some of the announcements made by the Election Commission. Is monitoring the spread of fake news and disinformation across social media platforms within EC's jurisdiction? Is EC's reasoning for not holding Jammu and Kashmir's assembly polls tenable? For answers to these, some media updates and more, listen up!NL Sena: See for privacy and opt-out information.

The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap Ep 106: Captain Marvel, Leaving Neverland and more
Mar 14 2019 64 mins  
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 for privacy and opt-out information.

चर्चा 59: सांसद-विधायक जूतम पैजार, अयोध्या, राफेल और अन्य
Mar 09 2019 45 mins  
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 for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 211: Delhi Govt vs LG, Nageswara Rao, Republic TV vs AMU, and more
Mar 08 2019 97 mins  
In the latest episode of NL Hafta, the usual gang of Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Raman Kirpal, and Anand Vardhan are joined by Setu Niket, a Delhi-based lawyer and Newslaundry subscriber.The discussion kicks off with Setu talking about the latest updates on the Supreme Court’s split verdict in the Delhi government vs LG power tussle case. The apex court referred the decision on public service to the larger bench. But who is this verdict in favour of? Abhinandan says: “If your own guy who’s supposed to report to you in your office, which happened a year ago, would not listen to Arvind Kejriwal ... He wouldn’t come in the room when you called him—what can be the reason for giving that to the Centre?”The panel moves on to discuss the contempt charges against the CBI's former interim director Nageswara Rao. Raman says the main reason for contempt charges was transferring the officer probing the Muzaffarpur shelter home horror. He adds, “Right from the day one, he has been breaking all the rules.”The panel also talks about the CAG report on the Rafale deal, with Abhinandan reading out some of the details. The discussion goes on to Patiala House’s direction to the Delhi Police to file an FIR against Arnab Goswami on Shashi Tharoor’s complaint. The panel discusses how this will set a bad precedent. They also talk about Priyanka Gandhi's Lucknow rally, the Republic TV vs AMU fiasco, and a whole lot more.Listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Reporters Without Orders Ep 58: #Balakot, ghost advertising for the BJP & more
Mar 07 2019 49 mins  
In this episode of Reporters Without Orders, host Cherry Agarwal is joined by Newslaundry's head of research Ayush Tiwari, desk writer Gaurav Sarkar and Vijaita Singh from The Hindu. The panel talks about the reporting on the Balakot airstrike, ghost advertising for the BJP online, and more.The podcast kicks off with the panel talking about the reportage on the casualties caused by the IAF’s airstrike on a Jaish-e-Mohammad's training camp. Discussing the varying numbers put out by the media, Vijaita says: “There was a precision strike ... even Pakistan has admitted ... but to give numbers, it’s very difficult for the IAF or anybody because Pakistan is very secretive about these things.” Cherry is concerned about the credibility of "anonymous sources", saying, "I am often fearful that once the report goes out, [what if] my source flips over and says I didn’t talk to you?”They discuss the I&B Ministry’s showcause notice to two TV channels for airing a Pakistan Army press briefing. Ayush pointing out its digital equivalent, says: “Many of these digital outlets carried stories on what the Pakistan newspapers are saying … would that also be considered against national security?” Cherry points out that the media is not a tool for the government to set the narrative—it's there to raise questions, which doesn't make them anti-national or unpatriotic.The discussion moves to Gaurav’s story on how Facebook's recently-released Ad Library Report lists "ghost advertisers"—who are Facebook and Instagram pages which often run ads for political parties without disclaimers. Gaurav explains, "You don’t know who has been funding that. So officially, if the BJP’s accounts are spending ₹6-8 lakh a week, then who are these guys pushing about a crore worth of advertising in a month?”For this and more, listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap Ep 105: Sonchiriya, Leaving Neverland and more
Mar 05 2019 48 mins  
In this episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, Rajyasree Sen and Abhinandan Sekhri discuss Sonchiriya, the Oscars, Three Identical Strangers, and more.Rajyasree kicks off the podcast with the recently-concluded Academy Awards. Abhinandan asks her what was good about the show this year. She praises the event's opening with Queen's performance. "It was really nice to see how much the audience get involved,” she adds. Addressing the outrage over Green Book winning Best Picture, she says, "I did like it a lot. I didn’t understand why people weren’t happy about it.” The conversation moves to recently-released movie Sonchiriya. Both Abhinandan and Rajyasree liked the film. Abhinandan says, “The use of slow motion was unnecessarily long … Music was completely unremarkable … the art direction and costumes were outstanding.” Next up is two documentaries: Three Identical Strangers and Leaving Neverland, which is about the alleged child sexual abuse by Michael Jackson. Abhinandan addresses young listeners of the podcast, explaining why Jackson is still popular despite the allegations, as described in several opinion pieces following the documentary's release. He says: “You can’t comprehend how big Michael Jackson was … He is the basis of an entire pop culture movement.” For this and much more, listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 58: भारत-पाकिस्तान तनाव, चैनलों को नोटिस और अन्य
Mar 02 2019 54 mins  
बीता पूरा हफ़्ता काफ़ी उठापटक भरा रहा. चर्चा में उन्हीं में से कुछ विषयों पर विस्तार से बात की गई. इस हफ़्ते की सबसे महत्वपूर्ण घटना रही, भारत और पाकिस्तान के हवाई हमलों के बाद पैदा हुआ तनाव. पुलवामा में हुए आतंकवादी हमले के बाद भारतीय वायुसेना ने पाकिस्तान में मौजूद आतंकवादी ठिकानों पर कार्रवाई की थी. बदले में पाकिस्तान ने भारत की हवाई सीमा का उल्लंघन किया. भारत- पाकिस्तान के बीच पैदा तनाव की वजह से एक और महत्वपूर्ण घटना जो उस तरह से सुर्ख़ियों में न आ सकी, वह अरुणाचल प्रदेश में वहां के स्थानीय निवासियों द्वारा किया गया बड़े पैमाने पर विरोध प्रदर्शन है. टकराव की वजह वहां पर ऐसे छः समुदायों को ‘स्थानीय निवासी प्रमाणपत्र’ देने की सिफ़ारिश थी जो मूल रूप से अरुणाचल के निवासी नहीं हैं, लेकिन दशकों से नामसाई और चांगलांग जिलों में रह रहे थे.तीसरी घटना जो इस हफ़्ते चर्चा का विषय रही, वह है 13 से ज़्यादा चैनलों को सूचना एवं प्रसारण मंत्रालय द्वारा नोटिस जारी किया जाना. इन चैनलों के ऊपर आरोप है कि उन्होंने पाकिस्तान के सैन्य प्रवक्ता मेजर जनरल गफूर की उस प्रेस कांफ्रेंस को लाइव दिखाया. जिसमें वो भारत को हमले का जवाब देने की धमकी दे रहे थे. सरकार का इस पर कहना रहा कि यह ग़लत परम्परा है, इससे देश की एकता और अखंडता पर संकट पैदा हो सकता है.इस हफ्ते चर्चा में ‘द ट्रिब्यून’ की डेप्युटी एडिटर स्मिता शर्मा बतौर मेहमान शिरकत की. साथ ही चर्चा में हमारे साथ लेखक-पत्रकार अनिल यादव भी शामिल हुए. चर्चा का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया.भारत-पाकिस्तान के बीच तनावपूर्ण माहौल पर चर्चा की शुरुआत करते हुए अतुल ने एक सवाल रखा कि ऊरी हमले के बाद पिछला जो सर्जिकल स्ट्राइक हुआ और अब ये जो इंडियन एयरफोर्स ने किया है, इससे क्या वह धारणा टूट गई है कि न्यूक्लियर पॉवर रहते हुए भी इस तरह की परिस्थितियां आने पर या किसी तरह की क्रॉस बॉर्डर टेररिज्म की स्थिति में हम पाकिस्तान को जवाब दे सकते हैं? या हम न्यूक्लियर पॉवर होते हुए भी एक लिमिटेड लेवल पर एक दूसरे से कॉन्फ्रंट कर सकते हैं?इसका जवाब देते हुए स्मिता ने कहा कि अगर आप न्यूक्लियर डेटरेंस की बात करते हैं तो न्यूक्लियर डेटरेंस क्या है? इस कांसेप्ट को लेकर बहुत चर्चाएं होती रहती हैं. जब आपके पास परमाणु हथियार होता है तो क्या वो सही में डेटरेंस का काम करता है? या सामने वाले को और प्रोवोक करता है. सामने वाले को और आक्रामक रवैया अपनाने पर मजबूर करता है. इसकी वजह से हम एक ‘आर्म्स रेस’ देखते हैं.स्मिता कहती हैं, “इन सबके बीच दो चीज़ें हमें नहीं भूलनी चाहिए. पुलवामा में हमला हुआ, जैश-ए-मोहम्मद ने जिसकी ज़िम्मेदारी ली. 40 जवानों की जानें गईं. भारत जैसे देश में, जो आज विश्व भर में खुद को एक बड़ी पोजीशन पर महसूस कर रहा है. इस वक़्त चुनाव हों या न हों, लेकिन हमले से एक दबाव निश्चित तौर पर बन जाता है सरकार पर कि वो कोई न कोई कार्रवाई ज़रूर करे. भारत ने जवाबी हमला करते हुए कहा कि हमने बालाकोट में गैर सैन्य हमला किया है. और सूत्रों के हवाले से पता चला कि यह बालाकोट दरअसल पाक के कब्जे वाले कश्मीर में नहीं बल्कि खैबर पख्तूनख्वाह में है, जो पाकिस्तान की सीमा के बिल्कुल अंदर है.”स्मिता आगे कहती हैं, “भारत, अमेरिका जैसा एक देश हो जो ऐब्टाबाद में घुसकर नेवी सील्स के ज़रिए ओसामा बिन लादेन को मार गिराता है. पर यहां वैसा नहीं है. भारत-पाकिस्तान की सीमाएं लगी हुई हैं. हमारी जो हक़ीकत है वो अमेरिका और पाकिस्तान की हकीकत से अलग है. इसलिए हमें साईट नहीं लूज करनी चाहिए.”चर्चा को आगे बढ़ाते हुए अतुल ने कहा, “बार बार ये जो स्थिति आती थी कि हम दोनों न्यूक्लियर पॉवर होने की वजह से लगभग तल पर आ गए हैं. ये न्यूक्लियर ब्लैकमेल पाकिस्तान की तरफ से होता था. हम एक सीमा से आगे नहीं जा सकते थे. लेकिन अब ये कहा जा रहा है कि नरेन्द्र मोदी ने इस धारणा को तोड़ दिया है और यह नया इंडिया है, अब इन सबके रहते हुए भी भारत-पाकिस्तान में जाकर हमला कर सकता है. इसको एक नया टर्म दिया गया कि यह भारत-पाकिस्तान के रिश्तों में वाटरशेड मोमेंट है.”यहां पर चर्चा में हस्तक्षेप करते हुए अनिल कहते हैं कि ‘न्यू इंडिया’ और एक नया चलन शुरू करने वाली जो बात है कि भारत अब पहले की तरह आतंकवाद को सहन करने वाला देश नहीं रहा. हम उस तरह तरह से कार्रवाई करेंगे जैसा की अमेरिका आतंकवाद की स्थिति में करता रहा है. लेकिन मैं थोड़ा पीछे जाना चाहूंगा कि ऑल ऑफ सडेन, अचानक, रातोंरात आप अपना कैरेक्टर नहीं बदल सकते. इसको थोड़ा पॉलिटिकली भी देखना चाहिए कि अगर सचमुच आतंकवाद मोदी सरकार का कंसर्न है तो सडेन एक्शन की बजाय और भी बहुत कुछ है जो किया जा सकता था. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 210: #MamataVsCBI, Twitter’s alleged bias, Robert Vadra and more
Mar 01 2019 86 mins  
In the latest episode of NL Hafta, Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by the usual gang of Anand Vardhan, Manisha Pande and Madhu Trehan, as well as Niha Masih, India correspondent for Washington Post. The conversation covers #MamataVsCBI in West Bengal, Robert Vadra being questioned by the ED, the Supreme Court’s contempt notice to Prashant Bhushan, the Right-wing's protest against Twitter, and a lot more. Niha kicks things off by talking about the face-off between Mamata Banerjee and the Centre. Mentioning the media's shortcomings in reporting on the issue, she says, "Something that I found wanting, which I actually found from an alternative legal media website called The Leaflet, was exactly the legality of what the CBI was trying to do and what the state government was alleging, because it is very easy to give into the political back and forth ... but what were the legalities of what the CBI did?”The conversation moves to the list of questions Justice Markandey Katju directed to Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi. Abhinandan attempts to explain why this story was not picked up by the Indian media: “Most media really likes this Chief Justice because this was the man who stood up to Modi. But I think it is more than that ... They will go after Modi, they will go after Rahul, they will go after Ambani. No one will go after the Chief Justice.” He asks the panel what they think—does the media love Gogoi or are they too scared? Anand says: "I think it has a two-day-story shelf life, nothing more. I think that point is more valid: that it didn’t have substantial meat to it.”The discussion shifts to the Supreme Court's contempt notice to Prashant Bhushan. Madhu says, “Filing contempt against Prashant Bhushan—he takes it as a compliment, he gets more press, he is very happy with it.” But Manisha says it's scary since the contempt notice is over tweets. "I don't think it sets a good precedent. Whatever he may have said.” Madhu still feels contempt cases are relatively benign: "They don’t do much ... that law has to be questioned, it has to be redefined to fit contemporary India where everyone is accountable, including the judge.”This and much more, so listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap Ep 104: Gully Boy, Period, the Oscars and more
Feb 28 2019 42 mins  
In this episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Ankur Pathak, entertainment editor at Huffington Post. They discuss Gully Boy, Period. End of Sentence., the Oscar awards and more.They start off with Gully Boy, with Abhinandan asking Ankur what worked for him in the movie. Ankur says: “I just felt that Zoya is basically ... fighting for your right to dream fearlessly.” He feels Zoya Akhtar made interesting points about the relevance of art. Abhinandan thinks films made with Western cultural references are usually very self-conscious and contrived, but for Gully Boy, he says, "It was comfortably cool, although rap and hip hop is not an Indian thing … it seems very authentic.”The discussion moves to Period. End of Sentence., a 25-minute documentary based in India which recently won an Academy Award. Both Abhinandan and Ankur liked it immensely. Abhinandan says, "Its message was more profound or impressive than crafting … storytelling.” They also thought it did have its weak points and think it takes much more to merit an Oscar win. Speaking of the Oscars, they talk about the award ceremony this year, which was accused of being more about "wokeness" than craft. They also criticise the Academy for, among other things, its choice for Best Picture this year, stating BlacKkKlansman and Roma were better options in this category.For this and much more, listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Reporters Without Orders Ep 57: #Balakot, SC's tribal eviction order, #KisanLongMarch & more
Feb 28 2019 55 mins  
This episode of Reporters Without Orders features host Cherry Agarwal, Newslaundry's head of research Ayush Tiwari, special correspondent Prateek Goyal and independent journalist Aruna Chandrasekhar. The panel talks about the Indian airstrike in Jaba, near Balakot, Supreme Court's order to evict more than 1 million tribals and forest-dwellers, the Kisan long march in Maharashtra and more.The podcast kicks off with the panel talking about IAF’s airstrike on Jaish-e-Muhammad's "biggest training camp" in Pakistan. They also talk about the Supreme Court's verdict which has the potential to impact as many as 1 million tribals and forest-dwellers. Cherry points how tribals are often criticised for occupying "illegal" land. To which, Aruna says, “The government is supposed to be a custodian of public land…the idea that they are illegal occupants or illegal encroachers is part of language that is still extremely entrenched in our bureaucracy.” The panel also discusses why Arunachal Pradesh has been on the boil and a section of the media's coverage of the ongoing agitation. Further, they discuss the Republic TV-AMU controversy and the reason why sedition is used with much ease. Talking about police's actions in the AMU case, Ayush says, “They didn’t make any arrests in that sedition charge case… there are robbery, murder, rioting (charges), besides the sedition charge.”Moving on, Prateek, who was at the Kisan long march that began from Nasik's Mumbai Naka, tells the panel what he saw on the ground. The panel also discusses the implications of association of the farmers' protest with AIKS. Prateek says, “Farmers are in distress… people above the age of 70 walked 20-25 km to take part in the march.” He says whether AIKS takes advantage of that or not is a separate issue, but such protests will go a long way in highlighting the agrarian distress. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 209: #13PointRoster, Harvest TV, DHFL and more
Feb 22 2019 90 mins  
In this episode of NL Hafta, host Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by the in-house panel of Manisha Pande, Madhu Trehan and Raman Kirpal, and Scroll staff writer Shoaib Daniyal. The conversation covers Harvest TV, the new 13-point roster for reservation of teaching posts, the National Sample Survey Office jobs report, George Fernandes’s legacy, the latest Cobrapost investigation, and more.Shoaib explains the 13 point roster order given by the Supreme Court. He says reservation on the recruitment of faculty will now be calculated by the department, not by the university as a whole. He says: “Because reservation numbers are 15 per cent, 7.5 per cent—it actually ends reservation in many ways if your department is very small.” Abhinandan adds: “Seven per cent of seven teachers is 0 ... So you round off most of the reservations to 0 while you have kept reservations as a statement of mathematical possibility.” Manisha says there will be protests over this but she doubts how much coverage it will get. Raman draws the discussion to the latest Cobrapost story on the DHFL financial scam. He says: “I don’t see any scam in it! This is just a narrative that the money moved from this place to another. There could be a story ... But what I am saying is that the half baked story with which you broke down 8 per cent of their share market—who gained from it? That itself is a story.” Abhinandan disagrees that it's "half-baked", saying, "There is a law. If you have common directors, one company cannot lend money to the other.” Raman asserts: “In that case, it is a violation, not a scam” —which is what Cobrapost called it.Madhu steps in to discuss Harvest TV. She says, “I did like Barkha’s interview with Jaya. That she really excels at because she has the capacity to do the background research, everything is always at her fingertips. She never interviews with a list of questions, like most of us do.” She adds, "Unfortunately, I think the roach they have taken to launch this channel is problematic”, alluding to Harvest TV running the channel on a religious broadcasting license.The panel goes on to discuss the Padma Shri and other national excellence awards, Rahul Gandhi’s minimum income promise, and a lot more. Listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Reporters Without Orders Ep 56: #PulwamaAttack, #Cobrapost, Gau Raksha & more
Feb 20 2019 52 mins  
This episode of Reporters Without Orders features host Cherry Agarwal, Newslaundry's Desk Writer Gaurav Sarkar, journalist Safwat Zargar and the author of HRW's latest report, Jayshree Bajoria. While Zargar joined the panel from Kashmir, Bajoria joined over the phone from New York. The panel talks about the coverage of the Pulwama attack, where more than 40 CRPF personnel where killed. They also discuss Zargar's profile of Adil Ahmed Dar, the teen behind the Pulwama attack, Cobrapost's latest exposé and more.The discussion kicks off with the panel talking about the Pulwama attack and its reportage in Kashmir. Speaking of the difference in coverage between the local papers in Kashmir and a section of the national media, Zargar says, "There was this clear-cut misunderstanding, like the national media jumped on to Pakistan…local papers tried to contextualise it in a way...such as what led to his [Dar's] joining and so on." Cherry is also curious about how local reporters in Kashmir cope up with the challenge of conflicting narratives given the multitude of stakeholders such as the Army, Militants, residents etc. She asks Zargar, “How do you ensure that there is objectivity?” The panel also further discusses the closure Milli Gazette, a weekly newspaper, and Cobrapost’s Operation Karaoke in which more than 36 Bollywood celebrities were stung. Gaurav says, “When it comes to brazenly taking money in cash…obviously raises the question that there is a backdoor mechanism that converts this black money into white.”The discussion then moves to the report published by Human Rights Watch,Violent Cow Protection in India: Vigilante Groups Attack Minorities. Bajoria says, "What we are seeing is a political campaign to use this issue of cow protection for political purposes to gain Hindu votes, and therefore, we've seen these so-called 'cow-protection' groups spring up across the country."For this and more, listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 57: भारत रत्न, भूपेन हजारिका, एन राम और अन्य
Feb 16 2019 62 mins  
इस चर्चा की रिकॉर्डिंग के दौरान ही कश्मीर में अब तक के सबसे बड़े आतंकी हमले को अंजाम दिया जा रहा था. सीआरपीएफ के 40 जवानों की एक आत्मघाती हमले में मौत हो गई. हम इस विषय पर चर्चा नहीं कर सके लेकिन यह विषय ही इस पूरे हफ्ते चर्चा में रहेगा. एनएल चर्चा का केंद्रित विषय रहा मशहूर गायक भूपेन हजारिका को दिए गए भारत रत्न को उनके बेटे तेज हजारिका द्वारा वापस करना. तेज ने एक बयान में बताया कि इसकी वजह नागरिकता संशोधन बिल 2016 है. उन्होंने कहा कि यह बिल भूपेन हजारिका के विचार और मूल्यों के सर्वथा विपरीत है. जब तक सरकार इसे वापस नहीं ले लेती, वह अपने पिता के लिए यह सम्‍मान ग्रहण नहीं करेंगे. इसके अलावा द हिन्दू के संपादक एन राम की रफेल घोटाले संबंधी रिपोर्ट, युवा साहित्यकार अविनश मिश्र की कामसूत्र से प्रेरित नए कविता संग्रह के तमाम पहलुओं, पत्रकार अर्नब गोस्वामी पर गोपनीय दस्तावेज हासिल करने के अपराध में एफआईआर आदि पर इस बार की एनएल चर्चा केंद्रित रही.चर्चा में इस बार युवा कवि व साहित्यकार अविनाश मिश्र ने बतौर मेहमान शिरकत किया. साथ में पत्रकार और लेखक अनिल यादव और न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के स्तंभकर आनंद वर्धन भी चर्चा में शामिल हुए. चर्चा का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया.भूपेन हजारिका का भारत रत्न पर बातचीत करते हुए अतुल ने अविनाश से पूछा, "मैं आपसे जानना चाहूंगा क्या भारत रत्न जैसे बड़े सम्मान को इन सब बातों और राजनीति से अलग रखना चाहिए? तेज हजारिका ने भी थोड़ा सा बचपना दिखया है?”अविनाश जवाब देते हुए कहते है, "एक ऐसे समाज में जहां चीज़ें लगातार गड़बड़ हो रही हो तो एक नागरिक सोचता है की वो प्रतिरोध कैसे करे, उदाहरण के तौर पर जब अख़लाक़ वाला कांड हुआ था दादरी में तब हिंदी के वरिष्ठ साहित्यकार उदय प्रकाश का एक बयान आया था कि वो कैसे इसका प्रतिरोध करें. तो उनको ख्याल आया राज्य ने उनको सम्मानित किया है. तो उन्होंने राज्य द्वारा दिए गए सम्मान को लौटा दिया. मुझे लगता है एक सामान्य नागरिक होने के नाते कोई तरीका नहीं बचता आपके पास. एक सामान्य नागरिक जो खुद कुछ नहीं कर सकता जिसके बस में कुछ नहीं है तो मुझे लगता है उसके पास कोई तरीका है तो वो यही है कि सम्मान वापस लौटा देना. उदय प्रकाश जी ने यही किया. मैं मानता हूं भूपेन हजारिका जी के बेटे शायद इस बात को ज़्यादा समझते हैं.”चर्चा को आगे बढ़ाते हुए आनंद वर्धन कहते हैं, "मेरा इस पर कोई स्पष्ट मत नहीं है लेकिन ऐसा भी कुछ समाचार पत्रों ने लिखा है कि तेज हजारिका आपने पिता के साथ ज़्यादा रहे भी नहीं थे. तो अब जो व्यक्ति है ही नहीं उसका किस विषय पर क्या धारणा होगी ये तो अब अटकल का विषय है. कोई भी राजनैतिक विचारधारा हो, वो भारत रत्न के हक़दार थे. एक बड़ी सांस्कृतिक शख्सियत होने के कारण मेरे ख्याल में भारत रत्न स्वीकार करने में कोई दिक्कत नहीं होनी चाहिए. वहां के जो लोग नागरिकता संशोधन बिल का विरोध या समर्थन कर रहे हैं उनमें हज़ारिका के पुत्र उसके विरोध में हैं ये तो निश्चित हो ही गया है. अब इसका निष्कर्ष क्या होगा ये निर्णय तो उनके परिवार को करना है. हालांकि परिवार में भी इस पर एकमत नहीं है.”इस पर अनिल यादव आपने नजरिए को परिभाषित करते हुए कहते हैं, "इस प्रश्न को इस नज़रिए से भी देखा जा सकता है की क्या भारत रत्न जैसा पुरस्कार किसी राजनीति के तहत नहीं दिया जाता है. अगर वो राजनीति के तहत नहीं दिया जाता तो ये मांग क्यों लगातार होती रहती है कि फला की उपेक्षा हो रही है, उनको मिलना चाहिए था. इसके पीछे हमेशा राजनीति रही है अगर राजनैतिक कारणों से पुरस्कार दिया जा सकता है तो उससे वापस भी किया जा सकता है. अब ये जो नागरिकता संशोधन का मसला है ये नार्थ ईस्ट में, तो मैं कह सकता हूं कि ये वहा के लोगों के जीवन के लिए बहुत केन्द्रीय मसला है. नार्थ ईस्ट ही वो जगह है जहा पिछले एक साल के भीतर देशद्रोह के सबसे ज़्यादा मामले लोगो पर दर्ज किए गए हैं. और ये वो लोग है जो नागरिकता संशोधन बिल का विरोध कर रहे थे."राफेल डील पर एन राम की रिपोर्ट और अर्नब गोस्वामी पर एफआईआर के आदेश पर भी पैनल के बीच चर्चा हुई. आनंद वर्धन और अविनाश मिश्र ने इस चर्चा में अपने अनुभव साझा किए. अन्य विषयों पर पैनल की विस्तृत राय जानने के लिए पूरी चर्चा सुने. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 208: Priyanka’s entry, Caravan defamation case, Mahagathbandhan & more
Feb 15 2019 83 mins  
In this Hafta, Hartosh Singh Bal, Caravan's political editor magazine, joins Newslaundry managing editor Raman Kirpal, editor Manisha Pande, opinion writer Anand Vardhan and host Abhinandan Sekhri. The group discusses Priyanka Gandhi’s official entry into politics, the Mahagathbandhan, Ajit Doval’s son's defamation plea against the Caravan, EVM hacking and more.The Caravan’s defamation case becomes a springboard for a discussion on corruption. Abhinandan asks Anand, “Do you really think it is possible...for any prime minister to claim na khaunga na khaane dunga?” Anand replies, “Cronyism and corruption are related to it, they are a part of the body politic of elite accommodation, particularly visible in third-world political societies. I think all parties have this patronage system.” Hartosh adds: “People with an average income, below a crore, are not represented in our Parliament, simply because that is what has happened to our politics. It is today a plutocracy, or a democracy of the rich, in terms of who’s appointed to power and it is getting propagated by our easy acceptance of that cronyism.”The panel also discusses the Mahagathbandhan and Mamta Banerjee as a prime ministerial candidate. Manisha asks, “Is she really positioning herself as a prime ministerial candidate?” Raman says, “The post-election scenario is supposed to decide who is going to be the prime minister...Anybody can [be PM], even Mayawati stands a chance.” The impregnability of electronic voting machines is also discussed. Abhinandan recalls the paper ballot set up. “The security was so lax, if you had a camera you could basically go could take the camera straight into the ballot box, the office.” Anand describes Syed Shuja’s claims as “dangerous” because “these kinds of conspiracy theories stick to people's stage such a press conference in London is saying India is a banana does a great deal of disservice to the history of Indian elections.” Listen up! There's more. See for privacy and opt-out information.

The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap Ep 102: Oscars, Grammys, World Radio Day & more
Feb 14 2019 62 mins  
In this episode of Awful and Awesome, Rajyasree Sen and Abhinandan Sekhri discuss the Oscar line-up (Bohemian Rhapsody, The Wife, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Green Book), the Grammys, state of radio in India, Mere Pyaare Prime Minister and more.The duo first talk about The Wife. Rajyasree gives a spoiler-free review of the film, “You have to watch the film to see this relationship. There is a mystery, there is a twist. It’s not a relationship film, but it is extremely well done.”Abhinandan then brings up Green Book. He expresses his liking for the film, but also adds that there were parts which were too simple. Rajyasree praises the performances in Can You Ever Forgive Me? but critiques the pace, “I really like slow films, but I felt somewhere it loses the momentum...Your interests fails a little.” The last film discussed is Bohemian Rhapsody. Rajyasree says in praise that she realised “how well they make biopics in the States...they show the characters with their greys and blacks.”On the occasion of World Radio Day, Abhinandan talks about the dismal state of FM radio in our country. He says, “For all the political incorrectness and the wildness that finds its way into television and community of presenters is as dumb, ignorant and unknowingly offensive as radio jockeys.”Rajyasree then speaks about the Grammys, which she found to be excruciatingly long. For this and more, listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Reporters Without Orders Ep 55: Hooch tragedy, FIR against Arnab Goswami and more
Feb 13 2019 37 mins  
This episode of Reporters Without Orders features Cherry Agarwal and Newslaundry's Head of Research Ayush Tiwari. Prateek Goyal, Newslaundry's special correspondent from Maharashtra, joins in later to report on police protection being given to Abhishek Mishra in Kamal Nath’s Madhya Pradesh. The conversation covers the hooch tragedy, Arnab Goswami vs Shashi Tharoor case, and more.Ayush and Cherry talk about the hooch tragedy in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, expressing shock at the politicising of such tragedies. Cherry asks why the government isn't clamping down on the entire business of hooch. Ayush says, "There is a whole shadow market for these things ... It is common knowledge that the main government, the security forces—they benefit from this shadow market. It is a quid pro quo among the people who produce this kind of liquor.”Cherry moves on to Shashi Tharoor’s charges against Arnab Goswami. She remarks: “If you are filing an FIR against a journalist for accessing documents which are not in the public domain, it sets a dangerous precedent.”Prateek Goyal joins in to report on the police protection being given to "fake news guru" Abhishek Mishra in Congress-led MP. He says, “This boy is not a high profile person. He used to do propaganda videos on YouTube and he still does that for the Congress. It is unusual that the entire state government is mobilised for his protection now, for a person who so blatantly generates fake news.”For all this and more, listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 56: ममता-सीबीआई विवाद, मार्कंडेय काटजू और अन्य
Feb 09 2019 57 mins  
इस हफ्ते चर्चा का मुख्य विषय रहा पश्चिम बंगाल में सीबीआई का अनपेक्षित छापा, नतीजे में सीबीआई टीम की गिरफ्तारी और साथ में ममता बनर्जी का सत्याग्रह. ममता बनर्जी ने अपने पुलिस प्रमुख राजीव कुमार से पूछताछ करने पहुंची सीबीआई टीम को पूरे हिंदुस्तान में सुर्खी बना दिया. इसके अलावा सुप्रीम कोर्ट के पूर्व न्यायाधीश मार्कंडेय काटजू ने मुख्य न्यायाधीश रंजन गोगोई से संबंधित एक लेख लिखा जिसे किसी भी भारतीय मीडिया ने प्रकाशित नहीं किया. इस लेख में मुख्य न्यायाधीश से 4 सवाल पूछे गए थे. इसको लेकर मार्कंडेय काटजू ने भारतीय मीडिया के चरित्र, कार्यशैली पर काफी तीखा प्रहार किया. साथ ही राहुल गांधी का नितिन गडकरी के बयान को समर्थन और ट्विटर पर हुई बहस और अन्ना हज़ारे का रालेगण सिद्धि में अनशन आदि विषय इस बार की एनएल चर्चा के केंद्र में रहे.चर्चा में इस बार वरिष्ठ पत्रकार अनुरंजन झा पहली बार मेहमान के रूप में हमारे साथ जुड़े. झा एक स्वतंत्र पत्रकार हैं. साथ ही पत्रकार और लेखक अनिल यादव और न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के स्तंभकर आनंद वर्धन भी चर्चा में शामिल हुए. चर्चा का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया.सीबीआई और ममता बनर्जी के जुड़े टकराव पर बातचीत करते हुए अतुल ने आनंद से कहा, “सीबीआई ने कोलकाता के पुलिस प्रमुख राजीव कुमार के यहां छापा मारा. जवाब में बंगाल की पुलिस ने सीबीआई अधिकारियों को ही गिरफ्तार कर लिया. भाजपा कह रही है ये एक संवैधानिक संकट है, तृणमूल वाले कह रहे है ये लोकतंत्र की हत्या है. विरोध में ममता बनर्जी सत्याग्रह पर बैठ गईं. यहां तक तो सब ठीक था लेकिन साथ में अजीब बात यह रही कि राजीव कुमार भी सत्याग्रह पर बैठ गए. एक पुलिस अधिकारी का इस तरह से सत्याग्रह पर बैठ जाना क्या बताता है?”आनंद ने इस स्थिति को पुलिस के राजनीतिकरण से जोड़ते हुए कहा, “जितनी भी अखिल भारतीय सेवाएं हैं, आईएएस, आईपीएस आदि, यह सभी अचार संहिता नियम 1968 से जुड़ी हैं. पहले राजनैतिक वर्ग और अधिकारी तंत्र दोनों का एक हद तक तालमेल था क्योंकि एकमात्र शक्तिशाली पार्टी कांग्रेस थी. अब राज्यों के स्तर पर राजनीति का स्थानीयकरण हुआ है, इसके फलस्वरूप अधिकारियों का भी बंटवारा हुआ है. अधिकारी जातीय खेमों में भी बंटे हुए हैं. सबसे ज़्यादा राजनीतिकरण पुलिस का इसलिए दिखता है क्योंकी रोज़मर्रा के जीवन में लोगों का राज्य के अंग के तौर पर सबसे ज्यादा सामना पुलिस से ही होता है. राजीव कुमार का अनशन पर बैठना तो सही नहीं है पर यह अभूतपूर्व भी नहीं है.”चर्चा को आगे बढ़ाते हुए अतुल कहते हैं, “एक बात और है. एक हफ्ते पहले ममता बनर्जी ने कोलकाता में जिस तरह से समूचे विपक्ष की गोलबंदी की थी, उसने भी कहीं न कहीं हलचल पैदा कर दी थी केन्द्र सरकार के भीतर. यह भी एक वजह है ममता और मोदी के टकराव की.”अनुरंजन जा यहां पर हस्तक्षेप करते हुए कहते हैं, “केन्द्र की सरकार जिस तरीके से अभी चल रही है, चुनाव बिलकुल सिर पर है और सत्ताधारी पार्टी के प्रवक्ता कहते हैं की वो स्लॉग ओवर के छक्के लगा रहे हैं. तो उनके हिसाब से तो यह सब छक्का है, अब वो नो बॉल पर मार रहे है या वो बॉउंड्री पर कैच हो रहे हैं, ये किसी को नहीं पता है. ये सब बाद में पता चलेगा. लेकिन हो ये रहा है की जिस तरह से भारतीय जनता पार्टी की सरकार पिछले दो-तीन महीने में एक्टिव हुई है, खासकर विपक्षी पार्टियों को लेकर, वह काम उसे 4 साल पहले करना चाहिए था. आप 5 साल सत्ता में रहे. जिन आधार पर आप सत्ता में आए उनको लेकर आपने 5 सालों में कुछ किया नहीं. और फिर आप अचानक आ कर कहने लगे कि भ्रष्टाचार का विरोध कर रहे है और भ्रष्टाचार पर कार्रवाई कर रहे है तो आपको पता होना चाहिए कि उसके भी कुछ नियम और कानून तय हैं. यह सही बात है कि ममता जिस तरह से विपक्ष की गोलबंदी कर रही हैं उसपे सबकी नज़र है. सबको पता है अगर विपक्ष एकजुट हो गया तो बहुत बड़ा नुकसान हो जायगा.”नितिन गडकरी का बयान और अन्ना हज़ारे पर भी पैनल के बीच चर्चा हुई. आनंद वर्धन और अनुरंजन झा ने इस चर्चा में अपने दिलचस्प अनुभव साझा किए. अन्य विषयों पर पैनल की विस्तृत राय जानने के लिए पूरी चर्चा सुने. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 207: Modi’s Philip Kotler Award, the JNU sedition case and more
Feb 08 2019 89 mins  
In the latest episode of NL Hafta, host Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by the usual gang of Raman Kripal, Anand Vardhan and Manisha Pande and special guest Amit Varma—writer, columnist, and host of the podcast The Seen and the Unseen. The conversation ranges from the unending CBI saga to the JNU sedition chargesheet to Modi winning the first ever Philip Kotler Award, and more.The rumours of Arun Jaitley’s cancer treatment sparks a discussion on the ethics of reporting a public figure’s illnesses. Amit says, “Private lives are private lives, we should not get too much into them … it is when the taxpayers’ money is involved that I am concerned and want to hold those speakers accountable.” He says it’s the media’s duty to look into how long Jaitley will be absent and unable to perform his duties.Discussing PM Narendra Modi winning the Philip Kotler Award, Anand says no one really knows if it’s an authentic award or not. Kotler, a known marketing figure, cleared the air a bit. Anand says, “That has been the saving grace for the prime minister—that he stepped in and authenticated that—but still the paraphernalia that was involved in awarding the prime minister is dubious.”On the chargesheet released accusing Kanhaiya Kumar and co. of sedition, Manisha recalls the coverage of the incident by the media, which started when ABVP called Zee News which then ran the story. Abhinandan adds, “They actually used the chargesheet to pat themselves on the back saying ‘we were right all along’. It’s like a loop.”The conversation shifts to the sexual assault allegations against director Rajkumar Hirani and the #MeToo movement in general. Raman says, “I think Hirani’s story is not taking the #MeToo discussion any further, it was just another case. It was reported rightly. I do not see any problems with the media coverage.” This and much more, so tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap Ep 101: Dalit Lit Fest, Soni, The Good Place and more
Feb 07 2019 57 mins  
In the latest episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Shubham Bhatia, a journalist with Patriot, and Adhiraj Singh, head writer at VICE India. The trio discusses the Netflix film Soni, the Dalit Lit Fest, The Good Place and more.Abhinandan asks Adhiraj about the workings of VICE, saying he's curious about how VICE produces high budget non-fiction content. Adhiraj explains, “VICE in India and in general does a lot of branded and sponsored content as well. Which is where I come in ... where more client-based editorialising is needed.” As an example of sponsored content bringing in funding, he cites VICE’s क Se Crime series which was done as part of the promotion for Amazon Prime’s Mirzapur.Shubham talks about the Dalit Lit Fest held at Kirori Mal College, highlighting the lack of interest among Delhi University students for the event. “Where the fest was happening, you couldn't see many college students. I felt this disinterest from the students ... no one is really interested in even hearing about Dalit issues, which was the whole point of the fest.”The discussion movies to Soni. Adhiraj approves of the film, saying, "I liked that it did not end on some grand climactic fight.” Abhinandan says: “But it still ended on hope with that last scene.” He adds, "If we had not been instructed by our subscribers to watch it, I would have given up.”This and much more, so listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Reporters Without Orders Ep 54: Harvest TV, NSSO's report, TRAI regulations and more
Feb 07 2019 43 mins  
This episode of Reporters Without Orders features Cherry Agarwal, Business Standard’s Somesh Jha, Newslaundry's Head of Research Ayush Tiwari and Desk Writer Gaurav Sarkar. The panel talks about the NSSO employment-unemployment report, Harvest TV and its birthing troubles, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)’s new regulations and more.Somesh speaks about NITI Aayog's comments on the NSSO report. He says, “The fact that he says it was a draft report, is misleading, because the NSE member who had resigned, they are on record saying that the report was finalised by them and it was approved for release in the public domain. So clearly, it was not the draft report.”The panel discusses TRAI's new framework for Cable TV and DTH operators. Gaurav says, “Now, instead of buying entire package deals, you can opt to pay for single channels.” He adds, “In spite of this change in mechanism, there has been a lot of pushback from viewers themselves who have been calling Dish TV or DEN and saying ‘hey, I don’t know how to figure this out.’”The discussion then moves to the story behind Harvest TV’s license. Ayush explains why the past owner of Harvest TV cannot sue the showrunners of the new Harvest TV. He says, “He is not the richest guy in the world, as opposed to Veecon media based in Delhi, as opposed to Barkha, Karan, Kabil Sibal based in Delhi. These guys are from Trivandrum, they run a Christian platform. Most of their revenue comes from the Pentecostal Church of Kerala to which they sold their prime-time slots. ” See for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 55: राष्ट्रीय सांख्यिकी आयोग, चंदा कोचर और अन्य
Feb 02 2019 59 mins  
इस हफ्ते की चर्चा बिज़नेस स्टैंडर्ड में छपी सोमेश झा की रिपोर्ट के इर्द गिर्द सिमटी रही. इसके मुताबिक मौजूदा समय में बेरोजगारी की दर सबसे अधिक है. बीते 45 वर्षो में यह सबसे ऊंचे स्तर पर जाकर करीब 6.1% तक पहुच गई है. नेशनल सैंपल सर्वे ऑफिस का लेबर फोर्स सर्वे 2017-18 का यह आंकड़ा है. इससे पहले ही नेशनल स्टैटिस्टिकल कमीशन यानी राष्ट्रीय सांख्यिकी आयोग के दो गैर सरकारी सदस्यों ने भी इस्तीफा दे दिया. इनके नाम पीसी मोहनन और जीवी मिनाक्षी हैं. इसके साथ ही अब एनएससी में सिर्फ एक सदस्य नीति आयोग के सीईओ अमिताभ कांत शेष रह गए हैं. इसके अलावा भारत के पूर्व रक्षा मंत्री जॉर्ज फर्नांडिज़ का लंबी बीमारी के बाद निधन, कोबरापोस्ट की एक खोजी पड़ताल जिसमें उन्होंने लोनदाता कंपनी एडीएफएल द्वारा करीब 31000 करोड़ की हेराफेरी का दावा और राहुल गांधी की घोषणा जिसमें उन्होंने न्यूनतम आय की गारंटी योजना लागू करने का वादा किया है. साथ में भाजपा के मंत्री नितिन गडकरी का बयान और आईसीआईसीआई बैंक की मुखिया रही चन्दा कोचर के ऊपर सीबीआई द्वारा दर्ज किया गया एफआईआर भी इस चर्चा के केंद्र में रहे.इस बार की चर्चा में बतौर मेहमान एशियाविल वेबसाइट के पत्रकार दिलीप खान हमारे साथ जुड़े. इससे पहले वो राज्यसभा टीवी से जे थे. साथ ही न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के विशेष संवादाता बसंत कुमार और न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के स्तंभकर आनंद वर्धन भी चर्चा में शामिल हुए. चर्चा का संचालन हमेशा की तरह न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया.चर्चा की शुरुआत राष्ट्रीय सांख्यिकी आयोग के आकड़ों से जुड़े विवाद से हुई अतुल ने कहा, “दो दिन पहले राष्ट्रीय सांख्यिकी आयोग से जुड़े दो अंतिम गैर सरकारी सदस्य पीसी मोहनन और जेवी मिनाक्षी ने इस्तीफा दे दिया. इनका आरोप था कि सरकार बेरोजगारी से जुड़े आंकड़े दबा कर बैठी है, जारी नहीं कर रही है. इसके साथ ही अब राष्ट्रीय सांख्यिकी आयोग निष्क्रिय संस्था बन गया है. राष्ट्रीय सांख्यिकी आयोग देश में तमाम तरह के बेरोज़गारी और अन्य आर्थिक संबंधी आंकड़ों को तैयार करने वाली ज़िम्मेदार संस्था है. माना जाता है कि दुनिया भर में आंकड़ों को इकट्ठा करने वाली गिनी चुनी संस्थाओं में से भारत की राष्ट्रीय सांख्यिकी आयोग को गिना जाता था. जवाहर लाल नेहरू विश्वविद्यालय की एक प्रोफेसर जयति घोष जो कि एक अर्थशास्त्री भी हैं, उनका कहना था की सरकार जानबूझ कर इस संस्था को कमज़ोर करने में लगी हुई थी. 2017 से 2018 के बेरोज़गारी के जो आकड़े हैं, सीधे-सीधे उसका संबंध नोटबंदी जैसे अहम फैसले से जुड़ता है. बिज़नेस स्टैंडर्ड ने उसका एक लीक हिस्सा प्रकाशित किया है. मैं बसंत से यह जानना चाहूंगा कि ये जो राष्ट्रीय सांख्यिकी आयोग के सदस्य ने जो इस्तीफा दिया उनसे बातचीत में आपको क्या लगा की सरकार जानबूझकर इसको दबाती जा रही थी या फिर इसके पीछे कोई और वजह भी है?”अपनी बात रखते हुए बसंत ने कहा, "जिन लोगों ने अपने पद से इस्तीफा दिया है उनसे सम्पर्क नहीं हो पाया लेकिन मैंने प्रणब सेन से विस्तार से बात की,, जो कि मौजूदा सरकार के दौरान एनएससी के चेयरमैन थे. उन्होंने बताया के जब वे चेयरमैन था तब सरकार का नया नया गठन हुआ था हमारे आकड़ो से सरकार की सफलता-असफलता तय नहीं होती थी. लेकिन अभी जो सरकार है वह जानबूझ कर आंकड़ों को जारी नहीं कर रही है. जिन लोगो से अपने पद से इस्तीफा दिया है उन लोगों ने मुझसे बात की थी और यह आंकड़े इसीलिए जारी नहीं हो रहे है क्योकि बेरोज़गारी दर बहुत बुरी स्थिति में है. सरकार नहीं चाहती की चुनाव से दो महीने पहले ऐसा कोई आंकड़ा सामने आए जिससे उसको नुकसान. इन आकड़ों से एक तरह से सरकार की पोल खुल जाएगी और सरकार किसी भी स्थिति में ऐसा नहीं चाहेगी. हालांकि बजनेस स्टैंडर्ड में यह ख़बर छप चुकी है. आंकड़े कितने सही हैं ये तो बाद में तय होगा.”चर्चा को आगे बढ़ाते हुए अतुल कहते है, “दिलीप राष्ट्रीय सांख्यिकी आयोग जो इस प्रकार की लोकतांत्रिक संस्थाए हैं अगर ये ठीक से काम नहीं करती हैं तो आपको पता ही नहीं चलेगी कि देश में बेरोज़गारी की दर क्या है. ऐसे में आप बेरोज़गारी को कम करने लिए नीतियां कैसे बनाएंगे. इसके आलावा भी तमाम संस्थानों के साथ सरकार का टकराव रहा है. क्या यह इस सरकार की अक्षमता का सबूत है?”इसका जवाब देते हुए दिलीप ने कहा, “ऐसा नहीं है की सरकार को इन आकड़ों का पता नहीं है सरकार के सामने ये आकड़े पेश हो चुके हैं एनएससी ने एनएसएसओ के सामने डेटा रखा और एनएसएसओ इसे अप्रूव करता है. सरकार के पास ये सारे डेटा हैं. होम मिनिस्ट्री ने जब एनसीआरबी ने जब किसान आत्महत्या के आंकड़े जारी करना बंद किया तो यह भी इसीलिए कि ये आंकड़े सरकार की छवि के ख़िलाफ़ जाते हैं.” See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 206: Citizenship Bill, Reservation Bill, Alok Verma and more
Feb 01 2019 88 mins  
In this episode of NL Hafta, host Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Hafta regulars Anand Vardhan and Manisha Pande, and special guests Arunabh Saikia, staff writer at Scroll, and economics journalist Vivek Kaul. The discussion revolves around the Citizenship Bill, the 10 per cent Reservation Bill, Alok Verma's reinstation, the All-India Marathi Literary Meet, and more.The discussion starts with Arunabh talking about the Citizenship Bill and its impact on Assamese politics. “Is it even possible that no Indian is left out?” Abhinandan asks. The bill allows people of all religions except Islam to enter India from Bangladesh. The panel calls it explicitly anti-Muslim, even more so than Trump’s so-called “Muslim ban”.Moving on to the Reservation Bill, Vivek says, “Reservation is useful when the government is creating jobs.” He says he's been dissatisfied with the government’s job creation over the past three years. “A cut-off has to be useful,” he points out about the new quota, saying the cut-off includes so many people that it's useless. The panel then has a comprehensive discussion on the desirability of government jobs in relation to reservation.Anand starts the discussion on #CBIvsCBI with a prediction that the conversation on CBI will disappear after the Supreme Court verdict, just as it disappeared in the case of the Rafale deal. Manisha is sceptical of the impact of the controversy. The panel debates whether or not the #CBIvsCBI case interests the wider general public.Manisha talks about the laws surrounding private radio news broadcasting and the pro-government bulletins (or lack thereof) on AIR. Vivek questions the law that private radio cannot broadcast news when private TV can. The panel then talks about HS Phoolka's resignation from the Aam Aadmi Party. Anand scrutinises Phoolka’s argument that an anti-corruption movement should not have become a party at all. On the trend of capable leaders leaving the AAP, Abhinandan remarks, “You cannot be a single point person and survive in politics.”This and more on NL Hafta, so tune in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Reporters Without Orders Ep 53: #Cobrapost, Harvest TV & more
Jan 31 2019 35 mins  
In this episode of Reporters Without Orders, the panel discusses Cobrapost's recent exposé, Kapil Sibal's comments on Harvest TV, the ensuing controversy, CAG Rajiv Mehrishi’s alleged tax evasion and more. The panel includes Cherry Agarwal, Desk Writer Gaurav Sarkar, Head of Research Ayush Tiwari, and Special Correspondent Prateek Goyal. Gaurav kicks off the discussion with the Cobrapost investigation that he reported on. Ayush points out a lack of due process. “There were allegations that [Cobrapost] had sent its questionnaire with 64 questions to DHFL on the same morning as the press conference. That raises a lot of counter-questions from the perspective of DHFL.” Gaurav also notes: “What really stood out was that the presser started at 3 pm yesterday at the Press Club. Why hold it once the stock markets are shut?”Giving a background on the Harvest TV controversy, Ayush said, “What you can say of all these media houses, because HTN is not the only one coming out, there will be many more in the coming days. They are all trying to cash in on the 2019 general elections.” Cherry weighs in, “They were trying to get licenses for about year now, if the government was not issuing licenses then that is a problem.”Prateek joins the discussion over the phone. He speaks about his fact-check report on "cyber expert" Syed Shuja. Prateek said, “We checked with ECL, no one knows [Shuja]. What if he is also making up the names? His entire account is fake.”The panel also discusses the ethics of journalism. Cherry poses the question, “When you are reporting on dire issues you see people hanging by a thread, would you intervene?” Ayush, says that he would. He says that being a reporter/journalist is a label that comes later. Gaurav says he would not intervene when “the greater good is actually reporting the story, and knowing that it would probably have an impact.”For all this and more, listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap Ep 100: Thackeray, JLF and more
Jan 31 2019 51 mins  
In the 100th episode of Awful and Awesome, our hosts Abhinandan Sekhri and Rajyasree Sen go live to talk about the best and worst of pop-culture. They discussed Thackeray, the new Firstpost advertisement, Netflix’s Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, Jaipur Literature Festival and a lot more.The conversation begins with Thackeray, which Abhinandan describes as a metaphor for the Shiv Sena. "Simplistic, endorses violence, made by morons, for morons,” he says. Rajyasree quipped about the costume design of the film saying, “It casts Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and his nose, his prosthetic nose.” Later she also dismisses Manto saying, “I think Nawazuddin needs to stop acting as real people.”The duo then discusses the new Firstpost ad for the publication’s new weekly newspaper. Rajyasree pointed out the lack of humility in the fact that the paper claims itself to be “the last word in news”. Abhinandan further criticizes, “It is a flawed idea to have the last word in news, there ain’t no last word in news.”Rajyashree then brings up the new Amazon series Four More Shots Please!. She describes it as “India’s answer to Sex in the City.” Adding her scathing review, she says, “I watched four episodes, which I thought was far too many.” She also deems it an inaccurate portrayal of female interactions remarking that “he dialogue is so stilted, women do not talk to each other like that”.Abhinandan then brings up JLF. He says, “There’s one bunch of people trashing JLF, there’s some who love it, but I haven’t seen anyone aggressively defend it,” as he goes on to aggressively defend JLF. He argues, “What it offers is’s very easy to shit on it because of the Suhel Seths, but for every Suhel Seth there is a Ben Okri.”Tune in for more! See for privacy and opt-out information.

एन एल चर्चा 54: प्रियंका गांधी, महागठबंधन, ईवीएम हैकिंग और अन्य
Jan 26 2019 53 mins  
इस हफ्ते की चर्चा कांग्रेस द्वारा प्रियंका गांधी को पूर्वी उत्तर प्रदेश का प्रभारी बनाने पर केंद्रित रही. 2019 लोकसभा चुनावों से ठीक पहले प्रियंका गांधी को मैदान में उतारने के क्या अर्थ है और इसके क्या परिणाम संभावित हैं, इन सब विषयों पर चर्चा हुई साथ ही कोलकाता में ममता बनर्जी ने एक बड़ी विपक्ष की रैली आयोजित की जिसमें करीब 20 बड़े राजनैतिक दलों के नेता और उनके प्रतिनिधि शामिल हुए. इस पर बीजेपी की तरफ से एक प्रतिक्रिया आई कि यह भ्रष्ट और नामदार लोगो का गठबंधन है. क्या भाजपा के अंदर कोई बेचैनी पैदा हुई है, इस पर भी पैनल ने बहस की. बीते हफ्ते एक और बड़े घटनाक्रम के तहत सईद शुज़ा नाम के साइबर एक्सपर्ट ने लंदन में प्रेस कॉन्फ्रेंस करके दावा किया कि ईवीएम को हैक किया जा सकता है और 2014 के बाद से देश में हुए सारे चुनाव में ईवीएम के जरिए घपला किया गया है. ईवीएम में गड़बड़ी के ज़रिए चुनावी नतीजों को प्रभावित किया गया है. हालांकि शुजा के दावे में तथ्य कम और खामियां बहुत हैं. जो कि हमारी चर्चा का विषय रहा. साथ ही ऑक्सफेम के वह रिपोर्ट भी हमारी चर्चा में शामिल हुई जिसमें देश के 9 बड़े उद्योगपतियों के पास देश की आधी आबादी के बराबर संपत्ति है.चर्चा में इस बार आउटलुक पत्रिका के असिस्टेंट एडिटर ओशिनॉर मजूमदार पहली बार चर्चा का हिस्सा बने, इसके अलावा न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के स्तंभकर आनंद वर्धन भी चर्चा में शामिल हुए. चर्चा का संचालन हमेशा की तरह न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया.शुरुआत प्रियंका गांधी को कांग्रेस पार्टी द्वारा पूर्वी उत्तर प्रदेश का प्रभारी बनाए जाने के निर्णय से हुई. अतुल ने आनंद वर्धन से पूछा, “आनंद एक सवाभाविक सा सवाल पैदा होता है की राहुल गांधी ने हाल ही में एक अच्छा परफॉर्मेंस दिया था. तीन राज्यों में कांग्रेस पार्टी जीतने में सफल रही. सबसे बड़ा सन्देश था की भाजपा का स्कोर 0-5 रहा. तो ऐसी स्थिति में आखिरी पल में प्रियंका गांधी को पार्टी में लाने के निर्णय को कैसे देखते है क्यों इसकी नौबत आन पड़ी कांग्रेस को?”इसका जवाब देते हुए आनंद ने कहा, “इसको कई नज़रिए से देखा जा सकता है. मैं इसमें नहीं जाना चाहूंगा. सम्भव है की यह एक पारिवारिक निर्णय हो, डाइनिंग टेबल निर्णय हो और कांग्रेस के लोग वहां बैठ कर पत्रकारों पर हंस रहे हों की ये लोग कैसे-कैसे कारण बता रहे हैं.”आनंद आगे कहते हैं, "अभी जो सपा-बसपा का अंक गणित है, जो केमिस्ट्री है उसमें कांग्रेस ने बदलाव कर दिया है. क्योंकी गठबंधन से दरकिनार करने से भी बुरी स्थिति है. पश्चिमी उत्तर प्रदेश जहां अल्पसंख्यक या मुस्लिम संख्या में ज्यादा हैं वहां सपा-बसपा को स्पष्ट मज़बूती मिलती दिख रही है. लेकिन पूर्वी उत्तर प्रदेश में गणित अभी भी उलझा हुआ है. यहां जातीय गणित है. सभी दलों का अपने वोटबैंक पर दावा है. मतलब स्थिति इतनी स्पष्ट नहीं है. कांग्रेस इस मुकाबले को त्रिकोणीय बनाकर भाजपा को कमज़ोर ज़रूर कर सकती है.”अतुल ने यहां पर ओशिनॉर को चर्चा में शामिल करते हुए पूछा, “आनंद ने बहुत सफाई से उस वाले सवाल को टाल दिया कि "ऐसा क्यों". तो मैं ये जानना चाहूंगा की आप उस क्यों के बारे में बात करना चाहेंगे या फिर आप भी प्रियंका को सक्रिय राजनीति में शामिल होने के संभावित नतीजों के बारे में ही बात करना पसंद करेंगे?”ममता बनर्जी की कोलकाता में बड़ी विपक्षी रैली और ईवीएम हैकिंग पर भी पैनल के बीच दिलचस्प सवाल-जवाब हुए. आनंद और ओशिनॉर मजूमदार ने इसमें हस्तक्षेप किया. अन्य विषयों पर पैनल की विस्तृत राय जानने के लिए पूरी चर्चा सुने. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Reporters Without Orders Ep 52: Media in Chhattisgarh, land conflicts, #JNUSeditionCase and more
Jan 25 2019 48 mins  
In this episode of Reporters Without Orders, Kumar Sambhav Shrivastava, award-winning journalist and contributing editor at Business Standard, joins the in-house gang of Gaurav Sarkar, Prateek Goyal, Ayush Tiwari and Cherry Agarwal. The panel discusses the chargesheet filed by the Delhi police against the former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar and nine others. They also discuss the challenges of beat reporting, the presser on EVM hacking, media’s coverage of land conflicts and more.Ayush begins the discussion by talking about the under-reportage of “Operation Lotus” in Karnataka. Gaurav adds, “Maybe one of the reasons it has been under-reported is also because Karnataka has been in shambles ever since the elections started...Maybe from an editorial point of view, it doesn’t hold water because it has been happening for quite some time.”Speaking about media’s coverage of #JNUSeditionCase, Gaurav dubbed media’s coverage as “over-the-top”. Cherry disagreed. “Sedition is a law that needs a lot of discussions—if someone is being slapped with sedition, it does deserve prime-time coverage,” she said. In this particular case, “the charge sheet is being filed after three years, the delay itself should have the journalists questioning what’s happening,” she added.Sambhav discussed the media’s reportage of the new agricultural package. He said, “There was so much anticipation that the government has come up with something extraordinary on farmer’s distress...but I could see journalists not being as critical about examining what exactly that package means for business economics and farmers...the reporting was also very superficial.” To which, Cherry asked, “Is it because newsrooms lack expertise?” It is rather due to a paucity of time, Sambhav explained. “When it comes to issues (sic) such as these, reporters need to spend time on deciphering the information, many reporters don’t get to do this. That’s the unfortunate part of how media functions,” he said.Prateek joins the discussion to talk about the excesses of security forces in Chhatisgarh’s Korseguda. He also speaks about why it is challenging for the media to cover such regions.For all this and more, listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap Ep 99: Fyre, Uri, the Nineties and more
Jan 24 2019 32 mins  
In the latest episode, Abhinandan Sekhri co-hosts with Samar Khan—director, producer and former journalist based in Mumbai. The duo discuss the portrayal of the Indian forces in cinema, the rise of TV and change in cinema in the Nineties, the Netflix documentary Fyre and more.Samar has worked on Shaurya, The Test Case and has attended the NDA. Abhinandan asks him: “Is it a coincidence that most of the things that you have created have to do with the forces?” Samar says, “That’s what interests me the most. I think there are so many stories to be told about the men in uniform which are just not war stories ... There are other stories that happen in the Army.”The hosts moved on to discuss the 1990s. Samar points out cultural changes marked by Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge: “[DDLJ] was the first film to talk to an urban audience. It was also the birth of a new director … It was almost like a changing of the guard." He says that was a time when you'd see a lot of movies influenced by the West, when a new generation of directors had taken over.Abhinandan then talks about the Netflix documentary Fyre. He says, “It’s a great commentary, other than the specific fraud it is on. It's also a comment on millenials and how social media can influence what we think.” Moving on to the movie Uri: The Surgical Strike, Samar says: “There are always fictional elements added which make you laugh. If you are the ‘janta’ audience then the humour works for you ... But if you are a military buff, you look at it and say ‘What the fuck? This can never happen'.”Tune in for more! See for privacy and opt-out information.

एन एल चर्चा 53: पोर्न और हिंसा का संबंध, उत्तर प्रदेश में गठबंधन और अन्य
Jan 19 2019 60 mins  
इस हफ्ते की चर्चा बीबीसी की उस रिपोर्ट को केंद्रित रही जिसमें भारत में पोर्न वीडियो, पोर्न वेबसाइट से सामाज में पड़ने वाले हिंसक प्रभावों की पड़ताल की गई. इसके अलावा कारवां पत्रिका की एक बड़ी खोजी रिपोर्ट में राष्ट्रीय सुरक्षा सलाहकार अजीत डोवाल के बेटे विवेक डोवाल द्वारा कालेधन के लिए बदनाम केमन आइलैंड में कंपनी स्थापित करने का मामला, यकायक केंद्र सरकार के कई शीर्ष मंत्रियों, भाजपा नेताओं की बीमारी, उत्तर प्रदेश में सपा-बसपा के बीच हुआ गठबंधन आदि इस बार की चर्चा का मुख्य केंद्र रहे.चर्चा में इस बार दो नए मेहमान जुड़े, दिव्या आर्या जो की बीबीसी में वुमेन अफेयर, पत्रकार हैं साथ ही स्वतंत्र पत्रकार और लेखक अनिल यादव भी इस बार चर्चा का हिस्सा रहे. इसके अलावा न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के स्तंभकर आनंद वर्धन भी चर्चा में शामिल हुए. चर्चा का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया.चर्चा की शुरुआत बीबीसी की उस रिपोर्ट से हुई जिसमें पोर्न की समस्या और इसका महिलओं के प्रति होने वाली हिंसा से संबंध है. अतुल ने दिव्या से सवाल किया, “आपकी जो रिपोर्ट है, संक्षेप में आप हमारे श्रोताओं को बताए कि इसका विचार कहा से आया और इस रिपोर्ट का निष्कर्ष क्या रहा?”इसका जवाब देते हुए दिव्या ने कहा, “हमारी रिपोर्ट जो आपने बीबीसी हिंदी डॉट कॉम पर एक लेख के तौर पर पढ़ी वो एक घंटे की रेडियो डॉक्यूमेंट्री के तौर पर अंग्रेजी, हिंदी में बीबीसी रेडियो पर आई थी. इसकी शुरुआत एक ऐसे वीडियो से हुई जो मेरे पास मेरे एक व्हाट्सएप्प ग्रुप में आया था, जिससे बहुत सारे एक्टिविस्ट और पत्रकार जुड़े हुए हैं. उस वीडियो में एक लड़की के कपड़े फाड़ने की कोशिश 10-15 लड़कों का समूह कर रहा था.”दिव्या के मुताबिक बिहार के एक गांव से यह वीडियो आया था और ये ऐसा इकलौता वीडियो नहीं था. ऐसे वीडियो लगातार आते रहे हैं जिसमे लड़कियों के साथ ज़बरदस्ती की जा रही है, और उनकी अनुमति के बिना ये वीडियो बनाके फैलाया जा रहा है. और बातचीत करने पर सामने आया कि इन वीडियों को प्रोफेशनली कैमरे से शूट किए गए हिंसक पोर्नोग्राफी की तरह ही बड़ी मात्रा में शेयर किया जा रहा है.चर्चा को आगे बढ़ाते हुए अतुल कहते है, "इस मसले जुड़ा एक विषय है सेक्स एजुकेशन का. हिंदुस्तानी सामाज में सेक्स टैबू है. सेक्स एजुकेशन को लेकर न तो कोई माहौल है ना उसको खुले मन से कोई स्वीकार करता है. अनिल यादव की एक कहानी है जिसमें भारतीय सामाज में सेक्स की बेसिक ट्रेनिंग का जरिया सड़क पर चलते हुए कुत्तों के बीच होने वाला सेक्स है या फिर घरों की छतों पर गौरैय्या या कबूतरों के बीच होने वाले सेक्स को देखकर युवा सेक्स की समझ पाते हैं. इस तरह के माहौल में तो आप लड़कियों की सेक्स एजुकेशन की बात ही छोड़ दीजिए. हिंदुस्तान के संदर्भ में सेक्स एजुकेशन और सेक्सजनित हिंसा है उन दोनों में किस तरह से तालमेल हो सकता है?इसका जवाब देते हुए अनिल यादव ने कहा, “हम लोग एक सोसाइटी के तोर पर बड़ी अजीब स्थिति में है. हमारे यहां सेक्स एजुकेशन या सेक्स पर बातचीत को एक तरह से अस्वीकार किया जाता है जबकि दूसरी तरफ वो एक नेचुरल आर्गेनिक चीज़ है. सेक्स एजुकेशन के अभाव में उसके बारे में जानना, उसके बारे में सीखना पोर्न वीडियो के ज़रिए शुरू होता है.”वो आगे कहते हैं, "मतलब हमारी सोसाइटी में इन चीज़ों पर बात करने के, इन चीज़ो के बारे में एजुकेट करने के चैनल, कब के बंद कर दिए गए हैं. यह एक पाखंडी और दोहरे मापदंडो वाला सामाज है. ऐसे में जो नई पीढ़ी है उनको अगर जानना है तो वो पोर्न के ज़रिए ही सीख़ रहे हैं. लेकिन यहां महत्वपूर्ण बात यह है कि पोर्न अनिवार्य तौर पर हिंसक और सैडिस्ट होता है. इसलिए नई पीढ़ी पोर्न के जरिए जो कुछ भी सीख रही है वो हिंसा सीख रही है और परपीड़ा सीख रही है, और ये बहुत ख़तरनाक बात है."आनंद वर्धन ने इस विषय पर अपनी राय रखते हुए कहा, “सूचना क्रांति ने विजुअल सेक्स का तथाकथित तौर पर लोकतांत्रीकरण किया है. इसकी पहुंच आम जन तक हुई है. इससे जो सेक्शुअली रिप्रेस्ड समाज है विशेषकर उत्तर भारतीय समाज उसको अपनी कुंठा को अभिव्यक्त करने का एक आसान जरिया मिला है. तब लोगों को पोर्न से ज्यादा चिंता ननहीं थी जब यह कुछ खास लोगों तक सीमित था. लेकिन इसके लोकतांत्रीकरण से यह बहस देखने को मिल रही है. पोर्न से एक समाज कैसे डील करता है यह भी बहुत कुछ उस समाज के बारे में बताता है.”अजीत डोवाल और सपा-बसपा गठबंधन पर भी पैनल के बीच दिलचस्प सवाल-जवाब हुए. दिव्या और अनिल ने इस चर्चा में हस्तक्षेप किया. आनंद वर्धन ने भी कुछ जरूरी, ज़मीनी जानकारियां साझा की. उनका पूरा जवाब और अन्य विषयों पर पैनल की विस्तृत राय जानने के लिए पूरी चर्चा सुने. See for privacy and opt-out information.

The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap Ep 98: The Accidental Prime Minister, Uri & more
Jan 18 2019 51 mins  
In the latest episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, Abhinandan is in conversation with Mayank Shekhar, entertainment head at Mid Day. The duo reviews The Accidental Prime Minister, Uri: The Surgical Strike and Gillette's latest commercial. They also discuss the portrayal of politics in Indian films, the evolution of film production in India and more. Mayank and Abhinandan also look back at the quality of last year’s films. “I genuinely believe that 2018 was the best year that I have had as a film reviewer watching films,” Mayank said.Speaking about a new genre of movies, Mayank said, “They are propaganda films...there is a new genre called pre-election films.” On The Accidental Prime Minister, he said, “What really suffers the most is the production design...the prime minister’s office looks like a shaadi hall in the movie.” Abhinandan added, “I have heard that it does not look like a story, there are just scenes that are unconnected, it does not flow like a’s just a bunch of scenes put together.”Explaining the lack of a storyline, Mayak said, “It is hard enough to adapt from non-fiction to begin would take competence of another kind to turn [Sanjay Baru’s book] into a coherent screenplay. Abhinandan also points out the difference between Uri and The Accidental Prime Minister. He said, "I have heard this one is pretty well-made.” Mayank agrees. He said, “I was stunned by it because my expectations were hugely low, as they should be because again you are walking in thinking ‘oh this is that pre-election propaganda film'."About the Gillette commercial, Abhinandan said, “It is appealing to the right values...I do not know what is wrong with that...overall I think it is a fantastic kind of communication from a brand that is so associated with machismo to come out with.” Discussing the backlash against the ad, Mayank talked about the people who criticised the ad. “I think a lot of opinion formation and dissemination has a lot to do with the fact that they call attention to themselves,” he said.Tune in for more! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 203: Sajjan Kumar, 1984 anti-Sikh riots, farm loan waivers, Rafael deal and more
Jan 18 2019 80 mins  
In this week’s podcast, our regular Hafta gang of Abhinandan Sekri, Madhu Trehan, Manisha Pande and Raman Kirpal are joined by Newslaundry subscriber Anushka Shah who is a researcher with MIT Media Lab. The podcast kicks off with a discussion on the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 after Indira Gandhi’s assassination. The team talks about how even today, media coverage of communal riots has been limited to political whataboutery where journalists only cover how a political party accuses the other. Anushka points out that in the last two years, the 1984 riots has been covered twice as much as 2002 Gujarat riots.They talk about the Delhi High Court’s judgement convicting Congress politician Sajjan Kumar for his role in the riots. Madhu says journalists should focus on writing descriptive accounts of court proceedings instead of limiting reports to the final court judgement.Moving on, Abhinandan mentions how political parties offer farm loan waivers to please their voters. Manisha says loan waivers are only a short-term solution and we need to look at the root causes of farmer distress. Anushka says 25 per cent of all news stories on agriculture are about loan waivers while stories on unemployment and agricultural unproductivity are less than 0.2 per cent.The panellists then discuss the court ruling on the Rafael deal. In the judgement, the court said it has no objection to any part of the deal. Madhu says one needs to recognise that courts are not investigating agencies. Raman replies, “Reliance has never been into aviation (sector) and they get such a huge project of around ₹30,000 crores. I personally feel this was a good enough reason for a probe.”The podcast also touches upon Rajiv Gandhi’s role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Abhinandan says that as a representative of the state apparatus, Rajiv Gandhi deserved to be tried for culpable homicide. Madhu says that one should note that Rajiv Gandhi was living an apolitical life, and was not ready to be in a position of power. She adds, “I don’t think Rajiv Gandhi ordered the killings of Sardars, it was the people who wanted to please the Gandhi family.”Towards the end, Abhinandan refers to Republic TV's Republic Summit that was held on December 18 and 19. He says that with guests like PM Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah and businessman Mukesh Ambani, the summit seemed more like Annual General Meeting for the BJP.Listen up! There’s more. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Reporters Without Orders Ep 51: CBI and the Alok Verma case, #JNUSeditionCase and more
Jan 16 2019 63 mins  
In the latest episode of Reporters Without Orders Cherry Agarwal is in conversation with Arvind Gunasekar, a CBI beat reporter, Vakasha Sachdev, The Quint's associate editor-legal, Rohin Verma, former Newslaundry journalist, and Ayush Tiwari. The panel discusses the controversy surrounding the Central Bureau of Investigation, former Supreme Court Justice HS Bedi’s report on alleged fake encounters in Gujarat between 2002 and 2006, brutal gang-rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl in Gaya, JNU sedition case and more.The discussion kicks off with the panel sharing their thoughts on the media's recent coverage of pertinent news pieces. Speaking of Alok Verma's resignation and the larger CBI controversy, Arvind talks about the source of the conflict. The panel also talks about the role of the Central Vigilance Commission, Supreme Court-appointed supervisor retired Supreme Court judge Justice AK Patnaik, as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led selection panel.Coming to the government's role, Vakasha speaks about how the government used on-paper transfer protocols to strip former CBI chief Alok Verma of his powers. He says, “The government is very clever here.” The panel also discusses how different decision-makers, in this case, seem to have a conflict of interest. Weighing in, Rohin adds, “Judiciary bohot zyada dari hui hai (the judiciary is very afraid)", when it comes to matters concerning the prime minister’s office.The panel also talks about the JNU sedition row, with Vakasha pointing out the dangers of the sedition law. For all this and more, listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 52: सामान्य श्रेणी को आरक्षण, सीबीआई विवाद, राहुल गांधी का बयान और अन्य
Jan 12 2019 63 mins  
की जरूरत थी जो कि महज 48 घंटे में संसद के दोनों सदनों में पास हो गया. किसी भी बिल को पास करने की एक लंबी चौड़ी प्रक्रिया होती है, घंटों बहस चलती है उस पर विचार विमर्श किया जाता है, ज्यादा से ज्यादा लोगों के विचार उसमें शामिल होते हैं. लेकिन यहां एक हड़बड़ी नजर आती है. संविधान संशोधन में इतनी जल्दबाजी ठीक है?”इसका जवाब देते हुए आनंद ने कहा, “आरक्षण पर अंबेडकर ने कहा था कि आरक्षण तात्कालिक है और इसका प्रतिशत कम ही होना चाहिए. कुछ राज्यों में इसे बढ़ाया गया जैसे तमिलनाडु में जनसंख्या के आधार पर आरक्षण 50% से बढ़ाकर 67% कर दिया गया, लेकिन केंद्र सरकार द्वारा 10% आरक्षण बढ़ाना पैंडोरा बॉक्स खुलने जैसा है. अब केंद्र सरकार ने एक शुरुआत कर दी है. इससे बाकी समुदायों में भी आरक्षण पाने की होड़ लग सकती है. इसके अलावा ऐसा नहीं है कि आरक्षण मिलने से नौकरी मिल जाएगी. 10% आरक्षण के लिए जो क्राइटेरिया तय किया गया है उसके हिसाब से भारत की 95% आबादी आरक्षण के लिए योग्य है. अब उसमें तो प्रतिस्पर्धा बनी ही रहेगी यह सवर्णों के लिए खुद बहुत कंफ्यूज करने वाली स्थिति है.”चर्चा को आगे बढ़ाते हुए अतुल ने सिद्धांत से सवाल किया, “आरक्षण का लक्ष्य था सामाजिक, शैक्षिक समानता लाना. जो चीजें जातियों से तय होती हैं उसको खत्म करने के लिए आरक्षण लाया गया था. हम पाते हैं कि लंबे समय से आर्थिक आधार पर आरक्षण की मांग भी हो रही थी. लेकिन यह 10% कोटा सामाजिक समानता के लक्ष्य को कहीं ना कहीं असफल करने वाली बात नहीं लगती?”इसका जवाब देते हुए सिद्धांत ने कहा, “आर्टिकल 15 (4) 16 (4) जिसकी आप बात कर रहे हैं उसमें सोशली और एजुकेशनली बैकवर्ड लोगों के बारे में जिक्र होता है, लेकिन इकोनॉमिकली बैकवर्ड के बारे में हम सिर्फ सुनते आ रहे थे. नरेंद्र मोदी उसे लेकर आ गए कि 10% आरक्षण आर्थिक आधार और पिछड़े लोगों को दिया जाएगा.”वो आगे कहते हैं, “66,000 प्रति महीना कमाने वाले आदमी को आप गरीब मानते हैं. तो देखना होगा कि इकोनोमिकली बैकवर्ड का क्लॉज़ जोड़ने के बाद भी आप हासिल क्या कर रहे हैं. कोई नई तस्वीर बन भी रही है या नहीं. क्योंकि हो सकता है सुप्रीम कोर्ट इसे रद्द कर दे, तब यह देखना दिलचस्प होगा कि बीजेपी की इस पॉलिटिक्स का क्या होगा.आरक्षण के मौजूदा स्वरूप को लेकर जो यथास्थिति है उसके बारे में बताते हुए सिद्धांत ने कहा, “2 साल पहले मैंने बीएचयू पर एक स्टोरी की थी. इसमें यह सामने आया, कि बीएचयू में असिस्टेंट प्रोफेसर की कुल 900 पोस्ट है जिसमें 850 केवल जनरल केटेगरी के प्रोफेसर हैं, एसटी कैटेगरी का एक भी प्रोफेसर नहीं है, एससी के 15 और ओबीसी के कुल 35 असिस्टेंट प्रोफेसर वहां पर कार्यरत है. यह स्थिति जब बनी हुई है नौकरियों में तो फिर सवर्ण के लिए आरक्षण की जरूरत ही क्या है.”इस मसले पर जयया निगम ने भी अपनी राय कुछ इस तरह से रखी, “आरक्षण का यह बिल आर्थिक तौर पर पिछड़े लोगों के लिए लाया गया है और अभी तक इसमें जितनी बातें सामने आई हैं उससे यह कहा जा सकता है इसका फायदा सभी धर्मों के लोगों को मिलेगा लेकिन इस पर अभी तक तार्किक रूप से ऐसा कुछ नहीं आया है, जिसमें यह साफ हो कि सरकार आर्थिक तौर पर पिछड़े हुए लोगों को कैसे पहचानेगी. इसमें एक बात और सामने आ रही है यूथ फॉर इक्वलिटी की, जो सामान्य श्रेणी के लोगों का एक फोरम है. यूथ फॉर इक्वलिटी इसके खिलाफ सुप्रीम कोर्ट में गया है. मतलब सवर्णों के अंदर भी दो मत हैं. अब आप गरीब सवर्ण कैसे तय करेंगे यह आने वाले समय में समाज के लिए एक बड़ी बहस हो सकती है.”पैनल की विस्तृत राय जानने और अन्य मुद्दों के लिए सुने पूरी चर्चा। See for privacy and opt-out information.

The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap Ep 97: The Mule, Golden Globes, Gully Boy and more
Jan 10 2019 49 mins  
In the latest episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, hosts Abhinandan Sekhri and Rajyasree Sen discuss BCCI’s notice to Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul for their appearance on Koffee with Karan, the Golden Globes, the new Uber Eats advertisement, The Mule, the Gully Boy trailer, and Backstreet Boys being back—again!The discussion begins with a quick tussle between our hosts over Rajyasree’s accusation that Koffee with Karan is a Graham Norton Show rip-off. Rajyasree also points out the irony of BCCI being the moral police in light of the complaints against BCCI’s CEO. Both agree that the degree of reaction to Pandya’s alleged misogyny is unwarranted and that it's more important to call out Karan Johar’s “infantile humour”.Rajyasree then talks about Clint Eastwood’s The Mule, based on the true story of Leo Sharp. They praise the cast, especially Eastwood and his “grasp on cinema”, nominating him for a lifetime achievement award at age 90. Abhinandan was put off by the “easiness” of the film and the “goody-goodiness of the resolution” despite being greatly impressed by Eastwood.The conversation moves to the Golden Globes. Abhinandan and Rajyasree praise Christian Bale and Glenn Close’s speeches, the former for his humour and the latter for bringing to the fore the struggle of women to be accepted both as mothers and professionals. They then discuss the Uber Eats ad, “Alia’s Tinda Moment”. Rajyasree says the ad was cute but not very compelling. Abhinandan expresses his problem with Alia Bhatt—though he thinks “she is the best actor of her generation”, because of her “child’s face”, her sexuality on screen makes him feel “queasy”.Abhinandan isn't very excited about Gully Boy because he believes hip-hop is very culturally specific to the US so it cannot be entirely transposed to Bombay. He is more excited about the Manoj Bajpayee-starrer Sonchiraiya, which is “a Paan Singh Tomar marries Bandit Queen and gives birth to a Gangs of Wasseypur kind of thing”.Finally, our hosts do not see the point of the Backstreet Boys' mushy comeback. They discuss how the main message of their latest video is that family is the most important thing in life. Featuring the Backstreet Boys with their wives and children, it promotes a heteronormative idea of family. “Yeh music video wagera unke bas ka raha nahin (this music video stuff is not in their league any more),” Abhinandan remarks.Tune in for more! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Reporters Without Orders Ep 50: #QuotaBill, government's plans to monitor media & more
Jan 09 2019 47 mins  
This week Reporters Without Orders features Cherry Agarwal in conversation with Newslaundry’s Ayush Tiwari, The Print's Amrita Nayak Dutta and Economic & Political Weekly’s Tejas Harad. In this episode, among other things, the panel discusses the #QuotaBill, which allows for 10 per cent reservation for economically weak sections of people belonging to the general category in jobs and education.The podcast kicks off with Ayush talking about Greater Kashmir’s misinterpretation of Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s interview. Amrita speaks about media's coverage of the Indian Science Congress, where outlandish claims were made, while Cherry talks about media's coverage of the #CitizenshipAmendmentBill.Tejas doubts that the #QuotaBill “will stand judicial scrutiny”. He explains the long judicial and legislative process required to bring such a quota into effect. He says it is not being opposed by other political stakeholders because it would eliminate the upper-caste vote. The panel also discusses the Supreme Court's stand on an economic criterion being used for reservation and why this bill will involve amending Article 15 (4).The panel then goes on to discuss, in the context of caste, whether “people of a community being the torchbearers of the narrative” is necessary to rectify the discourse on caste. Ayush identified this to be a part of the larger debate on whether only those with the lived experiences of prejudice must be the dominant voices in the discourse.Amrita spoke about her story on the government’s attempts to monitor the media, as well as Information and Broadcasting minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore's response. Ayush argues that “it is not negative coverage, but real journalism at stake here”.For all this and more, listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 205: PM Modi's interview to ANI, Sabarimala row, Rafale deal and more
Jan 04 2019 92 mins  
Welcome to the first episode of NL Hafta in 2019! Host Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by the regular gang of Manisha Pande, Raman Kirpal and Anand Vardhan, and special guest Dushyant Arora, lawyer and chief editor of News Central 24x7.The conversation starts with Abhinandan asking the panellists their views on ANI editor Smita Prakash’s interview with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The interview's earned a fair share of commentary and dissent, primarily against the journalist for being too soft on the PM. Anand takes the lead on the issue, saying he does not find it objectionable if a member of the media is respectful to a man in Modi's position. “That is the dignity the office carries, not the individual,” he says. But is it really respect or is it diffidence? Dushyant says, “The dignity of the office … is enhanced with greater questioning.”The panel then discusses the 28 counts of criminal defamation filed by Anil Ambani against various news organisations. Dushyant weighs in with a legal perspective, describing how the provisions of the NSA stack the odds against the accused, and how defamation has historically been used as a tool to "intimidate and silence" journalists.The conversation shifts to the 620-kilometre human wall formed by women in Kerela. Abhinandan notes that the effort was backed by the state to support the feminist struggle regarding entry of women of menstrual age into Sabarimala temple. Manisha candidly says the act, while commendable, didn’t really move her. She says this is not where “the heart of the feminist battle lies”. Dushyant adds that the act of conducting a shudhikaran after two women managed to enter the temple is unconstitutional.Moving on to the BJP-Congress faceoff about making a rendition of Vande Mataram, Abhinandan says, “For any society to progress, there has to be an active opposition of defiance for such things.” The panel unanimously spoke against this, as well as the mandate that requires movie theatres to play the national anthem and viewers to stand in a perfunctory display of patriotism.Another issue that sparked impassioned discussion from the panel was the leaked Rafale audio clip. They raised questions and expressed curiosity about the identity of the elusive “Mr X”—the journalist heard in conversation with Goa minister Vishwajit Rane. Abhinandan points out this oversight in the reportage of the issue on primetime news channels.Tune in to NL Hafta to find out more! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Reporters Without Orders Ep 49: Bangladesh polls, Bhima Koregaon, Sabarimala and more
Jan 03 2019 48 mins  
This week’s Reporters without Orders features host Cherry Agarwal in conversation with Ayush Tiwari, Scroll staff writer Shoaib Daniyal, Newslaundry special correspondent Prateek Goyal, and Indian Express Digital correspondent from Kerala, Vishnu Varma. Conversations range from Triple Talaq to Sabarimala to Bhima Koregaon. Ayush starts off by expressing his disapproval on the lack of coverage on the recent Transgender Persons Bill and its flaws. Shoaib talks about his dissatisfaction over the lack of coverage of Bangladesh's controversial polls which took place last week. The panel discusses the "quid pro quo" relationship between Sheikh Hasina and the Modi government.The discussion moves to the Triple Talaq bill and its peculiar clauses. Shoaib says the Catch-22 is that “although 'talaq talaq talaq’ does not annul the marriage, it can put you in jail”. The panellists then analyse the motivations behind either side of the debate in relation to Muslim women vote banks and male victimisation. They discuss the historical developments within Muslim personal law and alimony regulations during the Shah Bano case.Prateek joins in to discuss Bhima Koregaon. He commends the way the Maharashtra Police handled the large crowds to prevent violence. They banned certain activist groups and performers and placed countless cameras in an attempt to mitigate chaos and rioting. Prateek says he's fairly satisfied with the ample coverage of Bhima Koregaon this year. Next, Vishnu reports on the latest developments at Sabarimala temple and how two women in their 40s entered it. Cherry asks if this incident will serve as an example for other women to break discriminatory pilgrimage rules.For all this and more, listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap Ep 96: Bandersnatch, Bird Box and more
Jan 03 2019 54 mins  
It's the first episode of 2019, and our hosts Abhinandan Sekhri and Rajyasree Sen discuss the Saudi Arabia-centric episode of Hasan Minhaj's Patriot Act, Netflix series Selection Day, and the Netflix special of Black Mirror's Bandersnatch, among other things.Rajyasree recommends the controversial Saudi Arabia of Patriot Act for its wit and timing. Both hosts disapprove of Netflix pulling the episode down in Saudi Arabia after a complaint from authorities. “It is a shame because rather than more information reaching places that were behind and Iron Curtained, it seems that the Iron Curtain is extending to places that didn’t have one earlier,” says Abhinandan.They talk about the Netflix series Selection Day, based on a book by the same name by Aravind Adiga. Rajyasree summarises the plot and says she recommends it because you could probably watch the entire thing in a single sitting. She does however think the story was somewhat underdeveloped.Discussing the episode Bandersnatch from the Black Mirror series, Abhinandan is stridently against the concept, though Rajyasree found it entertaining. He says he doesn't endorse the episode's USP, which is the "cheap thrill" of being able to choose where the story goes. He says it seems to solely cater to video game fanatics, which is “a hell of a subset". He adds, "It was a lot of content consumption to cater to a gimmick.”Next, the pair review the Netflix thriller Bird Box, which had a record viewership in the first week of its release. “Watch it for the gruesomeness,” says Rajyshree, "if you’re into that sort of thing." She says while she enjoyed the "graphic" cinematography, the film can be slightly unrealistic and tiresome with its overused dystopian-world, single-parent-protecting-the-children shindig.Moving away from the Netflix universe, Abhinandan and Rajyasree discuss Rajeev Masand’s Actresses Roundtable 2018. They unanimously condemn Rani Mukherjee, saying she comes across as an under-informed, overly opinionated person who is self-aware of her superiority being “Aditya Chopra’s wife, so she rules the roost,” says Rajyasree.Our hosts also talk about the recent passing of two artists: Kader Khan, whom Abhinandan calls “crass, but prolific” and praises him for being self-made, and filmmaker Mrinal Sen, of whose work Rajyasree has mixed views.Tune in for more! See for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 51: सरकारी एजेंसियों की निगरानी, एनआईए का 17 जगहों पर छापा और अन्य
Dec 29 2018 60 mins  
इस हफ्ते चर्चा का मुख्य विषय रहा नेशनल इंवेस्टिगेशन एजेंसी द्वारा 17 जगहों पर छापा मारकर आईएस के 10 कथित आतंकियों की गिरफ्तारी. इसके अलावा नोएडा के पार्क होने वाली जुमे की नमाज को लेकर पैदा हुआ विवाद, गृह मंत्रालय द्वारा 10 सुरक्षा और खुफिया एजेंसियों को किसी के भी कंप्यूटर डाटा निगरानी की अनुमति और पांच राज्यों के विधानसभा चुनावों परिणाम के बाद आया नितिन गडगरी का बयान भी चर्चा में शामिल रहे. इसके बाद से अटकलें लगाई जा रही हैं कि भाजपा के शीर्ष नेतृत्व में खटपट चल रही है.इस बार की चर्चा में बतौर मेहमान हिदुस्तान टाइम्स के एसोसिएट एडिटर राजेश आहुजा शामिल हुए. साथ ही न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के असिस्टेंट एडिटर राहुल कोटियल भी चर्चा का हिस्सा रहे. हमेशा की तरह चर्चा का संचालनन्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया.चर्चा की शुरुआत करते हुए अतुल ने राजेश से सवाल किया, "एनआईए द्वारा की गई कार्रवाई की टाइमिंग को लेकर जो सवाल खड़े हो रहे है कि चुनाव का मौसम आते ही इस तरीके की कार्रवाई खुफिया एजेंसियां करती हैं. आईएम से जुड़े मामलों में भी हमने देखा था कि युवकों को गिरफ्तारी भी होती है लेकिन कोर्ट में वो साबित नहीं हो पाती, क्या वास्तव एनआईए और अन्य एजेंसीयां सरकार के इशारे पर काम करती है या उनकी कोई स्वायत्तता भी है?"राजेश इसका जवाब देते हुए कहते है, “एनआईए के अधिकारियों ने बताया है कि इस पूरे मॉडयूल की चार महीने से निगरानी की जा रही थी. अधिकारी इनकी बातचीत पर नज़र रखे हुये थे, इनका एक हैंडलर भी था जिसने इन सब को उकसाया और एक ऐसा दस्ता बनाने को कहा. ऐसा पहली बार नहीं हुआ है पिछले 3 सालों मे देश के अलग अलग हिस्सो में पहले भी ऐसे दर्जनों मामले सामने आए जो इस्लामिक स्टेट से प्रभावित थे. खुशकिस्मती से केवल मध्य प्रदेश ट्रेन ब्लास्ट के अलावा बाकी सभी बाकी सभी दस्ते कुछ कर पाते उससे पहले ही सुरक्षा एजेंसियों ने उनका भंडाफोड़ दिया. तो यह कहना सही नहीं होगा कि आगामी चुनावों के चलते एनआईए ने इस तरह की कार्रवाई कर रही है.”मुद्दे को आगे बढ़ते हुए अतुल ने पूछा, "राजनाथ सिंह ने 2016 में जब आईएस का प्रकोप चरम पर था, तब एक बड़ा बयान दिया था कि आईएस भारत के लिए कोई बड़ा खतरा नहीं है. तो क्या यह माना जाए कि 2 साल में स्थितियां बदल गई हैं?”इस पर राजेश ने जवाब देते हुए कहा, "इसे हमें तुलनात्मक दृष्टिकोण से देखना होगा. भारत में लगभग 25 करोड़ मुसलमान हैं उनमें से सौ-सवा सौ लोग अगर भटक जाते है तो यह बहुत बड़ी संख्या नहीं है. दूसरी तरफ यूरोप में पांच हज़ार से ज्यादा लोग आईएस में शामिल हुए और वापस आकर बड़ी घटनाओं को अंजाम दिया. भारत में ऐसे युवाओं को केवल गिरफ्तार किया गया बल्कि बहुत से ऐसे मामले भी थे जहां बच्चों को जाने से रोका गया, उनके परिवारों को काउंसलिंग दी गई. यहां तुलनात्मक रूप से संख्या बहुत कम है इसलिए आईएस को बहुत बड़ा खतरा नहीं माना गया.”आगे राहुल को चर्चा में शामिल करते हुए अतुल ने सवाल किया, “सोशल मीडिया के अतिवाद के दौर में हर विषय को लेकर एक माहौल बना दिया जाता है. व्यक्तिगत रूप से हम तय कर पाने की स्थिति में नहीं होते कि क्या सही है क्या गलत है. क्योंकि अतीत ऐसा रहा है कि इंडियन मुजाहिद्दीन के नाम पर तमाम युवाओं को गिरफ्तार किया गया फिर कुछ भी साबित नहीं हो पाया है.”इसका जवाब देते हुए राहुल ने कहा, “सुरक्षा एजेंसियों के दोनों तरह के रिकॉर्ड हमारे सामने हैं हम यह भी नहीं कह सकते कि एजेंसियां पॉलिटिकल टाइमिंग के हिसाब से काम करती हैं और दूसरी तरफ ऐसा भी नहीं है कि इनकी कार्यशैली इतनी मजबूत रही है कि इन पर आंख बंद करके भरोसा कर लिया जाय. जैसे मोहम्मद आमिर के मामले में हमने देखा कि जब वह जेल गया था, तब केवल 18 वर्ष का ही था और 18 वर्ष जेल में रहने के बाद वो निर्दोष साबित हुआ. उसकी लगभग सारी जिंदगी जेल में कट गई और उसके बाद हमारा सिस्टम ऐसे लोगों के पुनर्वास का कोई इंतजाम नहीं कर पाता. लेकिन सिर्फ टाइमिंग की वजह से एनआईए की कार्रवाई को नकारा नहीं जा सकता. क्योंकि यह बात सच है कि किसी भी तरह का चरमपंथ काम करता है और उसके अनेक उदाहरण हमने देखे हैं. कश्मीर की अगर हम बात करें तो 90 के दशक में वह क्षेत्रीय अस्मिता का सवाल हुआ करता था लेकिन आज वह क्षेत्रीय अस्मिता से ज्यादा धार्मिक कट्टरता का सवाल बन चुका है. कश्मीर में चरमपंथ बढ़ा है, इसे नकारा नहीं जा सकता.” See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 201: State elections, Shaurya Diwas, the Bulandshahr violence and more
Dec 28 2018 79 mins  
In this week’s NL Hafta, Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Meghnad, Raman Kirpal, and Manisha Pande. The panel also features Newslaundry reporters Amit Bhardwaj and Prateek Goyal who are covering the elections from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh respectively.Amit gives us insight into the election rallies in Rajasthan that are being dominated by PM Narendra Modi and Yogi Adityanath instead of Vasundhara Raje. He says yes when Abhinandan asks whether a reporter gets new insight when on the ground. He adds that people would assume that the fight in the state is between the BJP and the Congress but in as many as 20 seats, the BSP dominates the other two parties.Prateek shares his experience from Madhya Pradesh. He says the people in the state would vote for the BJP despite their dissatisfaction with the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led government.Moving on, the panel discusses the anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition, which Right-wing groups popularly call "Shaurya Diwas". Abhinandan says that unlike countries like Germany, people fail to acknowledge the immorality of the violence that followed the events of December 6, 26 years ago. He adds that as a society, we are a couple of decades behind. Raman talks about his reporting experience during the demolition. He says, “They pulled down this decades-old structure despite Advani making a feeble attempt there, leading, trying to stop them from bringing down the structure. Whereas other leaders were happy about it. And it was an illegal act. And some people got injured and this led to riots. So how can you celebrate it?”The panel also discusses the violence in Bulandshahr where a policeman was allegedly killed by cow vigilantes. They discussed how the media covered the event, especially TV channels during primetime. Pointing out the absurdity in the investigation, Meghnad says, “The weird part of all of this is going into the specifics of which meat was it, was it on the transformer or whether it was in the fridge. But in this whole scenario, a very vital element of this is lost: that a person lost their life for a stupid reason.” Manisha remarks that all this is because of bad investigation and bad reporting.Listen up! There's more. See for privacy and opt-out information.

The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap Ep 95: Relatable, Thackeray and more
Dec 28 2018 53 mins  
This week’s episode brings you an action-packed discussion with our hosts Abhinandan Sekhri and Rajyasree Sen on Relatable, season 2 of Making A Murderer, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Kareena Kapoor’s What Women Want, Honey Singh’s Makhna, the trailer of Thackeray and three commercials.Rajyasree and Abhinandan start by exchanging views on Ellen DeGeneres’s Relatable and how she’s hitting hard on the social stereotype against lesbians. They talk about the payment of $20 million Ellen received for the 68-minute show. Moving on, they discuss the Netflix series Making A Murderer Season 2, written and directed by Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos. They discuss the American phenomenon of making celebrities out of criminals, to which Rajyasree says, “Although in America, I feel they are a little off, so they don’t have much happening in their own lives. So they get sucked into these kind of things.”The discussion moves on to Kareena Kapoor Khan’s radio show What Women Want on Ishq: 104.8, which is also a video show. They talk about how, unlike a radio show, the show sounds scripted. Abhinandan adds, “Radio is only compelling because it’s a conversation that’s unfiltered and unrehearsed. That’s what makes good talk radio”.Abhinandan and Rajyasree then discuss the trailer of the upcoming movie Thackeray, directed by Abhijit Panse. Abhinandan expresses his curiosity, saying, “The good thing about such films is that now there will be filmmakers getting into political commentary through their cinema. Which is fantastic! And then you’ll have a counter-narrative.”This and more, so listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 50: सज्जन कुमार को सज़ा, फ्रांस में आंदोलन और अन्य
Dec 24 2018 51 mins  
एनएल चर्चा अपने 50वें अध्याय पर पहुंच गई. इस लिहाज से इस बार की चर्चा बेहद ख़ास रहीं. 50वीं चर्चा को हमने न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के यूट्यूब चैनल पर लाइव प्रसारित किया.इस बार की चर्चा का मुख्य विषय रहा 1984 के सिख विरोधी दंगों के एक मामले में कांग्रेस नेता सज्जन कुमार को हुई उम्रकैद की सज़ा. इसके अलावा सुप्रीम कोर्ट द्वारा राफेल डील के मामले में हुए कथित घोटाले के आरोपों से जुड़ी सारी याचिकाओं को ख़ारिज करना, दक्षिण भारतीय राज्य तमिलनाडु के नेता एमके स्टालिन द्वारा राहुल गांधी को अगला प्रधानमंत्री पद का उम्मीदवार बनाने की घोषणा और साथ ही फ्रांस में बीते डेढ़ महीने से चल रहे यलो वेस्ट आंदोलन पर हमारी चर्चा केंद्रित रही.इस बार की चर्चा में बतौर मेहमान द वायर की सीनियर एडिटर आरफा खानम शेरवानी हमारे साथ जुड़ी साथ ही साथ न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के ओपिनियन राइटर व स्तंभकार आनंद वर्धन भी इस चर्चा का हिस्सा रहे. इसके अलावा न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के असिस्टेंट एडिटर राहुल कोटियाल भी चर्चा में शामल हुए. चर्चा का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 200: Kisan Rally, Gotra Politics, Kartarpur Corridor and more
Dec 21 2018 124 mins  
Celebrating the 200th episode of Hafta, we recorded the episode live in the presence of our subscribers, at Anti Social in Delhi's Hauz Khas.For this special episode, journalist and writer Manu Joseph joins our regular Hafta gang of Abhinandan Sekhri, Madhu Trehan, Manisha Pande, and Anand Vardhan.Kicking off the event, Abhinandan talks about the history of NL Hafta and how it has evolved over time. The podcast then moves on to discuss all the news that happened this week, from the Kisan rally in Delhi to the debate over Rahul Gandhi’s gotra, and much more.The Hafta gang begins by discussing which news model is better, one that is advertisement-driven or one that is driven purely by subscribers. The panel deliberates on the pros and cons of both these models.Talking about the problems faced by the advertising model, Manu says: “Advertising is not a flawed model, the human being in itself is a flawed model.” Madhu goes on to say that the subscription model is a huge challenge primarily because the audience only wants to consume information that they agree with.Moving on, the panel discusses the recent debate around Rahul Gandhi's gotra and how relevant is it in today’s politics. Manu talks about the strong bond between one’s caste and one’s identity. Quoting P. Sainath, he says: “If you don’t know your caste you are probably upper caste.”Manu and the Hafta gang also talk about novels being made into TV series and movies, and to what extent does this transition do justice to its original form. To this, Anand Vardhan points out that novels are unique in their ability to depict the thoughts of its characters, and this is where the visual medium fails. Manu, on the other hand, feels that novels fail on their part to show life realistically.While taking questions from our subscribers, the panel answers some interesting ones on the economics of the Right-wing governments, weak and strong leaders and much more. On the question of citizen journalism, Manisha says that user-generated content is not favourable since news requires “a certain professional experience”.Towards the end, the panel talks about the recent development in Indo-Pak relations after the recent inaugural for construction of Kartarpur corridor and the outpour of different political reactions. Manu, Abhinandan and Madhu share their conflicting experiences in Pakistan. The panel also shares their opinion on resolving Indo-Pak conflict.Tune in to listen to all this and more. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Reporters Without Orders Ep 48: BJP’s Rath Yatra, MP and Rajasthan elections, and more
Dec 20 2018 54 mins  
This week's Reporters Without Orders features our host Amit Bhardwaj with Rahul Kotiyal, special correspondent Prateek Goyal and Snigdhendu Bhattacharya from Hindustan Times.Amit starts the podcast by asking Snigdhendu about the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Rath Yatra in Kolkata, which was supposed to be hosted on December 7 but was blocked by the Trinamool Congress. They discuss how the whole thing was rebranded from a Rath Yatra to a "Save Democracy" programme.The panel moves on to the rumours surrounding Varun Gandhi leaving the BJP and joining the Congress and how news reports constantly feed these rumours. Rahul adds: “In the Congress, the sky is the limit for Varun Gandhi and he’ll be a threat to Rahul Gandhi if he joins.”Amit talks about Kamal Nath becoming the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh and his race for the position. The panel also talks about the cut-throat competition between the two parties and how the BJP's anti-incumbency factor played out in the state. Rahul notes: “The BJP’s strategy is to praise the Modi-Shah duo and blame it on local leaders if they lose elections.”Next, they discuss the reason behind the strong win of the Congress in Rajasthan, and where Vasundhara Raje failed and Sachin Pilot succeeded. Amit says the unemployment factor amongst the youth and the farmer crisis contributed. Prateek quotes people of Rajasthan saying, “Modi tujhse bair nahi, Vasundhra teri khair nahi” which the Congress claims was given by the RSS while the BJP blames the Congress. Nevertheless, the slogan claims that Narendra Modi still has a certain hold in Rajasthan, but Amit says Modi's charm has diminished as “voters of Modi are in a toxic relationship which you know is not working out, but you just don’t want to quit it”.For this and more, listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap Ep 94: Roma, Detour, The Innocent Man, Brexit and more
Dec 19 2018 49 mins  
This week’s episode of Awful and Awesome brings you an action-packed discussion with our hosts Abhinandan Sekhri and Rajyasree Sen on the short film Detour, the new Brexit trailer, Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma and two commercials.Rajyasree and Abhinandan start the podcast with the semi-autobiographical film Roma, written, directed and produced by Alfonso Cuarón. Rajyasree notes that the movie is set in 1971 Mexico and tells the story of characters that are usually ignored by cinema and society. Appreciating the director’s work, Abhinandan says, "There are two things that make cinema survive—the stars and the craftsmen who crafts cinema", and Cuarón is one of those craftsmen who’s keeping it alive. Rayasree believes Roma is all set to win an Oscar.The discussions moves to a Netflix documentary, The Innocent Man, based John Grisham’s book—which Rajyasree notes is Grisham's only non-fiction book—and how the movie portrays the criminal justice system in America in relation to sending people to jail. They then talk about the trailer of the upcoming HBO film Brexit starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Cumberbatch plays Dominic Cummings, the man known to be the architect of Brexit, and how he used social media to bring out the most unlikely outcome. Abhinandan expresses his excitement for the movie but also says, “In the interest of making a compelling narrative, writers and podcast makers are overstating what social media interventions do.”Moving on, Abhinandan and Rajyasree talk about the new Baggit commercial starring Shraddha Kapoor where she promotes the hashtag #PutItOnTheTable. They think it doesn’t resemble a feminist campaign. Abhinandan says, “If this is what a feminism campaign looks like, then good luck, feminism.”Tune in to listen to more. See for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 49: पांच राज्यों के चुनाव, उर्जित पटेल का इस्तीफा और अन्य
Dec 15 2018 67 mins  
इस बार की चर्चा का केंद्र पांच राज्यों में हुए विधानसभा चुनाव में आए नतीजे रहे. इसके आलावा आरबीआई गवर्नर उर्जित पटेल का समय से पहले अपने पद से इस्तीफा देना, नए गवर्नर के रूप में शक्तिकांता दास का पद संभालना, रफेल विमान सौदे पर सुप्रीम कोर्ट का निर्णय आदि विषय इस बार की चर्चा के मुख्य बिंदु रहे.इस बार की चर्चा में बतौर मेहमान न्यूज़ 24 चैनल की पत्रकार साक्षी जोशी और वरिष्ठ पत्रकार हर्षवर्धन त्रिपाठी शामिल हुए. इसके अलावा न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के असिस्टेंट एडिटर राहुल कोटियाल भी चर्चा का हिस्सा रहे. चर्चा का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया.चर्चा की शुरुआत अतुल चौरसिया ने पांच राज्यों के विधानसभा के चुनावी नतीजों से की. उन्होंने पैनल के सामने एक सवाल रखा, “जिस रूप में भाजपा पिछले 4-5 सालों में बदली है, हमने देखा कि हर विधानसभा चुनाव के नतीजों के बाद नरेंद्र मोदी दिल्ली की सड़कों पर विजय परेड निकालते थे. उस दौरान मोदी जो भाषण देते थे उसमें एक विचित्र सी साम्यता दिखाई देती थी. वो अमित शाह को जीत का पूरा श्रेय देते थे बजाय पूरी पार्टी और उसके संगठन के. ये एक अलग तरीके की रणनीति दोनों नेताओं के बीच में विकसित हुई थी. अब इस हार से क्या उस जुगलजोड़ी के ऊपर किसी तरह का दबाव बढ़ा है?”इसके जवाब में हर्षवर्धन त्रिपाठी ने कहा, “जब हम माध्य प्रदेश, छत्तीसगढ़, राजस्थान के चुनावी नतीजों की बात करते हैं तो इससे पहले के भारतीय जनता पार्टी के जितने भी चुनाव हैं उसकी स्थिति में और इसमें एक बड़ा बेसिक सा अंतर है. फर्क ये हैं की ये वो 3 राज्य हैं जहां की मुख्यमंत्रियों को समय-समय पर नरेंद्र मोदी के कद का नेता समझा जाता रहा. यहां तक की अगर आप लोगों ने ध्यान दिया हो तो 2013 -14 के दौरान कई बार चर्चा चली कि शिवराज सिंह चौहान भी प्रधानमंत्री पद के एक ताकतवर दावेदार हैं.”हर्षवर्धन आगे कहते हैं, “पर शायद ऐसा नहीं हो सका. मैं ये नहीं मानता कि अमित शाह और नरेंद्र मोदी ने इन चुनावों में उस तरह से अपनी भूमिका नहीं निभाई जैसे बाकी राज्यों में करते थे. उसके बावजूद वे चुनाव हारे. मेरा मानना है कि मध्य प्रदेश छत्तीसगढ़ से बहुत अच्छा सन्देश है कि एक अरसे के बाद मतलब मुझे नहीं याद है की कब इस तरह से कोई चुनाव पूरी तरह स्थानीय मुद्दों पर लड़ा गया. राजस्थान एक बहुत बुरा चुनावी कैंपेन रहा. वहां कोई जमीनी मुद्दा नहीं था. विपक्ष के अभियान का एकमात्र मुद्दा था वसुंधरा अहंकारी हैं. यानी सब हवा हवाई मुद्दे थे.”नतीजों पर हो रही बहस का दूसरा पहलू था राहुल गांधी और कांग्रेस पार्टी को मिली चमत्कारिक सफलता. क्या इससे राहुल गांधी की नेतृत्व क्षमता स्थापित हो गई है या फिर इसे सिर्फ तुक्के में मिली जीत और एंटी इंकंबेंसी का नतीजा मानकर खारिज किया जा सकता है? साक्षी जोशी इस पर हस्तक्षेप करती हैं, “राहुल गांधी एक परिपक्व नेता के तौर पर साल भर पहले ही स्थापित हो गए थे. गुजरात चुनावों के दौरान उन्होंने जिस तरह से चुनाव अभियान की कमान संभाली वह ध्यान देने लायक है. उन्होंने. उन्होंने बार-बार एक बात कही कि आप (भाजपा के लोग) मुझे पप्पू कहते हैं. आप मुझे चाहे जो भी कहें लेकिन मेरे सवालों का जवाब जरूर दें. वो सवाल बहुत जरूरी हैं. तो जिस तरह से उन्होंने मुद्दों को पकड़े रखा और विपक्ष के उकसावे में बिना फंसे अपना अभियान चलाया वह उनकी क्षमता को साबित करता है.”राहुल कोटियाल ने इसके एक और पहलू पर रोशनी डाली, “राहुल गांधी की जो छवि साल भर पहले थी, ऐसा नहीं है कि उन्होंने उसमें कोई बड़ा बदलाव किया है. इन 3-4 सालों में मोदी की अपनी असफलताओं का इन नतीजों में भूमिका ज्यादा है. जिस तरह से उन्होंने अपनी छवि बनाई थी कि वो सबकुछ हल कर देंगे और बाद में जिस तरह से विधवा के संबंध में उनके अटपटे बयान आए, जिस तरह से प्रधानमंत्री की बातों को संसद की कार्यवाही से हटाना पड़ा, उन सबने मिलकर मोदी के लिए एक नकारात्मक माहौल बनाना शुरू कर दिया है.”राफेल डील और उर्जित पटेल के इस्तीफे पर भी दिलचस्प सवाल और निष्कर्ष के साथ साक्षी जोशी और राहुल कोटियाल ने इस चर्चा में हस्तक्षेप किया. हर्षवर्धन जी ने भी कुछ जरूरी, ज़मीनी जानकारियां साझा की. उनका पूरा जवाब और अन्य विषयों पर पैनल की विस्तृत राय जानने के लिए पूरी चर्चा सुने. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 199: CBI leak, #SmashBrahminicalPatriarchy, John Allen Chau & more
Dec 14 2018 86 mins  
In this episode of Hafta, we have Shipra Garg, our subscriber from the United States, and Meghnad joining our in-house panel of Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, and Raman Kirpal to discuss news that made headlines this week.Abhinandan begins the podcast by discussing the recent CBI 'leak'. The panel discusses the role of media in covering a crisis that involves the country’s central investigation agency. They also touch upon CJI Ranjan Gogoi’s statement: “You don’t deserve a hearing.”The panel then talks about the outrage against Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, after a picture of him holding a poster reading ‘Smash Brahminical Patriarchy’ was circulated. Manisha discusses television debates and hashtags like #BoycottTwitter that followed. Shipra adds how this news has also erupted in the US where channels are reporting that “Hindus in India are angry with Jack Dorsey”.Moving on, the panel talks about the death of American citizen John Allen Chau, who was killed by Sentinelese tribe in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Meghnad says “[It’s the] arrogance of the civilised man that is at play [when they say] that our way of living is the best and others who are not doing it like that are somehow doing it wrong.” Abhinandan disagrees, he argues that since some customs of these aboriginal tribes are primitive it’s desirable that they should be integrated into modern society.Hear the panel discuss the dissolution of Jammu & Kashmir Assembly where decisions were made on Twitter rather than Assembly floor. Raman sums up the situation saying, “It is only in this government that the fax machine stops working, or the ink is changed or the EVM machines don’t function properly.”Listen to all this and more! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 198: #MeTooIndia, CNN vs The White House and more
Dec 07 2018 61 mins  
In this week’s episode, Supreme Court lawyer Mihira Sood joins our in-house panel of Madhu Trehan, Raman Kirpal, and Manisha Pande. The gang goes on to discuss topics like sexual harassment laws in India, the cancellation of singer TM Krishna’s concert in Delhi, and CNN’s lawsuit against the Trump administration.Giving us an overview of the shortcomings of sexual harassment laws in India, Mihira, who is currently researching the feminist movement, gives us some insight. The panel goes on to dig into the ever-increasing trend of “performative feminism” wherein media houses carry stories without any proper journalistic inquiry. Raman calls such stories “the easiest stories to report”.Talking more about the propagandist tendencies of media, Madhu mentions why the current government deserves to get the “Best Media Management” award. The panel further talks about the NDA-friendly media as well as the UPA-friendly media.Moving on, this week’s Hafta crew discusses the recent cancellation of Carnatic singer TM Krishna’s concert in the capital which was being organised by AAI and SPIC MACAY. They also talk about the controversy unfolding in the United States wherein CNN filed a suit against the Trump administration when the organisation’s journalist Jim Acosta was discredited from accessing the White House.Tune into all this and much more! See for privacy and opt-out information.

The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap Ep 93: 'Bad Sex’ Award, Simmba, Rogan Josh and more
Dec 05 2018 42 mins  
This episode of The Awful and Awesome brings you an action-packed week with our hosts—Abhinandan Sekhri and Rajyasree Sen—both of whom discuss everything from a political documentary to a very strange award category.The duo begins by talking about the "Bad Sex award" which is awarded by Literary Review to "an author who has produced an outstandingly bad sexual description in an otherwise good novel". Rajyasree says Japanese author Haruki Murakami also made it to this year’s list, while Abhinandan adds that an Indian author called Anirudh Behl was also part of the same list in 2003. Moving on, they talk about something that’s even more ridiculous in a pop-culture context: the trailer of Rohit Shetty's Simmba, which is a sequel to the Ajay Devgan-starrer Singham. Rajyasree says the trailer does not have a cliffhanger and instead gives away the entire plot. "We should warn you, if any of you go watch the film, then you should be ashamed of yourself,” adds Abhinandan.The hosts then talk about a short film starring Naseeruddin Shah called Rogan Josh, which also features Avantika Akerkar and Shishir Sharma. The duo discusses how this film—which commemorates the anniversary of the terror attacks in Mumbai—is conceptually strong. Both of them agree that the problem of the film is a universal problem in Hindi films, i.e. they over-explain.The discussion then moves towards a political documentary, Fahrenheit 11/9, directed by Michael Moore. Rajyasree says though the film is primarily about American president Donald Trump, it's also about the Flint water crisis, Michael Moore’s connection to Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner, the Parkland school shooting, Obama, Hillary Clinton and more. This overload of information is what is the problem with the film, according to her. “The film, which is about everything, becomes a film about nothing,” she points out. The anchors conclude by talking about Priyanka Chopra’s wedding. Rajyasree says it's ironic that "three truckloads of firecrackers" had been burst at her wedding, even though Chopra endorses an ad that is about asthma. Talking further on Indian weddings, Abhinandan says, “Indian weddings have become an excuse for people who could never make it to showbiz. Aaj mauka mila hai, captive audience mili hai, aaj main nach kar dikhaunga, chahe nachna aata ho ya na aata ho.”Tune in to find out more! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Reporters Without Orders Ep 47: Kisan Mukti March, the agrarian crisis & more
Dec 05 2018 62 mins  
This week's Reporters Without Orders features our host Cherry Agarwal along with in-house writer, Gaurav Sarkar. Today, we have three guests joining us on the panel: Mumbai-based Parth MN, Haryana-based Jyoti Yadav, and DNA’s Amrita Madhukalya.This episode focuses primarily on the agrarian crisis—including the Kisan Mukti March which took place in Delhi on November 29 and 30.The podcast kicks off with the panel sharing their experiences of interacting with farmers at the rally. Parth talks about how the presence of Opposition leaders in the rally was favourable for the farmers’ movement. “They (farmers) can use the platform to hold the establishment accountable. It is all about holding the establishment accountable. And if and when they come to power, as media we can hold them accountable for the speeches they have made at the rally,” he adds. Jyoti agrees and says it is crucial to politicise the issue as it makes the issue mainstream.The conversation then moves on to discuss how the media covered the Kisan Mukti March. Parth points out that though this particular rally was covered well by the media, the media has also been largely ignorant of the agrarian crisis that has been affecting almost the entire rural economy. “(The) spurts in farmer suicides happened largely after a drought, hailstorm or a natural calamity,” he said. “This is usually the last straw on the camel’s back. But why the farmer was sitting on the brink is something that we do not explore.”Talking about how the rally was covered by the Hindi media, Jyoti says it's time they stop romanticising the farmer crisis and instead focus on talking about the actual issue as it is. She feels that the pieces being churned out by various publications should be written as reports and not as literary articles.Gaurav draws a comparison between the first farmers’ march in Mumbai and the one that took place recently in Delhi. He points out that while political leaders were not allowed to make speeches at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan, in Delhi, they were not only encouraged, but also expected to do so.The discussion then moves to how newsrooms were not very well prepared for the massive rally in Mumbai. Cherry points out that this shows the shortcomings of newsrooms. Amrita adds: “Newsrooms also need to invest in a sustained coverage of farmer crisis. Newsrooms need to take into account that this is going to be the biggest political conversation in the 2019 elections.”Summing up the discussion, Parth points out: “We need to ensure that the farming crisis becomes a part of our discourse and our daily conversations. Long story short—we should not be reminded of a farmer’s struggle only when they die.”For all this and more, listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 197: Air pollution, Trump’s press conference, the killing of Avni, and more
Dec 03 2018 81 mins  
NL Hafta is back with a bang with our in-house panel comprising Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Anand Vardhan and Madhu Trehan. The panel discusses a variety of topics ranging from air pollution and firecrackers in Delhi to Sabarimala protests in Kerala, Trump’s press conference in the White House to Arnab Goswami being appointed a member of the Nehru Memorial Museum & Library in Lutyens’ Delhi. The discussion starts off with Madhu weighing in on the Supreme Court verdict allowing entry to Sabarimala for women of all ages. She questions the ruling BJP for not supporting the verdict of the Supreme Court.The Hafta gang then discusses the various angles of the firecracker ban in India in relation to the air pollution which has been hitting the saturation point, and how the people of Delhi flouted the Supreme Court order on the eve of Diwali, helping Delhi’s AQI levels go through the roof. The discussion then moves on to US President Donald Trump’s chaotic post-midterms press conference which took up plenty of space on social media, and how in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hasn’t done even a single press conference since he took office.The conversation then proceeds to the installation of the Museum on Prime Ministers of India, and the gang discusses the validity of such an institution in India. They talk about the killing of Avni, the "man-eater" tigress from Yavatmal district in Maharashtra. The panel brings in contrasting views about the concept of "human versus animal" in connection with the issue. The discussion also steers its way to the recent developments in the Ram Temple issue in Ayodhya.This and more in the latest episode of NL Hafta! See for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 48: किसान आंदोलन, राममंदिर विवाद, राजस्थान चुनाव और अन्य
Dec 03 2018 51 mins  
इस बार की चर्चा का केंद्र रहा दिल्ली के रामलीला मैदान में देश भर से इकट्ठा हुए किसान और उनका संसद मार्च. इसके अलावा अयोध्या और बनारस में राम मंदिर निर्माण पर दो अलग-अलग संतों के आयोजन हुए, साथ ही साथ राजस्थान चुनाव में कांग्रेस की ओर से प्रधानमंत्री पर व्यक्तिगत आरोप प्रत्यारोप का मुद्दा, उत्तर प्रदेश के मुख्यमंत्री योगी आदित्यनाथ का भगवान हनुमान को दलित समुदाय का बताने से मचे विवाद आदि विषय इस बार की चर्चा के मुख्य बिंदु रहे.इस बार की चर्चा में बतौर मेहमान शामिल हुए मीडिया विजिल वेबसाइट के संस्थापक सदस्य और पत्रकार अभिषेक श्रीवास्तव. इसके अलावा न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के असिस्टेंट एडिटर राहुल कोटियाल भी चर्चा में शामिल रहे. न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के विशेष संवाददाता अमित भारद्वाज इस समय राजस्थान चुनाव की कवरेज कर रहे हैं. वो हमसे फोन पर जुड़े. चर्चा का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया.चर्चा की शुरुआत अतुल चौरसिया ने न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के विशेष संवादाता अमित भारद्वाज के सामने एक सवाल रखकर की, “अमित हम देखते आ रहे हैं कि गुजरात के बाद राजस्थान का एक हिस्सा पिछले 3-4 सालों में हिंदुत्व की प्रयोगशाला के तौर पर उभरा है. अलवर के इलाकों में समय-समय पर गौरक्षकों का आतंक दिखा. अलवर के इलाके में कई मॉब लिंचिंग की घटनाएं देखने को मिली. क्या इन घटनाओं का असर राजस्थान के चुनाव पर दिख रहा हैं?”अमित ने कहा, “मैंने अपने कवरेज की शुरुआत राजस्थान के अलवर और भरतपुर इलाके से की थी. अलवर में विधानसभा की 11 सीटें है और भरतपुर में 7. अलवर इलाके में उग्र हिंदुत्व के कारण एक डिवाइड दिख रहा है. आप अगर मुस्लिम वोटर्स के पास जाएंगे तो उनकी एक अलग प्रतिक्रिया है और अगर आप हिन्दू वोटर के पास जाएंगे तो उनकी एक अलग प्रतिक्रिया है. यह कहीं ना नहीं पिछले कुछ सालों में हुई घटनाओं के कारण है. चाहे वो मॉब लिंचिंग हो या गौरक्षा हो. तमाम जो हिंदूवादी सांगठनों ने जो गतिविधियां की हैं, उनका असर इस चुनाव में साफ़-साफ़ दिख रहा है. इस इलाके में जब हमने कुछ लोगों से बात की तो पाया कि भाजपा को एक बढ़त है, हालांकि बहुतायत में युवा मुख्यमंत्री वसुंधरा राजे से खुश नहीं है. वहां युवा नारा लगा रहे थे- मोदी तुझसे बैर नहीं, वसुंधरा तेरी खैर नहीं.”वो आगे कहते हैं, “एक चीज़ और है जो व्हाट्स ऐप के जरिएए फैलाया जा रहा है. एक सीट है रामगढ़, जहां पर रकबर खान की हत्या हुए थी. उस सीट पर कांग्रेस की प्रत्याशी है सफिया खान उनका एक वीडियो वायरल किया गया, जिसमें वो बयान दे रही हैं कि हर हालत में चुनाव जीतना है चाहें कुछ भी करना पड़े. उस वीडियो को हिंदूवादी संगठन के लोग खूब फैला रहे हैं. तो भाजपा की कोशिश डिवाइड के ऊपर चुनाव लड़ने की दिखती है.”यहां पर अतुल ने बात आगे ले जाते हुए कहा, “अमित, मैं यह समझना चाह रहा था की क्या पूरे राज्य में किसी तरह की हवा किसी पार्टी के पक्ष में बह रही है? मसलन हमने देखा है कि 2014 के जो लोकसभा चुनाव या फिर बंगाल के विधानसभा चुनाव ऐसे थे जहां साफ तौर पर एक हवा दिख रही थी. भविष्यवाणी करना आसान था. क्या इस तरह की ऐसी कुछ एंटी इंकम्बेंसी वेव राजस्थान में महसूस हो रही है?”इस पर अमित का जवाब आया, “राजस्थान में बड़ा इंट्रेस्टिंग ट्रेंड है. अगर आप राजस्थान का इतिहास देखे तो जो पार्टी प्रचंड बहुमत से सरकार बनाती है अगले चुनाव में बड़े ही शर्मनाक तरीके से हार जाती हैं. जैसे अशोक गेहलोत की सरकार जब हारी तो 25 सीटों पर सिमट के रह गई. उससे पहले भैरों सिंह शेखावत के साथ ऐसा हुआ हैं. इस बार लोग लगातार कह रहे हैं कि टक्कर कांटे की है.”अमित ने बताया, “जब प्रधानमंत्री ने भरतपुर में सभा की तो वहां से कुछ लोग प्रधानमंत्री के भाषण के बीच से ही जाना शुरू हो गए. हालांकि यह संख्या कम थी. लोग खुल कर बोल रहे थे की प्रधानमंत्री हमारे मुद्दों पर बात ही नहीं कर रहे हैं, इसलिए हम जा रहे हैं. ऐसी स्थिति में आप कंफ्यूज हो जाते हैं की जनता असल में करने क्या वाली हैं.”राजस्थान के चुनाव में तीसरे मोर्चे की भूमिका और कई अन्य दिलचस्प सवाल और निष्कर्ष के साथ अभिषेक श्रीवास्तव और राहुल कोटियाल ने इस चर्चा में हस्तक्षेप किया. अमित ने भी कुछ जरूरी, ज़मीनी जानकारियां राजस्थान से साझा की. उनका पूरा जवाब और अन्य विषयों पर पैनल की विस्तृत राय जानने के लिए पूरी चर्चा सुने . See for privacy and opt-out information.

The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap Ep 92: the Manyavar ad, Mirzapur and more
Nov 30 2018 45 mins  
After a hiatus of two weeks, hosts Rajyasree Sen and Abhinandan Sekri are back with an episode packed with opinions on several advertisements both from India and around the world, a web series and a film trailer.The duo starts with a discussion on popular advertisements in the Indian media including the Manyavar advertisement, which has Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma engaging in "playful banter". Rajyasree comments: “If you plan on having a romantic relationship with anyone or any sort of relationship built on some meeting of the minds: don’t talk like this to each other. It’s the end of that relationship, for sure!”The discussion moves on to the new Swiggy ad which centres on our tendency to not address people in the service industry by their names. Talking about the conceptualisation and production quality of Indian advertisements, Abhinandan says, “I am amazed at the level of creativity of Indian advertisements. (I think) They are second only to the US or even at par with the US.” They also talk about Dolce & Gabbana’s ad which offended many people in China. Both Rajyasree and Abhinandan agree this advertisement can reduce Dolce & Gabbana's brand value.Rajyasree then takes the discussion forward with Amazon Prime’s new show Mirzapur, which is produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani and stars Pankaj Tripathi, Rasika Dugal, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Vikrant Massey and more. She says it’s a well-made show with many characters and dynamics at play. But at the same time, she's disappointed with how the show ends. “I think they get dynamics of the way relationships play out, the different kinds of romantic relationships you can have, the way we hear about it a lot but hopefully we don’t experience it in our milieu. A father-in-law wanting to sleep with his daughter-in-law, the wife not getting sexually satisfied by her husband sleeps with the cook. So there are all sorts of things happening,” she adds.Towards the end of podcast, they talk about the teaser of Disney’s upcoming film The Lion King and the trend of remaking films that is being followed both in India and abroad. They discuss how producers are willing to put money into stories and scripts that have worked in the past. Abhinandan says, “If you want to make a big film, you bet that money on a film that is remade, say a Jungle Book, a Sholay or a Don. This is why all superhero films are the biggest releases of the year. The characters have worked in the past and they will work in future. Nobody creates a new character!”Tune in to listen to this and more! See for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 47: ट्विटर और पैट्रियार्की विवाद, इमरान-ट्रंप टकराव, सीबीआई और अन्य
Nov 27 2018 53 mins  
इस बार की चर्चा विशेष रूप से ट्विटर के सीईओ जैक डोर्सी की भारत यात्रा के दौरान मचे घमासान को समर्पित रही. हालांकि वह अपने देश लौट चुके हैं. इसके अलावा भारत की विदेश मंत्री सुषमा स्वराज ने घोषणा की है कि स्वास्थ्य सही न होने के कारण वे 2019 का चुनाव नहीं लड़ेंगी, हालांकि उन्होंने राजनीति से सन्यास नहीं लिया है. पाकिस्तान के करीबी मित्र अमेरिका द्वारा 1.66 बिलियन डॉलर की सुरक्षा सहायता राशि रद्द करने का फैसला और भारत की सबसे बड़ी जांच एजेंसी सीबीआई की लगातार उलझती गुत्थी के इर्दगिर्द इस बार की चर्चा केंद्रित रही.इस बार की चर्चा में स्वतंत्र पत्रकार स्वाति अर्जुन बतौर मेहमान शामिल हुई साथ ही राजनीतिक पत्रकार सैय्यद मोजिज़ इमाम भी पहली बार चर्चा का हिस्सा बने. इसके अलावा न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के विशेष संवाददाता अमित भारद्वाज भी चर्चा का हिस्सा रहे. चर्चा का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया.चर्चा की शुरुआत अतुल चौरसिया ने स्वाति अर्जुन के सामने एक सवाल रखकर की, “ट्विटर सीईओ जैक डोर्सी ने कुछ महिला पत्रकार और कुछ महिला सामाजिक कार्यकर्ताओं के साथ मीटिंग की. उस मीटिंग में किसी ने उन्हें एक पोस्टर गिफ्ट किया, जिस पर लिखा था- स्मैश द ब्राह्मिनिकल पैट्रियार्की यानी ब्राह्मणवादी पितृसत्ता का नाश हो. इसे जाति विशेष से जोड़कर जिस तरह से दक्षिणपंथी समूहों ने हमला किया, उसे किस हद तक जायज या नाजायज कहा जा सकता है?"स्वाति ने कहा, “यह जो मुद्दा उठा है मुझे लगता है यह ब्लेसिंग इन डिस्गाइज़ मोमेंट है. सोशल मीडिया के लिए ट्विटर, फेसबुक जैसे प्लेटफॉर्म के लिए. अगर हम भारत में देखे तो हाल के 2-4 सालों में सोशल मीडिया ट्रोलिंग, गाली-गलौज, लिंचिंग जैसी चीजें लगातार बढ़ती जा रही है. पता नहीं कितनी महिलाओं को सोशल मीडिया पर रेप करने की धमकी दी गई हैं. महिलाओं के ख़िलाफ़ भद्दी भाषा का भी इस्तेमाल किया जाता है. तो इसलिए मैं इसको ब्लेसिंग इन डिस्गाइज़ मोमेंट ही मानती हूं.”वो आगे कहती हैं, “जहां तक सवाल है जाति का तो सोशल मीडिया में कहा जाता है कि पढ़ा-लिखा तबका है जो एक ख़ास तबके से ही आता है. वो ब्राह्मणवाद को ब्राह्मण कैसे समझ लेते हैं. जब आप ब्राह्मणवाद की बात कर रहे हैं तो आप ब्राह्मणवादी पितृसत्ता की बात कर रहे हैं. और जिस दलित महिला ने ये पोस्टर डोर्सी को दिया उनका ये अभियान काफी सालों से चल रहा है जो की दलित महिलाओं का ग्रुप हैं.”उन महिलाओं ने बस यही बताया की मैं एक पिछड़ी, निचली जाति से आती हूं तो जब भी मेरे ऊपर कोई हमला करता है तो उसमें जाति का एंगल जोड़ देता है.यहां पर अतुल ने हस्तक्षेप किया, “मुझे लगता हैं जिस तरह से ब्राह्मणवादी पितृसत्ता को ब्राह्मण जाति से जोड़ा गया उसके दो पहलु हैं. पहला, जो प्रभावी संस्कृति है देश की उस पर सवर्ण जातियों का कब्जा है. जाहिर है ब्राह्मण उसमें शीर्ष पर है. अगर किसी तरह की अच्छाई या बुराई इसमें है तो प्रतीकात्मक रूप से ब्राह्मण को इस्तेमाल किया जाता है. क्योंकि यह ब्राह्मणों की हितैषी की संस्कृति है.” See for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 46: बीबीसी की फ़ेक न्यूज़ पर रिसर्च, सीएनएन-ट्रंप टकराव, रफाल विवाद और अन्य
Nov 17 2018 45 mins  
इस बार की चर्चा विशेष रूप से फ़ेक न्यूज़ को समर्पित रही. बीबीसी द्वारा फेक न्यूज़ के ऊपर किया गया एक रिसर्च इस हफ्ते बहस में रहा. इसके अलावा अमेरिका में ट्रंप प्रशासन द्वारा सीएनएन के व्हाइट हाउस संवाददाता जिम एकोस्टा का पास निलंबित करना, बदले में सीएनएन द्वारा ट्रंप को अदालत में घसीटना और एएनआई समाचार एजेंसी की संपादक स्मिता प्रकाश द्वारा रफाल लड़ाकू जहाज बनाने वाली कंपनी दसों के सीईओ का साक्षात्कार इस हफ्ते की एनएल चर्चा के प्रमुख विषय रहे.इस बार की चर्चा में बीबीसी डिजिटल हिंदी के संपादक राजेश प्रियदर्शी बतौर मेहमान शामिल हुए. इसके अलावा न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के असिस्टेंट एडिटर राहुल कोटियाल, विशेष संवाददाता अमित भारद्वाज भी शामिल रहे. चर्चा का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया.चर्चा की शुरुआत अतुल चौरसिया ने राजेश प्रियदर्शी के सामने एक सवाल के साथ की- “बीबीसी के रिसर्च की बड़ी चर्चा है. हम चाहेंगे कि आप संक्षेप में इसके मुख्य नतीजों और रिसर्च के तरीके के बारे में बताएं.”राजेश प्रियदर्शी ने बताया, “फ़ेक न्यूज़ को लेकर हर तरफ से कहा जाता है कि दूसरा पक्ष फ़ेक न्यूज़ फैला रहा है. समस्या की जड़ वहां है जहां आम आदमी किसी न्यूज़ पर भरोसा करके उसे आगे बढ़ाता है. यह काम वो किसी भी सोशल मीडिया प्लेटफॉर्म के जरिए करता है.”वो आगे कहते हैं, “हमने इस रिसर्च के जरिए यह जानने की कोशिश की है कि फ़ेक न्यूज़ फैलाने वाले लोग कौन हैं. किन वजहों से वो ऐसा करते हैं. उनके दिमाग में क्या है. ऐसे लोगों का मोटीवेशन क्या है. इस पर बीबीसी ने एक क्वालिटेटिव रिसर्च की है, जिसमें चीजों को गहराई से समझने की कोशिश की गई है. हमने राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर कोई सर्वेक्षण नहीं किया है. अलग-अलग शहरों में अलग-अलग आयु, आय और जेंडर के 40 लोगों के सोशल मीडिया बिहेवियर को परखा गया है.”यहां अतुल ने हस्तक्षेप किया, “आपने कई बातें बताई. रिसर्च से एक बात सामने निकल कर आई कि भारत में फ़ेक न्यूज़ के पीछे नेशनलिज्म बड़ा फैक्टर है जो लोगों को फ़ेक न्यूज़ की दिशा में प्रेरित कर रहा है. दुनिया भर में दक्षिणपंथी सोच का प्रभाव फ़ेक न्यूज़ के ऊपर ज्यादा है. इस समय ज्यादातर देशों में ऐसी ही सरकारें भी हैं. तो इसमें सरकारों की क्या भूमिका दिखती है.”राजेश के मुताबिक इसमें चार चीजें मुख्य रूप से भर कर सामने आई. हिंदू सुपीरियॉरिटी, हिंदू धर्म का पुनरुत्थान, राष्ट्रीय अस्मिता और गर्व, एक नायक का व्यक्तित्व (इस मामले में मोदी). ये चारो चीजें आपस में गुंथी हुई हैं.राहुल कोटियाल ने इसके एक दूसरे पहलु पर रोशनी डालते हुए कहा, “इस रिसर्च को किसी अकादमिक दस्तावेज में शामिल नहीं किया जाएगा. इसकी वजह शायद इसका छोटा सैंपल साइज़ है. यह विरोधियों को इस रिसर्च को खारिज करने का अवसर भी देता है. बीबीसी इस सवाल से कैसे निपटेगा?”जवाब में राजेश कहते हैं, “मूल बात यह है कि बीबीसी कोई अकादमिक संस्था नहीं है. यह येल या हार्वर्ड नहीं है. हमारी चिंता मीडिया फ्रटर्निटी में मौजूद फ़ेक न्यूज़ की समस्या थी. यह रिसर्च कोई अंतिम सत्य नहीं है.”अमित भारद्वाज का सवाल इस पूरी चर्चा को एक अलग धरातल पर ले जाता है. उन्होंने कहा, “इस रिसर्च से यह बात उभर कर सामने आई कि हिंदुत्व और नेशनलिज्म फ़ेक न्यूज़ के अहम फैक्टर हैं. रिपोर्ट पढ़कर हिंदुत्व का फैक्टर बड़ी प्रमुखता से सामने आता है. लेकिन रिपोर्ट में नेशनलिज्म शब्द चुना गया, हिंदुत्व नहीं. क्या यह सोच-विचार कर उठाया गया क़दम था?”इस सवाल के साथ ही अतुल ने भी एक सवाल जोड़ा, “आपने बताया कि 40 लोगों से सहमति ली गई कि आप उनके सोशल मीडिया बिहेवियर का आकलन करना चाहते हैं. बहुत संभव है कि जिन लोगों पर आप रिसर्च कर रहे थे उनके दिमाग में कहीं न कहीं यह बात चल रही हो कि उनके ऊपर नज़र रखी जा रही है, ऐसे में उनका व्यवहार सामान्य न रहकर चैतन्य हो सकता है.”इन सवालों के बेहद दिलचस्प जवाब राजेश प्रियदर्शी ने दिए. उनका पूरा जवाब और अन्य विषयों पर पैनल की विस्तृत राय जानने के लिए पूरी चर्चा सुने. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Reporters Without Orders Ep 45: Chhattisgarh elections, #Sabarimala, Herald House & more
Nov 15 2018 41 mins  
This week's Reporters Without Orders features our host Cherry Agarwal, Special Correspondent Amit Bhardwaj, and Desk Writer, Gaurav Sarkar. The panel is joined by two guests over the phone: Chhattisgarh-based Kamal Shukla, editor of Bhumkal Samachar and Kerala-based Vishnu Varma from Indian Express digital.In the podcast, Amit talks about how sections of the media over-reported Tej Pratap Yadav's divorce. Yadav is the elder son of former Bihar chief ministers Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rabri Devi. Amit also weighs in on how stories of news value from Bihar such as the developments in the Muzaffarpur Shelter Home case have been eclipsed. Adding to the point, Cherry speaks about the repeated denial of bail to Delhi-based analyst and journalist Abhijit Iyer-Mitra.Speaking about the ground reality of Chhattisgarh elections, senior journalist Kamal Shukla tells the panel why the narrative of a larger voter turnout smells fishy. Moving on, Gaurav talks about his report on National Herald and the controversy around Herald House. He also talks about IndiaSpend's report on the rising number of hate crimes in the country.The panel is joined by Vishnu Varma over the phone. Talking about the Supreme Court's recent Sabarimala verdict, Varma speaks about how political parties like the BJP and the Congress are busy appeasing the voters. Then there is a discussion aboutCNN's lawsuit against US President Donald Trump and more. Listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 45: रिज़र्व बैंक विवाद, नेहरू मेमोरियल लाइब्रेरी, कर्नाटक उपचुनाव और अन्य
Nov 10 2018 59 mins  
भारतीय रिजर्व बैंक की स्वायत्तता पर सरकार का खतरा, डोनाल्ड ट्रम्प और मीडिया के बीच टकराव, इसकी भारतीय संदर्भ में विवेचना, कर्नाटक में लोकसभा की तीन और विधानसभा की दो सीटों पर हुआ उपचुनाव, इसमें जेडी(एस) और कांग्रेस गठबंधन की जीत, पं. नेहरू के आवास तीनमूर्ति भवन की नेहरू मेमोरियल म्यूज़ियम और लाइब्रेरी की गवर्निंग बॉडी में 4 नए सदस्यों की नियुक्ति आदि इस हफ्ते की चर्चा के मुख्य विषय रहे.इस बार चर्चा में बतौर मेहमान शामिल हुए पत्रकार नीरज ठाकुर, जो मूलरूप से आर्थिक मामलों के पत्रकार हैं. इनके अलावा स्तम्भ लेखक आनंद वर्धन और न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के विशेष संवाददाता अमित भारद्वाज भी चर्चा में शामिल हुए. चर्चा का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया.चर्चा की शुरुआत करते हुए अतुल चौरसिया ने पूछा, “आरबीआई एक्ट का सेक्शन 7 यानी जिस रेयर लॉ की बात हो रही है, वह सरकार को किस तरह के अधिकार देता है?”इसका जवाब देते हुए नीरज ठाकुर ने कहा, “सरकार के पास पैसे की कमी पड़ गयी है, और वह जल्द से जल्द कुछ कुछ निर्णय लेना चाह रही है. जिसे आरबीआई मना कर रहा है. आरबीआई हमेशा से अपनी स्वायत्तता को बचाए रखना चाहता है, जबकि सरकारें हमेशा से चाहती रही हैं कि वह उनके हिसाब चले. इसके अंदर सेक्शन 7 सरकार को किसी भी तरह का निर्देश जारी करने का अधिकार सरकार को देता है, जिसे आरबीआई को मानना ही पड़ेगा.”नीरज ने इस संकट के उत्पन्न होने की वजहें और भारतीय अर्थव्यवस्था में पैदा हुए उटापटक के सूत्र नोटबंदी से जोड़े. जिसको लेकर सरकार ने समय-समय पर बड़े-बड़े दावे किए थे. लेकिन आज की तारीख में यह बात साबित हो गई कि नोटबंदी असफल रही.अतुल ने नोटबंदी के सवाल को आगे बढ़ाते हुए आर्थिक विशेषज्ञ प्रियरंजन दास का हवाला दिया जिन्होंने कहा है कि सरकार का आकलन था कि नोटबंदी से अर्थव्यवस्था में करीब साढ़े तीन से चार लाख करोड़ रुपए का काला धन वापस नहीं लौटेगा. लिहाजा सरकार यह शेष रकम रिजर्व बैंक से लेगी. लेकिन नोटबंदी में सारा पैसा वापस आ गया. अब सरकार वही साढ़े तीन लाख करोड़ रुपए रिजर्व बैंक से उसके रिजर्व से वसूलना चाहती है.आनंद वर्धन ने इसका जवाब देते हुए कहा, “अब जबकि सत्ता का केन्द्रीकरण बहुत अधिक है, और इसमें संवादहीनता और पारदर्शिता की कमी है. नोटबंदी के उद्देश्य पहले भी बार-बार बदलते रहे हैं. इसमें सरकारी संवाद भी बहुत हद तक लचर रहा है. शायद सरकार की सोच चुनाव के पहले इस पैसे के जरिए कुछ लोकलुभावन योजनाओं को बड़े पैमाने पर शुरू करने की है.”नीरज ने सरकार द्वारा रिज़र्व बैंक के ऊपर बनाए जा रहे दबाव को पूरी तरह से राजनीतिक निर्णय बताया.अमित भारद्वाज के मुताबिक पंजाब नेशनल बैंक घोटाला सामने आने के बाद से चीजें बदली हैं. जैसे फरवरी सर्कुलर है जिसके जरिए 11 बैंकों को पीसीए के तहत लाया गया. विरल आचार्य ने जैसे कहा कि जो आरबीआई या केंद्रीय बैंक के स्वायत्तता के साथ जो खिलवाड़ करेगा, उसे मार्केट की नाराजगी झेलनी पड़ेगी. उस बयान के बाद अरुण जेटली का बयान आया कि आरबीआई को सरकार के मुताबिक ही काम करना चाहिए क्योंकि वह चुनी हुई संस्था है और लोगों के प्रति जवाबदेह है. इससे आरबीआई और सरकार के बीच का टकराव सतह पर आ गया.आगे उन्होंने कहा कि रघुराम राजन की छवि सरकार विरोधी बना दी गई थी, लिहाजा राजन की इच्छा के बाद भी उन्हें दूसरा कार्यकाल न देते हुए उर्जित पटेल को नया गवर्नर सरकार ने नियुक्त किया. उनके बारे में यह धारणा बनाई गई कि वे गुजरात से आते हैं और मोदी के करीबी हैं. अब इस संकट के बाद अगर उर्जित पटेल इस्तीफा देकर दे जाते हैं तो दुनिया के बाजार में सरकार की प्रतिष्ठा और विश्वसनीयता को बड़ा धक्का लगेगा.पैनल की विस्तृत राय जानने और अन्य मुद्दों के लिए सुनें पूरी चर्चा. See for privacy and opt-out information.

The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap Ep 91: the '#MeToo bag', BlackkKlansman and more
Nov 08 2018 42 mins  
In this episode of The Awful & Awesome Entertainment Wrap, Abhinandan Sekhri and Rajyasree Sen talk about the “viral videos” made around the Diwali season and some movies.Rajyasree starts off the discussion by talking about the "#MeToo bag" which has been designed by Priyanka Vachhani and which the designer says can also be used for self-defence. She explains how the #MeToo movement has been used in the fashion business and how the ad that was put out was cringe-worthy. The discussion moves on to HP’s recent Diwali ad titled "#GoLocal" which Abhinandan and Rajyasree think is overly emotionalised.The hosts then talk about the Hollywood movie BlacKkKlansman, directed by Spike Lee and released earlier this year. The movie is a true story about the first Black-American cop who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan. The consensus is that our subscribers should watch this fun-packed and well-shot movie, which Abhinandan says is a political statement by the director against Trump. Abhinandan also briefly talks about a 1993 western action thriller called Tombstone.Abhinandan then moves on to romantic comedy-drama Crazy Rich Asians directed by Jon M Chu which released earlier this year. He says it's a classic love story but also reinforces some stereotypes. Rajyasree talks about a commercial by Ghadi Detergent, which steers the discussion into the stereotypes and set standards of gender and class in the Indian community. They discuss a special Karwa Chauth commercial by Nykaa titled "Qaid", featuring India’s first transsexual model Nikkiey Chawla. Abhinandan and Rajyasree ask the same question: “Why has Karwa Chauth been unnecessarily brought in to convey such an emotion?” They agree it's a good commercial, but Rajyasree says it's still a marketing gimmick.This and more, so listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Reporters Without Orders Ep 44: #RBIvsGovt, #AyodhyaRamMandir, Bihar lynching & more
Nov 06 2018 46 mins  
What is #RBIvsGovt all about? This episode of Reporters Without Orders with Business Standard's assistant editor Arup Roychoudhury, Newslaundry's Amit Bhardwaj, Gaurav Sarkar and Cherry Agarwal has the details. The panel is joined by Prem Shankar Mishra, senior correspondent with Navbharat Times Lucknow, to discuss discrepancies in teacher recruitment in Uttar Pradesh and the impact of his story.The discussion starts with Arup talking about the rift between the Reserve Bank of India and the government. Speaking about RBI's independence, Arup explains that RBI's autonomy is without any legal backing. Weighing in on media's coverage of economic policy, he adds, “The general channels don’t have the bandwidth or intelligence to cover this." Prem joins the panel to speak about developments in the teacher recruitment scam following his story. As matters stand, the High Court has taken cognisance of the issue. Speaking about an issue that got more attention than it deserved, Amit says that the Ayodhya dispute was over-reported in the media. He adds that sections of the media also misreported the issue, which was hyped without much context.Gaurav talks about a recent incident in Bihar, where an 80-year-old Muslim man was lynched and burned by a mob. This found little coverage in mainstream media, Gaurav tells the panel. Meanwhile, he says, the Statue of Unity got more coverage than it deserved.Cherry talks about how the New York Times' Pakistan edition skipped publishing a critical op-ed piece by Mohammed Hanif. The article was about Asia Bibi's acquittal. She also talks about Arnab Goswami’s appointment to the Nehru Memorial Museum & Library and killing of five Bengali-speaking men in Assam's Tinsukia.For this and more, listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 44: हाशिमपुरा, डीडी न्यूज़ पत्रकार की मौत, पाकिस्तान में ईशनिंदा और अन्य
Nov 03 2018 55 mins  
दंतेवाड़ा में हुआ नक्सली हमला, पाकिस्तान में आसिया बीबी के ईशनिंदा मामले पर सुप्रीम कोर्ट का फैसला और पाकिस्तानी अवाम का विरोध, राम मंदिर की सुनवाई की तारीख बढ़ने और हाशिमपुरा नरसंहार पर आया दिल्ली उच्च न्यायालय का फैसला आदि इस बार की एनएल चर्चा का विषय रहे.इस बार की चर्चा में दो खास मेहमानों ने टेलीफोन के जरिए हिस्सा लिया. इनमें हैदराबाद से पत्रकार मालिनी सुब्रमण्यम, जिन्होंने नक्सली इलाकों में काफी पत्रकारिता की है और साथ ही पाकिस्तान से बीबीसी के पूर्व पत्रकार हफीज चाचड़ शामिल हुए. इसके अलावा न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के असिस्टेंट एडिटर राहुल कोटियाल, विशष संवाददाता अमित भारद्वाज भी शामिल रहे. चर्चा का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया.चर्चा की शुरुआत करते हुए अतुल चौरसिया ने दंतेवाड़ा में हुए नक्सली हमले और दूरदर्शन के कैमरामैन अच्युतानंद साहू की मौत पर दुख व्यक्त करते हुए कहा कि ऐसे किसी भी हिंसाग्रस्त इलाके में काम करने वाले पत्रकारों की क्या चुनौतियां हैं, जो पत्रकार वहां जा रहे है उनको किन बातों का ध्यान रखना चाहिए? यह बड़ा प्रश्न है. इसके जवाब में मालिनी सुब्रमण्यम ने कहा, “यह बहुत ही बड़ा घटना है. और इस बात पर दोनों पक्षों को, सरकार और माओवादी, सफाई देने की जरूरत है. हालांकि माओवादियों ने एक पर्चा जारी कर कहा है कि- “पत्रकारों पर हमला करने का उनका कोई उद्देश्य नहीं था. उन्होंने पुलिस के ऊपर हमला किया था. जैसे ही उन्होंने पुलिस को देखा तो हमला कर दिया. इस हमले को लेकर प्रपोगेंडा चलाया जा रहा है कि माओवादियों ने पत्रकारों को निशाना बनाया. उन्हें बिलकुल भी पत्रकारों के बारे में नहीं था पता था.”अतुल ने पुलिस और पत्रकारों के साथ होने की ओर ध्यान खींचते हुए सवाल किया कि क्या पत्रकारों को ऐसे युद्धरत इलाकों में किसी भी एक पार्टी (सुरक्षा बल या माओवादी) के साथ रिपोर्टिंग के लिए जाना चाहिए? क्योंकि वहां किसी एक पार्टी के साथ होने की सूरत में रिपोर्टर खुद ब खुद दूसरी पार्टी के निशाने पर आ जाते हैं. मालिनी ने डीडी के पत्रकारों द्वारा की गई एक चूक बताया. उनके मुताबिक पत्रकार को स्वतंत्र रूप से ऐऐसे इलाकों में जाना चाहिए. पुलिस चाहे कितनी भी संख्या में हो, पत्रकार के साथ होना खतरे का सबब है.इसी चर्चा को आगे बढ़ते हुए राहुल कोटियाल का एक सवाल आया कि यह जो घटना घटी है, क्या इसको एक छोटी-मोटी घटना मान लिया जाये या फिर इसमें कोई बड़ा संदेश छिपा है? मालिनी ने जवाब में कहा, “इसमें से एक संदेश पत्रकारों को लिए है. एंबुश आए दिन होते रहते हैं. तो ऐसे इलाकों में पत्रकारों की अपनी पहचान के साथ जाना होगा. जैसा कि माओवादियों ने भी कहा है कि कोई पत्रकार चुनाव कवर करने आ रहा है, वह स्वतंत्र होकर आए. किसी भी तरह की सुरक्षा न ले.”न्यूज़लांड्री के रिपोर्टर अमित भारद्वाज ने एक नए पहलू की पर रोशनी डालते हुए सवाल किया कि दरगा कमेटी द्वारा जारी चिट्ठी, जिसमें माओवादियों ने पत्रकारों और चुनाव कर्मियों से कहा कि वो आयें चुनाव कवर करें, चुनाव प्रक्रिया में शामिल हों लेकिन बिना सुरक्षाबलों के। हम उन्हें क्षति नहीं पहुंचाएंगे, लेकिन वहीं दूसरी तरफ अटैक करते हैं। तो क्या इसमें विरोधाभाष नजर नहीं आता? जिसके जवाब में मालिनी ने कहा कि हर पक्ष स्वयम को बचाने की कोशिश कर रहा है।इस विषय के आखिर में अतुल ने कहा कि डीडी न्यूज़ के पत्रकारों की तरफ से यह बड़ी चूक हुई है. दुनिया भर के संघर्षरत इलाकों में, युद्धग्रस्त इलाकों में रिपोर्टिंग के लिए जाने वाले पत्रकारों को एक स्पष्ट गाइडलाइंस फॉलो करने की जरूरत है. उन्हें क्या करना है, क्या नहीं करना है, इसकी स्पष्ट समझ होनी चाहिए. यह ज़िम्मेदारी पत्रकारिता संस्थानों की भी है कि वे ऐसे पत्रकारों को व्यापक प्रशिक्षण देकर ही युद्धरत इलाकों में रिपोर्टिंग के लिए भेजें.पैनल की विस्तृत राय जानने और अन्य मुद्दों के लिए सुनें पूरी चर्चा. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 196: Dantewada attack, air pollution, the Statue of Unity and more
Nov 02 2018 95 mins  
In this week's NL Hafta, we're joined by former NDTV editor Hridayesh Joshi along with the regular Hafta gang of Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Anand Vardhan and Madhu Trehan. This week we discuss air pollution, the death of Doordarshan News cameraperson Achyuta Nanda Sahu who was killed in a Naxal attack, the new Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel statue, and a little more on publishing houses.An expert on subjects like climate change, Naxalism and politics, Hridayesh Joshi gives us interesting insight in this episode. Starting with air pollution, Joshi talks about various development schemes of the government like the Char Dham Yatra project, which led to the indiscriminate cutting of trees in Uttarakhand. Various nuances of climate change are touched upon. Joshi also tells us how the death of the Doordarshan News journalist was avoidable and how reporting from a Naxal zone has to be done while following certain cardinal rules.Hear Madhu Trehan speak on a not very decent tweet by Divya Spandana. She also tells us why "Sharam sabki utari hui hai' when it comes to politics and politicians. The panel also talks about Twitter obsessions and its hazardous effects. Will the coming elections be the dirtiest and the cheapest one we've seen yet? Have we normalised Gaali-Galoch in politics?This and more in the latest episode of NL Hafta! See for privacy and opt-out information.

The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap Ep 90: The Twice-Born, Red Bird, Patriot Act & more
Nov 01 2018 36 mins  
In its 90th episode, The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap takes you on an entertaining ride of some of the worst and best developments of the week. Our hosts Abhinandan Sekhri and Rajyasree Sen talk about two novels, latest shows on Netflix and an awful short film recommended for the mufatkhors!The Twice-Born: Life and Death on the Ganges is a novel written by Aatish Taseer whom Abhinandan calls one of the finest writers of his time. The book is about the Brahmin mind, Benaras, and modern politics. Another book discussed in this episode is Red Birds by Mohammed Hanif. The book is about America's war politics and its victims. Both books are highly recommended by our hosts.Taking a dive from a very highbrow discussion, Rajyasree takes us to Eros Now's latest drama series Smoke. A drama set in Goa and revolving around drugs, Rajyasree says Smoke is one of the most well-shot series and has a Narcos feel to it. The cast of this crime drama includes Tom Alter, Gulshan Devaiah, Kalki Koechlin and Jim Sarbh. Sen also thinks the series is as good as Sacred Games and has an Anurag Kashyap vibe to it.Moving on, we discuss Hasan Minhaj's latest series on Netflix, Patriot Act. Abhinandan and Rajyasree believe Hasan's style of stand-up comedy is different but quite predictable, unlike comedians like Stephen Colbert. With only two episodes out, maybe it's too early to judge what Patriot Act has in store but it's a remarkable feat for an American-Indian to have his own show on Netflix.Another recommendation coming from Netflix is BBC series Bodyguard starring Richard Madden and Keeley Hawes. They also discuss the latest trailer of Kedarnath starring Sara Ali Khan and Sushant Singh Rajput and how it was successful in piquing viewers' interest.The podcast also talks about a short film, The Playboy Mr Sawhney, which turned out to be a torturous watch. Listen to the full podcast to know why it's been highly recommended for our mufatkhors. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Reporters Without Orders Ep 43: #AirPollution, #JusticeForAzeem, CBI & more
Oct 31 2018 49 mins  
This episode of Reporters Without Orders features a complete in-house panel comprising our host Cherry Agarwal, Newslaundry's intrepid reporters Prateek Goyal and Amit Bhardwaj, Gaurav Sarkar from the Newslaundry desk.The podcast kicks off with a discussion on air pollution and Delhi's deteriorating air quality. The panel also discusses media's coverage of the issue. Gaurav says that had the media given enough attention to this issue, a solution would have emerged. "A knee-jerk reaction won't solve the problem, air pollution has to be tackled head-on. We need proper investigative reports on climate change, including reports that track air quality over 10-15 years of time to find long-term solutions," Gaurav says.Prateek tells us that the drought situation in many parts of Maharashtra has been under-reported and issues like Rakhi Sawant's dramatic press conference are being over-reported. Issues like migration from drought-hit areas and human trafficking of young girls from these regions remain under-reported, Prateek adds. "Will the election year force the media to cover farmer distress and related issues? Will the politicians try to please the farmers just because it's election time? Amit asks.The panel also discusses the death of eight-year-old Mohammad Azeem at South Delhi’s Jamia Faridiya Madrasa. Amit tells the panel that it was not a case of mob lynching, as was being portrayed by sections of the media. For all this and more, listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 195: CBI vs CBI, Anil Ambani, Smriti Irani and more
Oct 26 2018 106 mins  
It's been an exciting week in news, and we have an exciting panel in this episode of NL Hafta! We're joined by NDTV’s political editor and anchor of Reality Check, Sunetra Choudhary, with the regular Hafta gang of Abhinandan Sekhri, Raman Kirpal, Manisha Pande and also Madhu Trehan, our editor-in-chief.The episode kicks off with the CBI versus CBI drama. Sunetra has been covering the CBI for a long time and gives us some insight into this case. We find out why this case is important and how it’s got all the ingredients that make up a good news story. Sunetra also tells us about talented BJP spokespersons who make appearances on NDTV. The panel then moves on to discuss Smriti Irani’s bizarre comment based on a piece of fake news. Madhu tells us how the Sabarimala issue has gotten out of hand and why no political party wants to irk the Ayyappa devotees in exchange for votes.This Hafta episode also continues the discussion on #MeToo and talks about Tavleen Singh and Seema Mustafa’s take on the issue. Is there no space for nuance in this movement?From Kashoggi’s gruesome murder to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s fake outrage and the West’s reaction to the case—Abhinandan shares his thoughts. In the context of Anil Ambani suing NDTV for ₹10,000 crore, Madhu is reminded of a Netflix documentary, Nobody Speak.The team also discusses Abhijit Iyer-Mitra’s recent arrest for his comments, and the irony of the entire episode.Finally, the Hafta gang discusses the dilemma of separating art from artist considering the recent developments in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Should we stop watching Woody Allen movies after he has been called out? Tune in to find out! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Reporters Without Orders Ep 42: #AmritsarTrainAccident, Tax raids on Quint & more
Oct 24 2018 45 mins  
This episode of Reporters Without Orders features our host Cherry Agarwal along with Prateek Goyal, Gaurav Sarkar, and our guests, Rajeev Sharma, senior journalist from Amritsar, and Ranjeet Jadhav, a reporter from Mid-Day. The discussion kicks off with Rajeev recounting the Amritsar train accident which left 61 people dead and several others injured. Rajeev shares details about what happened, local media's coverage of the accident, among other things. Gaurav speaks about his recent article on allegations of tax evasion and money laundering that have surfaced against former TV 18 promoter and current owner of The Quint, Raghav Bahl. Bahl allegedly made ₹114 crore out of an investment of ₹3.03 crore made in a penny stock company called PMC Fincorp. Speaking about challenges he faced while reporting on the story, Gaurav says, “Crunching the numbers would be the biggest challenge and trusting the source as well." Prateek then speaks about his report where he has documented a disabled woman’s three-year ordeal at the hands of the Army. A deaf and mute woman was allegedly repeatedly raped and harassed by four Army jawans between 2015 and 2017 at Military Hospital, Kirkee, in Pune. “The Army says that it comes under the civil case, which needs an FIR and the police say that in order to prepare the FIR, they need the permission from the Army to do the enquiry," Prateek says speaking about the lack of action in the case.The panel also discussed media reports about ‘man-eater’ tigress Avni. Speaking about media's reportage on wildlife and environment, Ranjeet says, “In India, there is no reporting that is done by different news organisations on such issues on a regular basis, which results in minimal awareness on the same." He adds, “Sadly when something sensational like continuous human kill comes up, they cover it.”For other reports, discussion on media's coverage of different issues and more, listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

EP 89: The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap: Koffee with Karan, Badhaai Ho, and more
Oct 24 2018 53 mins  
On this week’s episode of The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap, our hosts Abhinandan Sekhri and Rajyasree Sen discuss everything ranging from the first episode of the latest season’s Koffee with Karan, to the recently released movie Badhaai Ho, starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Sanya Malhotra.The Sensational Life & Death of Qandeel Baloch, a book written by Pakistani journalist Sanam Maher, the television show Styled by Neha, as well as two popular advertisements released recently during the festive season, are also spoken about.The episode kicks off with a discussion on Satam Maher’s book The Sensational Life & Death of Qandeel Baloch, based on the life of a Pakistani model and actress who was killed by her brother. “It’s an interesting read—especially during this #MeToo movement,” says Abhinandan.Rajyasree then weighs in on two television shows that are trending all over the commercial media space: they are Koffee with Karan and Styled by Neha. The sixth season of Koffee with Karan aired on Sunday night, and its first episode featured actresses Alia Bhatt and Deepika Padukone, who go on to discuss a lot of things—including their personal experiences with Ranbir Kapoor. Styled by Neha, a new show by Fox featuring former Miss India pageant Neha Dhupia, stylist and model Diva Dhawan, and celebrity make-up artist Elton Fernandez, is criticised by Rajyasree.Both hosts then talk about the recently released movie Badhaai Ho which deals with problems faced by a middle-class family when a mid-aged woman gets pregnant. “It is definitely worth a watch!,” said Rajyasree, and Abhinandan agrees with her.Moving on, Abhinandan and Rajyasree review two advertisements that have received a lot of limelight during this festive season; they are the Diwali special ad of Saregama Carvaan and Fortune Food’s controversial Durga Pooja advertisement.The discussion then shifts to the recent #MeToo allegations against Anu Malik, Sajid Khan and Chetan Bhagat, where our hosts take up different stances.Tune in to find out more. See for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 43: शबरीमाला, गुजरात से पलायन, स्वामी सानंद की मृत्यु और अन्य
Oct 20 2018 57 mins  
गुजरात में उत्तर भारतीयों पर हुए हमले के बाद उनका पलायन, शबरीमाला मंदिर मुद्दे पर हो रही राजनीति और राजनीतिक पार्टियों का महिलाओं के मुद्दे पर दोहरा रवैया, इलाहाबाद को मिले नए नाम प्रयागराज और गंगा की सफाई के लिए अनशन पर बैठे स्वामी सानंद की मृत्यु इस हफ्ते की एनएल चर्चा का मुख्य विषय रहे.इस बार चर्चा में स्तंभ लेखक और ओपिनियन लेखक आनंद वर्धन, न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के असिस्टेंट एडिटर राहुल कोटियाल, न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के विशेष संवाददाता अमित भारद्वाज शामिल रहे. चर्चा का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया.चर्चा की शुरुआत करते हुए अतुल चौरसिया ने शबरीमाला मंदिर में हर उम्र की महिला के प्रवेश संबंधी सुप्रीम कोर्ट के निर्णय पर राजनीतिक पार्टियों द्वारा की जा रही सियासत का मुद्दा उठाया. उन्होंने कहा, “महिलाओं के जो मुद्दे हैं, राजनीतिक पार्टियां उन्हें भी धर्म के चश्मे से ही देख रही हैं. दुर्भाग्य यह है कि इसमें कांग्रेस और भारतीय जनता पार्टी दोनों एक ही मंच पर आती दिख रही हैं.”अतुल आगे कहते हैं, “कुछ ही महीने पहले हमने देखा कि तीन तलाक के मुद्दे पर मौजूदा सरकार ने महिला सशक्तिकरण के बड़े बड़े दावे किए थे और मुस्लिम महिलाओं की बेहतरी की बातें कही थी. आज शबरीमाला के मुद्दे पर वही भाजपा सुप्रीम कोर्ट के निर्णय के खिलाफ वहां आंदोलन चला रही है.”चर्चा को विस्तार देते हुए अमित भारद्वाज ने सबरीमाला के प्रसंग में बात करते हुए इसका ऐतिहासिक विवरण दिया और इसे वर्तमान संदर्भ से जोड़ा. आनंद वर्धन ने शबरीमाला प्रकरण को एक संस्थागत विषय मानते हुए इसे पूरे हिंदू समाज की समस्या के तौर पर देखने की प्रवृत्ति को गलत बताया. इस तरह की दिक्कतें किसी एक संस्था से जुड़ी हो सकती हैं. और इसके नकारात्मक पक्ष भी हो सकते हैं लेकिन इसे पूरे हिंदू धर्म से जोड़ा जा रहा है. ऐसे तमाम मंदिर हैं जहां महिलाओं के प्रवेश पर कोई प्रतिबंध नहीं हैं.गुजरात और उत्तर भारतीयों पर हुई हिंसा के मामले में हो रही राजनीति पर राहुल कोटियाल ने कहा कि इस तरह का नस्ल भेद आपको लगभग हर जगह देखने को मिलेगा, जहां किसी दूसरे क्षेत्र के लोग आकर रहते हैं. आगे उन्होंने कहा कि इस राजनीति का कोई चेहरा नहीं है.अमित भारद्वाज ने गुजरात के पलायन के पीछे चल रही राजनीति की ओर इशारा किया. उनके मुताबिक इस घटना के समय और स्वरूप को देखकर कहा जा सकता है कि इसके पीछे राजनीतिक ताकतें काम कर रही हैं. साथ ही अमित ने इस मसले को संक्षिप्त में समझाते हुए इसे गुजरात के सामाजिक और आर्थिक मामलों से भी जोड़ा.उत्तर प्रदेश सरकार द्वारा इलाहाबाद का नाम बदल कर प्रयागराज किए जाने के कई पहलुओं पर चर्चा हुई. आनंद वर्धन ने इस पर बात रखते हुए कहा कि भारत में नाम बदलने की राजनीतिक संस्कृति हमेशा रही है, उत्तर प्रदेश में भी रही है. आगे उन्होने कहा कि नाम बदलना संघ के उन सांस्कृतिक प्रोजेक्ट्स का हिस्सा है जो सबसे कम प्रतिरोध उत्पन्न करते हैं. अतुल चौरसिया ने इलाहाबाद के नाम पर चर्चा करते हुए उसके इतिहास पर रोशनी डाली. आनंद ने आखिर में लालू प्रसाद द्वारा पटना का नाम बदलकर अज़ीमाबाद करने की योजना का किस्सा सुनाया.स्वामी सानंद की 112 दिन के अनशन के बाद हुई मृत्यु पर बात करते हुए राहुल कोटियाल ने उनके और उनके पहले स्वामी निगमानंद की मृत्यु की भी चर्चा की. राहुल ने यह भी बताया कि गंगा को लेकर संत समाज की मांगें क्या हैं? और गंगा को साफ और अविरल बनाए रखने के लिए जो कदम उठाए जाते रहे हैं, वह कितने अपर्याप्त हैं. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 192: #VivekTiwariMurderCase, PTI Sacking, farmer’s protest and more
Oct 18 2018 76 mins  
This week of NL Hafta features our special guest Chetan Bhagat, a well-known writer, author, columnist and a motivational speaker, along with host Abhinandan Sekhri and in-house panellists Madhu Trehan, Manisha Pande and Anand Vardhan, to discuss the news of the week.The conversation starts with the murder case of an Apple Executive. Abhinandan discusses the possibility of this murder getting nationwide attention because it was an Apple Executive, as compared to Neha Dixit’s argument about the encounter killing experienced by poor people—which are either underreported or not debated at all. Abhinandan asks: “Is that problematic or is it an obvious outcome of a market-driver news culture?”Chetan Bhagat expressed: “It is also the age of virality on the internet.” Madhu Trehan shares her experience about the murder that happened near her house and how nothing was done about it. Manisha talks about The Indian Express articles which shed light on 21 encounters in Uttar Pradesh and the 21 copycat FIRs related to it.The discussion then moves towards the sacking of employees at the Press Trust of India where 297 out of 570 employees were fired. Manisha tells us that they fired people from three departments, namely, Transmissions, IT department, and Attendees and Messenger, as a lot of these jobs were cited as being redundant due to development of technology.Madhu adds: “If PTI is showing losses and they have to cut the excess expenditure which can be controlled, if they don’t do it, then the people who fired the others, their jobs would also go.”The conversation shifts to Ranjan Gogoi being appointed as the new Chief Justice of India. Madhu and Abhinandan discuss how all the Chief Justices and judges—no matter how noble they are—go through at least one scandal in their lifetimes. They also discuss the negative aspects of the Indian Judiciary system and the ways and means to change them.The panel converses about the farmer’s protest that happened in Delhi on Gandhi Jayanti. They discuss the reportage around the protest that took place, its importance, and the media coverage throughout all the previous protests that have taken place.Tune in to NL Hafta to find out more. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 193: #MeToo in India, Gujarat exodus and more
Oct 18 2018 67 mins  
The Hafta gang is back with the news of the week. On this episode of NL Hafta, our host Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Madhu Trehan, Manisha Pande, and Raman Kirpal to discuss the news of the week. Abhinandan starts the conversation by telling us about a journalist and critique of the Saudi royal family Jamal Khashoggi who was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Now, Turkish officials claim that he was dismembered by a team of Saudi agents who were working under royal orders. Abhinandan says: “I am just blown away by the fact that stuff like this can happen in 2018.” The panel discusses this controversy further as well as the US pressure involved in the case.Madhu says: “America’s view on human rights is extremely convenient, they have supported dictatorship and brought it down themselves.”The discussion then moves towards the IT searches/surveys conducted at the house of media baron Raghav Bahl and The Quint’s office. Abhinandan says: “It is because of vocal utterances about the Prime Minister, trashing his demonetisation, and trashing his GST implementation.” The panel then discusses the politics behind the searches that were carried out on Thursday.Abhinandan goes on to shed light on the Gujarat rape backlash, a case wherein migrants—driven by fear of mobs who were seemingly angry over the rape of a fourteen-month-year-old infant by a migrant—were fleeing the state. He further asks the panel: “What can the media do about it, because if you report on it, you are in trouble, and if you don’t, you are still in trouble?” The panel talks about the ways and means by which the media reports on sensitive issues and how such things should be reported.The #MeToo movement in India has spurred many women to come out and share their experiences of sexual harassment. Alleged victims have used Twitter as a medium, to name and shame several public figures, accuse them of sexual assault, molestation, and harassment. This has kicked off a debate on whether airing such grievances online is considered a better alternative than following the due process—which includes approaching courts and internal committees.The panel talks about the pros and cons of the #MeToo movement and also the effect it has on society. “In all movements, collateral damage happens, so be it,” says Raman. Madhu says: “I laud this generation and I think they are lucky to come into this space where they won’t have to go through what we went through.” Cherry Agarwal, who is invited to join the panel, begs to differ with this statement and poses a counter-argument. The panel goes on to discuss the various reasons why people don’t come out and share their experiences.Cherry adds: “The power imbalance in regional spaces like Orrisa and Rajasthan are more severe as there is not much diversity in the newsrooms.” Raman Kirpal adds a different angle to the conversation by sharing a friend’s story.Listen to all this and much more! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Reporters Without Orders Ep 41: Nitin Gadkari land scam, #MeToo & more
Oct 17 2018 40 mins  
This week’s edition of Reporters Without Orders features our host Cherry Agarwal, along with our special correspondent Amit Bhardwaj, Prateek Goyal, and our guest Somdutt Shastri, a senior journalist, who has formerly served as editor at Dainik Bhaskar and Dainik Jagran.The discussion starts off with Prateek talking about his exclusive story pertaining to an alleged illegal transfer of land involving Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. The land belonging to Polysac Industrial Cooperative Society was allegedly transferred in order to acquire a loan for a company owned by Gadkari's sons.The discussion progresses to the recent cut in the daily wages of DTC labourers by the Arvind Kejriwal government, with Amit weighing in on different aspects of the issue. Sanatan Sanstha's branding of two India Today reporters as “terrorists” was also discussed.The discussion then moves on to media's coverage in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, with senior journalist Somdutt Shastri weighing in on topics related to election campaigns in Madhya Pradesh.Subsequently, the panel discussed several issues that the media missed out in the last week. Here, Amit talks about the recent protest by Kashmiri students at Aligarh Muslim University, Prateek points out the attack on the Additional Sessions judge’s wife and son by his gunman, while Cherry discusses the desertion of Rohingya refugee camp in South24Parganas. This and more. Listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 42: #MeToo, हिन्दी मीडिया में महिलाएं, यौन उत्पीड़न और अन्य
Oct 13 2018 60 mins  
इस बार की एनएल चर्चा बाकी एपीसोड से अलग रही. पूरी चर्चा सिर्फ कामकाजी महिलाओं का दफ्तरों, या कार्यस्थलों में होने वाला शोषण पर केंद्रित रही. #MeToo आंदोलन में उठी आवाजें, भारतीय मीडिया में इस अभियान से मची उथल-पुथल, एमजे अकबर, आलोक नाथ जैसे बड़े नामों का नाम आना इस हफ्ते की प्रमुख चर्चा रही. लिहाजा इसके अलग-अलग पहलुओं तथा महिलाओं से जुड़े विषयों पर आधारित रही इस बार की न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री चर्चा.इस बार की चर्चा में मीडिया में काम करने वाली कुछ महिलाओं ने हिस्सा लिया. लेखिका एवं वरिष्ठ पत्रकार गीताश्री, बीबीसी हिन्दी की पत्रकार सर्वप्रिया सांगवान तथा न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री की सबएडिटर चेरी अग्रवाल उपस्थित रही. इस चर्चा का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के सहायक संपादक राहुल कोटियाल ने किया.चर्चा की शुरुआत करते हुए राहुल ने #MeToo आंदोलन के इतिहास पर रोशनी डाली और बताया कि इसे भारत का #MeToo आंदोलन कहा जा रहा है. राहुल ने कहा, “हालांकि यह अभियान अभी यह बहुत सीमित तबके के बीच है और उन्हीं की आवाज़ें हम तक पहुंच रही हैं.”इसके जवाब में गीताश्री ने कहा कि स्त्रियों के लिए दुनिया तो सिर्फ 20 साल पहले ही खुली है कि वह अपना करियर बना सकी, एजुकेशन में आ सकी. उन्होंने आगे जोड़ा, “हम (महिलाएं) अपनी दुनिया को उस समय एक्सप्लोर नहीं कर पाये थे, अभी जिस वक़्त में हम लोग जी रहे हैं, हमने अपनी दुनिया को एक्सप्लोर कर लिया है और अब चुप रहना मुश्किल है.”सर्वप्रिया सांगवान ने इसी विषय को आगे बढ़ाते हुए मीडिया के दफ्तरों में महिलाओं की मौजूदगी पर अपनी राय रखी. उन्होंने कहा, “टीवी मीडिया के अंदर बहुत सारी लड़कियां काम कर रही हैं, एंकर्स भी हैं. लेकिन रिपोर्टर्स तो बहुत ही कम हैं. जहां पर एक्चुअल में पत्रकारिता का काम करना है, वहां नहीं हैं. वह काम पुरुषों के लिए ही ज्यादा मुफीद माना जाता है. लेकिन एंकर के तौर पर बहुत सारी लड़कियां हैं क्योंकि वहां पर आपको सुंदर चेहरे चाहिए होते है. दिखाना होता है ताकि लोग एक बार रुक जाएं. आखिर कौन लोग हैं जो चेहरा देखकर रुक जाते हैं.”चेरी अग्रवाल ने इसे लड़कियों की सामाजिक पृष्ठभूमि और व्यावहारिकता से जोड़ा. उन्होंने कहा, “अगर मैं या मेरे जैसी बहुत सारी लड़कियां अपने घर पर बताएं कि उनका सेक्सुअल हरासमेंट हुआ है तो पहली बात वो बोलेंगे की बेटा आप वापस आ जाओ. और यह एक बड़ी भूमिका निभाता है.” #MeToo मामले में मीडिया की स्थिति पर बात करते हुए चेरी ने कहा कि ऐसा नहीं है कि आवाज केवल एक सीमित तबके की ही आ रही है, बल्कि ये मीडिया है जो अपनी भूमिका एक सीमित दायरे तक सीमित रखे हुए है.राहुल कोटियाल ने वर्कप्लेस पर सेक्सुअल हरासमेंट को कम करने के ऊपर कहा कि अगर हम ये कोशिश करें कि सेक्सुअल हरासमेंट को लेकर जो अप्रोच है, सोच है, उसका कोई एक उपाय हो सकता है तो यह संभव नहीं है. जिस तरह से हम नए कर्मचारी को बता सकते हैं कि क्या-क्या करें उसी तरह की एक ट्रेनिंग पुरुषों के लिए हो सकती है, इसको अनलर्न करने के लिए. और यही छोटे-छोटे फैक्टर हैं, जो लॉन्ग टर्म में चीजों को एक दिशा में ले जाते हैं. जैसे यह अभियान चल रहा है तो ये भी कहीं न कहीं उस अनलर्निंग की दिशा में अपनी भूमिका अदा कर रहा है.पैनल की विस्तृत राय जानने के लिए सुनें पूरी चर्चा. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 189: Vijay Mallya, Serena Williams, Kerala nun’s rape case & more
Oct 12 2018 76 mins  
On this week’s episode, we have Aarti Tikoo Singh, senior assistant editor at The Times of India, joining Abhinandan Sekhri, Madhu Trehan and Manisha Pande. Abhinandan kicks off the podcast with a discussion about Kashmiri Pandits, and their association with Kashmir. The conversation then moves to Vijay Mallya, and his recent claims of an alleged meeting with the Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley. The panel talks about the credibility of his claims, and implications of such a meeting. Manisha then brings up The Indian Express’ interview with Maoist leader Pahad Singh, and Madhu asks what a journalist must keep in mind while interviewing someone in police custody. She shares her experience of interviewing Yakub Memon, and how she went about getting the interview with him. The panel also discusses the Kerala nun’s rape case, and why the bishop accused of committing the crime hasn’t been arrested yet. In addition, the team talks about faith, discusses how statements can be considered sacrilegious, and why Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh wants to pass a ‘blasphemy law’ that would convict people who make fun of religion or religious sentiments. The controversial US Open women’s final was also debated. The panel discussed whether Serena Williams stole Naomi Osaka’s moment by alleging sexism and unfair treatment by the umpire. The panel also talks about the controversial cartoon by Mark Knight. Weighing in, Aarti says that the artist is entitled to his own views and his depiction of Serena isn’t racist. See for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 41: किसानों का दिल्ली मार्च, शबरीमाला पर फैसला और अन्य
Oct 06 2018 49 mins  
पश्चिमी उत्तर प्रदेश, हरियाणा, उत्तराखंड से आए किसानों पर हुआ लाठीचार्ज, शबरीमाला मंदिर में महिलाओं के प्रवेश पर आए सुप्रीम कोर्ट के फैसले पर केरल में महिलाओं का व्यापक विरोध और लखनऊ में विवेक तिवारी की पुलिसकर्मी द्वारा हत्या जैसे विषयों पर आधारित रही इस हफ्ते की न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री चर्चा.स्वतंत्र पत्रकार और दिल्ली यूनिवर्सिटी में अस्थायी शिक्षिका स्वाति अर्जुन इस हफ्ते चर्चा की मेहमान पत्रकार रहीं. न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के असिस्टेंट एडिटर राहुल कोटियाल, प्रतीक गोयल पैनल में शामिल रहे. इसके अलावा अमित भारद्वाज फोन पर चर्चा में जुड़े. चर्चा का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया.शबरीमाला मंदिर में महिलाओं के प्रवेश की आयुसीमा पर सुप्रीम कोर्ट का फैसला और उस पर केरल में मचे संग्राम पर विस्तृत चर्चा हुई. चर्चा की शुरुआत करते हुए अतुल चौरसिया ने कहा, “या तो आप आस्तिक हो सकते हैं या फिर नास्तिक. आस्था में तर्क के लिए कोई स्थान नहीं हो सकता है.”अतुल ने आगे जोड़ा, “आप यज्ञ में आहुति देते हैं तो उसके लिए तीन उंगलियों से आहुति देने का प्रावधान है. तर्क यह कहता है कि पूरे हाथ से उठाकर आहुति आग में डाल दीजिए. सिर्फ तीन उंगलियों से क्यों? बाकी दो उंगलियों से भेदभाव क्यों? लेकिन आस्था में यह तर्क काम नहीं करता. इस लिहाज से शबरीमाला मामले में असहमति का आदेश देने वाली जज इंदु मल्होत्रा काफी हद तक सही हैं.” राहुल कोटियाल ने इससे असहमति जताते हुए कहा, “धर्म में सुधार का विचार भी समय के साथ-साथ चलता रहता है. हमारे यहां समय-समय पर इसके तमाम उदाहरण हैं. सती प्रथा एक समय में समाज में पूरी तरह से स्वीकार्य थी. लेकिन राजा राममोहन राय ने अंग्रेजों के साथ मिलकर इसका प्रतिरोध किया और अंतत: यह कुप्रथा समाज से समाप्त हो गई.” राहुल आगे जोड़ते हैं, “इस तरह के कानून कम से कम एक मौका देते हैं जहां किसी भी तरह की आस्था के शिकार लोग कम से कम अपने लिए न्याय की अपेक्षा कर सकते हैं. यही स्थिति तीन तलाक़ के ऊपर आए फैसले में भी हमने देखा था.”स्वाति ने इसका एक अन्य पक्ष सामने रखा. उन्होंने कहा, “समाज की संरचना में महिलाओं की स्थिति ऐसी कर दी गई है कि वे कोई स्वतंत्र निर्णय ले पाने की स्थिति में ही नहीं होती है. यहां एक महिला के वोट देना का निर्णय भी उसके परिवार के लोग ही तय करते हैं. जो महिलाएं शबरीमाला मंदिर के फैसले के खिलाफ आज सड़कों पर उतर रही हैं उनमें से अधिकतर अपने परिवारों के दबाव में ऐसा कर रही होंगी.”प्रतीक ने इसमें केरल और तमिलनाडु के इलाके में पारिवारिक संस्था के ऊपर अपनी बात रखते हुए बताया कि- “केरल और इस इलाके में समाज एक हद तक स्त्रीवादी है. वहां बच्चियों के प्यूबर्टी एज का जश्न मनाया जाता है.”बाकी विषयों पर पैनल की विस्तृत राय जानने के लिए सुनें पूरी चर्चा. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Reporters Without Orders Ep 39: #Aadhaar, farmer’s protest, PTI sackings and more
Oct 05 2018 53 mins  
Reporters Without Orders is back this week to discuss what made news, what didn’t, and what should have made headlines. This week’s show features host Cherry Agarwal along with our guests Sruthisagar Yamunan, a Legal Correspondent at, Chitranshul Sinha, a Supreme Court Advocate, along with in-house panellists Rohin Verma and Amit Bhardwaj.The conversation starts with the discussion of dissenting voices in the Aadhaar, Sabarimala, and Bhima-Koregaon cases. The panel discusses how judges in courtrooms have a different opinion on the same topics that they come across. “The judges will keep their personal views out of the court,” expressed Sinha. He explains that this could be due to class, caste, or even economic or social background. The panel discusses the legalities of the Aadhaar case in detail and what they mean.“The assumption is that Aadhaar benefits the poor,” added Sinha. “It might if it is implemented properly. Fundamentally, people do not understand the opposition to Aadhaar.”Rohin sheds light on the preliminary report on the retrenchment at the Press Trust of India and talks about the number of employees who were sacked, while Amit talks about the protest that was organised by the Federation of PTI Employees in Delhi and the demands made.He also explains in detail about the farmer’s protest that broke out at the Delhi-UP border and elaborates on the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh and the issues raised by the farmers. “Government after government have not paid attention to the agrarian economy. We have not made enough efforts to make it profitable. It remains a burden,” he said.Cherry goes on to ask Amit about how and why the details of the farmer’s protest remained underreported. Rohin says that the reports on the farmer’s protests are similar in nature and that the same pattern is repeated, thereby attracting a specific kind of audience. Sruthisagar agrees with Rohin but also adds that he found the recent reports on the protest better than the last one, but they still need to be better and a lot more. Tune in to find out. See for privacy and opt-out information.

The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap Ep 87: Tanushree Dutta,’Ask the Sexpert,’ and more
Oct 03 2018 57 mins  
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 for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 40: आधार, एडल्टरी, अयोध्या, अमिताभ और अन्य
Sep 29 2018 58 mins  
इससे पहले की चर्चा में इस हफ्ते क्या खास रहा, न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के पाठकों को हमें यह सूचित करते हुए खुशी हो रही है कि आगामी 2 अक्टूबर को न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री हिंदी अपनी पहली वर्षगांठ मना रहा है. इस अवसर पर हमने एक विशेष परिचर्चा का आयोजन किया है, जिसका शीर्षक है- “गांधी का राष्ट्रवाद बनाम संघ का राष्ट्रवाद: कितने दूर, कितने पास.” कार्यक्रम नई दिल्ली के लोधी रोड स्थित इंडिया इस्लामिक कल्चरल सेंटर में शाम 6 से 8 बजे तक होगा. ध्यान रहे, इस परिचर्चा में भाग लेने के लिए आपको न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री का सब्सक्रिप्शन लेना होगा. जो पहले से सब्सक्राइबर हैं, वह यहां रजिस्टर कर सकते हैं.राफेल डील को लेकर भाजपा औककांग्रेस के बीच जारी कशमकश, आधार पर सुप्रीम कोर्ट का निर्णय, एडल्टरी कानून धारा 497 को निरस्त किया जाना, बॉलीवुड अभिनेत्री तनुश्री दत्ता के यौन उत्पीड़न के आरोपों पर अमिताभ बच्चन का यह कहना, "वह न तो नाना पाटेकर, न ही तनुश्री हैं, ऐसे में वह कुछ नहीं कह सकते", अयोध्या राम जन्मभूमि और बाबरी मस्जिद मामले से जुड़े "मस्जिद इस्लाम का अभिन्न अंग है या नहीं" की सुनवाई के दौरान कोर्ट का कहना कि मामले को बड़े बेंच में नहीं भेजा जाएगा, इस हफ्ते चर्चा के प्रमुख विषय रहे हैं.चर्चा के मेहमान पत्रकार रहे एस मेघनाद. साथ ही पैनल में थे न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री संवाददाता राहुल कोटियाल और अमित भारद्वाज. न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने चर्चा का संचालन किया. See for privacy and opt-out information.

'Muslims won’t be able to build a mosque even if they are given a part of the land'
Sep 27 2018 13 mins  
The Supreme Court delivered two critical judgments on Thursday. However, the Ayodhya-Babri Masjid verdict took precedence over the adultery law in terms of media coverage. Those championing for the construction of Ram Temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya are elated. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has declared that the ruling has cleared the blockade and paved the way for a Ram Mandir at the Ram Janmabhoomi.The three-judge Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer – in 2:1 majority judgement – declined to refer the Ayodhya-Ram Janmabhoomi title dispute to a larger Bench. It also refused to reconsider the 1994 Ismail Faruqi judgement that stated mosque was not an integral part of Islam. However, the Apex court also maintained that the 1994 verdict would have no bearing on the present title suit. The SC will start the hearing of the title suit from October 29. Newslaundry spoke to Zafarul Islam Khan, chairperson of Delhi Minorities Commission and Islamic scholar, on the issue. Khan said the SC verdict is not a “setback” for the minority community.“The court has said that 1994 verdict will have no bearing on the present case. It is (the SC verdict) is a welcome move,” he said. “The issue here is the title of the land – whether it belongs to this or that party (Hindus or Muslims). The Supreme Court or any other court should decide (the tittle-ship) case in the light of the law of the land and the Constitution,” Khan said. He said that the no court should decide on issues whether a Mosque, Temple or Church is an integral part of any religion or not.Khan had earlier backed Maulana Salman Nadvi’s proposal that both parties – Hindus and Muslims – should look for out of court settlement.Importantly, he said that the title rights of the disputed structure should go to one party – contrary to the Allahabad High Court verdict in which it divided the land rights between both Hindu and Muslim community. “In the Allahabad HC verdict, the Muslim community was on the losing side. If the land of the 500-year-old structure belongs to the Muslims, why should they give two-third land to the other party.” Khan maintained that he is not in favour division of the land.“Even if you give a part of it (the land) to Muslims, do you think the Muslims will be able to construct a Mosque there? I don’t think so,” Khan told this correspondent. He added the VHP’s celebrations are misplaced. See for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 39: मायावती का गठबंधन, मोहन भागवत का बयान, देहरादून के स्कूल में गैंगरेप व अन्य
Sep 22 2018 46 mins  
छत्तीसगढ़ में मायावती की बसपा और अजित जोगी की पार्टी जनता कांग्रेस से गठबंधन का फैसला, डूसू अध्यक्ष अंकित बसोया की डिग्री पर बवाल, राष्ट्रीय स्वंयसेवक संघ का दिल्ली में तीन दिवसीय आयोजन, देहरादून के स्कूल में गैंगरेप आदि इस हफ्ते न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री चर्चा के प्रमुख विषय रहे.गांव कनेक्शन के कंसल्टिंग एडिटर हृदयेश जोशी चर्चा में मेहमान पत्रकार के रूप में शामिल हुए. हृदयेश के साथ पैनल में थे न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री संवाददाता अमित भारद्वाज और राहुल कोटियाल. न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने चर्चा का संचालन किया.अगले तीन महीने में छत्तीसगढ़, राजस्थान और मध्य प्रदेश में विधानसभा चुनाव होने हैं. छत्तीसगढ़ में मायावती की बसपा ने अजित जोगी की पार्टी जनता कांग्रेस के साथ गठबंधन किया है. See for privacy and opt-out information.

The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap Ep 85: Emmy, Manmarziyaan, #BigBoss and more
Sep 20 2018 50 mins  
After the hiatus last week, The Awful and Awesome Entertainment wrap is back with a bang, along with our hosts Rajyasree Sen and Abhinandan Sekhri. The conversation starts with Rajyasree’s review on the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards; she found all of the 60-minute show boring, and shares the things that were talked about at the awards: Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage—who is known to play Tyrion Lannister in the series—won the 'sexiest dwarf' award. Netflix had many nominations and both hosts discuss how the media-service provider makes its money. Abhinandan goes on to tell us about a Time Magazine article review on the Emmy Awards and his opinion about the show. The conversation then moves towards Big Boss. “I have always felt that Big Boss, in the larger picture, is a commentary on the lowest that is in us as performers, as producers, as viewers and also as advertisers,” said Abhinandan. Rajyasree informs us that this is the last season of Big brother (UK). She then talks about how, apart from Anup Jalota, she had no idea who the other people were in Big Boss 12. Both hosts have a nice laugh at Anup Jalota, his girlfriend who is also his student, and their ‘Vichitr Jodi.’Abhinandan sheds light on the movie called Manmarziyaan, directed by one of his favourite Indian Director Anurag Kashyap. Its cast includes Vicky Kaushal, Taapsee Pannu, and Abhishek Bachchan. Abhinandan expresses his admiration for the film’s music, composed by Amit Trivedi, with Shelly on lyrics—especially the song ‘Hallah’. He also thinks that Jr. Bachchan is one of the worst actors in Indian cinema, whereas, on the other hand, Vicky Kaushal did a brilliant job. Rajyasree says: “I felt that the film had potential but then the potential was not achieved.”Rajyasree goes on to review a movie called I Tonya based on the true story of a talented figure skater—Tonya Harding—and her life, which goes down the drain after an attack on a beautiful figure skater named Nancy Kerrigan. According to Rajyasree, it is a dark-humoured movie, and she was amazed at Margo Robbie’s performance in it. Our hosts then discuss Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool. Rajyasree insists on giving this movie, starring Annet Bening and based on a memoir by Peter Turner, a shot. She also highly recommends The Killing of Scared Deer for all the mystery aficionados out there. Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell play lead characters in the movie, making it worth a watch. The new trailer of Captain Marvel also released and it did not impress Abhinandan at all, whereas Rajyasree thought that the trailer did just fine. She mentions that as a child, she grew up watching superhero films. Abhinandan, then expresses his views on the new phenomenon of releasing a book along with a TV series type of trailer, something started by Indian authors Chetan Bhagat and Amish Tripathi. Both hosts discuss the new trailer of Chetan Bhagat’s The Girl in Room 105 and more. Tune in to listen to the entire episode. See for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 38: भीम आर्मी के संस्थापक चंद्रशेखर रावण की रिहाई
Sep 18 2018 11 mins  
सहारनपुर जिले के छुटमलपुर गांव में जश्न का माहौल है. हजारों की संख्या में दलित युवा, दलित कार्यकर्ता और सरकारी कर्मचारी संघों का जत्था का जत्था गांव की चौपाल में आता जा रहा है. चौपाल के ठीक सामने वाला घर इस पूरे आकर्षण के ‘नायक’ का निवास स्थान है. भीम सेना के संस्थापक और चंद्रशेखर रावण के नाम से मशहूर दलित नेता जमानत पर रिहा हो गए हैं. बीते 16 महीनों ने उन्हें अपने राजनैतिक और सामाजिक लक्ष्यों को हासिल करने की दिशा में और ज्यादा दृढ़ संकल्पित कर दिया है. रावण का दावा है कि वो भाजपा को सत्ता से उखाड़ फेकेंगे. वे अब दलित समुदाय को एक नया स्वप्न दिखा रहे हैं. यह नया स्वप्न है केंद्र की सत्ता पर दलितों का कब्जा.“मेरे ऊपर भरोसा रखिए,” चौपाल में मौजूद भीड़ से मुखातिब होते हुए रावण कहते हैं. “मैं कभी भी गैरजरूरी, अधारहीन बयानबाजी नहीं करता. अगले एक से डेढ़ साल में मैं पूरे देश में संघ के बराबर या उससे भी बड़ा संगठन खड़ा करूंगा. यह देश उन्हीं आदर्शों पर आगे बढ़ेगा जिन पर बढ़ना चाहिए.” आगे की रणनीति बनाने के लिए रावण दिन-रात अपने समर्थकों से मुलाकात में व्यस्त हैं. See for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 38: सफाई कर्मचारियों की मौत, सेरेना विलियम्स, चंद्रशेखर रावण व अन्य
Sep 15 2018 52 mins  
केरल की नन के साथ जलंधर के बिशप द्वारा बलात्कार का आरोप, सेरेना विलियम्स का रेफरी पर नस्लवाद का आरोप, भीम आर्मी के संस्थापक चंद्रशेखर रावण की रिहाई और दिल्ली के मोती नगर क्षेत्र में सफाईकर्मियों की सीवर में मौत- इन विषयों पर आधारित रही इस हफ्ते की न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री चर्चा.वरिष्ठ पत्रकार और सामाजिक कार्यकर्ता भाषा सिंह, स्तंभ लेखक आनंद वर्धन और न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के असिस्टेंट एडिटर राहुल कोटियाल पैनल में शामिल रहे. चर्चा का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 186: #KeralaFloods, Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s demise, Navjot Singh Sidhu’s hug & more
Sep 14 2018 96 mins  
In this episode of Hafta, Ullekh NP, executive editor of Open Magazine and Dhanya Rajendran, editor-in-chief of The News Minute, join the regular Hafta gang of Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande and Anand Vardhan to discuss the aftermath of Kerala floods. Rajendran, who was reporting from the ground, sheds light on how severe the conditions were, how the rescue operations were done and how Kerala is battling since the water has receded. Ullekh, on the other hand, talks about the floods that devastated Kerala earlier.Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee passed away last week, and Abhinandan asks the panel if obituaries should necessarily be tributes. Ullekh, having written a book on Vajpayee, shares some anecdotes from his life, his politics and the many ups and downs of his political career.Then there was Navjot Singh Sidhu’s Pakistan visit and the much controversial hug with Pakistani Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa. Did it deserve the prime time coverage? The panel discusses this and the lousy opinion pieces that surfaced.Captain Amarinder Singh and the Punjab Cabinet decided to bring amendments to Indian Penal Code (IPC) to make all acts of Sacrilege of religious texts punishable with life imprisonment. The panel discusses the implications of this move and a lot more on this episode of Hafta. Listen Up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Reporters Without Orders Ep 36: #Section377 and the media, #HardikPatel, farmers’ march & more.
Sep 13 2018 48 mins  
This week’s Reporters Without Orders features our host Cherry Agarwal, our guest, lawyer-turned-journalist Vakasha Sachdev from The Quint, along with Rohin Verma and Amit Bhardwaj. The discussion starts with media’s coverage of Supreme Court’s landmark verdict -- decriminalisation of Section 377. Amit talks about the way in which reporters covered the event, while Rohan weighs in about media’s need to recreate the situation and things that should have been avoided. Vakasha says that being inside the courtroom on the day of judgement, hearing the judges and their unique responses, was an amazing and emotional experience. The panel also talks about the need to strike a balance between privacy and the need for media personnel, especially TV news, to capture the moment.Cherry also asks Vakasha about the problems with courtroom-related reportage in the absence of legal expertise among those covering the beat. “It becomes challenging as it creates new pressure, creates new confusion over what’s going on,” Vakasha says.Pointing out what the media missed, Cherry says stories on intersectionality of sexuality, caste, disability, mental health, gender identity and queer movement beyond 377 were given a miss. Amit points out that Hardik Patel’s hunger strike was still being under-reported. The national media has not been doing justice to this news, he says. [Patel has now ended his hunger strike]. Amit and Vakasha also weigh in on media’s failure to cover the farmers’ march in New Delhi. Amit says, “These people have been failed by the government and nobody cares.” The panel also discusses the violence that broke out at Delhi University’s Zakir Husain College. This, and more. Listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 37: 377, समलैंगिकता, कन्हैया कुमार और नोटबंदी
Sep 08 2018 60 mins  
सुप्रीम कोर्ट का ऐतिहासिक फैसला जिसमें भारतीय दंड संहिता की धारा 377 को अपराध के दायरे से बाहर कर दिया गया, बीते जनवरी में जिग्नेश मेवानी की रैली के दौरान रिपब्लिक के अर्नब गोस्वामी द्वारा तथ्यहीन रिपोर्टिंग और अपमानजनक टिप्पणियों पर एनबीएसए की फटकार, संभावना कि कन्हैया कुमार बेगूसराय सीट से लोकसभा चुनाव लड़ सकते हैं और रिजर्व बैंक का नोटबंदी से जुड़ा ताजा आंकड़ा जहां आरबीआई ने कहा कि 99 फीसदी से ज्यादा पैसा बैंकों में वापस आ गया. इन विषयों पर आधारित रही इस हफ्ते की न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री चर्चा.सुप्रीम कोर्ट में धारा 377 को निरस्त करने की याचिका डालने वाले याचिकाकर्ता यशवेन्द्र सिंह इस बार चर्चा में बतौर मेहमान शामिल हुए. साथ ही पैनल में जुड़े न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के विशेष संवाददाता अमित भारद्वाज और स्तंभ लेखक आनंद वर्धन. चर्चा का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Reporters Without Orders Ep 35: NE media, Hardik’s hunger strike, RaGa’s non-veg row and more
Sep 06 2018 36 mins  
The conversation kicks off with a discussion on the current media landscape of the Northeast. Cherry asks Paojel to provide an insight on the media culture in the Northeast with respect to access to politicians, political biases, and even media ownership. She asks whether it is similar to legacy houses that form a larger part in the mainstream and what is it that makes the Northeast media unique in nature? Paojel explains the difference between the Northeast media system and the rest of the country and goes on to talk about the challenges faced by investigative journalists in the Northeast region. Paojel suggested that there were many stories in the Northeast that have not been given importance; he also shares some specific examples of stories which have not been given any sort of significance by the mainstream media. The discussion then moves towards Amit Bhardwaj who talks about the eleventh day of Hardik Patel’s hunger strike that has not been covered by the mainstream media. He says: “These are the priorities; if there is violence and incidents of rioting, then the mainstream media will cover it, but if someone goes the Gandhian way and is on 11th day of their hunger strike, then they will choose not to.” Amit goes on to explain the entire hunger strike situation and the reason as to why it should have been covered. The panel then discusses the kind of news that deliberately doesn’t go on air and is not considered to be of grave significance owing to the prevailing power struggle in mainstream media.Rohin sheds lights on a story related to the Mahatma Gandhi Central University in Motihari, Bihar, where, after the death of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a professor posted something on Facebook against the former Prime Minister. The next day, he was beaten up badly and still remains in a critical situation. After this incident, the CAG report on the university showed that a lot of financial irregularities had been found, but even in spite of this, the incident went unreported. The discussion then moves towards what made news—but shouldn’t have—and everyone agreed that Rahul Gandhi eating non-veg in Nepal shouldn’t have set the headlines on fire the way it did.Rahul goes on to brief us about Tushar Damgude’s FIR in relation to the Bhima-Koregaon incident, and more. Tune in to find out more. See for privacy and opt-out information.

The Awful and Awesome Ep 84: Garbage, Stree, Once Again, The Front Runner and more
Sep 05 2018 48 mins  
In this issue of The Awful and Awesome podcast, our hosts Abhinandan Sekhri and Rajyashree Sen join us with a list of fresh things to explore—and some not-so-exciting things that could wait to be explored.The discussion starts with Quashik Mukherjee’s movie called Garbage. Rajyashree sounds fairly disappointed with the movie but also suggests that Q—as a director—is very impressive since his movies are mainly provocative and about things we don’t usually see in Indian cinema. She explains the storyline in detail and explains why, according to her, the plot was weak, and what went wrong. Abhinandan talks about Stree, the Horror Comedy directed by Amar Kaushik and written by Sumit Arora. He also mentions that this one of the best Hindi movies he has watched in several months. He points out that “Rajkumar Rao and Pankaj Tripathi are a boon to Indian Cinema.” Both hosts agree on the messages conveyed through the movie, like the subtle commentary on politics, discussion about independent women, sexual liberation, and so on. Moving on with the discussion, Rajyashree sheds light on a movie called Once again, released on Netflix. The cast has Shefali Shah and Neeraj Kabi and resembles Lunch Box. According to her, it was a sweet movie—which at times didn’t make any sense.Rajyashree and Abhinandan shed some light on the trailer of an upcoming movie starring Hugh Jackman called The Front Runner. The movie takes us back in time to the set of 1988 which is also based on a 2014 book called All the Truth is out. Abhinandan expresses that it is “a very compelling trailer and it really makes you want to watch the film.” Another trailer which both our hosts review was Andhadhun, starring Ayushmann Khurrana, Radhika Apte, and Tabu. The film is about a blind pianist, and both hosts were thrilled with the trailer and are looking forward to watching it. Rajyashree also tells us about The New Yorker Festival and the Steve Bannon interview controversy and she and Abhinandan put out their views on the subject.Tune in to listen to more. See for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 36: राहुल गांधी का बयान, मानवाधिकार कार्यकर्ताओं की गिरफ्तारी, आतिशी 'मार्लेना' व अन्य
Sep 01 2018 57 mins  
राहुल गांधी का 1984 दंगों के संबंध में बयान (जिसमें उन्होंने कहा कि 1984 दंगों में पार्टी के स्तर पर कांग्रेस की संलिप्तता नहीं थी), भाजपा नेता सुब्रमण्यम स्वामी का मालदीव चुनावों के संबंध जारी ट्वीट, (मालदीव चुनावों में अगर किसी प्रकार की धांधली होती है, तो भारत सरकार को मालदीव पर हमला कर देना चाहिए), देश भर में मानवाधिकार व सामाजिक कार्यकर्ताओं की गिरफ्तारियां, आप नेत्री आतिशी मार्लेना के नाम में बदलाव आदि रहे इस हफ्ते की न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री चर्चा के मुख्य विषय. स्वतंत्र पत्रकार नेहा दीक्षित इस हफ्ते चर्चा की अतिथि पत्रकार थीं. पैनल में न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री संवाददाता अमित भारद्वाज और राहुल कोटियाल भी मौजूद थे. चर्चा का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Reporters Without Orders Ep 34: #BhimaKoregaonRaids, #PlotToKillPM, Kerala floods and more
Aug 30 2018 45 mins  
The latest episode of Reporters Without Orders features our host Cherry Agarwal, along with Amit Bharadwaj, and guests Vishnu Varma and Prateek Goel. Varma is a Kochi-based journalist and a senior correspondent at Indian Express Digital, whereas Goel is a Pune-based reporter who covers crime and defence for a leading regional daily.The podcast begins with a discussion about the arrest of five human rights activists, including a unionist and lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj, from different cities in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence. The arrests of five other activists in connection to an alleged plot to kill the prime minister three months ago is also discussed. Sharing details from history, Prateek tells the panel about the genesis of Bhima Koregaon and what led to the subsequent violence and arrests. The panel also discusses the inconsistencies and problems with media’s coverage of the same so far.In the course of the discussion, Prateek suggests that the letters discovered by the police were likely fabricated. He doesn’t think these activists could have been directly involved in the alleged plot to assassinate the prime minister. The discussion then shifts to rehabilitation efforts in Kerala, in the aftermath of the floods. The panel also discusses the accountability of states in such situations. Reporting from Kerala, Vivek Varma weighs in about the current rehabilitation measures that have been put in place to ensure a swift recovery. In relation to the Tamil Nadu and Kerala dispute, Vivek states that both the governments are equally responsible for the mismanagement of opening and closing of the dam shutters.Amit stated that the convictions in Mirchpur violence were underreported. Twenty people were sentenced to life Imprisonment by the Delhi high court for burning two Dalits alive in 2010. Amit also talks about the arrest of Barmer journalist and other developments in his case.This, and more. Listen up! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Just Sports Episode 91: #IndiaWins, Manchester vs Tottenham, #TheAsianGames and more
Aug 30 2018 15 mins  
On this week of Just Sports, our hosts Rahul Puri and Samar Khan are back with their weekly round of sporting reviews and trivia. The podcast begins with the duo appreciating the spectacular performance given by the Indian team in its latest test-match series, and talk about how the Blues have evolved into “something different and better.”Rahul emphasises that a lot of credit had to be given to Shastri and Kohli for “not allowing their heads to drop, and not allowing the team to feel that they were out of the scenes.”They talk about how Samar had predicted the meltdown of the Indian cricket team owing to its dependence on Virat Kohli as the sole chief scorer, but were pleasantly surprised by the perseverance of the other players in the test match that led to its victory despite two previous defeats in the series. Both of them expect the team to come back stronger in the upcoming matches.Moving on to football, both our hosts believe that Manchester United put up a decent enough show in spite of tailgating on its defeat to London-based club Tottenham. The Reds missed a lot of good chances, but this does not necessarily spell doom and gloom. The hosts added that the outcome of the match would have been different had Belgian Romelu Lukaku scored a goal. They discuss the drawbacks of Manchester United by remarking upon its need for a settled starting XI and a solid defence, among other things.The conversation then moves to the controversy surrounding Serena William’s catsuit which she wore at the French open claiming that it helped her with the issue of blood clots. Both our hosts found the decision to ban the outfit, pointless.The episode ends with the dup’s excitement about the US open which just recently kicked off, and which they are looking forward to discussing in upcoming podcasts. See for privacy and opt-out information.

The Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap Ep 83: VMA, Kalki's My Indian life, Ghoul, Alpha and more.
Aug 30 2018 55 mins  
This episode of The Awful and Awesome brings you an action-packed week with our hosts—Abhinandan Sekhri and Rajyashree Sen—both of whom have a lot to share. The conversation kicks off with a discussion on the new podcast ‘Kalki Presents: My Indian Life’ by BBC World Service, hosted by Bollywood actor Kalki Koechlin. Abhinandan points out that although Kalki is a good presenter, a much more apt title for the podcast would have been “Conversation with Kalki” instead of “Kalki Presents: My Indian Life.” He adds that he doesn’t see any evolution to the stories in the podcast, and concludes that the tone of the podcast is more like an interview with artists and celebrities. He also mentions that a Karan Johar interview would be more entertaining than this podcast.Rajyashree talks about the Video Music Awards and mentions her craze for all the scandals, controversies and mind-blowing performances that take place during the VMAs. But none of that happened except for the VMA Van Guard Award, which was given to Jennifer Lopez, and the tribute paid to Aretha Franklin by Madonna. Both Rajyashree and Abhinandan discussed the tribute given by Madonna even though it was more about herself.They move on to discuss the new Netflix original series called Ghoul, directed and written by Patrick Graham, and starring Radhika Apte. Rajyashree was not really pleased to watch this three-episode series and thought it was like Quantico with Radhika Apte and a demon, whereas Abhinandan really appreciated the production and sound design. Heads-up: the conversation contains a few spoilers. Rajyashree recommends everyone to watch a Persian movie called Under the Shadow and shares a quick review of the movie.She goes on to share her views on another new movie called Alpha and pointed out that the movie is visually appealing, with good cinematography and a unique language. Abhinandan talks about the Twitter threat by Nishant Kaushik and his horrible experience of the Indian Idol, followed by Rajyashree discussing Mini Mathur’s tweet. Tune in to find out more. See for privacy and opt-out information.

एनएल चर्चा 35: कुलदीप नैयर, केरल की बाढ़ और आप की उठापटक
Aug 25 2018 58 mins  
केरल में आई बाढ़ की आपदा से उबरने के लिए यूएई की ओर से कथित आर्थिक मदद की पेशकश, नवजोत सिंह सिद्धू का पाकिस्तान सेना प्रमुख जनरल बाजवा से गले मिलना, आम आदमी पार्टी के भीतर खींचतान, वरिष्ठ पत्रकार कुलदीप नैयर का निधन और राहुल गांधी द्वारा विदेशी जमीन पर दिया गया भाषण इस हफ्ते चर्चा के प्रमुख विषय थे.इस बार चर्चा के विशिष्ट अतिथि रहे फिल्म समीक्षक मिहिर पांड्या. साथ ही पैनल में मौजूद रहे न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री संवाददाता अमित भारद्वाज और राहुल कोटियाल. चर्चा का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया.15 अगस्त से 24 अगस्त के बीच आम आदमी पार्टी से उसके दो वरिष्ठ सदस्यों आशुतोष और आशीष खेतान ने इस्तीफा दे दिया. दोनों पेशे से पत्रकार थे और आम आदमी पार्टी के गठन के बाद राजनीति में आए थे. आप में शुरू हुई इस नई उठापटक के संबंध में अमित भारद्वाज ने कहा, "पिछले छह महीनों में आप के तीन बड़े नेताओं (कुमार विश्वास, आशुतोष और आशीष खेतान) ने पार्टी से किनारा कर लिया है. इसके केन्द्र में तीन राज्यसभा सीटें हैं. पार्टी ने संजय सिंह सहित दो गुप्ताओं को राज्यसभा भेजा. वहीं से यह सारा मामला शुरू हुआ है.""हमने देखा है नेताओं का आना-जाना तब होता है जब पार्टियां सत्ता से बाहर होती हैं. यहां आप सत्ता में है फिर भी उसके नेता पार्टी से किनारा कर रहे हैं," अतुल ने कहा.साथ ही अतुल ने यह भी कहा, “योगेंद्र यादव या प्रशांत भूषण के अलगाव की तुलना में आशुतोष और आशीष का जाना एकदम अलग है. इन दोनों ने बेहद शांति से व्यक्तिगत कारणों का हवाला देते हुए, नेतृत्व पर कोई सवाल खड़ा किए बिना पार्टी से किनारा किया है, इस लिहाज से यह किसी पद या महत्वाकांक्षा से इतर पार्टी से पैदा हो रहे मोहभंग का मामला दिखता है. योगेन्द्र यादव, प्रशांत भूषण और आनंद कुमार के इस्तीफे के बाद जिस तरह से नाकारात्मक रिपोर्टिंग हुई थी, वैसा इस बार देखने को नहीं मिल रहा है.”राहुल कोटियाल ने बताया, "अब तक आप के अंदर हुए इस्तीफों को तीन स्तरों पर देखा जाना चाहिए. पहला, योगेन्द्र यादव, आनंद कुमार और प्रशांत भूषण का इस्तीफा जो कि काफी हद तक सैद्धांतिक कारणों से जुड़ा था. दूसरा, कुमार विश्वास का पार्टी से किनारा जो कि स्पष्ट रूप से राज्यसभा की सीट न मिलने के चलते पैदा हुई कुंठा का नतीजा था. तीसरा, आशुतोष और आशीष खेतान का इस्तीफा है जिस पर फिलहाल पार्टी का रुख अस्पष्ट है. बहुत संभव है कि ये किसी तरह की निगोशियेशन की कोशिश हो."मिहिर पांड्या ने अतुल की बात से सहमति जताते हुए अपनी बात शुरू की. उनके मुताबिक, "आम आदमी पार्टी चुनावी राजनीति की तयशुदा ढर्रे में बदल गई है. दरअसल, एक-एक करके वे सारे लोग जो विनिंग कैंडिडेट नहीं है या उन्हें समझ आ गया है कि वे उस ढांचे में फिट नहीं बैठते जिसमें चुनाव जीता जाता है, ऐसे में उन्हें समझ आ रहा है कि पार्टी को उनकी जरूरत नहीं है."मिहिर ने बताया कि पिछले कुछ समय में पार्टी में जिस तरह के सैद्धांतिक बदलाव हुए हैं वह भी चिंता का विषय है. ऐसा लगता है अरविंद केजरीवाल को समझ आ गया है कि भारतीय राजनीति में उन उसूलों पर राजनीति नहीं कर सकते, जिसकी कल्पना उन्होंने की थी. साथ ही चर्चा में एक सवाल आम आदमी पार्टी के नेतृत्व के ऊपर भी उठा. अतुल ने पैनल से केजरीवाल और सिसोदिया के नेतृत्व के संबंध में पैनल की राय जानना चाहा. अमित ने बताया कि न सिर्फ दिल्ली में बल्कि अन्य राज्यों में भी नेतृत्व का संकट गहराता जा रहा है. उन्होंने पंजाब का उदाहरण दिया जहां से आप को अब तक दिल्ली के बाद सबसे बड़ी सफलता मिली है. वहां पार्टी में खींचतान चल रही है. निश्चित रूप से आप नेतृत्व में दिल्ली दरबार वाली कार्यसंस्कृति के संकेत मिल रहे हैं जिससे पार्टी के भीतर कसमसाहट है. वहीं पार्टी जिन्हें चुनाव लड़ने का अवसर दे रही है, उनके पास संसाधनों की घोर कमी है. अमित के मुताबिक "आशुतोष से पार्टी ने चुनाव लड़ने की पेशकश की थी लेकिन उन्होंने मना कर दिया था. खेतान भी चुनाव नहीं लड़ना चाहते थे. संसाधनों के आभाव में भाजपा जैसी पार्टी के खिलाफ चुनाव लड़ना बहुत मुश्किल है."बाकी विषयों के लिए पूरी बातचीत सुनें. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Reporters Without Orders 33: Encounters in UP and Sukma, Kerala floods, and more
Aug 23 2018 44 mins  
The latest episode of Reporters Without Orders features our host Cherry Agarwal, along with Amit Bhardwaj, Rohin Kumar and Rahul Kotiyal.The discussion begins with the news of a woman who was beaten up and then paraded naked by a violent mob in Bihar’s Bhojpur district. The panel goes on to discuss the devastation caused by the Kerala floods, as well as the media’s coverage of the deluge.The topic then moves on to Uttar Pradesh’s ban on open sacrifice of animals ahead of Bakri Eid, wherein the state’s Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, said that this measure was being undertaken so as to not hurt the religious sentiments of other communities.“When two important news events take place simultaneously, how does a newsroom decide on which one to prioritise?,” asks Cherry, posing the million-dollar question to the guests. In turn, Rahul tells her that in this age of New Media and television, it is important to deem both pieces of news as “important” and run them efficiently.The guests also discuss how Navjot Singh Sidhu’s ‘hug’ controversy was quite overrated.The conversation then moves to a heavily-loaded ground report on the Naxal encounter case in which 15 people were killed in Sukma, Chattisgarh. Rahul narrates the story as experienced by him on the ground, and points out that it wasn’t just Naxalites who were killed—but innocent tribal people as well. He also talks about the disadvantages of covering left extremists as it is never certain who might kill you.The discussion culminates with the topic of different encounter cases in Uttar Pradesh anyhow these are against the Human Rights guidelines of the National Human Rights Commission. See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 182: Pakistan elections, Alwar lynching, Maratha reservation, the hug and the wink and more
Aug 17 2018 101 mins  
This week’s NL Hafta features an in-house panel with Anand Vardhan, Abhinandan Sekhri, Madhu Trehan, and Manisha Pande. We discuss the No Confidence Motion, the Alwar lynching, the Maratha reservation protests, and the recently concluded Pakistan elections.The panel opens with a discussion on the Pakistan elections. Anand offers his views, “What would also be a bit difficult for him, is that he is not controlling Punjab... I think Imran is a creature of ambition, he will not go away without taking his trophy. He took it at the cost of being controlled by the Army.”Madhu adds, “The saddest part about Pakistan is that nobody has been able to dislodge the army, whether it’s a dictator or behind-the-scenes.”Anand then speaks on how cow protection became a political process. "I think it is the result of a very fragile social contract between a community which considers cow as a food and a community which considers it as a bovine resource and a religious deity also. “I think lynching is mainstream, and it has nothing to do with the numbers. It has to do with its approval on primetime by party spokespersons”, comments Abhinandan.“There’s only a specific kind of crime that gets state sanction that has people like Yogi Adityanath say that cows are important, but humans are also important. N number of statements have come out saying that this will keep happening until you don’t protect cows,” says Manisha.The panel then discusses the motivations behind the No Confidence Motion that was raised in Parliament last week. “It’s such an obviously defeatable motion, that one has to think of conspiracies…did the BJP tell them to do it to reinforce their hold over Parliament and the country?” wonders Madhu. On why the motion was admitted, Anand remarks, “The ruling dispensation wanted the motion to be defeated, and the general perception is that it provided a kind of political messaging platform in the penultimate year of the general elections, from which the BJP could orchestrate or generalize the oratory skills of the PM."The panel then discusses the rift between the Shiv Sena and the BJP, Karan Thapar, Rahul Gandhi’s Q/A session with 100 women journalists, and the Maratha reservation protests.For more, listen in! See for privacy and opt-out information.

Just Sports Episode 89: The EPL, Player Transfer, MU’s prospects in the upcoming EPL and More
Aug 12 2018 18 mins  
With EPL and other European leagues just around the corner, Samar Khan and Rahul Purie begin on an optimistic note in this edition of Just Sports. Capturing the early enthusiasm, Rahul says that “this is the time when all football fans should be optimistic; we’re all starting off on zero points, so everybody can have some amount of optimism, even Manchester United.”Discussing player transfers before the English Premier League, Samar points out that the transfer window this year did not witness the ‘flurry of business’ that has been the norm. Rahul agrees, noting that “It’s been a strange one, but it’s also a function of where those big 5 or 6 English clubs are, where realistically, they all have very good squads and they really only need to add 1 or 2 players.”Changing track, both move on to talk about Manchester United’s prospects in the upcoming EPL. Samar asks Rahul whether he shares his doubt about the team’s manager, José Mourinho. “As a Manchested United fan, I’m really worried about the United season, purely because of the manager,” he says. Rahul agrees, observing that “If you look at the United squad, there’s nothing wrong with the squad…you’ve got magnificent options upfront, it’s just that the manager needs to know how to deploy them.” For more, listen in! See for privacy and opt-out information.