A review of NL Hafta by Arvind, Shubhendu, Abhilash & others

WrittenBy:NL Team
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Letter from Arvind 

I have an inkling on what might be discussed this week, so here is my “feed”forward.

1. Please don’t spend time discussing Rajiv Malhotra and Vivek Agnihotri. I have my issues with TS Sudhir’s hastily conjured Opinion piece being published, but having said that, please do not drag the rest of the Twitter exchanges involving NewsLaundry, to the Hafta. It will help the podcast

2. For Subscribers’ sake(pun intended) please upload the full Hafta to the app before “chota” Hafta!

3. (Feedback) On PM’s Independence Day speech: I thought (contrary to all of the panellists’ opinion) the PM still had it in him to make this (the speech) an aspect of discussion even after 5 years. I don’t ever remember the Independence Day speech before Modi being an aspect of curious interest to the common man (not just media)! It might be useful as we approach the 2019 elections to have at least one member in the panel that has a slightly favourable (devil’s advocate will work too) view of the government considering we (long time subscribers) know what the stated positions of Ms.Trehan, Ms.Pandey and Mr.Sekhri are. I am not sure if Mr.Vardhan is that gentleman but I’ll gladly take it (he just needs to keep the one-liners coming)!



Letter from Shubhendu Mohanty

Dear Team Hafta,

I am a subscriber and am writing this email after gulping down half a bottle of wine on a Friday night. So feel free to ignore the email if it reads like a rant. I want to make few quick points: 

1. Happened to catch Chhota Hafta 185 through a random Youtube suggestion. I must say am very disappointed in how Chota Hafta is packaged. Its simply lazy work. If the intent of Chhota Hafta is to grab attention of the non-subscribers then it certainly beats the purpose by spending 20% of the podcast in just introducing the panel instead of highlighting the content. In fact I would also suggest to dedicate 30 seconds of every Chhota Hafta to explain what a regular Hafta actually contains.

2. Madhu, you do use USA equivalence quite often to draw parallels with the Indian system. Its is OK, but please do not lose the scale and perspective—especially when you talk about police brutality. There is simply no comparison, but the way you state it is simply misguiding to listeners who are based outside USA.

3. Can you guys please call Ranga Uncle and DJ as guests at least for one more Hafta. I miss them both.

4. Abhinandan, Dude you rock! Keep up the great work.


Letter from Abhilash Narayan

Hi Newslaundry team,

This is my first email and probably the last one to you too. Last week’s Hafta was one of the most appalling Hafta I have heard and I have been a listener of Hafta from the very beginning.

First of all, calling the Kerala flood disaster “man-made” was extremely distasteful. I agree there were lot of things that contributed to complicate matters, for example deforestation and encroachment has probably contributed to lot of cases of landslides for sure, but the incessant rainfall, which was the main reason for the flood, was definitely not man-made (unless you guys subscribe to the notion that it was because of beef-eating, Sabarimala issue, Communism etc). 

Casting aspersions during this time of need makes you guys no different from the North Korean media channels which either devotes little or no time in covering floods, or uses the opportunity in scoring brownie points by poking fun at the government/people of Kerala. If you cant help, at least stop trying to make it look like the State deserved it.

Secondly, it was funny to hear you guys claim that the PM’s speech probably drowned out the flood related news in the media when you guys yourself covered it during the last 10 minutes (discounting the recommendation section) of a 1 hour 20+ minute podcast. That too after covering things like the death of Naipaul after claiming that he was probably relevant 10 years ago.

After hearing the episode I wanted to threaten that I will not be supporting Newslaundry anymore once my subscription expires ,but I wont claim that because that doesn’t solve anything and the country needs Independent media now more than ever. I will still support NL, but Hafta has definitely lost a loyal listener.

A Mallu.


Letter from Nitesh Pandey

Dear Hafta Gang,

Kudos for the work you do. I have been a regular listener since episode 27 onwards and a subscriber ever since. I have consumed Newslaundry since day one and I am thankful for the wonderful recommendations you make every week and the insights of the varied panel which has made my life very eclectic.

Madhu Trehan reminds me of Mary Lasker about whom I learnt while reading one  of the books recommended by the panel (Emperor of all maladies). That however would make the rest of the gang the Laskerites, which won’t be fair since all of you have great personalities of your own.

Besides one occasion when Abhinandan indulged in body-shaming the RSS pracharaks and then every fat person on this planet, I tend to agree with almost every other point of view of his. I find it extremely hard to not agree with everything Manisha has to say, and her patience to wait for her turn to speak is quite simply remarkable.

Anand Vardhan has brought the much needed balance to the conversation. However, he sounds cynical at times about the possibility of changes. We can and should aim to bring about how our society functions.

Anand Ranganathan, as long as he was there, was worth his weight in gold. I guess Deepanjana Pal could not handle a particular confrontation with Abhinandan and left. Wish she had shown more resilience and stayed on. Meghnad as and when he appears on Hafta is a breath of fresh air and gives a glimpse of the vocabulary the youngsters converse in today’s times.

The panel desperately needs a muslim and a dalit voice, that would give it more balance.

All the best.


Letter from Pallavi

विषय: एक सब्स्क्राइबर की घटिया चिट्ठी क्यूँकि इस घटिया दौर में कोई करे तो क्या करे

नमस्कार अतुल, 

एन एल चर्चा से मेरी शिक़ायत ये है कि ये चर्चा नाक़ाबिलबर्दाश्त होती जा रही है. उबाऊ, घिसा पिटा नज़रिया, गहरा सोचने की मेहनत से बचते विचार अौर शॉर्ट्कट्स की थीम पर चलता विचारों का आदान प्रदान।

ऐसा लगता है कि आप सब बेहद खोए हुए, असतर्क हैं अौर अपनी चर्चा में इस असकर्तकता अौर आलस को छिपाने की मेहनत करना ज़रूरी नहीं समझते। यानि अगर मैं ओर मेरे दोस्त बैठ कर बातें करें तो आप लोगों से अच्छी चर्चा कर लें। अगर आपको समझ में नहीं रहा है कि मैं क्या कह रही हूँ तो अपने कुछ एपिसोड्ज़ सुनिए अौर मुझे राज़ी करिये  कि क्यूँ मैं आपकी बातें सुनूँ।

कुछ सुझाव

ट्विटर पे फैले हुए रायते को डिस्कस करने पर एक मिनट से ज़्यादा समय नष्ट करें  

रेकमेंडेशन में नेटफ़्लिक्स की सिरीज़ के बारे में बताने का महापाप बंद कीजिएहद होती है आलस अौर अहमक़पने की।

अमित जूझारू अौर धाँसू रिपोर्टर होंगे लेकिन चर्चा करनी उन्हें बिलकुल नहीं आती।

व्यंगोक्ति , हास्य , विडम्बना, विरोधाभास , आश्चर्य , चोट करने वाले सवालों के अभाव में चर्चा कैसे हो सकती है अाप लोगों से सीखना चाहिये।

अापकी जानकारी के लिये बता दूँ, चर्चा अौर बकैती में फ़र्क़ होता हैआपके पाॅड्कास्ट में इनके बीच की दीवार पूरी तरह से ढहती हुई नज़र आती है

आप अपने पाॅड्कास्ट से मेरे अौर इस देश के सारे कष्ट हर लेंगे ऐसी आशा तो नहीं कर रही हूँ लेकिन बोर तो मत करो भाई। ये तो हद ही हो गयी कि आपको पैसे भी दूँ, आपकी बकवास भी सुनूँ फिर आपको चिट्ठी लिखने की तक़लीफ़ उठाउूँ, अापको ताक़ीद करूँ।

आपके पाड्कैस्ट की अौर भी कमियों की तरफ़ इशारा करना चाहती हूँ लेकिन समय की बेहद कमी के कारण आपसे जो शिका़यत है वो नागराज मंज़ुले ( पिस्तुल्या, फ़ैन्ड्री, सैराट जैसी ख़ूबसूरत फ़िल्मों के निर्देशक अौर लेखक) की कविता के माध्यम से व्यक्त कर रही हूँ. कविता मराठी में है, शीर्षक हैउन्हाच्या कटाविरुद्ध, मराठी से हिंदी में इसका अनुवाद टीकम शेखावत ने किया है. 

“( उन्हाच्या कटाविरुद्ध) धूप की साज़िश के खिलाफ़

इस सनातन

बेवफ़ा धूप

से घबराकर

क्यों हो जाती हो तुम

एक सुरक्षित खिड़की की 

सुशोभित बोन्साई!


बेबसी से, मांगती हो छाया.

इस अनैतिक संस्कृति में

नैतिक होने की हठ की खातिर

क्यों दे रही हो

एक आकाशमयी

मनस्वी विस्तार को

पूर्ण विराम

तुम क्यों

खिल नहीं जाती

आवेश से

गुलमोहर की तरह

धूप की साज़िश के ख़िलाफ़.”

अापसे त्रस्त श्रोता / सब्सक्राइबर,


( This letter applies to NL HAFTA and the Entertainment podcast too.)


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