- NL Sena
The podcast where we discuss the news of the week.
In this Hafta, Hartosh Singh Bal, Caravan‘s political editor, 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 anywhere…you 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 psyche…to stage such a press conference in London is saying India is a banana republic…it does a great deal of disservice to the history of Indian elections.”
Listen up! There’s more.
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