A review of NL Hafta by Arvind, Vikas and Anand
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A review of NL Hafta by Arvind, Vikas and Anand

NL subscribers get back with bouquets and brickbats!

By NL Subscriber

Published on :

Is Newslaundry speaking “truth to power”?

I have found the Hafta team quite sensible whenever I was confused on what to make of an issue, be it mob-lynchings, be it tukde-tukde affair of JNU, be it caste privilege, to name a few.

The discussions between the Right-leaning Anand Vardhan and Madhu Trehan, the Left-leaning Manisha Pande and Raman Kirpal moderated by the perfect centrist Abhinandan Sekhri usually provide a number of point-of-views. And importantly, panellists are open-minded. 

Unfortunately, this was not the case with the reports and articles on the website.

After the events on August 5, I couldn’t wait for the podcasts and turned to the Newslaundry website for an all-round coverage of the issue. I was bitterly disappointed. 

While the voices of Kashmiri Muslims were covered, where are the voices of people from Jammu and Ladakh? Where are the views of people from the rest of India?

I don’t mind if an author is cynical about the Indian government and the future, but surely there are other authors who want to ask unpleasant questions of Kashmir’s constitution, its laws, its “freedom struggle”, the ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits and the very process of insertion of Article 370? 

Where are the articles by authors having a different point-of-view on this complex issue? Except from one from Anand Vardhan that appeared after a week, I didn’t find any.

When we say “Truth to Power”, the key word here is truth not ideological opposition to power.  It isn’t mere opposition to BJP because it is in power, it is also about presenting different points of view on complex issues.

From Hafta #236, I learnt from Manisha about the ugly triumphalism on Indian TV news media. But, if Newslaundry was indulging in Cong vs BJP type what-aboutery with TV media, then that too was totally wrong. Ultimately, the public loses out which really defeats the whole purpose of news. 

I hope the Newslaundry website will rise to match the diversity of opinion and the open-mindedness of Hafta.

Regards.

Arvind Nangalia

***

Dear NL Hafta Team,

Firstly, I appreciate your dedication and commitment for the work you people are doing and letting us access one of the finest articles/reports.

This is regarding a comment by Abhinandan in Hafta 236 regarding Inner Line Permit (ILP) in NE states of India. Having served in those areas based on my experience I would just like to bring out that as per my opinion the cause for which it was brought by Britishers is still relevant to a great extent as these areas are highly vulnerable to exploitation of its natural resources especially timber. Also, we people from the mainland are highly indifferent and lack any inclination towards understanding the culture and lifestyle of indigenous people. And I know exploitation of these resources are still taking place due to corruption but removing ILP regulations will open gates for exploiters to carry out activities with impunity as has happened in states like Orissa and Jharkhand (or for that matter in case of any other state).

Keep up the good work. I am a subscriber and will continue to do so.

Regards,

Vikas Chahel

***

Hello Newslaundry,

I am a long-time “Muftkhor” and a new subscriber. Well, Abhinandan’s appeals do work, I guess.

This email may not be as articulate as written by some other subscribers, and God! I get goosebumps when Abhinandan reads them. Getting to the point, I am looking for an opinion of your panel, especially Madhu and Anand.

In this age of technology when you get multiple version of same information, and everyone thinks that they have the most credible account. Like all the people who choose to be on the fence and prefer to look at things in an unbiased manner, I get really confused when talking to “bhakts”, friends and family included. Because they are so sure about their version of the story that it makes you doubt your point. To explain what I am trying to say, I am quoting Chernobyl, “The real danger is that if we hear enough lies then we no longer recognise the truth at all. What can we do then?” I think this quote is what I am trying to ask the panel.

How does a common man draw a line between where truth ends and misdirection offered by almost all the mainstream media begins?

Keep up the good work, it makes a difference.

Anand

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