The podcast where we discuss the news of the week.
In this episode of Hafta, Abhinandan Sekhri, Madhu Trehan, Manisha Pande and Mehraj D Lone of Newslaundry are joined by Suhasini Haidar, national editor 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.
Produced by Kartik Nijhawan, recorded by Anil Kumar, edited by Samarendra K Dash.