Hafta 280: Baghjan fire, healthcare in Delhi, J&K’s media policy, and more
Podcast

Hafta 280: Baghjan fire, healthcare in Delhi, J&K’s media policy, and more

The podcast where we discuss the news of the week.

By NL Team

Published on :

Click here to download the full episode to listen to it offline.

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!

Song: Hum Kaale Hai To Kya Hua | Brahmachari

Hafta letters: Communalising the US protests, Covid testing in Telangana, opening places of worship

References

From Treatment To Medical Gear, Patients Paying More In COVID Times

Beds to hotels, what Delhi did — and did not get done — during the lockdown

Why Do Republican Leaders Continue to Enable Trump?

Jared Diamond - Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

Rise and fall of the PIL: Courts are increasingly being asked to intrude into the elected executive's domain

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Produced by Aditya Varier, recorded by Anil Kumar, edited by Harshula Sharma.

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