Hafta 285: Chabahar-Zahedan project, Rajasthan political crisis, cancel culture, and more

The podcast where we discuss the news of the week.

ByNL Team
Hafta 285: Chabahar-Zahedan project, Rajasthan political crisis, cancel culture, and more
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In this week’s NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Raman Kripal, Mehraj D Lone, Manisha Pande and Anand Vardhan are joined by Suhasini Haider, diplomatic editor of the Hindu.

The conversation kicks off with discussing how Iran dropped India from the Chabahar-Zahedan rail project. Abhinandan asks Suhasini how this might affect India. “There’s this kind of FOMO. Right now, you don’t want to be cut out of any geo-strategic game, especially when a country like China is signing a massive deal with them,” she says. She also talks about the scanty coverage of foreign policy issues in the current political climate.

The discussion moves on to “cancel culture”. Has it been taken too far, or is it a “conspiracy” by boomers to call post-millennials “too soft”? In Manisha’s opinion, “Cancel culture kills innovative thoughts.” Mehraj brings up the privileges and narrowed gaze of cancel culture. He adds, “There’s no greater threat to free thought than self-censoring.” The panel also discusses whether cancel culture is an elite fad of the West, and if it works in the Indian context.

On the ongoing political crisis in Rajasthan, Raman believes it was triggered by chief minister Ashok Gehlot, whom he says was promoting his sons and the Gujjar netas in the state. Sachin Pilot, he says, was “hardly functional” as deputy chief minister, and “at this juncture, it was important for him to revolt”. Mehraj thinks the victimhood of Pilot is “amusing, as there’s no ideological battle here” .

The panel also compares Jyotiraditya Scindia and Pilot, discusses the curious case of apologies by Indian comedians, and debates whether ideology really matters in Indian politics.

Tune in!

Song: Kabhi Bekasi Ne Maara


00:00: Introduction and headlines

8:43: India dropped from Chabahar Rail Project

36:01: Subscriber letters on safetyism, cancel culture, and freedom of speech

1:10:51: Sachin Pilot vs Ashok Gehlot

1:28:48: Subscriber rebuttal to Anand's article

1:33:15: Agrima Joshua, limits of comedy, and apologies

1:46:00: Subscriber letters

1:56:43: Assam floods and the inevitability of disasters

2:00:40: Recommendations

Hafta letters

The prism of casteism, rebuttal on pop culture piece, unreasonable expectations from scientists

On safetyism and free speech


Indian ascetic arrested for allegedly raping 10 minor boys after giving them alcohol as ‘coronavirus medicine’

Iran drops India from Chabahar rail project, cites funding delay

Why is pop culture so disdainful of the ‘conformist’ salaried class?

Why Female Comedians Refused to Talk on Agrima Joshua Controversy

In Support of Charlie Hebdo

Cosmo Manoos



The Great Game in the Buddhist Himalayas: India and China’s Quest for Strategic Dominance

Fateful Triangle: How China Shaped U.S.-India Relations During the Cold War

Shifting Superpowers: The New and Emerging Relationships between the United States, China and India


Snakes of India: The Field Guide

Suni Ghati Ka Suraj


Congress needs a hands-on leader who enjoys the confidence of the party

Pradyot Manikya Bikram Debbarma writes: India needs an Opposition that has hunger to fight with one of the most aggressive political party

The Salisbury Poisonings


50-year-old granny clears Class XII exam

Ramy - Season 1

Bari Weiss and the Excesses of Call-Out Culture


Free Thought and Official Propaganda, by Bertrand Russell - The Bertrand Russell Society


How Franklin Leonard and The Black List Changed Hollywood: Planet Money

What Gandhi's Racism Tells Us About Anti-Racist Politics Today

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

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