Hafta 295: Farm bills, state of the media, and the NCB’s drug probe

The podcast where we discuss the news of the week.

ByNL Team
Hafta 295: Farm bills, state of the media, and the NCB’s drug probe
  • whatsapp
  • copy

Click here to download this episode to listen to it offline.

This week on NL Hafta, the usual team of Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Raman Kirpal and Anand Vardhan are joined by Newslaundry’s Jayashree Arunachalam and author Chetan Bhagat.

The discussion starts off with the economic slowdown in India. Chetan says, “India attempted one of the strictest lockdowns. It’s expected that we will also have the biggest contraction.” He points out that fiscal measures are needed to distribute wealth while also liberalising the economy for businesses with moves that are more than just media headlines. It needs to be globally noticeable, he adds.

The panel moves on to discussing the current state of the media in India, given the ongoing “SSR frenzy”. The Indian audience’s obsession with entertainment, even while watching the news, is what Chetan believes is driving the media to focus on sensationalism. On the media in Tamil Nadu, Jayashree believes it’s an “outlier” compared to Delhi media, and Anand makes the same point with regional media outlets, print or otherwise. In both Tamil Nadu and Bihar, the media has been focusing on local issues and news. The Sushant Singh Rajput case is just a headline, not a subject of obsession.

The conversation shifts to the farm bills, which are a bone of contention for the governing BJP and the Opposition. Manisha says the bills were passed without much debate, based only on a voice vote. In this context, Abhinandan describes how a contract farming policy was enacted in Mexico: “What ended up happening in Mexico was that it was not the produce for the sake of food that determined the contracts, but how the market responded. This destroyed the Mexico farming communities.”

Chetan, for the most part, agrees with the intention of the bills of giving more options to farmers, but cites his “three core issues” regarding the bills’ execution, the power imbalance, and conflict of interest.

This and more, only on this week’s Hafta. Tune in !

Song: Pink Floyd - Another Brick In The Wall

Hafta letters: Engaging with hate, sources of news, word limit for letters


07:28 - How media is covering issues in India

25:30 - Covid and India's economic recovery

28:58 - Fight between TV journalists

34:20 - Subscriber letters and the panel's views on India's education system

49:55 - The passing of the farm bills and how they will affects farmers

01:10:23 - Bollywood and drugs

01:31:44 - Subscriber letters

01:53:11 - Recommendations


What are the farm bills and how will they affect farmers? | NL Cheatsheet

One Arranged Murder by Chetan Bhagat



The Social Dilemma - Netflix

Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare - Netflix


Patriot - Prime Video

The Hidden Costs of Streaming Music


Gandhi's Hinduism: The Struggle Against Jinnah's Islam


Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare - Netflix

Reham Khan by Reham Khan

Vikings - Netflix


My Friend Umar Khalid: Remembering Love When Bombarded With Hate

Why Farmers Are Protesting Against Laws Which Will ‘Supposedly’ Help Them


After The Plague: Planet Money

एनएल इंटरव्यू: 'मैं अक्सर देखता हूं हिंदुस्तान के न्यूज़ चैनलों को, और फिर सोचता हूं...'

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

Get updates about our podcasts via Twitter and Facebook.

You can also find the show on:

Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Castbox | Pocket Casts | TuneIn | Stitcher | SoundCloud | Breaker | Hubhopper | Overcast | JioSaavn | Podcast Addict | Headfone

newslaundry logo

Pay to keep news free

Complaining about the media is easy and often justified. But hey, it’s the model that’s flawed.

You may also like