This week on NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Jayashree Arunachalam, and Anand Vardhan are joined by Joanna Slater, the India bureau chief of the Washington Post.
Starting off with the US presidential election and Trump’s pushback against Biden winning, Joanna says there is “no sign whatsoever of any irregularities large enough to change this result”. Anand thinks the “split in political America is quite evident, and it will have a bearing on the next four years”.
On the Bihar election results, Abhinandan talks about the possibility of caste being a “primary voting decision-making metric”, and Anand explains that the “consolidations in this election have been between two rival social coalitions”. Jayashree says, “It was interesting that an overwhelming number of women voted for the NDA.” She also thinks the media needs to “change its approach to election coverage”.
Abhinandan then brings up press freedom and asks Joanna if we need to relook at freedom of speech. Joanna talks about the First Amendment in the US. On Arnab Goswami getting bail, she adds that was “surprised” when she saw the visuals of him being released from jail.
Jayashree says it was a very “political” visual, and emphasises that in this particular incident, “he wasn’t targeted for his reporting or press freedom”. She adds that the law shows a “double standard” and that bail should be the norm. Abhinandan says, “The crowd that came for Arnab cannot be done without the backing of a large political party.” Anand says Goswami has branded himself as “part journalist, part showman, and part performer”.
The discussion also spans political and religious conditioning, how to define terrorism, what “abetment to suicide” means from a legal point of view, and a lot more.
00:00 - Introduction and headlines
08:50 - Biden’s win in the US presidential election
42:04 - Arnab’s Goswami’s arrest and bail, and freedom of speech
01:10:08 - Subscriber letters
01:41:42 - Recommendations
Produced and Recorded by Aditya Varier and Lipi Vats, edited by Samarendra K Dash, Umrav Singh and Harshula Kumar.
Transcription by Suhana Sehrawat.