This week on NL Hafta, it is an all-Newslaundry panel of Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Raman Kirpal, Jayashree Arunachalam, and Anand Vardhan.
The discussion opens with Jayashree talking about the Tamil Nadu government’s response to Cyclone Nivar. Comparing it with the handling of the 2015 Chennai floods, she says, “The government response, clearly learning its lessons from the past, has been great. As early as November 23, they had gotten in place national disaster relief forces...relief camps were set up, and the communication from the government has been extremely clear. This was one of their huge failures during the Chennai floods.”
Speaking about the Kerala government withdrawing the controversial Kerala Police Act amendment that sought to punish anyone who posted social media content “with an intention to intimidate, insult or defame any person”, Abhinandan says, “This is what separates the political left in India from the political right. I know for a fact that several spokespersons of the left parties refused to come on news panels defending this...and because of the backlash they withdrew it whereas the political right in India don’t give a fuck. You can keep jumping, but if Modi has given the nod everybody will fall in line and say it’s a great idea!”
Responding to Abhinandan, Anand says, “No, in universities and academia, the political left is as intolerant as the political right. I think it has to do with their disciplinarian, cadre-based organizations. You have more to lose in a cadre-based organization if you go against the line.”
Talking about the ongoing farmer protests, Raman says, “I am all for this protest. Of course, protest is an integral part of democracy and it should happen but you should see the protest that happened around Delhi, there was so much hooliganism.”
Manisha concurs, “Yeah, that has to be stopped. I mean the Jat protests were famously known for complete vandalism, looting and even molestation.”
The panel also discuss the “love jihad” ordinance passed by the Uttar Pradesh government and the Indian judiciary’s handling of “forcible conversions” cases.
Hafta letters: Covid vaccines, Donald Trump’s base, choice of guests
4:14 - Headlines
7:51 - Cyclone Nivar hits Chennai and Puducherry
14:43 - Kerala withdraws Police Act amendment
28:57 - Farmer protests
44:05 - Jallikattu goes to the Oscars
47:24 - UP brings ‘love jihad’ ordinance
1:12:15 - ED summons Shiv Sena MLA
1:16:57 - Subscriber mail
1:27:47 - Sushil Modi accuses Lalu Prasad Yadav of running political show from behind bars
1:32:23 - Recommendations
Produced and recorded by Aditya Varier and Lipi Vats, edited by Samarendra K Dash and Harshula Kumar.
Transcription by Monica Dhanraj.