This week on NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Raman Kirpal, Manisha Pande, Mehraj D Lone and Anand Vardhan are joined by Dhanya Rajendran, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the News Minute.
Dhanya begins with MK Stalin taking oath last week as chief minister of Tamil Nadu. She talks about how the ceremony took place even as the second wave of Covid has hit the country. Dhanya also talks about Karnataka’s Covid emergency and the state government’s problematic approach to it.
On the Bengaluru bed scam and the regional media’s coverage of it, she says “Tejasvi Surya, who is a young politician, should understand that they cannot simply say what they want to, [and] believe that they will get away with it.” The fallout of Surya’s communalisation of the issue, she adds, is that many volunteers are no longer showing up out of fear of being victimised.
The panel discusses the “positivity spin” being rolled out by the central government and legacy media houses, pointing out the absurdity of this during times of crisis and grief. Mehraj calls it a social problem while Manisha says, “This positivity campaign is coupled with two elements: how Modi tried enough but he was struck by forces beyond his control, which is China biowarfare, and how states did not do anything despite Modi’s warnings.”
On Israel’s onslaught on Palestine, Anand believes that Hamas was spurred to “get into that political space and the confrontation escalated, because they saw it as an opportunity of leadership in Palestine”. Manisha and Abhinandan talk about the historical facets of settler colonialism.
The conversation spans the Covid situation in Bihar, how bodies have been floating in the Ganga, and Natasha Narwal. Tune in!
Text by Ritika Chauhan.
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