This week on NL Hafta, Abhinandan Sekhri, Raman Kirpal, Manisha Pande and Jayashree Arunachalam are joined by filmmaker and writer Rajesh Rajamani.
The discussion begins with the controversy over tennis player Naomi Osaka's refusal to do a press conference at the French Open, and the nuances of sports journalism.
Referring to the Supreme Court’s dismissal of the sedition case against journalist Vinod Dua, the panel examine its implications for the media and the freedom of speech. Objecting to the Narendra Modi government’s attempts to curb the freedom of expression, Raman says, "The moment you start criticizing this government, they find a way to silence you.”
Pointing out the judiciary’s varying responses in the cases against Dua and another incarcerated journalist, Siddique Kappan, Manisha says, "There is a sympathy factor in most high-profile cases but I don't think this is going to help local or regional journalists.”
Talking about the social media backlash against mainstream comedians for making casteist jokes now and in the past, the panel discuss how casteism operates in the privileged realm. Jayashree points out that standup comedy is a world of its own “because it draws from life experiences that are steamed and marinated in privilege". Manisha and Abhinandan call out the performative wokeness in addressing such issues while Raman points to the political relevance of caste under the incumbent government.
The panel also discuss the central government’s recall of Bengal chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, the Modi versus Mamata battle, new civil services pension rules, and mismanagement of the vaccination drive.
Text by Ritika Chauhan.
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