Hafta letters: AAP disappoints, Taliban take Kabul, and white superiority syndrome

NL subscribers get back with bouquets and brickbats!

ByNL Team
Hafta letters: AAP disappoints, Taliban take Kabul, and white superiority syndrome
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Hi NL team,

You guys are doing a great job, keep going! Special love and regards to Manisha and the Newsance team and Atul and the Tippani team.

As a citizen who was extremely hopeful about AAP and Arvind Kejriwal when they first came onto the scene, I am completely disappointed. While AAP has been in power, there have been communal riots, an oxygen shortage crisis and farmer protests. Yet the chief minister who came to power being the Dharna Man seems to have nothing significant or meaningful to say or do. If the chief minister of Delhi genuinely doesn’t have any power (Delhi police under the home ministry, LG's power increasing, etc), then resign in protest. Do something/anything to send a message to the central government and, more importantly, to the people of the country. AAP’s journey has been deeply disappointing. Being secular does not seem to be important to them. Is this another example of power corrupting? Personally, I would think twice before supporting them again. Is there a point of an opposition who is just going to follow the BJP’s steps?

Sneha N


Hi team,

Love the show and wake up to Newsance on Saturdays and this Sunday in the UK. It’s been on my mind since I heard the last Hafta. While a BBC reporter was being praised, Manisha pipes up and says probably gora! Come on guys, it’s been 75 years. Wake up from the white man superiority syndrome. The journalist is Secunder Kermani, BBC Pakistan and Afghanistan correspondent.

Vinod Kumar


Customary greetings,

Independence Day’s Newsance was fantastic. Kudos to Manisha and the team. Thanks for the history of TV News.

Anand’s views are quite fascinating overall. Dritarashtra-Sanjay sambad is outstanding.

Last week, Sudarshana recommended NPR’s Socialism 101.

There is a rap battle on Socialism vs Capitalism. If anyone is interested, do check it out. Here’s the video and here’s the audio.



Hello everyone,

All you guys on the podcast are amazing. I quickly want to express my displeasure with regards to the religion podcast. You all tried well but I would advise you just one thing: give religion a chance to answer your queries. Since the religion podcast mostly revolves around Islam and Hinduism, call a Hindu scholar and let him explain and you guys question him. Same goes for Islam. The religious scholars Abhinandan was talking about, I would like to inform him that educated Musliare also not aware of him. Muslims in India listen to Mufti Menk, Sahil Adeem, Adnan Rashid, Zaid Patel, Abu Zaid Zameer. Call and question them about Islam. They are equipped well with history, religion and politics.

Manisha, your misconception about women’s rights in Islam can be easily answered by Islamic women scholars like Ms Yasmin Mogahed.

Please be fair and give religion a chance to iron out everyone's misconception, by listening to scholars of Islam who Muslims listen to. I can try and get Adnan Rashid on your podcast by making international calls.

Manisha, your Newsance show is the one show that I always forward to my contacts in my social network.

Love you all.

Saquib Shaikh


Hello team,

Somehow this Independence Day, I felt ashamed to be an Indian. Before everyone starts shouting at me to count my blessings, that I'm in India and not in Afghanistan under the Taliban, "No shit Sherlock, that's exactly my point.” We have been comparing India under the current government with the Taliban regime. Is that the future that we might be having in a couple of decades?

We were taught that no matter what, the essence of India should be upheld. On our 75th Independence Day, a friend of ours, Afghanistan lost the limited independence they had to the Taliban. I have no idea about diplomacy and foreign policy, but isn't there something that we could do? Maybe at the very least, welcome refugees from Afghanistan. Wait, we have our CAA, that would make them unwelcome here. But, as it wasn't implemented, as confirmed multiple times by the home minister and others, can we offer refuge to them? Even if that is possible, what kind of life will they be looking at here? We already treat our minorities poorly. Maybe the trauma would be distributed among a larger population.

On a lighter note, loved watching the Independence Day special TV Newsance. The origin of Newstrack was fascinating for an ignorant millennial like me. Haven’t started listening to Let's Talk About: Religion yet. I'll get to it soon. Thank you for keeping us informed. Here is wishing you all, (a token) Happy Independence Day.

Jayasree Challa


Hi NL Hafta team,

I was so surprised and happy when you read my name in the previous Hafta letters section. I didn’t know you were so open to subscriber criticism and suggestions. You have a permanent subscriber now. Thanks for agreeing to talk on coalition politics.

I have been following rightwing Indian Twitter’s reaction to the events in Afghanistan, and most of them only want the “Indic” refugees in. My request is for the panel to answer my hypothetical question.

My question is: say a nationwide referendum is held on the question, ‘Should India take in Afghan refugees irrespective of religion?’, and say all of India voted. What will the result be? Are we the inclusive people we were taught we were?

Also, I read that housing a usurped government is a twice-done strategy in Indian politics. We housed the Dalai Lama and we housed Sheikh Hasina after the coup and she went on to return and win elections there. For instance, Subramanian Swamy tweeted that we help set up a government in exile. What role can India play in bringing back democracy there?

Love you all,

Rajesh Rao



I am assuming you will discuss Afghanistan this week and I would like the panel's opinion on some people on Twitter suggesting that the Taliban engages in insurgency and not terrorism and they are valid stakeholders in Afghanistan.

Some people were also equating the RSS and the Taliban. I, as a bleeding heart liberal, find that equivalence fallacious. What does the panel think about this?

Thank you,



Hi NL team,

I am writing this out of confusion. So, after I watched the disturbing visuals from the Kabul airport, I reached out to my former classmate from undergraduate college who was an Afghan. I texted him to ask if they were safe and doing fine. His response was, "President has fled and the Taliban has taken over but they have assured that they would not harm anyone including those who were fighting against them and the situation is very good now.” From his response it seemed as if everything was fine which came to me as a surprise. So, I am just bewildered: are there civilians out there in Afghanistan who are aligning with the Taliban and not condemning its actions or are they in fear that their phones might be tapped and hence do not want to say anything negative about the situation? The problem is now I am not sure if I should confront him for being blind to reality or leave him in the belief he is in. (This happened between August 16 and 17, after the city of Kabul had fallen to the Taliban.)

Point to be noted: he is the son of some influential political figure and he came to India to study and his father would regularly visit India for some health-related issues.

Keep up the good work,


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