I am deeply disappointed at Mr Sekhri's attitude towards the topic of stand-up comics not being allowed to perform.
Firstly, the entire panel is factually wrong on this topic, which is very shameful. Munawar's shows in Mumbai (not just BJP-ruled states) were as well. A simple Google search will show that some shows in Mumbai were cancelled as well. Before speaking about a topic, the least you could do is get your facts right.
Mr Sekhri's constant insistence that Munawar's comedy is not funny is just immature and stupid because not everyone likes all forms of comedy. I think you should learn to make a distinction between a Hafta podcast and an Awful and Awesome review. Also, learn to pronounce the name of the individual you are discussing in the right way before putting forth your opinion on the topic.
You can find a certain stand up routine unfunny or even stupid but can have enough maturity to understand that other people can find it funny because of their life experiences. So, judging whether it is funny or not is irrelevant.
Hi NL Team,
I wanted to know the views of the Hafta panel on some issues that have dominated the headlines in the past even though they may not be of much relevance today.
Firstly, I was watching an interview of lawyer Mehmood Pracha with Lallantop where he suggested that the Students' Islamic Movement of India and the Indian Mujahedeen did not even exist and were used by the erstwhile UPA government to persecute Muslims. SIMI and IM have vanished in the last few years and fortunately even the terrorist attacks in non-border areas have almost stopped. Were SIMI and IM really a figment of imagination? Then, there have been concerns raised by both the Congress as well as the Left regarding the fundamentalism and violence that PFI has unleashed in Kerala. It was also involved in the 2020 Bangalore riots. But still neither Kerala nor the Indian government could ban it. What are your views on these organisations and the narrative around them?
Secondly, I wonder why there is support and sympathy for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Tamil Nadu. It is truly saddening to hear of the human rights abuses that Sri Lankan Tamils had been subjected to. But didn’t LTTE interfere in the democratic process of India by assassinating Rajiv Gandhi to ensure that he did not come to power? Then why do DMK and AIADMK demand the release of those who had taken part in the conspiracy to assassinate Rajiv Gandhi? Don’t you think this popular sentiment in Tamil Nadu goes against India's national interest?
Hi team, in the previous podcast, Manisha was asking how race started to enter stand-up comedy. In the USA, there was this series named 'Def Comedy Jam'. It was a show where black comedians would perform standup and the audience too was almost entirely African American. I have only seen clips of it, but it would give you an idea about the black standup comedy culture in the USA. Some big names have performed there too... Martin Lawrence, Dave Chapelle, Eddie Griffin, Chris Tucker and so on.
I just wanted to bring to your attention the plight of resident doctors. The NEET PG exam required for entry into postgraduate medical specialities was supposed to be held in January 2021, was held in September 2021, and the seat allotment process is yet to start. With a case regarding EWS reservation underway in the Supreme Court, the overworked residents in medical colleges are at breaking point and there is no attention or coverage about this anywhere! They are understaffed and dealing with a pandemic since it seems like forever and nobody cares! Thousands are waiting for their PG seats while we need more doctors to share the load. Please cover this story. It needs to be told.
Sometime back there was news of Prashant Kishor being in discussions with Rahul Gandhi for joining Congress. There were debates on what role he would play and open anti sentiments from internal members of the party, especially G-23, to that idea. Last week, Prashant Kishor gave statements about how ineffective the Congress leadership is, taking a dig at Rahul Gandhi, and it attracted attacks on him by people from the Congress. I'm completely lost about what happened between these two incidents where Prashant Kishor's relationship with the Congress changed. What did I miss?
Dear Abhinandan and team,
In last week's NL Hafta, you guys mentioned a Charcha episode on cryptocurrency. I was curious and checked it out (my first Hindi podcast ever!). It was amazing. It was informative as well as a bit thought provoking. I request your team to redo the podcast in English if possible. It would really benefit the non-Hindi speaking audiences.
Keep up the good work. Special thanks to Manisha for brightening our Saturdays :)
Hi Abhinandan, I am a subscriber and a fan of your work. Enjoyed your conversation with Amit Verma on The Seen and the Unseen podcast very much. I live in the US and usually listen to NL Hafta in the car or on my walks. The website and the whole UI suck big time - so much so that I have stopped listening to it. I will still continue to pay to keep news free :) but unless you get an app or something, it is going to be hard to consume your content (which I love, btw).
Dear Abhinandan, in the last episode you had given a recommendation regarding a podcast on the British Royal family and how long UK taxpayers will "tolerate" them as head of state. I would recommend a video by CGP Grey where he explains how the Royal family actually brings in more revenue from tickets, merchandise, advertising and public property than what UK tax payers pay for the upkeep of their lifestyle! Additionally, a far more interesting topic is that of Commonwealth countries removing the British monarch as their head of state like what Barbados did recently by becoming a republic, which wasn't covered much by the media.
I had also tried to read up on why movements for a republic aren't more popular in the Commonwealth countries like Canada, Australia and New Zealand. I came to the conclusion that some of the indigenous populations like the Maori in New Zealand, aborigines in Australia and Inuits and native Americans in Canada actually hold on to their treaties with the British crown as a very important tool for bargaining with their respective governments regarding special rights and privileges.
I thought I'd share this interesting piece of trivia, as we in India overlook this when we talk about the British monarchy and paint them like a pretentious Kardashian-esque family due to both popular culture and the nature of our colonisation. But for some communities they genuinely see the Queen and the Crown as guarantors of their indigenous rights!
I am new to Newslaundry. Is there any programme made on elected members (politicians) moving parties?
1. Are there any rules in the Constitution penalising the elected members?
2. Everyone knows but doesn't want to speak for whatever reason best known.
3. What has changed since Independence in this regard?
4. We say India is not a presidential election, but all debates speak otherwise.
5. What are the good and bad things about the election commission?
I often feel I don't do enough to spread the word about NL. So I've created a community in my workplace. If there are any Amazon employees listening to this podcast, feel free to join the Newslaundry community page.
You guys are doing a great job with Newslaundry and I am proud to support your mission. The farm laws withdrawal looks to be a strategic withdrawal and I agree with Raman Kripal that it was done with an eye on the elections. That being said, the government should retrospect (if they do, that is) on the way they shoved these through the parliament. I certainly think that a tremendous opportunity has been missed when we need reforms in various sectors like land, labour and education. The way these laws were pushed through, and with equal ease withdrawn, does not bode well for any reforms in our country. As we all know that the present model is beyond its "use by" date and it isn't viable neither for the small farmer and FCI that subsidises it. I suggest you need to bring in some contrarian views in the podcast and not let it be an echo chamber. I think Anand is that counter balance. My suggestion is to have Makarand.
Dear NL team, thank you for the great work you are doing. As a teenager in the 90s, I vividly remember how kamandal and mandal politics was scoffed at by my classmates and close friends. For a long time I was confused how some of those same friends, judging by their recent Facebook rants and rabid posts, became so communal? One probable answer dawned on me while cleaning my old book case. I came across 10-12 children books from Gita Press Gorakhpur glorifying the valor of Rajput and Maratha princes protecting cow slaughter by Muslims and sacrifices of princesses committing jauhar to protect their honor. These books seemed like the Indian version of The Birth of a Nation. As I recollect, these books were quite popular and even available in railway station bookstalls. Reading them you could see how those narratives may have changed the perspective of impressionable minds of millions of children. While researching this angle, I came across Akshaya Mukul's book Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India. I would appreciate it if the NL Hafta team has read this book and can provide their thoughts on this topic. Does my insinuation about Gita Press hold any merit ? If yes, looking forward to an NL report on this "under the radar" organisation shaping our country's polity.
Hi Newslaundry team
Really loved Hafta 357. I wanted to know the panel's view on J Sai Deepak and can you do an interview with him? Also please try to get Gurcharan Das on Hafta to discuss the farm laws cause his in Times of India was really good and he would be able to provide some great insights.
Hi NL Team,
While your pitch is, pay to keep news free, which some others have started to say as well, I think you have another differentiator that made me subscribe. I may be wrong but I feel that you are more like an employee-owned organisation where you sincerely seek subscriber participation. It's a trinity of the owner (if there is any), employees and the subscribers. If it is true, then it is an interesting experiment and I would like to watch its scalability as you grow. I have spent my life in university education where the situation used to be similar. I have observed an opposite transition. As the university grew, professional managers took over the leadership and the academics felt left out. What do you envisage when you are a listed company with a board, if at all? How do you propose to ensure the role of a subscriber as a stakeholder too? A little digressively, what's your take on something like what Yanis Varoufakis in Another Now?
Another point... Do you ever envisage being heard or watched by non-Hindi speakers? The participants often switch to Hindi, possibly unaware, while Jayashree says that she doesn't understand the language. It stops me from recommending NL to non-Hindi speakers.
Why was my mail submitted around December 6 read ? Is it because it was critical? I submitted the letter via the form and as the other subscriber who mentioned on the Hafta today, please check and let me know if there was an error at my end?
Can you please add a feature where you can send a copy of the feedback to the submitter? I am assuming the form is accessible only to subscribers?
I am a regular listener, Hafta has been a part of my Saturday schedule for a while. Keep up the good work. A few pointers to improve the quality of Hafta discussions:
Please do more homework. Charcha listener-mails landing in Hafta and being pushed to Charcha from Hafta is disrespecting listeners, in my opinion! Similarly, If there are letters about Anand, discuss them in his presence (courtesy?). Even if it happens, why won't you edit it out?
Hafta is a weekly podcast. Wonder why ephemeral "breaking news" is "announced" in Hafta (like xyz is meeting abc now, yada yada). It also shows that you are not fully into the discussion while recording?
Hosts not allowing others to complete their thoughts, and later justifying by saying things like the guests were in a hurry; please stop doing that.
Like Aakar mentioned, please let experts do the talking, than commenting on areas where you lack expertise.
Though some of Abhinandan's comments on investing are on a lighter note, when it gets repeated, it becomes boring. Avoid casual investment comments. Stick to the high standards you try to bring in others in your discussions as well? Why do you want to give others a chance to quote you in the wrong context ?
Thought experiment: Imagine what would have been the outrage in India if Money Heist was set in an Indian context? Maybe that's why the quintessential desi-IT-guy is from Pakistan in the series!
I had sent an email dated December 15 to be read during the Hafta discussion. Since I had sent it through the podcast letter submission page, I don’t have a copy of it. It was sent by Akshat Bhushan from a subscriber account by the name of Apurva Bhushan. I request you to please read that mail out in the Hafta next week.
Hi NL Team. Merry Xmas to everyone.
You people are doing amazing work. I like Hafta, Charcha, Awful and Awesome, and Reporters Without Orders. Though many people have many complaints about many things, I have none.
A special mention of Mr Anand Vardhan. He is well-read and always very careful about the line where information ends and opinion begins. In the religion podcast I almost laughed when he said he is an agnostic. He should come more often on Hafta and Charcha.
I have a request for Ms Manisha:
These days every media house is doing podcasts and podcasts are not covered by Newsance.
One such podcast is 'Teen Taal' by Aaj Tak. It was started as a lighthearted humorous take on things around us. It now has a big fan following in small towns. They also have their own WhatsApp group. The kind of narratives the podcast propagates, especially Mr Kamlesh Kishore Singh (I think he is the editor), is way too problematic.
Recently, the podcast trivialised the lynchings as something which is way too exaggerated because people record everything and upload on social media. There are other such narratives but I have a word count limit and I think you got the idea of their work. They often take a dig at media houses who use the term 'Godi Media' for them. I really think they are way too cunning and doing way too much harm due to their lighthearted format. They must be brought to Newsance if possible.
A weekly guide to the best of our stories from our editors and reporters. Note: Skip if you're a subscriber. All subscribers get a weekly, subscriber-only newsletter by default.