Hi NL team,
Great work on the Aravalli plunder series.
This week has led to many rude awakenings for me, one because the deputy chief minister of Uttar Pradesh resorted to whataboutery to avoid criticism on Haridwar “Dharma Sansad”, and because I found out that not only was a similar conclave held in Congress ruled Chhattisgarh but similar calls to violence against Muslims and Christians were made.
It is a sobering realisation that 21st century India might be the site of attempted genocide. Since politically this is unstoppable, I implore you to please cover these calls to violence and acts of bigotry so that future generations can learn what led to the violence.
Hi NL team. Happy new year. I'm a long time subscriber and avid listener of Hafta, yet this is the first time I'm writing to you.
I like watching Manisha's Newsance and Meghnand's Sansad Watch. I find their satirical take on events quite engaging.
The main reason for my subscription is your engagement to ad-free journalism and your ground reporting and I will continue to do so, unconditionally. Although I find your climate journalism currently inadequate, lacking in will or perhaps in resources, which is a shame because as an ad-free platform you are well placed to cover it. The mainstream media will never accurately present the climate catastrophe facing us because any substantial political action goes against vested interests of their advertisers. And when they do, they will rather sell you unproven techno fixes like CCS. We should not forget that we are not all in the same boat when it comes to a systemic collapse of society. This fact is perfectly depicted in the film Don't Look Up.
Hello guys, had a question for Abhinandan: Given the growing profile and popularity of Manisha, are you afraid she may leave Newslaundry to start her own YouTube channel? How difficult is it to retain popular talent in a digital news organisation given the low cost of starting up your own enterprise.
You guys are keeping democracy alive in India. Keep up the great work.
In light of the "Bulli Bai" and "Tek Fog" cases, I have a request: NL should launch an NL Sena project to study the effects of modern exponential technologies on Indian youth. You'll need to focus more on how tech can be misused, instead of focusing on the people involved.
Please refer to the book The Exponential Age by Azeem Azhar, a tech expert. The author argues how modern computing technologies will improve exponentially in the near future, while traditional institutions will be left far behind. This will cause problems we can't even imagine right now.
I would rest at ease if a larger conspiracy is uncovered with respect to the "Bulli Bai" case. Larger conspiracies can be understood and digested.
The scarier scenario is that there is no larger conspiracy. That the fabric of our society was put at risk, by a bunch of coders with nothing but a keyboard, and the poison of mass media in their minds.
Dear NL team,
We have seen the opposition stand up to the centre. We have also seen them support journalists and activists who have been wrongly arrested. However, what steps do you think the opposition state government should take to help in the fight for democracy? Can they bring in laws protecting freedom of expression for the media in their states? Can they establish legal defence funds for lawsuits? It seems like we should be asking more of these opposition parties to put their money where their mouths are.
Hi Manisha, I wanted to suggest a 2015 documentary called . We as a race are causing the largest extinction right now! I loved the way the activists have protested and how the documentary has compiled events from different locations.
Maybe Abhinandan can discuss this documentary on Awful and Awesome.
Hi team, I’m a new subscriber, and this is my first letter indeed. I really loved the last episode. The input about Central Vista was really great from the guest. Abhinandan and Manisha were fabulous as always, missed Raman Sir though. About the PM security lapse issue, what do you guys think? If it was really a life threatening experience, it wasn't right for the PM to be sarcastic about it. I think it’s also the reason it kind of backfired.
One more thing as you guys are going to be in Punjab, I would really appreciate it if we can get a report on the drug issue there. I was born and raised in UP, but spent like 10 years working there so it’s a legit issue there, but it seems now people have kind of made peace with it. Rather than trying to fix the issue, people just want their kid to do IELTS after 12th and go to Canada for study and then settle there. Even nowadays I can see opium consumption normally being bragged about in Punjabi songs and no one has a problem with it.
Hey NL team! As usual I didn't agree with what Chetan said! I don’t understand why he should be considered a progressive/liberal voice of any repute if he has surrendered his natural rights by choosing to live in an anocracy like Singapore.
Secondly, he again made the Wire-OpIndia comparison for which he got so much criticism by Hafta listeners last time as well.
Thirdly, I don’t expect him to have great insight into Bahujan or Mandal politics, but to write off these resignations from BJP or to write off a leader like Mayawati from the entire election shows complete lack of understanding of UP politics! BJP in 2012 had only 15 percent vote share, in 2017 they got 39 percent. This rise of 24 percent comes from non-Yadav OBC and non-Jatav SC communities whom Amit Shah brought to the BJP using social engineering. Due to inherent contradictions of Hindutva and Yogi’s governance they have been alienated to a large degree, and this callback to social justice is more potent than social engineering and is something to take note of.
Hi, hope those going through Covid in the team have recovered well and others are keeping safe.
Just on Chetan Bhagat's rather inaccurate and tone-deaf comments about India not being subject to abject poverty anymore, Chetan would be well advised to learn that India ranks 101 out of 116 countries on - with rampant child wasting being a particular concern. That's worse than most countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Thanks for all the work that you guys do.
1. What does NL think of sharing equity with its subscribers? Having one board seat worth equity distributed among subscribers with a rotating representation from the subscribers is something I think that can protect the ethos of your work and future proof it.
2. As a part of your data journalism, can you consider ideas from subscribers? For example, I would love to see a study of the percentage representation of policymakers across the country (state and centre since independence) that is hereditary. A comparison to other democracies and the implications for the country if this number has only steadily increased in 75 years would be great to read/listen to.
Chetan Bhagat isn't a journalist or a subject matter expert. You were not discussing literature. How is he qualified to be a guest on Hafta? Who's your next guest? "Brand guru" Suhel Seth? NL Hafta can turn into Times Now if you aren't more discerning about the guests you invite. Also, not cool that he isn't even asked about the 2018 #MeToo allegations. Shame, Abhinandan.
Thanks for all the good work. I was amazed to listen to the Siddharth controversy and his tweet about cock and bull. "Allegedly" she co-owns the newly opened pub with the same name. This came up six months back. Siddharth, as someone who is connected with Hyderabad, probably has indicated that. Since you guys have interviewed him in the past you can verify with him or you can independently verify this. This is located in Hitec City in Hyderabad. Overall it was disappointing for a Hafta conversation.
Fix podcast servers. the description.
Please convey thanks to Sonu from your team who had called to confirm on dispatch for the goodies of Christmas offer! I did bore him with a bad PJ.
With regards to Hafta 363, I would love to know your take on the Congress campaign in UP. It may not result in votes however I do feel it’s a rare positive campaign focused on women. While the party does have its own rot to deal with, the UP campaign does show signs of trying to create a positive impact. There is an Aaj Tak interview of daughter of Kuldeep Sengar questioning Priyanka - such reporting was necessary after INC had given ticket to Asha Singh
Moreover, what would be the implications of a UP defeat on the BJP, and Modi, Yogi and Shah? Will a Yogi defeat also clear out competition for Shah? Because unlike state elections, the national elections can still be won comfortably by the BJP if they can create a ‘Hindu khatre mein hai’ narrative that they wove after the Bengal debacle and ensuing attacks on BJP functionaries.
Keep up the good work!
Hi NL team, regular Hafta listener here. I have questions for Abhinandan mainly but also for everyone present who listen to podcasts regularly - what is your podcast listening habit? That is, how do you maintain a balance of topics and time and avoid the fatigue of listening to too many podcasts on similar topics throughout a week? Do you have a podcast calendar? Also thanks Jayashree for the book recommendation in Hafta 360, really enjoyed the book and and have found a new taste for true stories of endurance and survival.
Hey, I have found myself in a grey area too when it comes to engaging with people who are extremely poisonous and I agree with both Chetan and Abhinandan on this, but issue comes in when you provide a platform to all, (which I think should be the case) the maturity also lies with the audience to take it just as a story that journalist covered or also spot/read on the extreme points that a person like Kapil Mishra might mention in an interview which I feel is lacking in not only Indian citizens but around the world.
Also, I do like reading a lot of books and am generally not a fan of people who have forgotten this format altogether, but it was interesting how right after picking this topic Chetan mentioned a very interesting podcast which got me thinking that maybe videos/podcasts/series are the new information formats and we shouldn't be so harsh on people not reading books as they have easier access to other formats.
Would be interesting to know what the panel thinks.
This is in response to the very cynical letter in Hafta 363 which made the argument that most NL subscribers are in the top three percent and that they would be threatened by all that NL stands for.
I'm not in the top three percent (15 percent maybe) but well, it's still a tad too dramatic to assume that anyone in the privileged section of society would be opposed to a better society and a better democracy. Things working better for everyone ultimately benefits us all. Even otherwise, I think that most of us are not terrible people who want to keep historic systems of oppression running and I believe that we all would be happier in a world with less suffering.
Love the work you all do, Newsance got me to subscribe, Hafta and the great reporting are keeping me here. Thank you and keep going,
Hi Abhinandan, this is my second letter to the same episode. It’s unacceptable but perhaps you can take this up later.
You mentioned Kapil Mishra many times. Since you were closely associated with the Jan Lokpal movement and the Aam Aadmi Party, I am guessing you must have come in contact with Kapil, Kumar Viswas, Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav. Except Manish Sisodia, most have abandoned the ship. What happened? I watched the Kapil Mishra speech vs Anupam Kher at Jaipur Lit Fest and then now, he’s become such a venomous hate-monger. What personal ideology permits such things? I’ve heard that AAP had a tacit support of the Sangh in Delhi, is that true? If not, what justifies such caricatures, floaters and hate-mongers of people who once fought for a corruption free state? Would really love to know your views on the journey of AAP and the compromises & motivations that brought these people together and disintegrate from the party later on.
Hi Hafta team, recently got a six month subscription. Please do a report on recent allegations on heavy adulteration of Pongal gift items in Tamil Nadu. I hope you will be unbiased. BJP alliance is not in power there. Keep up the good work.
1. I see a lot of similarities between your model (subscription, NL Sena) and The Young Turks in the US (subscription, TYT Army). Is this a coincidence, or is there a deeper connection?
2. Quick feedback for Anand. We know you are smart, you don't need sentences like: "The quantifiable validation for such inferences can be derived from the comparative numbers for the readership of the digital platforms of legacy media entities and online alternative media portals." This sentence would have sufficed: "This can be verified by comparing the readership numbers of digital portals of legacy media and alternative online media."
Dear NL team,
I was listening to NL Hafta over the weekend and was quite disappointed by the discussion on UP elections and particularly with Chetan Bhagat's understanding of the situation. I have written into the show but due to the word limit I wasn't able to put into context the entire situation and hence am sending this piece in which I try to put all the defections, caste politics etc. into context for those who do not have a deep understanding of UP politics particularly or those who are not Hindi speaking and cant understand NL Hafta!
Hi NL team,
I have been an NL subscriber for a while now. Used to be a mufatkhor during my law school days but I ensured that I became a subscriber right after getting a job. Main reason to subscribe was the weekly Hafta podcast. However, the quality of Hafta discussions has reduced considerably. The topics are discussed in a haphazard and shallow manner. Abhinandan needs to stop rambling with long questions. Hoping for more in-depth contribution from the Hafta members (other than Abhinandan - who needs to let others speak).
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