I am your subscriber from Pakistan. I hesitate to talk about saffronisation in India, for it might be seen as some point-scoring from a Pakistani and dismissed as an “enemy” agenda. Let me therefore start by saying that I don't speak from any pedestal of moral high-ground. How can I?
We in Pakistan, have long suffered at the hands of “Islamisation”, which was and remains a political project. Its pitfalls are so obvious, that I wonder why the Indian state would wish to go down the same path and what has happened to the people. Is there a silent majority somewhere? PB Mehta in writes, "The fact that a politics that has venom, hate, prejudice, violence, repression and deceit is not a deal breaker for voters is something to think about."
This is a profound question and while sitting in Pakistan and having seen the tragic trajectory of my own country, I shudder to think what it portends. As a Pakistani, I wish India well and hope it learns from our mistakes.
Last week, Hafta provoked me to do three things:
1) Watch Madhu’s, Alp’s ( I hope you don’t mind me calling your ex-boss that) and Manoj’s series on reporting from Kashmir during Newstrack days;
2) Read Alpana’s story on two friends; and lastly
3) Book my ticket for The Kashmir Files for Sunday's matinee show, because what the heck, I wanted to see what was being shown to us.
I know this sounds hypocritical, but I feel one thing the NL team has taught me in the last two years is to test the water yourself instead of believing in the opinionated comments of someone else. That being said, it was a great commentary and I never regretted renewing my subscription this time too. Thank you team for keeping up the great work.
Hi NL team,
I am a PhD student in the US and have been a subscriber of NL for more than a year. Would like to thank you guys for producing fun but informative news content.
I was actually recommending NL Hafta to a friend and talking about the subscription based news model. A question came up which I was not able to answer. Hope the team can help me understand it better. Here's the question:
How is a subscription based model free from corporate or government influence? Because one could argue that there could be large subscription based contributions from corporations to the news platform which could bias its reporting.
Hi NL team, just a request from my side. Is there any way you could provide member access to NL Hafta in any other podcast application like Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Spotify, etc?
On the web, if we stop the podcast in between and come back at a later time, the page reloads and the podcast has to be scrolled manually to the right spot to continue.
NL Hafta is one podcast I keep waiting for every week. The one on The Kashmir Files was really elaborate and detailed. Kudos for bringing in Ms Alpana for the podcast when the mainstream (Godi) media was broadcasting the usual high octane drama as news.
Keep missing the subscriber events like NL Baithak due to timing. It's too early for some of your ardent supporters on this side of the world. Blame it on the snooze button. It would be much better if you could move it by a couple of hours, at least for some of these events. Same applies to nearly all the subscriber events. This is not a complaint but just a wish. Thanks!!!
West Coast America
Hafta is awesome. Been listening for two years, subscriber for one and a half, at least. While Yogi winning was a given (at least for me), one thing that caught my eye was how polarising the campaign was. Not even dog whistles. Some of the other state elections aren’t that toxic. For example, Bihar wasn't like that during the 2020 election, if I remember. While Bengal was. Any thoughts on why this could be? Is it due to local politics, or leaders campaigning?
Being a liberal, I detest right-wing bigots. Now, I detest some elite liberals who put the onus of "saving democracy" on unlettered masses and these liberals do not respect the decision of the masses to vote for BJP.
On March 11, Vasundhara Sirnate-Drennan (co-founder of the Polis Project) tweeted, "Here’s a state where people seem to have voted against their own interests, because they’re convinced their religion is a bigger issue than anything else."
Mamata Banerjee (who has a poor record on governance and has utterly failed in controlling violence) winning Bengal polls is a victory of democracy for these liberals, but by voting BJP back to power, masses are mocked. This cabal of liberals also do not have a coherent, consistent view on the Indian judiciary. They take a U-turn, depending on the fact whether political prisoners have been granted bail or not. Last year, when the Delhi HC granted bail to Natasha Narwal and Asif Tanha in a UAPA case, they said that judiciary was taking on the authoritarian government. When Umar Khalid has been denied bail in that same UAPA case by a sessions court, it has become pliant.
In the last episode, Abhinandan did not discuss the violence that happened in Bengal even for two minutes. Also, while reading out the headlines, you talked about a buffoon, Tajinder Bagga, filing a defamation suit against Subramanian Swamy. You skipped mentioning a landmark in which a husband has been charged for rape (it has happened for the first time since marital rape is legal in India).
Hi NL team,
I've been a subscriber of NL for a few years now and have been following your YouTube channel and work since the very beginning. I appreciate your effort in trying to build an independent voice. This mail is targeted at your coverage on The Kashmir Files. For a team which says we are so factual and proud of their integrity, I don't think you folks did your homework on The Kashmir Files properly. The whole coverage smacked of blatant bias and disproportionate targeting of the film.
First of all, Vivek Agnihotri put four years of effort into making this. None of the media, Bollywood-wallahs, radio stations gave him an iota of coverage before the film became a hit.
Secondly, the film merely got some 400 screens on opening day. Aaj Tak and the likes of them, started covering only from Monday – when the film started grossing beyond Rs 10 crore per day and had become a people's movement. BJP just rode on it, beginning Monday. If the film was a flop, neither BJP nor NL or Aaj Tak would have covered it.
The film was made with a mere budget of Rs 15 crore, with no big stars and promotions. Vivek went to some 40-50 colleges in the US and built a base for this.
For a media organisation like yours which brags about factual reporting, you seem to have covered The Kashmir Files only with hatred for the director. The Kashmir Files was made outside the establishment. Nobody gave it coverage until everyone, including the BJP and the media, wanted to ride on the wave of The Kashmir Files. It's the people who made it a success not some media house. How can you get this wrong? Only explanation is your blatant bias for the director.
Most people, including me, just walked out of the theatre feeling empathetic towards Kashmiri Pandits and anger against mainstream media for not covering it enough as compared to Gujarat and Akhlaq case. You guys only seem to find some rants made by some goons, as opposed to seeing this as a people's reaction to Kashmiri Pandits.
Your rant of calling The Kashmir Files government propaganda doesn't make sense, since this was done outside the establishment and everybody rode on its success.
Also, how come you folks don’t seem to criticise AAP for not implementing Ayushman Bharat and One Nation-One Ration scheme in his state? Very conveniently you folks seem to ignore it.
If NL continues to display such pathetic bias and lack of homework, it will soon lose credibility. I seriously believe there is increasingly no contrarian view in your panels.
Abhinandan, I hope you do read this mail. Even if you don't pick it up for mails from readers, I still hope you get to read my mail. Thanks.
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