Dear NL team,
Looking forward to the conversation with Hasan Suroor. Even though I have reservations over his credibility, as he was caught for inappropriate behavior with a minor or a group pretending to be a minor.
Centre for the Study of Developing Societies professor Hilal Ahmed might be another option for Let’s Talk About.
Would like to appreciate you guys again for the amazing and diverse content you guys bring. I have a fun question to ask the panel this week: If not Modi then who? Lol. What I mean is who does the panel think, among the current crop and upcoming politicians, is PM material and able to take the country forward? Need at least one name from each panellist.
This rant is for Jayashree. Things were going swimmingly until she made some egregious statements about abortion law in India.
Sample this sequence:
"Oh no! It cannot be that termination is allowed as late as 24 weeks! Must be seven!"
"I've looked it up and find that I was just plain wrong, so i'll pontificate about how many doctors it takes and compare vasectomies with hysterectomies, and access problems that lead to back-alley abortions."
"Oh! These ignoramuses on Twitter claim that India is better, more fools."
Abortion is hard. There's the interaction between the law and the two-child norm (and hence female foeticide). There's viability vs bodily autonomy. But not to see that the bottleneck here is society, not the state, and that this changes abortion politics, is just plain silly.
(Lou was a great guest, kudos for booking her!)
The problem with your word limit – for people like me who want to squeeze a lot in – is the iterative editing makes it harder for y'all to read.
I am writing to comment on the discussion about India's position in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The discussions on Hafta had nice pointers about the strategic and historical aspects of India-Russia relationship, going back to 1956. But I was surprised to see no mention of the personality of Modi in shaping India's stance.
Modi was banned for a decade from visiting the US. While he was "welcomed" after becoming prime minister, things might not be too rosy in the future with the Democratic administration, as he and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh go on the project of Hindu rashtra. He has taken personal ownership of foreign policy and supposedly, has a knack for not forgetting any slight.
Given these factors, it is hard to argue that personal interests are not playing a role. For those who naively or, to deflect, claim that the decisions by him are taken only in national interests, I will remind them of the slogan “Abki baar Trump sarkar”. The statement suited his purpose despite it being harmful for India's interests.
Great to hear Abhinandan of all people critiquing the “special type of liberal” in India. I always felt that many prominent liberals (like their right-wing counterparts) are married to their ideology and ways of thinking and are not willing to change or compromise with changing time.
By compromising/changing, I don't mean abandoning their ideals, but taking a more pragmatic approach to politics and culture. I also feel that their analysis (and I am only talking of prominent liberals in media, activism, in the literary world, films, etc) of Indian society, history and religion is also very superficial and flawed, but I also would like the panel's view on this point.
Last year the US had 350,000 newborn babies. This was the first time the number was below one million since 1956. As you can see, it missed the one million mark by quite a distance. The rate at which the newborns are going down is quite alarming. The Supreme Court case to prevent abortion might be linked to this.
Canada needs 400,000 immigrants every year to sustain its economic growth. China is giving incentives to young couples to have a second and third child.
We know however, that unwanted children end up being criminals, as was illustrated in the US, when in early 90s, crime rate dropped dramatically because of the effects of the abortion law that had kicked in, in the late 70s.
I see Indians are in great demand in all English speaking Western countries. As I go about selling software services in these countries, I invariably end up dealing with an Indian as a C - level as well as junior executive. This is true for Australia, Canada, US, UK, Germany, to name a few.
Word limit over,
I gifted an NL subscription to my girlfriend (crush back then) on Valentine's Day 2021. One year later, we're still in a very good relationship.
Please shout out to Aditi and say that she's awesome! She appreciated this gift very much. I love Aditi and I love Newslaundry.
Your subscriber since 2020
Hi NL team,
Enjoyed Hafta 379, especially the discussion on how to report climate change. Agree that temperature rise is not a relatable metric for an individual. Recent is using mortality and morbidity. What if we report the number of deaths, direct and related, due to extreme weather events? A recent report from Monash University links five million deaths a year (about one million in India) due to abnormal temperatures. Do you think that kind of data could be obtained if journalists and scientists collaborate?
Adding to the discussion on alternative building materials, cement is the best kept secret in emission (8 percent of GHG). It is used liberally even where it is not required. Remember the work of Laurie Baker on sundried bricks and that of my friend, BVB Reddy of IISc Bangalore, on rammed earth buildings. To fly, technology needs wings of journalistic reach.
I was delighted to hear my letter being read out on Hafta 379 and being given due discussion time, with Mr Raman also pitching in. I completely concur with your view that some religious show is not only necessary but also inevitable in a religious country like India and as long as AAP was not spreading communal disharmony it conducting pujas or sharing pictures of temple visits or reciting the Hanuman Chalisa are okay.
I wrote to you and to Atul as a YouTube comment because I saw that video just after I heard Hafta 378.
Although every media portal that is working to peel the mask off the Modi government’s chhavi building activities is doing valuable work, I find that the Wire's views of liberals like professor Apoorvanand on AAP's adoption of a show of Hindu religiosity, fit into your description of the college auditorium liberals.
At the same time, I was also disappointed to note that the top leadership of AAP has not agreed to give NL an interview, while taking time out to go to Godi channels to woo that audience. It is because of this, that I worry that with the passage of time AAP might indeed turn a deeper shade of saffron as divide and rule politics is so much easier than the difficult route of governance politics.
So, please try your best to convince the AAP leadership to give an interview to NL or at least fill a questionnaire by NL.
I wish to once again congratulate you and your hardworking team on increasing NL's offerings and keeping us hooked on to your channel. As a loyalist of Ravish Kumar's prime time as my go-to source for news analysis, I must say that NL is giving him serious takkar in competing for my attention. I often find myself watching prime time later and reading NL before. :-)
I have a question for next week's Hafta (if you remember or wish to take it up :-))
Doesn't watching godi channels daily, psychologically impact team NL and Manisha in particular? The small dose of Godi media that I get through Newsance sends shivers down my spine and makes me despair and worry about what a huge number of people are consuming day in and out without flinching. We have such people in every family too I am sure.
Thanks again for reading my letter on NL Hafta😊
I have contributed to the Ramdev and MP NL sena projects.
Warm regards and best wishes,
Hey NL team,
*This is a response, not necessarily a question*
It was a bit surreal to hear Manisha and Abhinandan talk about my mail in the Hafta last week. Manisha misreading my name as Akshay was heartwarming, it's a mistake no one I meet here in Leuven makes so it's very nostalgic for me!
Regarding the podcast, while I wasn't expecting this, I would love to participate in a discussion about basically anything related to social and cultural psychology. I previously worked with Dr Jan-Willem van Prooijen, who specialises in conspiracy theories and extremism research for my master thesis (focussing on conspiracy mentality). So I would also be well-positioned to discuss the psychology of hate and intergroup relations.
However, I think it's important to note that I am very much an early career researcher, and cannot claim to be an expert in the field (although I'm hopefully getting there).
That said, I believe science outreach can complement good journalism, and I’m looking forward to hopefully collaborating with you in the future. :)
Hi NL team, I have been a subscriber since 2021. It was a very good discussion in last week's Hafta. Here are some of my insights:
1) Your discussion on pro-choice was very peripheral. I would suggest doing a future episode solely on this topic.
2) I agree, Prashant Kishor is not going to make an iota of difference in this country, where people are more worried about Hindu-Muslim and caste, instead of unemployment and pollution. Don't believe me? Ask Kanhaiya Kumar.
3) Abhinandan, your I Agree with Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga was too good man. Keep it up.
4) Bring in Anand more in the panel because he has a lot of knowledge to share, but please ask him to be more precise. I would like to see more stories from those parts of India. We do not usually talk more about North-East, South etc. I suggest instead of sending journalists to these places, hire local indie journos.
Keep up the good work,
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