Hafta letters: 21 din mein paisa double, lotus tendencies, capitalism

NL subscribers get back with bouquets and brickbats!

ByNL Team
Hafta letters: 21 din mein paisa double, lotus tendencies, capitalism
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Hi Team,

The word limit for letters has been going down unfortunately so I have a suggestion to potentially drive up engagement. Along with written letters, we can encourage people to send sound bytes or videos asking their questions or giving their feedback. It can be time restricted to say 60 secs. This way it might be easier for you guys get audio-visual cues of the letters so that there are no misunderstandings as well.

I consume a podcast from Adam Regusea and he encourages his viewers to send an audio or video with a transcript. Link to his podcast attached for reference and time frame of a viewer question also mentioned below:


Viewer question from 0:30 to 1.12 mins.

Apni awaaz podcast mein sunne aur sunane ka thrill can be a good incentive to subscribe. Editorial filters are still in your hands. 21 din mein paisa double.



Results of 2024 often comes up in discussions and it’s obviously not possible to predict. But does anyone see BJP losing power? They won 303 + 18 (SS). Considering majority of 272, they need to lose 50+ seats and given their operation lotus tendencies, may be by more than 75+.

They won almost all seats in BR, MH, UP, RAJ, GJ, MP, KA & 80% in UP. Had 18 in WB too. ~260. Do you guys see them losing 50+ seats in these states and thus making a dent in their majority? May be some in WB & BR going by the trends of assembly elections.



You touched on the issue of adulterated cough syrups a few episodes ago. It's happened again this time artificial tears drops (made in India)  that are as ubiquitous as cough drops have killed one, blinded 5 and infected 55 overall across 12 states in the United States. I haven't used this particular brand of drops but as a user of artificial tears I have lost confidence in 'Made in India' drugs. The response of Indian authorities was as you discussed on the show - "These are not sold in India".



Kudos for starting the new NL Sena project 'Ways to disappear'. Already did my bit. Migration is an extremely sensitive and timely topic. From the teaser, it looks like the project will cover migration of Indians to the USA. One request: stay away from using the phrase 'illegal immigrants'. Use 'undocumented migrants' instead. On top of purely economic reasons, climate change is only going to exacerbate migration - both domestic and cross-border. So it's important not to stigmatise migration, even the undocumented ones.



1) Hi Abhinandan, you said capitalism is a zero-sum game; I think you are confused between inequality and zero-sum-game. Zero-sum-game is a proper term in economics it means "an exchange between two parties which leads to gain for one party and an equal loss for another party, net being zero" e.g. donation, where gain of Rs 5 for beneficiary is loss of Rs5 for benefactor.

Basic unit of capitalism is trade; and trade is a positive sum game, e.g I make a mean cup of coffee and you make an excellent podcast; I can give you my coffee which makes you active and your podcast will make my life richer by new ideas. Now it will generate huge inequality because you can sell the same podcast to 10,000 people but I can sell the same coffee only to 1 person, but that doesn't mean this world is not better than a world where coffee rationed by govt canteen and podcast is produced by a socialist committee.

Won't discuss ur "illiterate" jibe on me because one-upmanship in letters isn't fun as much as in person!



I believe that capitalism is the best way for human flourishing is not because of illiteracy or because everywhere capitalist policies have been tried they generated net positive flourishing than socialist policies but because of the following fundamental facts:

a) Humans have a variety of desires which are different than other human beings and change over time, (b) No single human can satisfy their desires on their own (c) it is not possible for anyone to know in advance all of people's desires and for all the times.

Therefore mutual exchange/trade is the most efficient way for desire satisfaction; trade /exchange require that people own things and contract are honoured i.e after I give you coffee you give me the podcast you promised, if you don't I should be able to invoke the state's power and sue you. Socialism limits people's right to own & exchange by presuming that committees can predict who needs what and to what extent, which is a recipe for suffering be it housing or healthcare.



I was compelled to write after hearing Abhinandan & Manisha use the word primitive (not in a flattering way) to describe Qatari people. Allowing a country to host an international event and then s*** on them for not catching up to the western ideals is condescending to say the least. Calling a culture primitive because a few wealthy people (gay or straight) were whining about not being able to fly anywhere on earth and feel safe?!, i.e. drink alcohol and hold hands, is laughable and so out of touch with reality.

Qataris do not want drunk brawls in stadiums or on their streets. It is as simple as that. 

They can definitely do better when it comes to women, lgbtq and migrant rights but so can the western countries when it comes to their treatment of the indigenous people and people of colour. Yet one will never hear you or anyone else for that matter call Americans or Australians "primitive".

By the way, love listening to Hafta. Keep up the great work!



We had two stories from foreign sources: the BBC documentary and Adani report. NDTV or India Today archives should have enough material to make a better documentary and what better time than the  20th Anniversary of Gujarat riots that just passed. Similarly, most of the research by Hindenburg is in public domain and was done by a small company whose primary job is to make money.

 What I would like to argue is that such stories can no longer be done in Indian media anymore. At best there will be some sporadic mention of such issues but in-depth coverage and analysis showing the big picture is no longer possible. Of course, Hindenburg had its own agenda to make money. Foreign media such as BBC, NYT and Economist will have their own biases and only a sporadic gaze on India. But that is the most reliable coverage on India especially about matters that matter. This might seem harsh, especially to NL folks who do their part but issues with Indian media are bigger than just funding.



Hi Newslaundry, admire your work.

This is with reference to the interview with that Marathi RSS guy who charged BJP with causing bomb attacks in anti BJP States just before an election, in Bengal, there's been a slew of crude bomb attacks killing children (!!), placed in sweets, or as balls in playgrounds, etc in Bengal; local bjp crooning over failure of TMC, godi media playing along with the goons. Also, the affair of "usurped" land of Prof. Amartya Sen is by (Santiniketan) Visva Bharati univ VC, a direct nominee from Centre, PM being our Chancellor, and all the adverse reporting by godi media. Wish someone would report all this at a national level. We don't want any bjp in Bengal. It's still perhaps the least bigoted of all states!

Warm regards, from Santiniketan 



Hi NL Team. Keep up the good work. One suggestion, for all podcasts, as its in discussion format recorded a day or two before release, if you can have a section at the end like fact check and update which will keep the listener updated.

On the Hindenburg report, most of the facts reported were known to investors, why a report from a short seller make so much impact rather than actual news reports from journalists.



Very disappointed with the discussion on the adani group on hafta 418. While the fact that Adani’s rise is associated with Modi definitely makes it a special case-that’s not the thing that separates adani from other Indian industrialists. What separates them is how far adani went about manipulating his stock price, how debt-ridden his companies are etc. Please call a stock-market expert on the next Hafta who makes arguments using facts! Would be better.



Can anyone please provide updates on the Hathras documentary? When is it coming out? There was an NL Sena project for this around a year ago which was completed.



This is an appreciation post. It was great to hear Jayati Ghosh on Hafta 418 - her positions as a development economist were clear and logical. It reminded me of why I should pay for news. Apropos Raman’s correction about ‘Decision to Leave’ - I want to request all to watch it nonetheless! It’s a beautiful movie. Finally, hafta isn’t hafta without Nikku, just like Newsance isn’t that without Manisha!



Have a sincere disagreement with Jayati’s views on budget. Food & fertiliser subsidy required drawdown after covid. MGNREGA might not need more funds – rather more tightening of quality. Fiscal deficit must be low to avoid crowding out private investment.

We seriously need to prioritize capex – for capital formation & employment generation. It has a multiplier effect of more than 200%. When roads are built, access to healthcare also increases. We need to build, build, build and then build some more for next 10-15 years

Can I humbly request to question the expert views a little more deeply - when she conveniently skipped the question if there was anything good at all in the budget.

And please hold the economists accountable when they say only 5% of 1.3 Bil Indians pay taxes. Please filter out children & elderly, then % females in workforce. Our tax net is still very small – but randomly saying 5% is not justified for an economist of her stature.

Apologize if the tone sounds harsh.



Hi NL Team,

Have been a subscriber for almost two years. Your website, in-depth reports, and podcasts are my primary way of consuming news. One question - the 200th episode of Newsance was littered with youtube ads. Was wondering why this happened?

Keep doing the good work!




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