Hafta letters: Attacks in Australia, high court elevations, Hafta quotes

NL subscribers get back with bouquets and brickbats!

WrittenBy:NL Team
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Suggestion: Let's pay more attention to digital media in addition to mainstream media. There's good and bad journalism online with substantial viewership. Let's talk about it on Alternate Newsance and Hafta, call out good journalism, and condemn bad. Channels to discuss: Scroll, Print, Wire, Lallantop, ANI, WION, etc. Thoughts on Smita Prakash's podcast on ANI?

Regarding a subscriber's question about getting Ravish on board, it was laughed off as too expensive. But did NL approach him after his exit from NDTV, even if it's to write a weekly column? Even a tiny percentage of Ravish's followers subscribing to NL would be a good financial decision and a statement in favour of a good journalist. Let Ravish decline if he can't join NL, but let's stand with him if we respect him.

Suggestion for the next Media Rumble: public invite to primetime hosts for a panel discussion. Let them decline if they wish.



Hello NL Hafta team,

The interview with Ram Guha was candid and insighful. I wish the interview questions had been shorter. Since Ram Guha had mentioned Pratap Bhanu Mehta, it'd be great if NL could interview him too.

Thank you and keep up the good work!



Hi all, long-time subscriber.

There have been reports in the media of tension between Hindus and Sikhs in Australia, the latest being an attack on the Indian consulate in Brisbane by K'stan on February 24. I looked it up on Google and the only "local source" I can see is The Australia Today. All Indian media cite reports from TAT.

As listed on their website, TAT is founded by some Indians and focuses on India-Australia ties. My bias straight away assumes it must be another propaganda website. I've been in Brisbane for a decade and I haven't heard of such a portal. I am unable to find such news on any other popular Australian news portals.

I wonder if TAT could be funded by the right-wing and the Indian media is quoing it as a source. But where does this stop? This is the same argument as "tukde-tukde gang" being funded by international agencies. People with Khalistani views is a reality but not everything reported can be believed either.

It's so hard to convince family in India. It would be good if a report could be developed on such "soures" quoted in the media.




Hi NL team,

A regular listener and subscriber for two years now.

In last week's Hafta, Manisha mentioned discussing with Atul about not joking about Modi anymore (specifically calling him Dankapati) as a caution against getting arrested. The same sentiment was also echoed by Atul on Charcha.

My question:

1) Have we reached that stage where we are anticipating even YouTube criticisms and light-hearted jokes getting sharp retaliations? 

b) Do you foresee these retaliatory steps also affecting freelance reporting or digital reporting in the near future? 



Hi NL team,

In my last Hafta letter, I mentioned the Centre rejected an advocate for high court elevation for his views. It was actually two advocates. Here's a link to an article about it.

John Sathyan: social media posts that were "critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi"

Somasekhar Sundaresan: "highly biased opinionated person" and "selectively critical on social media on the important policies, initiatives and directions of the government"

My old letter was not read, which was on the 2022 World Cup issue. I think FIFA should be blamed for this whole fiasco. In 2014 Brazil World Cup, when there was an alcohol ban in football stadiums there (to curb fan violence), FIFA bulldozed its way through and the ban had to be lifted because of the sponsor. Maybe Brazil government was not rich enough to "purchase" the ban like Qatar did (mere speculation).



Hello Hafta eam,

Recently I noticed that the NL YouTube channel has started putting quotes of NL panellists. While the quotes are powerful and convey the speaker's message, I am concerned that such quotes may require a broader context that Hafta listeners can understand, but not a person on reading the quote in isolation. It can also invite attacks by bad actors who may interpret the quotes in a wrong way.

Controversial and uneasy things are often said on many other podcasts but most of them escape backlash, as a person who wants to make noise will not listen to a 1-2 hour podcast. But quotes or sentences on YouTube are served on the plate and provide ammunition towards your critics who say NL is left-leaning, anti-Modi and anti-Indian. They can share these quotes and prove their point easily.

I am not asking you to hold back on your speech or opinions but sharing what I think about this. I could be wrong about this.

PS: I enjoy Hafta a lot and look forward to it every Saturday



Hey team,

A long-time subscriber who has not missed a single Hafta in the last four years. Great work.

A suggestion to bring @TheLiverDoc on Hafta. He's been debunking myths and dangers of ayurveda, homoeopathy and companies such as Herbalife. He's been served notice by the government of India many times. Getting him on Hafta will allow all your subscribers to understand the dangers of non-scientific medications. His Twitter stories are a rage.

Keep up the good work!



Hi Hafta team,

In the previous week’s Hafta, Abhinandan said, if BJP loses the 2024 election, they'll burn the country down. I disagree. They are more proactive than that. They won't wait till they lose. Even at the hint of them losing before the election (starting now), there will be Delhi-like riots across India. 

One request to Anand. Please write your thoughts on paper on topics beforehand, as your answers are not going to change during the podcast and will always be diplomatic anyway. He can read from it for better articulation and save time on podcasts to discuss more things. Nothing personal, just a suggestion. 

Few recommendations: 

1) Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman – amazing book on how we think, our biases and much more (not a self-help book)

2. Shut up Yaar Kunal's latest episode on YouTube with Dr Suraj Yengde – being born in a Brahmin family, such content helps immensely in understanding how caste system impacts the underprivileged in castes.

Keep rocking!



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