Hafta letters: Atheists, moon missions, US court systems

NL subscribers get back with bouquets and brickbats!

WrittenBy:NL Team
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Hey NL team, it’s दिवगुन्न btw. I thought it best to type out in Hindi. My suggestion to the NL team is if they can start film discussions, critique and roundtables with sound designers, cinematographers and writers. As somebody who works in the film industry, it is sad to not see good film journalism as most of the space is taken by elite media, and their discussions are very light and lame. I don’t care about celeb fashion and diet routines and would like to know more about the art and craft of the artists. The media at present, such as Film Companion, just invites mainstream directors and actors and have nothing new to ask. I lost my trust when they didn’t have filmmakers like Neeraj Ghaywan, Chaitanya Tamhane and Kanu Behl on their episode on best films of the decade, whilst having celebrated much mediocre films.



I am that Anonymous who wrote the letter about ’people those who believe in God are not educated enough’, and I still stand by my opinion. But Manisha, how’s this an extremist thought when I need to cover my name because I am hunted by Islamists for being an atheist?

None of the atheists have killed anyone for believing in God, as far as I know the history. But atheists have always been hunted by every organised religion in world history. Do you utter the word ’extremist thought/ideas’ three times in one single instance for their ideology, like you did for mine? That’s the reason I hid my name.

And thank you for the advice about reading more books, but sorry for your ignorance about ’atheists read more books’ than normal theists. Don’t know how you came to the conclusion that I have not read enough like you!

About Sharia, just search ’Sharia demand in ****’ (fill any developed country, don’t only rely on Abhinandan). Thanks.

Rajeev Kumar


I don’t know if I lean towards left or right, I’ve never truly understood this nuanced topic. My only issue with influencers, like BeerBiceps or the other chintus, is not their leaning because I don’t feel it’s genuine in any sense. It’s the lack of honesty from this bunch, and them putting out agenda pieces is what’s truly infuriating. It might sound like a conspiracy theory but I won’t be surprised if these influencers have been tipped off by the authority for all these years to push certain type of content. I truly won’t be surprised to see them change their tone either if the BJP gets usurped in 2024. Really hope they get called out more.



Hi Hafta team,

Long-time listener and subscriber here, and writing this with regards to Uniform Civil Code discussion in the last edition where an analogy involving the United States was briefly discussed. I wanted to write this as I have seen that Hafta panelists often struggle with their understanding of laws and government in the US. Please don’t consider this as an offense – one is not expected to understand a foreign land’s laws.

In short, both civil and criminal laws as well as who enforces these laws and the court systems vary widely not just across the states but in the same neighborhood within the same town depending on who has jurisdiction. Jurisdiction depends on multiple dimensions – physical location, who the parties involved are and the subject matter of what is in question. This is very unique to the United States and is/was not seen in any country present or past.

This largely stems from ’dual sovereignty’ – where each state is a sovereign in it’s own right and has it’s own constitution, laws and court system that is independent of the United States federal government. The states as sovereigns merely came together to form a union and incorporated another sovereign called the United States in late 1700s, with very limited powers under very limited circumstances granted to this new sovereign called the United States (Federal Constitution), and most powers retained by states. The US as a sovereign exists alongside the current 50 states that are sovereign in their own right, with the states collectively conceding some limited powers to their fellow sovereign US. It’s not a tributary relationship.

To make this more complicated, tribal nations are their own sovereigns and have their own constitutions, laws, law enforcement and court systems. SCOTUS is not the apex court of all judiciary in the nation but the apex of only the matters that are in the jurisdiction of the United States federal government. Each state has its own judiciary system with its own apex court (generally called state supreme courts) that are independent of SCOTUS and are in fact SCOTUS’ equal. Accused in fact have to be extradited between the states.

So, India’s laws are a fraction of US’ complexity. So, not sure why the UCC is such an issue.

This letter is not the best place for this but if the panelists are interested, I can volunteer to provide a crash course for the panelists with some great examples of government and laws of the US and the states in action and how they work. I promise it will be jaw-dropping, eye-opening and interesting.




Dear Newslaundry team,

As a long-time subscriber and avid follower of Newslaundry's journey, I would like to express my appreciation for NL Hafta and NL Charcha. However, I am writing today to address my concerns regarding the viewpoints shared on the Chandrayaan-3 mission during a recent NL Charcha podcast. Unfortunately, I found some of the views expressed to be incomplete and misleading.

1) Atul's opinion on misplaced priorities:

Atul suggests that India, being a developing country, should not prioritise moon missions due to financial constraints. In my view, India’s space programme has historically been vital in driving technological progress, even during times of financial challenges. Moreover, the funds allocated to the ISRO are not at the expense of essential sectors like education and healthcare. Therefore, pursuing space missions does not imply a misplaced priority for India.

Additionally, it is essential to consider that if we had waited to eradicate poverty before launching the space programme, we might not have ISRO today. The scientific advancements and technological expertise gained through space exploration have contributed significantly to India’s development and economic growth. For instance, satellite-based communication technologies, developed as part of the space programme, have enabled connectivity in remote areas and revolutionised industries like telecommunications and agriculture.

2) Abhinandan’s notion on lack of interest in moon missions:

Abhinandan mentioned a lack of interest in moon missions since Apollo 13. However, this overlooks NASA’s upcoming lunar missions like Artemis 2, scheduled from 2023 to 2025. India’s collaboration with NASA, carrying a payload of Laser Retroreflector array on Chandrayaan-3, aims to support their lunar mission preparation. Numerous space agencies recognise the moon as a stepping stone for deeper space exploration, which is essential for advancing our knowledge of the universe.

3) Anand’s perspective on moon colonisation:

Anand’s notion about moon missions solely aiming for colonisation oversimplifies the broader scientific objectives. Establishing a lunar base could indeed facilitate further space exploration by utilising available resources, such as water, as fuel for rockets.

4) Kavita’s view on political motives:

While political parties may attempt to leverage scientific achievements for gaining votes, dismissing Chandrayaan-3’s scientific significance as a mere gimmick is an oversimplification. Scientific endeavours have far-reaching impacts, inspiring future generations to explore and engage in scientific pursuits. Celebrating scientific achievements can foster a scientific temperament within society.

In conclusion, I urge Newslaundry to provide a more comprehensive and balanced analysis of topics discussed during podcasts. As a responsible news agency, your platform can promote informed discussions that contribute positively to public understanding and appreciation of scientific endeavours.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.



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