Hafta letters: Space exploration, Sudha Murty, Manipur videos

NL subscribers get back with bouquets and brickbats!

WrittenBy:NL Team
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I religiously listen to both NL Hafta and NL Charcha. Many a times I feel an element of non-seriousness in Hafta discussions. For instance, in one of the past episodes, Abhinandan wasn’t aware of who late Anupam Mishra was, while Atul called him his guru. As a listener, I find Charcha better. 

Shikhar

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Hey all, 

I have recently moved back from the US and set up an Airbnb on the outskirts of Manali. I heard in the podcast that Hridayesh would be travelling to Himachal for a Sena project. 

Happy to support the initiative and host Hridayesh at my property. Let me know how I can help.

Love everyone’s work, you need not read the letter... All the best!

Adwit

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Hello Hafta team,

During Hafta #443, I felt Abhinandan was taken aback, not giving his views on casteism due to continuous subscriber criticism I suppose. In fact, not having a POV in itself is a new point of view. Just like not voicing out against racism is a new form of racism (although I picked this up from a sitcom named Community). Keep up the good work.

Subhahan

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Hi all, 

Simple question to the naysayers for the moon mission with reference to using the same money for social scheme. Or bullet train, etc. 

Why spend 2.1 percent of the budget on defence? Being a nuclear power, you can simply have 20 warheads in 20 locations pointed towards unfriendly countries. And disband the army and use them elsewhere. These intelligent minds can be used for “something more productive like building infra all over India”. Be like Switzerland, and take neutral ground.

Before you shoot this down, think: isn’t this logically sound? 

For me, the problem with people’s anti-space or bullet train etc views comes from the “beggars can’t be choosers” perspective – which, if you ask me, is an incorrect perception. I would love to get Atul to do a report on how many crores of rupees have been left unspent. May be that’s what should be redirected to a social scheme! For starters, Google “India’s unspent budget allocations” and then try state by state.

Best wishes,

Dhiraj 

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Thank you NL team for the report from Manipur.

Like every other person in the country, I was very much detached from Manipur (ashamed of it). Recently, I watched an NL video (I stopped watching other news) and it’s heartbreaking to see the protesting women. They are human beings, for god’s sake, I can’t understand why Vishwaguru is mute on this.

I am not blaming him just for the sake of it, but because he is the most powerful in the country right now. He could at least address the issue and appeal for peace.

Quoting Abhinandan from the previous Hafta: “Shamelessness is a superpower.”

Sandip

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Hi,

Like Jayashree, I too feel that Sudha Murty’s face all over SM is the work of (not very bright) PR hands.

Abhinandan has mentioned “proxy agents of the government”. At the cost of sounding like a conspiracy-theorist, I think she is one too. Half-rich-full-simple. Half-empowered-full traditional. Half-rational-engineer-full-apologist. Half-not-interested-full-supporter. English (both, language and S-I-L), earthy accent. Etc. (Why? Infosys/quid-pro-quo?)

She will normalise and grandmotherify fascist, bigoted themes via the light cultural route, casually eating with Kunal or gup maaroing with Kapil. She’s rich and we’re easily impressed by money. Perfect proxy.

Her “pure, no eggs/onion/garlic” is coincidentally what Akshaya Patra refuses to serve in their mid-day meals.

More here if you want to know my entire theory :D

(Note: I do like RSen, just didn’t agree with her dismissal of it as senseless Twitter outrage)

DL

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I am writing this letter regarding the recent discussions about the Chandrayaan mission. It seems to me that the discussions are generally focused on the utilitarian value of science and space exploration. Given that in our everyday life we are laymen, and even scientists in their day-to-day life outside their work are citizens/humans, I think we should consider the discussions even from a humanistic standpoint.

Outside the general uncritical scientism that seems to be so prevalent in our modern age, revolving around utility, I have attached one essay and one YouTube link on the same.

Essay: The conquest of space and the stature of man

YouTube link about the essay and where a broader context of the essay with some of Arendt’s other works are discussed.

Would also recommend her book The Human Condition.

I hope this will help the discussion to evolve beyond its normal utilitarian arguments. 

Anonymous

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