Hafta letters: Caste census, Israel-Palestine conflict, Bajrang Dal

NL subscribers get back with bouquets and brickbats!

WrittenBy:NL Team
A quote from the letters.
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Hi, your discussion on the Israel and Palestine issue was way better and informative than Charcha. In your discussion, Anand defined terrorist as per the UN and termed Hamas as a terrorist organisation. Then, according to the same definition, Bajrang Dal and the so-called cow vigilantes should also be called terrorist organisations. I want to know Anand’s views on it. Thanks.

 Farqul Raizee


Hi Team! In the previous Hafta, I found Anand’s argument for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine absurd. When you have a large neighbour who ‘expands for survival’, you will look for ways to preserve your sovereignty. An invasion because of this is unjustified.

If China gets insecure due to India’s economic growth and invades India, can India be blamed? Perhaps this is why our Vishwaguru scuppered our economic growth with demonetisation - preemptively thwarting a Chinese invasion. Masterstroke, indeed!

From the earlier Hafta, Mehraj’s comment about the caste census being irrelevant in Kashmir was ill-informed. The Bihar census considered Muslim society’s caste inequalities.

This blind spot by liberals for faults within Islam and Islamic society is harmful.

1. It denies lower caste Muslims the rights guaranteed to Hindus.

2. It reeks of hypocrisy and gives fodder to the Hindu right’s claim of ‘appeasement’.

3. It contributes to Hindu moderates’ disillusionment with liberal discourse.

Anirudh Srivathsan


In Hafta 455, Abhinandan mentioned how a catchy Bajrang Dal song was a tool to amass large processions in Navratras. This reminded me of a fun encounter in 2018. I was travelling through Rajkot for work and many roads were blocked due to the ongoing caste protests. What looked like an angry mob from a distance turned out to be a group of kids and teens dancing to ‘To Brazil!’ by VengaBoys. Either the caste protest organisers were ahead of their time or Bajrang Dal is just catching up to the tricks of gathering a procession using catchy music.

Pranay Jain


Feedback on how to set up an audio podcast archive on this Google doc



When people talk about Israel’s occupation of Palestine and the resistance of the Palestinian people as a complex issue, the underlying assumption is that Israel has a right to exist as the apartheid settler colonial outpost of the USA in the Middle East. If we agree to grant the same moral and legal right to other apartheid states throughout colonial history, every resistance by indigenous people becomes a “complex” issue narrative, and a trope that can justify the ethnic cleansing and horrible injustices of the whole colonial enterprise. How about beginning every conversation by stating “Palestinian resistance against their colonial occupier’s apartheid”. Everything will become simple.

Meraj Rizvi 


This is with reference to the conversation you had in response to a subscriber’s email wherein he had asked for search functionality within the podcast.

My recommendation is to use good speech-to-text convertor and when you upload the podcast, you upload the content in the description which could be searchable.



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