Hafta letters: Jordan Peterson, ‘techies’, understanding Palestine

NL subscribers get back with bouquets and brickbats!

WrittenBy:NL Team
Date:
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I enjoyed your conversation on ambition and aspirations as put forth by Mr Anand. I would like to bring your attention towards the corporatisation of aspirations. I am specially pointing towards web series like TVF’s Sandeep Bhaiya and Aspirants.

These promotional vehicles further exacerbate the religious fervour for government jobs. They paint these jobs as idealistic and life-changing but hardly mention corruption or politics.

I love your podcast because of the diverse voices. Some are cynical, others are optimistic, and some approach serious issues with dry humour.

Finally, concerning “Peterson chap”, Mr Abhinandan, he is not an admirer of Andrew Tate. Secondly, regarding his commentary on “western society being termed male-dominated” and not “misogyny”, I have shared a link. You can make up your own mind regarding his views, but labelling someone a “trad” and a “frustrated loser” is not how I would approach anyone I don't agree with.

Nihar

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Dear Newslaundry team,

I’m a subscriber now for over six years. Your commitment to unbiased journalism has been a guiding light. Here’s to many more years of staying informed together. Awaiting a subscribers’ meet at Mumbai in 2024.

Aditya

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Abhinandan, today I renewed my NL subscriber and thereafter learned that you will stop NL Hafta (on NL app podcast) as well as Daily Dose (on Apple Podcasts). The timing as well as the decision is disappointing. I additionally consumed only NL Tippani (on YouTube). NL as well as TNM hardly cover west India. The scalability of my model worked for me from my time availability perspective. I guess I will have to move on and find a different source of poison for daily/weekly news. RIP Rs 3,000.

Asgar

(Note from editor: NL is not stopping NL Hafta.)

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Hi NL team, a rather not so serious question.

Anytime an IT professional is involved in a piece of news, the word ‘techie’ is used lazily even in articles where the profession is not relevant. Can we please stop this lazy nicknames? Do we IT professionals need to protest? Why do journalists resort to this? I would love to hear Dhanya’s views on this next time she is on the podcast since Bangalore papers are much more guilty of this. 

Cheers and keep up the good work.

Sameer

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On the topic of Raman sir’s movie suggestion Killers of the Flower Moon, it is good to read this article by David Dayen in The American Prospect. It explains how popular media can unwittingly diminish the scale of actual tragedy by limited or misrepresentation.

Harsimran

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To me, one of the most disappointing journalistic voices of the Palestine-Israel so-called “war” has been that of Barkha. Given her reputable history of objective journalism, I found her coverage to be very disappointing if not (un)intentionally sanitising Israel's atrocities. Notwithstanding her name-sake objective piece in Hindustan Times, following her Mojo Story channel’s contemporaneous YT feeds will tell you a completely different story.

Time may tell that she had been on the “liberal” side of history – the side for whom ideology supersedes moral fairness or justice. The side that has long blinded us to the following questions:

Why are we only made to hate Hitler for gassing the Jews while we are tacitly asked to look away at the US action of nuking Hiroshima?

Why are we made to empathise with Ukranians rising against Russian invasion as a virtuous act of self-defense while being made to demonise Palestinians as terrorists for standing up to 75 years of oppression?

While we should not shy away from condemning any act of transgression by any of the above defending parties (be it Palestinians, or Ukrainians, or Jews against Nazis), it is utterly naive if not malicious to not contextualise such transgressions as coming from the victims of heinous oppression. The concerns put forward by Barkha, Shekhar, or their likes – that such contextualisation sanitises all acts of terrorism can be resolved by the application of the law of contract/tort concepts like direct causation, proximity, remoteness/reasonable foreseeability to the subject matter.

The atrocities that the people of Palestine were subject to in the form of blockading of Gaza, colonisation/occupation of the West Bank, and illegal and torturous detention of Palestinian citizens including minors and young children by the Israeli government/forces even before the October 7 event is very much a contemporary event and not just a historical injustice that happened in the recent/distant past.

Under these vicious circumstances, it is not only foreseeable but also reasonable that a population that is being subject to these atrocities will try to naturally resist the heinous acts in some form or the other. It is not hard to see that the foregoing events act as direct causation to the violent resistance manifested by Hamas on October 7. By the look of it, there does seem to have been a lot of transgressions committed by Hamas but any journalist worth his/her salt should not have fallen for Israeli propaganda and their lies of grossly exaggerating them.

This is exactly what Barkha is guilty of and it is hard for me to believe that she did not see through the propaganda, especially when it was not difficult even for a layperson to see through Israel’s genocide motives behind its gross exaggerations of the alleged transgressions.

I surely do not know what happened on October 7 but I found this report by Chris Hedges to be more reliable. He is joined by Max Blumenthal of The Grayzone to offer an alternative explanation: “that in its fervor to defeat Hamas, Israeli commanders may have willingly targeted and sacrificed Israeli soldiers and civilians in the crossfire” (“the Hannibal directive”).

Newslaundry’s overall coverage of the subject and the views of the Hafta panel, despite the differences, are both heartening and laudable, in particular that of Jayashree with whom I seem to agree the most.

I would like to respond to Abhinandan’s views on the conflict history of the conflict by quoting Dr Tim Winter (aka Abdul Hakim Murad): “The Palestinians are the paschal lamb slaughtered on the rock of Jerusalem to atone for 20 centuries of Christian (Europe’s) antisemitism!”

I would like to recommend the discussion of Dr Rashid Khalidi’s book, The Hundred Years War on Palestine, with journalist Chris Hedges and Pres. Hamza Yusuf of the Zaytuna College, which is a Muslim liberal arts college.

I would also like to recommend the various interviews given by Norman Finkelstein (can be found on YouTube) in the aftermath of October 7. Coming from a family of Holocaust victims, it has never been difficult for him to consistently call out the injustices meted out to the Palestinian population, and much kudos to him for that!

I will be willing to participate in the Let’s Talk About that you plan to host on the subject matter if the slots are still open.

PS: Thank you NL for always speaking truth to power!

Muhammad Ibraheem

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Happy New Year, NL team!

I hope this message finds you all well.

In discussing unemployment, Anand’s perspective overlooks underemployment in India. While I agree with his points, the prolonged higher education duration (need for multiple degrees to get a decent job) pushes individuals towards government jobs for stability. I propose a nuanced discussion on Indian unemployment, emphasising policies aligning service sector jobs with educational backgrounds. Our education system allows aspiration but lacks adequate employment opportunities, leading to a preference for government jobs for upward mobility. The private sector in India isn’t necessarily inclusive when it comes to employing and promoting people from marginalised backgrounds.

Tanmay

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