News & Politics Podcast
This week on NL Hafta, with special guest Amitoj Singh, we discuss the Supreme Court’s judgment on the power tussle between the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and Arvind Kejriwal, as well as its interpretations. We also discuss reports of the President being mistreated at Jagannath Temple, WhatsApp rumour-triggered mob lynchings, and finally, the National Register of Citizens, which is creating quite a ruckus in Assam. Meghnad breaks down the SC judgment: “What this judgment has solved is, essentially, that they have to communicate their decisions to the LG, but don’t have to wait for his approval. If the LG feels that they have taken a decision that is unconstitutional, that is when he has to step in, so he can’t just sit on files.” Amitoj offers his thoughts on the judgment. “The language of this 535-page order is so complicated, it is making lives suffer…from all the interpretations of all my colleagues…there is not a single word of reprimand for the 3.5 years of the loss of [governance and] for the people of Delhi, that was stalled by the LG. This one keyword, is the real issue out here—‘interpretation’.” The panel then points out some humorous sections from the judgment. The panel also talks about why it took four days for the President’s office to clarify that the President wasn’t, in fact, mistreated at the Puri temple, even when it dominated national headlines. Madhu joins the panel to weigh in on the Kejriwal issue. “He really doesn’t know that to get work done you actually have to get along with people.” Amitoj says, “Whenever you are kind and whenever you are diplomatic, things slow down, and that’s not his style.” Madhu insists that she is “not asking him to be diplomatic, but strategic”. Meghnad agrees, adding, “Sure, there might be some level of vindictiveness from the Central government as well, but at the end of the day, you have to figure out how to get work done, that’s what governance is all about.” Abhinandan takes a firmer stance on AAP, stating, “Unless they can shake the system to the core, they should disband. I don’t want a male Sheila Dixit.” Madhu feels that unless “you shake up the system to make the bureaucrats more responsive it is not beneficial to anybody". Amitoj makes a case for Kejriwal, “He is not doing things which he wants to do perhaps which other states can.” Abhinandan feels that the Washington model is “too radical for the way the system is right now”. The panel subsequently speaks about WhatsApp rumour-triggered mob lynchings that are taking place across the country. Meghnad provides context on one such viral forward. “One video being circulated was done by a charity fighting to save abducted children in Pakistan. Their end message—which is ‘Save Children in Karachi from Getting Kidnapped’ has been cut off—and only one portion, a mock-thing about 2 adults lifting children, is getting circulated everywhere, along with photos of random people and number plates.” Madhu offers her thoughts. “To me, WhatsApp by itself has become a lynch mob. People are mindlessly forwarding things…in the 40s and 50s, moral character was held up as something to aspire to….ab toh puri sharam utar gayi hai." She feels that the crux of the problem lies in the fact that “it’s so acceptable to do these things”. The solution she proposes? “Rather than asking WhatsApp to control it…I think the government would be fully authorised and supported to do propaganda on Doordarshan. Instead of putting out stories on the achievements of the government….this is their opportunity to even create a serial based on the damage WhatsApp can do.” For more, listen in!
NL Hafta has gone behind the paywall, but we love our listeners. So, here's a little sneak peek into the complete episode where the panel discusses everything from elections in Pakistan to recent lynching in Alwar, No Confidence Motion, Rahul Gandhi’s hug and wink and more.
अलवर में अकबर खान की मॉब लिंचिंग, मराठा आरक्षण, पाकिस्तान के चुनाव में इमरान खान की पार्टी तहरीक-ए-इंसाफ का सबसे बड़ी पार्टी के रूप में उभरना और मुजफ्फरपुर के शेल्टर होम में बच्चियों के साथ यौन उत्पीड़न की खबर इस हफ्ते चर्चा के मुख्य विषय रहे. चर्चा के विशिष्ट अतिथि थे वरिष्ठ पत्रकार हर्षवर्धन त्रिपाठी. साथ ही पैनल में मौजूद रहे राहुल कोटियाल और रोहिण कुमार. साथ ही फोन पर न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री संवाददाता अमित भारद्वाज भी जुड़े. चर्चा का संचालन न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने किया.
The latest episode of Reporters Without Orders features our host Cherry Agarwal, along with Amit Bhardwaj, Rohin Verma, two-time Ramnath Goenka awardee Rahul Kotiyal, and Anoo Bhuyan from The Wire. The podcast kicks off with a discussion on media's narrative around Akbar Khan's lynching in Alwar. “If you go through our story, we have actually demolished the police’s version of what happened that night, point by point," says Amit. He also points out the importance of the three hours that elapsed between the incident and the time taken to reach the Ramgarh CHC. Cherry adds, “What I found missing from the larger media narrative was that the two accused were moving around with the policemen.” Amit weighs in to add that the media's narrative changed on July 22 -- the blame shifted from the gau rakshaks to gau rakshaks and the police. Rest of the panel weighs in too. Anoo adds that she didn’t feel the issue had been obfuscated in the English print and online media, while Rahul emphasises the need for minutely questioning the police’s version of events. Amit expresses his concerns over the disturbing parallels that exist between Akbar’s case and Pehlu Khan’s case. Subsequently, the panel discusses media's coverage of #Section377. Anoo weighs in on the problems that exist across Indian news organisations and stresses upon the need for more inclusive newsrooms. Rohin concurs with Anoo, and points out that sometimes a callous attitude is adopted by the media in its reportage on LGBTQ issues. Speaking on the issue, Rahul points out the clear division that still exists between Hindi and English media's reportage of the issues related to Section 377. Nevertheless, he says, “things have gotten better”. The panel also discusses if reporters are equipped to handle sensitive conversations. The gang also discusses the state of health journalism in India. Anoo details the challenges faced by health reporters in India, with people still having regressive attitudes and at times, treating it as an extension of 'Lifestyle and Wellness' reporting. Rohin points out the hazards of what he calls “baba ji ki booti" reporting, which is reportage done at the cost of important issues like the death of children in Bihar from Japanese encephalitis. The panel also discusses how Muzaffarnagar case was under-reported. For this and more, Listen up!
इंडियन एक्सप्रेस की एक ख़बर के मुताबिक सरकार हर वर्ष 10 लाख युवाओं को सैन्य प्रशिक्षण देने की योजना पर विचार कर रही है. इस बाबत प्रधानमंत्री कार्यालय में हुई एक बैठक के हवाले से इंडियन एक्सप्रेस में यह ख़बर प्रकाशित हुई. सरकार का लक्ष्य है कि इससे युवाओं में अनुशासन और राष्ट्रसेवा की भावना को मजबूत किया जाए. क्या है पत्रकारों की राय, सुना जाए.
एनडीटीवी की एक रिपोर्ट के अनुसार व्हाट्सएप अफवाहों और फेक न्यूज़ के आधार पर देशभर में पिछले एक महीने में 20 लोगों की हत्या हो चुकी है. क्विंट की रिपोर्ट के मुताबिक 2015 से अबतक मॉब लिंचिंग में 65 लोगों की जान जा चुकी है. भारत सरकार ने व्हाट्सएप को अफवाहों पर लगाम लगाने की चेतावनी दी है. जबाव में व्हाट्सएप ने सरकार से कहा कि वह भारत में व्हाट्सएप के दुरुपयोग से चिंतित है. "यह एक चुनौती है और हमें भारत सरकार, नागरिक समाज और तकनीकी कंपनियों को साथ मिलकर काम करना पड़ेगा." साथ ही व्हाट्सएप ने अखबारों में भी विज्ञापन दिया. यह कुछ साधारण सलाह हैं जिसे व्हाट्सएप संदेशों के मद्देनज़र ध्यान दिया जाना है. मसलन व्हाट्सएप पर प्राप्त संदेश को फॉरवर्ड करने के पहले समझना, सवाल करना, दूसरे स्रोतों से क्रॉसचेक करना और सोच-विचार कर कुछ भी साझा करने जैसी सलाहें शामिल थी. सुनिए क्या है इसपर पत्रकारों की राय.
Aahana (name changed), a resident of West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district who was trafficked into dancing/ orchestra and sexual exploitation, recalls how the administration and her village failed her after her rescue. She is one among 70 of the 121 survivors who have formed an anti-trafficking body called Utthan
Surya Prakash’s story is a classic case of bondage labour: a family with low income and a man’s promise for a better payment elsewhere. Prakash was trafficked to Nasil in Maharashtra into the textile industry where he slogged 18-long hours without any break. He wasn’t even allowed to contact his father for four years, who thought he was in Madhya Pradesh working in a sweet shop.
युवाओं को सैन्य परीक्षण देने की योजना, मॉब लिंचिग पर सुप्रीम कोर्ट के दिशानिर्देश, मानसून सत्र में आया अविश्वास प्रस्ताव और पाकिस्तान में होने वाले चुनाव के पहले नवाज शरीफ की गिरफ्तारी जैसे मुद्दे इस हफ्ते चर्चा के मुख्य विषय रहे. द वायर उर्दू के संपादक महताब आलम और न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के स्तंभ लेखक आनंद वर्धन चर्चा के अतिथि बने. इनके साथ ही पैनल में न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री संवाददाता अमित भारद्वाज और राहुल कोटियाल भी शामिल हुए. न्यूज़लॉन्ड्री के कार्यकारी संपादक अतुल चौरसिया ने चर्चा का संचालन किया.
In this week’s NL Hafta, the panel consists of Abhinandan, Manisha and Anand. Revati Laul, a renowned independent journalist and filmmaker joined as a guest. The discussion kicks off with Saifuddin Soz, a senior Congress party leader in Kashmir, who recently launched his book titled, Kashmir: Glimpses of History and the Story of Struggle. Saifuddin Soz had also made a statement earlier which said that Kashmiris want Azadi. Commenting on Saifuddin Soz, Anand says, “As a political leader of a nation state, he should be more careful of what he’s saying.” Manisha says, “I think he’s making those comments more as an author.” She adds, “I think he has to keep in mind that he’s a politician but then he’s also speaking from the point of view of his book.” The discussion moves on to the ‘much-advertised’ 43rd anniversary of the Emergency imposed by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Manisha thinks that it is a ‘hyperbole’. She says, "But, of course, 2019 (elections) I guess that’s the one thing that they (BJP) can whip them (Congress) with.” Commenting on a notion that has surfaced, Anand observes, “I think the fiction of undeclared Emergency is rooted in a sense of deprivation among journalists who don’t have anti-establishment tales to tell in their 60s. And those who are already in their 60s, already know that they’re lying.” He adds, “Advertisements by their very nature are exaggerations.” Revati compares the Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi to the current situation of Indian politics. Abhinandan says, “Human nature is displaying certain levels of servility that were displayed during the Emergency And I think that is unique whenever you get a strong leader.” The panel discusses the letter written by Vijay Mallya to Prime Minister Narendra Modi which explained how he’s being made a ‘scapegoat’ despite his willingness to settle his dues. Abhinandan says, “I definitely think that he thought he could get away with it and now that he has not, he’s saying I can do all this You could’ve done it earlier also.” Anand says, “Ignominy has also been earned by the flamboyant lifestyle he had.” Abhinandan asks the panel about the Chief Economic Adviser's role in policy making, in the context of Arvind Subramanian who recently quit from the position. Anand says, “Having a macro picture of how the economy is moving, what adjustment it needs So it’s a kind of an advisory role Most of the political heads don’t have that expertise to go into those details, so they help in that.” The panel discusses an Amit Shah-related news story that was pulled down by several media houses. The RTI reply stated, the primary basis of the story, that a huge amount of money was deposited in a bank headed by Amit Shah, post-demonetisation. Abhinandan believes that this circles back to the debate around the ‘Emergency’. Manisha speaks about the coverage of a crime incident in which an Army officer had killed the wife of another officer. She says, “Both ABP and Aaj Tak ran this headline Do major ek mehbooba They turned it into these rangeela-type websites.”
NL Hafta has gone behind the paywall, but we love our listeners. So, here's a little sneak peek into the complete episode where the panel discusses everything from the Supreme Court's order to enact a new law against mob lynching, Nawaz Sharif’s arrest, Shashi Tharoor’s 'Hindu Pakistan' comment, no-confidence motion and more.
Invitation made despite continuing controversy over their summit in Helsinki; the painful experiences of women forcibly sterilised in Peru. And, the skeletons in Alexandria's mysterious black sarcophagus .
The Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu hails a "defining moment" as Israeli Arab MPs condemn the legislation, Also: new British Brexit secretary set for Brussels talks and thirteen basketball players have been suspended for a mass brawl during a World Cup qualifier earlier this month.
Rahul Puri and Samar Khan are back after a short hiatus to discuss this week’s round-up of sports featuring everything from the recently-concluded World Cup to the new Wimbledon champion. Rahul and Samar open with a chat on the French football team. “If you objectively look at the squads even at the start of the tournament, theirs was the best squad out there," remarks Rahul. “In the game against Argentina and against Croatia, you saw all the attacking flair France has. When they needed to be very strong and very solid, they were absolutely that, in the quarter-finals and the semi-finals. We saw two sides of France, and that really makes them the deserved winners of the World Cup," he adds. They also discuss VARs, the first free-kick of the final, and the referee’s calls during the match. “At the end of the day, a bad decision like that can change the course of the match, and it changed the course of the match," feels Samar. Over to tennis, Rahul believes winning the Wimbledon title was like redemption for Novak Djokovic. “He’s also got age on his side, more than Federer and Nadal, so if he comes back, he could dominate for the next two or three years," comments Samar. For more, listen in!
Episode 28 of Reporters Without Orders features our host Cherry Agarwal, along with Amit Bhardwaj, Rohin Verma, two-time Ramnath-winning Rahul Kotiyal, and Atul Dev of The Caravan. Atul begins by explaining the gist of his latest story -- a profile of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. “There are a whole bunch of charges against (Indian CJI Dipak Misra) in the impeachment motion that was eventually rejected by Venkaiah Naidu…I look at his entire career, I examine how these charges came to be, how these charges came to public light. Then I also look at his family history…There’s an analysis of his High Court and Supreme Court judgments and coming up to right now, with everything that has transpired in the Supreme Court in the past year…” Cherry then asks Rahul why he chose to explore the story of communal violence in Uttarakhand. "It’s been 18 years since Uttarakhand was created, and it was an area of Western UP which was never communally charged up. However, these increased in the past few years. Almost a dozen big incidents like that of shops being burnt and destroyed." “In the hilly districts of Western UP, no place has a Muslim population of higher than 3 per cent, but even there people have the fear that their sources are being taken over by a foreign other," explains Rahul. He then remarks on the Right-wing's tying of this mentality to the mass migration of Rohingya Muslims to the region. “If you look on-ground, you will hardly find any Rohingya over there. This narrative is spreading really fast on social media.” After Rahul remarks about the lack of analytical or critical local coverage of the event, Cherry comments, “It’s up to the local media to take a side.” On the writing process (a 23-page story), Atul says, “You just have to sit down and get done with it.” He also reveals the role of the newsroom in the creation of the story. “After I give them the story, I think 7 or 8 people are actively involved for a whole month…” “In the end, everything that I had found, I was able to put down," adds Atul. On being asked if he was fearful about writing on the sitting CJI, he comments, “There is no fear per se but it’s more difficult to find people who are going to talk to you.” The panel then moves on to the Hindi media’s coverage of a Dalit groom getting on a horse for the first time at his wedding procession. “What should have caught everyone’s eye is that even now someone has to fight to get a horse, just because they come from a particular community," a panelist adds. “Looking at this and the Chamandih story, it appears as though neither development nor weddings can happen without the caste angle," adds Rahul. The panel then discusses subscriber models and how to produce sustainable and constructive story-telling. For more, listen in!
The White House insists Russia is a threat to the US, contradicting previous statements. It comes amid a flurry of criticism after President Trump appeared to side with Moscow instead of his own intelligence agencies, over Russian meddling in the 2016 elections. Also: a Turkish court has dashed hopes that an American pastor will be freed, and scientists have discovered a baby snake preserved in amber that lived ninety-nine million years ago.
History is written by the victors, as the saying goes -- but what would it look like if it was written by everyone? Journalist and TED Fellow Mikhail Zygar is on a mission to show us with Project1917, a "social network for dead people" that posts the real diaries and letters of more than 3,000 people who lived during the Russian Revolution. By showing the daily thoughts of the likes of Lenin, Trotsky and many less celebrated figures, the project sheds new light on history as it once was -- and as it could have been. Learn more about this digital retelling of the past as well as Zygar's latest project about the transformative year of 1968.
12 boys rescued from flooded cave in Thailand have spoken publicly about their ordeal. Also, EU imposes $5 Billion fine on Google, a report from Yemen's frontline as UN warns of civilians' suffering, mixed feelings in South Africa on Nelson Mandela's centenary, and are our earliest memories real or not ?