About This Show
We want to change the world with information while having fun. Things are clean when they’re washed - Sabki Dhulai.
To change the world with information while having fun. Things are clean when they’re washed - Sabki Dhulai.
News and News on the news. New ways to present the news. Slants, compromises, biases, praise, brickbats and anything else. Here nothing is off limits. We say it like it is and appreciate others who do. News isn’t fair unless its transparent and no information is interesting unless its fun.
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Most Recent Episode
Hafta 172: Karnataka drama, West Bengal polls, Smriti Irani, Sambit Patra and more
2 days ago
On this week’s NL Hafta, Abhinandan is joined by Madhu Trehan, Raman Kirpal and guest Ajoy Ashirwad, Deputy Editor at The Wire. Journalist TS Sudhir from India Today joins the panel on the phone to discuss the Karnataka results.
The talk kicks off with the elections, with Sudhir sharing the possible political manoeuvrings that can be adopted by the BJP to prove its majority in the Assembly. Enumerating on the vulnerable spots in the JD(S) and Congress, he says: “Caste and Cash, these are the two things that are being used to kind of ensure a majority for the BJP government.”
Abhinandan brings in the Karnataka governor’s decision to call the BJP first to form the government. Madhu weighs in with a pertinent reference to 1996. The Suresh Mehta-led government in Gujarat, under which the present Karnataka governor held a cabinet portfolio, was dismissed by then Prime Minister Deve Gowda. She remarks, “So, this was his Karmic chance.”
Ajoy says: “The governor was facing a kind of complicated situation where he had to choose between constitutional responsibility and party loyalty, and we know what he chose now.”
On the matter of “horse-trading” of MLAs, Abhinandan comments: “One thing it definitely shows is that our democracy is very immature.” He adds: “For one, something like this happens… and no reporter is out there who will question the MLAs who flipped! Why did you flip? What were the specifics?”
Abhinanadan wonders about the possibility of turncoats being re-elected. Sudhir says it depends on the constituency, for instance in places like Ballari ‘muscle power’ can be used to ensure no formidable candidate stands against them.
The panel also discusses the ‘supremacy’ of certain individuals and groups that still persists, despite the system discouraging discrimination.
Talking about whataboutery, which has become the trend nowadays, Abhinandan weighs in by saying: “This whataboutery has just become the default setting of not just politicians but every journalist in the country.” Madhu adds: “They don’t have any credibility at all. I think we’ve come full circle on that.”
Raman points out that “we've hit the bottom already. If you check the TRPs… people have stopped watching TV”.
Adding to this, Madhu talks about the ban on Republic TV in a chain of hotels because of the thought process of the owner.
Talking about Smriti Irani and the recent cabinet reshuffle, Abhinandan asks: “Why do you think she was asked to go?” Madhu responds: “I will really miss her. She’s very articulate, she’s very well dressed… I don’t think any of the things she’s done, they weren’t done by herself alone. They were done with the PMO’s knowledge and approval. The government has its eye on the 2019 elections.”
Raman agrees, saying “she used to pick up fights and creates controversy… the government doesn’t want it, very simple.” Ajoy adds that “all the controversies she created actually worked out to the advantage of the BJP."
Abhinandan updates the panel by reading a report on News18. "Security to be withdrawn from the resort where all MLAs are staying - they’re being moved to Punjab or Kerala." To this, Madhu asks, “Why has he chosen Punjab and Kerala?”
Abhinandan points out that there is a non-BJP government there.
He jokingly asks Ajoy: “Would you say Odisha’s biggest contribution to the country has been Sambit Patra?” Ajoy in his reply highlights the stereotypes and adds: “Why would I say that… He represents the Odiya face in Delhi. Not the food or dance forms and diverse cultures.”
The panel talks about Patra’s crassness that is conspicuous in his verbal and online communication. Abhinandan feels that “he is just a very vile man” while Madhu says “he is very entertaining”.
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