Newslaundry Podcast (general)

NL Hafta has gone behind the paywall, but we love our listeners. So, here’s a little sneak peek of the complete episode where we discuss National Democratic Alliance’s presidential pick Ram Nath Kovind, 15 people arrested for sedition in Madhya Pradesh for celebrating Pakistan’s Champions Trophy victory and more.


Direct download: Chhota_Hafta_Episode-125.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:38pm IST

Samar Khan and Rahul Puri are back with their weekly round-up of sports. Samar feels that the initial Pakistan defeat is why they came all guns blazing this time around. They also think that Virat Kohli needs to work on his captaincy skills a little more. In the world of badminton, they discuss how India is becoming a real force in badminton thanks to Pullela Gopichand's coaching plus Rahul feels that Gopichand knows how to create world class players. All this and more on this week's Just Sports.

Direct download: Just_Sports_Episode_40.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:56pm IST

“I have not seen a liar Chief Minister like him [Shivraj Singh Chouhan] in my entire lifetime,” Shiv Kumar Sharma said. The farmer leader has reason to be upset and angry at the Madhya Pradesh Chief  Minister: The Chouhan government, he said, has made hundreds of announcements in the past but never implemented it.

Sharma is the 66-year-old who has led the farmers’ protest in Madhya Pradesh, which turned violent. Also known as Kakkaji in MP, Sharma called Chouhan a “darpok (coward)” CM.

The chief of the Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangh (RKMS), Sharma charged that the Shivraj government has failed to address the agrarian crisis in the state over the last 14 years. And as a result, “due to this building pressure on farmers, the cooker had burst.”

On his radar are both the BJP government and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)’s farmer body Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS). According to Sharma, the BKS struck a deal with the state government and unanimously called off the protest. By doing so, they have cheated the farming community, he said.

Sharma himself was once the BKS chief and was thrown out of the organisation, when in 2010, he spearheaded the farmers’ agitation in December 2010 against the “own” BJP government and gheraoed Bhopal with tractors. “I was thrown out of BKS when we gheraoed Bhopal with tractors during our agitation- Operation 10.12 in 2010. I was immediately arrested and sent to jail. ”  His associates told Newslaundry that in a career of 40 years, Sharma has gone to jail 44 times for the raising the farmers’ cause.

Sharma rejects claims that farmers turned violent during the protest which took over Madhya Pradesh for the last 15 days. According to him, this was a strategy of the state government to provoke agitators and discredit them once it turned violent.

The farmers of Malwa region in Madhya Pradesh began protesting against the BJP-led government on June 1. A higher minimum support price for their crops and loan waivers were amongst their 20 demands. However, on June 6, six farmers were shot dead in the police farming.

Meanwhile, CM Chouhan who sat on an “indefinite” hunger strike broke his fast on the very second day. Sharma has called Chauhan’s fasts a “nautanki (drama)”.

While the RKMS is not satisfied with the announcements made by the Chouhan government, they said the protest will continue. It has identified national highways across the country which will be blocked for three hours on June 16. On June 23, the RKMS is planning to hold protests by doing the shavasana - where farmers will lie like dead bodies in front of posters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. June 21 is the International Day of Yoga.

This 66-year-old farmer leader from Hoshangabad district debunks the arguments that loan waivers for farmers will hurt taxpayers. “It is the farmers of this country who give subsidy to entire nation,” Sharma told Newslaundry. “Farmers’ get 30-40 per cent less than the minimum support price… The moong dal which costs Rs 5,500 is bought at Rs 2,500, we get 85 paise per kg of potato,” said Sharma.

On June 13, the RKMS filed a complaint with the National Human Rights’ Commission (NHRC) accusing CM Chouhan for the killings of farmers on June 6. For Sharma, Chouhan is a “hatyara (murderer) Chief Minister.

Direct download: NL_Interviews__Shiv_Kumar_Sharma.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:59pm IST

Vivek Kaul, author & economist, speaks to Anand Ranganathan about his new book, India's Big Government: The Intrusive State & How It's Hurting Us. Kaul talks about the Indian economy, employment and labour reforms. He also speaks on loan waivers to farmers -- is it a feasible solution?

Also, how much of the maxim "government has no business to be in business" holds true today?

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Category:general -- posted at: 12:59pm IST

Early this week, we republished an article from Fair Observer that was based on a false report, attributing fake quotes to Arundhati Roy. In this episode of NL Hafta, the Newslaundry team of Abhinandan Sekhri, Atul Chaurasia, Anand Vardhan and Manisha Pande take stock of our current editorial filters and discuss the challenges fake news presents. The team is joined by freelance journalist Rishi Majumder to discuss this and a lot more, like the Dalit unity rally in New Delhi -- did it get enough coverage in Big Media? We also discuss the Army awarding Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi for counter insurgency operations. What message does the move send out to the Valley? More importantly, has the Modi government politicised the Army? We move on to discuss the caste violence in Saharanpur, GST tax, and the Twitter furore over Paresh Rawal, Sonu Nigam and Abhijeet Bhattacharya. Listen up.

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Category:general -- posted at: 8:52pm IST

NL Hafta has gone behind the paywall, but we love our listeners. So, here’s a little sneak peak of the complete episode where we discuss Amit Shah's chatur Baniya remark, farmers protests, loan waivers announced by the state governments and more. 

Direct download: Chhota_Hafta_Episode-124.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm IST

This week Rajyasree Sen and Abhinandan Sekhri discuss the Rajkummar Rao and Shruti Haasan starrer, Behen Hogi Teri. Is it worth a watch? They also discuss the trailers of Akshay Kumar's Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Kushan Nandy's Babumoshai Bandookbaaz and Marvel's Black Panther. CNN dumping Reza Aslan for his anti-Trump tweet also finds a mention. All this and more discussed and dissected in this episode of the Awful and Awesome Entertainment Wrap.


Direct download: The_Awful__Awesome_Episode-48.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:16pm IST

Samar Khan and Rahul Puri are back with their weekly round-up of sports. Samar feels that Rafael Nadal is only a clay court legend but Rahul feels he is one of the all time greats. In the world of cricket, they think South Africa, as a team just dont seem to deliver. Their differ when it comes to the winner of ICC Champions Trophy. Samar bets on India while Rahul backs England. All this and more on this week's Just Sports.

Direct download: Just_Sports_Episode-39.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:13pm IST

Quartz Asia bureau chief Tripti Lahiri speaks to Vivek Gopal about her book 'Maid in India’ that explores the murky, unregulated world of domestic work in India. She discusses the shift in prevailing attitudes regarding labour, its often gendered recognition and ways in which power dynamics are internalised.

Direct download: NL_Interviews__Tripti_Lahiri.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:04pm IST

Arun Shourie, former Union Minister, economist, journalist and author, discusses his latest book Two Saints: Speculations Around and About Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Ramana Maharishi. The concept of the book is to bridge the gap between inner consciousness and science. Shourie explains his attempts at understanding faith and the psychological impact of belief. He and Trehan talk about scientific explanations for near-death experiences and the role of the human mind in supporting such acts.Shourie explains how "the government has become an event management company."

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:17pm IST