Pegasus, population control, rants and Hindi on Hafta

This concerns the discussions on the last two Haftas. Why do we all need to be part of Abhinandan’s diatribe or personal questions to the experts? How is it different from Man ki Baat?

On past Hafta, he spent about 10 minutes talking with Vivek Kaul about the real estate sector. As he says at the end, this is his advice to people looking to invest. Why should all podcast listeners be exposed to this? If he wants validation of his opinion, let him do it on his own time and expense. Also, how does this not abuse public money/underwriters to seek/validate personal investment advice? People subscribed to NL mainly because of the podcasts – at least I have – Caravan features are better researched and provide a much deeper analysis.

To top it off, you rambled on for another 10 minutes before I heard from Vivek Kaul. I listen to podcasts running and on a web browser so I can’t stop and skip.

Please keep in mind that NL Hafta is not your personal time with experts, it is shared time for all subscribers.

Thank you


Hey, don’t complain. Don’t let Vivek Kaul talk so much.

Okay, bye!

Nikhil Parnami



I regularly listen to Hafta and use it to quench my need to listen to certain current affairs debates. An important point I want to make is that over the past few episodes, I’ve noticed the panel’s inability to maintain an ongoing discussion on a topic. Listening becomes so difficult when speakers keep shifting context too quickly and results in a minor migraine just to keep up with what we’re even talking about.

This is a serious request for change so that we can absorb some information from the discussion. I hope this improves the discussion.

Your subscriber,

Divye Marwah


Hi guys,

Love your team’s work! Sorry about the topic, but you seem to pick angry followers mostly, so try to impersonate one.

Ok I just have one question: I believe that Congress is the real B-team of the BJP and they are working behind closed doors to ensure that no other leader or credible opposition party comes to power . Perhaps the BJP has achieved this through its many tactics.

Your opinion?


Sarfraz A Khan


Hello NL team,

I’ve unfortunately been quite erratic in following the news lately, but NL Sena’s articles on “Who Owns Your Media” caught my attention. The exhibits show in detail how precarious the situation of current media companies in India is. It made me think how sensitive the media in our country is to hostile takeovers. I would like to know the opinion of the panel on whether there are any checks and balances in India to prevent this from happening. Has this been discussed before? If so, I apologize because I must have missed it.

How would readers and ordinary people know that, for example, the India time is now officially the spokesperson for a certain ideology because it is owned by a shadow corporation aligned with said ideology?

I can think of EU antitrust laws, but nothing similar in India comes to mind.

As always, love your work, keep it up!

Get vaccinated, stay safe.



Hi NL Team,

I have been a subscriber for over a year and regularly listen to Hafta. I’m also a fan of Newsance and Tippani (kudos to Manisha and Atul).

I am sending this letter to seek your opinion on the current political situation in India. I don’t know about you, but things are getting scarier by the day and I’m losing hope.

I don’t focus on the serious stuff but I want to draw your attention to the bigger picture. With the gradual breakdown of major institutions, one has the impression of being on a slippery slope from which one can only descend. Just imagine a more ruthless “leader” (they exist in the current scene or even worse) with no checks and balances, twisting the system so badly that it eventually breaks.

And the current Godi Media is in such a sorry state that even after the carnage of the second wave, they are still playing “look over there!” It is chilling how the second wave of Sushant Singh aka Kundra Wave is sweeping prime time as our already fragile democracy hangs in the balance following the exposure of rampant illegal spying. How do these people even sleep at night? Doing anything (even selling your soul) for money shows moral degradation. I guess we can call it the “Gujarat model”.

Keep up the good work. Our democracy needs superheroes like you. Will always remain a supporter of free media.


Suraj Mishra


Dear Hafta Team,

this week you will probably be talking about the Pegasus and Newsclick “controversial”. This is an example of how we miss legacy and conservative media. As in unison, OpIndia and all Godi Media sites and channels launched in Newsclick, talk about financing a Sri Lanka-Cuban in China. Guess what? Roy Singham is neither Sri Lankan nor Cuban. He’s my ex-American boss, the founder of the company I still work for today, ThoughtWorks.

Sumeet Moghe


I am a recent subscriber who has lived in Australia for 30 years. You can understand how dated my knowledge of Indian politics is. I am from Chennai and grew up not knowing much Hindi. I’m sure there are quite a few of us in your subscriber population. Therefore, I reiterate my request I sent earlier: please avoid falling in Hindi on the podcast and if you must try to paraphrase what has been said for people like me.

One of the main reasons I listen to Hafta is that it’s an English podcast.

I have long noticed that Hafta is decidedly centered on Delhi (or North India). Political news south of the Vidhyas is almost never debated. Maybe another podcast with the likes of Dhanya Rajendran can fill that gap. Hafta panelists also spend too much time on what they are comfortable with, the 40-minute discussion of Dilip Kumar’s death being an example. A giant in his field he may very well have been, but there are more relevant topics from the South.

Come Partiban


Hi NL Team,

I hope you’re doing well.

I would like to know your opinion on a point raised in this article on .

It is about the experience of a Muslim journalist in India who gradually loses hope for the future. One of the points he raises is how his cover encouraged Hindutva goons to be violent and brazen.

He uses the fact that a Bajrang Dal worker has become proud of being written in New York to claim that his cover has no effect on the future.

Do you also think that writing about violent Hindu organizations is counterproductive and will only embolden them?

Or is there a perspective we don’t see?

I would like to know Mehraj’s point of view on this particular subject.


Calvin D’Souza


Hi, I’m a relatively new subscriber from Sydney, Australia. Just on the subject of data journalism, talking about experience working in similar “intelligence units”, their job is not to prepare charts for journalists to publish. They are specialists / experts in areas such as data asset management, data lineage development, data pipelines, maintenance of data platforms, creation of data visualizations, etc. to allow journalists to carry out “self-service” analyses. For example, I worked in data governance.

I guess it’s not that important in India – at all – from the discussion. However, here in Australia we have great data journalism and analytics is trending everywhere including government. It is quite obvious that the commentator (Vivek) has absolutely no understanding of what these “intelligence units” are actually doing in such spaces – it is not at all what he is describing.

Thanks very much,



Hello Hafta Team,

I have been a subscriber for four months now, but I was a mufatkhor for 4 years (though I was in school at the time). Right now, I’m in my second year of college. I wanted to use my student card for a student subscription, but my college has not issued it so far. So the inefficient administration of my institute led me to purchase a membership for now as I am at home. I hope when I move to campus I will get a student membership from Newslaundry. But, yes, I can happily say that I pay to keep the news free.

I recently did a project related to the history of art on the theme of urbanization and the preservation of the environment and social identity (this is a subject close to my heart). The way our cities, even small towns, are becoming unhealthy in the face of zero-sense urban planning is frightening. I was happy that Newslaundry did the series on Central Vista (if I think about that heartbreaking destruction again, I’m going to cry). And I look forward to the Aravalli series. I hope you will have the opportunity to delve into the smart city project later. How the bureaucracy works and is structured and how the funds, which are tons of loans, are used, and if we’re ever going to see good returns (as if). Attached is a photo my mum clicked just outside the smart city headquarters after a meeting with city architects about sustainability. Such greenwashing. Please read the wall.