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Delhi election results, Shikara, reservation in promotions, and more | NL Hafta 263 Live

In this episode of #NLHafta, Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande and Mehraj D Lone of Newslaundry are joined by Kaveree Bamzai, author and former editor of India Today, and #SanjayRajoura, stand-up comedian and a member of #AisiTaisiDemocracy. This episode was recorded live at Bedlam, Hauz Khas Village, Delhi.

Mehraj kicked off the discussion explaining the recent Supreme Court judgement on the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities Act, and what it means for Dalits and Adivasis subjected to hate crimes.

Speaking about the Delhi election, Kavaree says, “We were too excited by the fact that Delhi did not vote for the BJP, but what is worrying is how migrant-dominated northeast Delhi overwhelmingly voted for them.” She adds that the normalisation by the media of binaries such as “tukde tukde gang versus the rest of us” worries her.

Abhinandan asks Sanjay why he feels his political commentary and that of fellow comedians isn’t making much difference when it comes to changing the minds of voters.

“I don't have any such notion that what I am saying on stage will make any difference or have any kind of impact, neither do I have any intention of doing so,” Sanjay replies. “My aim is to make sure that the question stays alive.”

Talking about contemporary trends in world politics and how they reflect in the Indian context, Mehraj argues that technocratic centrism is always just one crisis away from enabling an authoritarian takeover as has happened in the UK, US and Brazil, and that Aam Aadmi Party is destined for a similar fate if they do start providing an ideological alternative.

On the controversy over the film Shikara, Manisha says, “I find the expectations from creative people to live up to political expectations to be tedious. The issue was actually that of marketing as they tried to sell the movie as ‘the untold story of kashmiri pandits’.”

The panellists then fielded questions from members of the live audience, all of whom were Newslaundry subscribers since it was a subscriber-only event.

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