Hafta 286: Assam floods, contempt proceedings against Prashant Bhushan, Covid sero survey, and more

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In this week’s NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Raman Kirpal, Mehraj D Lone and Manisha Pande are joined by Sushanta Talukdar, editor of NEZINE, an online magazine focusing on India’s Northeast region.


The discussion starts off with the Assam floods, which has affected over 28 lakh people so far. Floods are a recurring issue during the monsoons in Assam, but the government has still not found a way to contain the toll it takes. “The problem is, people forget about the Assam floods after the last day of the floods,” Sushanta says.


The conversation shifts to a National Centre for Disease Control survey that said nearly 23 percent of people surveyed in Delhi had developed antibodies for the Covid infection. Manisha calls the survey heartening, since it “shows that the pandemic is not that terrible, because a lot of people survived”, though Mehraj disagrees. India’s increasing cases and low death rate has also been controversial, and Raman says he’d like to “investigate” the Covid death toll, since it’s not very clear.


On the ongoing political crisis in Rajasthan, the panel debates the importance of a floor test. Abhinandan asks if the situation is nearing a “constitutional crisis” with all the horse-trading going on.


The panel also discusses the Supreme Court issuing suo motu contempt proceedings against lawyer Prashant Bhushan over his allegedly derogatory tweets against the judiciary. Can a tweet about a judge be considered contempt of court? Mehraj says, “You can criticise their judgements but you cannot criticise the judges. You will be hauled up for that.” Raman says contempt of court is an “outdated law”.


The podcast also covers the recent death of a journalist in Ghaziabad, and a lot more. Tune in!


Song: Mast Punjabi


Timecodes


00:05: Introduction and headlines


04:59: Assam floods


33:07: Uttar Pradesh journalist’s murder


35:35: How subscriptions fund independent journalism at Newslaundry


41:54: Subscriber letters


52:33: Delhi's serology survey and questions over community transmission, deaths and vaccines


01:03:22: Rajasthan political crisis


01:11:32: Subscriber letters


01:20:35: Supreme Court’s contempt of court proceedings against Prashant Bhushan


01:29:46: Subscriber letters


01:32:48: Recommendations



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