Demolition campaigns, India’s renewable energy issues, NL app reviews

ByLance T. Lee

Apr 30, 2022

Anand Vardhan (AV) is a genius jaise maine pehle bhi kaha hai. Still, his recommendation last week (Imran Khan) made me laugh. I could also hear him laugh. I love what you do and can’t stress it more. More power to everyone and crazy hugs to Nikku. Nikku, please no more Hafta jokes. Thank you !



Great Hafta. Just briefly:

Without changes in urban governance, the encroachment/demolition narrative goes nowhere. People fight for scarce space/resources, and it’s about what they can do, not principled positions.

That’s why I don’t understand NL’s stance against RK Puram/Kidwai Nagar skyscrapers. In my opinion it’s obscene how people live in lal dora areas; you just have to go to Khirkee versus Saket across the road. Or Okhla/Nizamuddin, Trilokpuri/Mayur Vihar. When will we learn that general disapproval helps no one? And instead try to ensure that development does not displace the poor, and gives them fairer treatment?

If cutting down trees increases the total number of housing units, do so and discuss other ways to preserve green cover. Nope?

Also, have you thought about the stories about the peace committees in Shahdara/Sundarnagri/Jahangirpuri? I would be curious if they exist, who is on them and how they work (especially with the current situation).

Vijay Krishnan


A little criticism.

The iOS app is identical to the mobile version of your webpage. As a paid subscriber, the least I expect is that I can enjoy your podcasts with “resume” features. Unfortunately your webpage and app don’t support it (it gets lost if you refresh the webpage or restart the app), and I have to scroll every time to the right part where I left off for the last time, which is quite irritating.

This is precisely why I asked you last time for an RSS feed for Spotify, but so far I haven’t received any. I understand that you need to be a Gamechanger subscriber for an RSS feed, but then please enable this resume podcast feature on your webpage or app.

Thank you.



Hi team,

I hope you are all doing very well and thank you for all these brilliant reports.

Two points:

1) Can you please try to interview some top AAP leaders (CM or Deputy CM) and challenge them on all the chest shots they do from state to state? Other news channels only let them talk (ad money) or ask them about their views on religion, but don’t challenge delivery promises.

2) Do you maintain a tracker for each recommendation made by subscribers that you promise on Hafta to implement? It sounds more like a politician’s promise.

Keep doing good work.




This is a story suggestion.

Much has been said about the transition to low carbon energy sources and the two main players here are India and China. Endless hymns have been written about India’s investments, but a curious angle is missing in almost all of them – the fact that India is different from the developed world in that the demand for electric power continues to grow. Rapidly. As electricity reaches more Indians, their aspirations grow. To date, no grid has met growing demand through renewable energy.

Herein lies the catch – how exactly will India’s renewable energy targets be achieved? For context, India’s per capita electric power consumption today is about a quarter of China’s. For parity, Indian electricity production must quadruple. The Indian government’s own planning figures estimate less than doubling of energy consumption by 2029. This conversation is important not only for India but also for the world, given the amount of coal that India and China are burning. Would there be a story here?



Hello everyone,

I am a big Hafta fan. I look forward to Friday/Saturday every week to listen to this podcast.

I have a question related to the communal riots that happened recently. I ignored previous use of bulldozers in other states, but what happened in Jahangirpuri sent chills down my spine. I found this to be too much of an answer for a local conflict.

I wonder about the long term effects of this. Doesn’t that motivate the person or children whose home has been bulldozed to take up arms or take the path of insurrection to fight the state? Doesn’t that worry the bureaucracy or the Home Secretary about India? I’m kind of so sad from the day the bulldozer was used in Delhi, even though I live very, very far from Delhi.



Hi Abhinandanji,

I have been a subscriber in the Netherlands since 2016. Congratulations on completing 10 years.

When discussing the demolition of Jahangirpuri, you were so adept at challenging political parties not to be present at the site. You named RaGa, AY, PriGa – but you didn’t mention an obvious name. I wondered why. Even when Manishaji mentioned Atishi’s name, you were so defensive. Again, I wondered why. You and Ramanji mentioned the Delhi government but you still haven’t mentioned his name. Again, I wondered why.

Then I realized – oh, he’s Abhinandanji’s friend, that’s why.

So here’s the thing, jaisa allahabadi mein kahate hain “Ya toh dosti kar lijiye ya independent hone ki bakaiti'”. I have my annual subscription to renew in June. I will not touch anything in my account and I hope that my subscription will not succeed. I am disappointed by you and, more than you, by your panel which does not mention it once. For God’s sake, he’s state CM and you can’t mention his name?



Dear NL Team,

Thank you so much guys for your sweet acknowledgment and as I’ve been following NL since its early years it’s great to see you grow and I hope it grows more and I’m happy to be part of this journey now as than subscriber.

As we witness a complete breakdown in Hindu-Muslim relations in India and the state itself stands against its citizens (i.e. Muslims), my question for the panel is how Muslims should face these challenges, especially in electoral politics, media spaces and civil services. I say these three because they would face a lack of trust or discrimination just because they are Muslims, because of the mass propaganda done by the right wing (Hindu nationalists).

My other question now is that the BJP has managed to merge Hindu nationalism with Indian nationalism. How do you think other parties, especially secular parties, can revive Indian nationalism as an inclusive, plural and secular idea among the masses? How can the media play a role in this?




Evoking “the man of demolition”, not sure / surprised that the former union minister and deputy Alphons Kannanthanam has been forgotten. He is also known as the Demolisher, or do you have another opinion?

Watch where he first asked to be considered was Sainik Farms. Very good watch, how he handled it.

Antisense AM


Hello Abhinandan,

I’ve been a subscriber for over a year and proud too. You are doing a phenomenal job. Keep it up!!

Some points :

1) Your app is very late which is very wrong… I don’t know what the problem is.

2) A desperate request to Anand, with all due respect, to keep his answers brief and to the point.

3) Your NL Hafta quality is gradually decreasing (felt by many). Please do something.

Again, I love you all and keep up the great work.


Janak Parikh


Hello Team, Jeremy here from Pune.

Thanks for all you’ve done. I’m a brand new subscriber but I’m already a fan of the way you present news and other content. My only wish is that I hope it becomes possible for the production team in the future to also have the video of the NL Hafta talks. You did this for an episode a few weeks ago and it was really good to watch. Being able to observe non-verbal cues, expressions and reactions made it a lot of fun.




Hi NL team,

Just a follow up email. Manisha had requested more information about an event I had mentioned in my previous email.

>> a press journalist negotiated between the government, the forest agent and the smugglers. There are more detailed stories in Malayalam.




Hi NL team,

I’ve been a subscriber since last year, started as soon as I got my first job because I really appreciate what you do.

In a lot of your podcast discussions you have more and more topics like conversations about why the cleanliness campaign in Indore is working and would the people of Indore sue their practices if they went elsewhere, and many others, including minority-majority relations which are questions studied by my field, social and cultural psychology.

I mainly have two questions:

1) Would you ever consider discussing important research in social or political psychology, for example, and how it relates to our situation in India?

2) As a PhD student at the Center for Social and Cultural Psychology at KU Leuven (focused mainly on the emotional acculturation of Turkish and Moroccan immigrants), can I help provide resources in some way?

Basically I want to help in any way I can. I think this will both benefit the state of social psychology as a field in India which seems to be quite sparse, and potentially add a different layer of analysis to the conversations you sometimes find yourself in on podcasts.

It would also allow me and others like me who are learning and researching abroad in various fields in hopes of one day being able to apply what we learn to social and political issues in India, to contribute actively.

Apologies for the long haul and keep fighting the good fight!

Lots of love from Belgium,


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