16 episodes

The Wire Talks is a weekly podcast, in which each week host Sidharth Bhatia, Founder Editor of The Wire, will chat with guests on politics, society and culture. The guests may or may not be in the headlines, but they will definitely have a lot of interesting things to say. With a running time of 30 minutes and maybe more, these chats will not be like much of the mainstream media today, or like the instant gratification provided by social media.

The Wire Talk‪s‬ IVM Podcasts

    • Politics
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

The Wire Talks is a weekly podcast, in which each week host Sidharth Bhatia, Founder Editor of The Wire, will chat with guests on politics, society and culture. The guests may or may not be in the headlines, but they will definitely have a lot of interesting things to say. With a running time of 30 minutes and maybe more, these chats will not be like much of the mainstream media today, or like the instant gratification provided by social media.

    Ep. 15: Journalists in Jail is a Stain in a Democracy feat. Robert Mahoney

    Ep. 15: Journalists in Jail is a Stain in a Democracy feat. Robert Mahoney

    Journalism in India has become an extremely hazardous profession. It was never easy, but in recent years, journalists are being intimidated, imprisoned, and even killed. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) - headquartered in New York, monitors the safety of journalists worldwide.This week, host Sidharth Bhatia is joined by Robert Mahoney, Deputy Executive Director of CPJ, who leads the organisation's reporting, editorial and advocacy worldwide. A former journalist from Reuters, Robert is familiar with India having served in the New Delhi in the 1980s.
    On this episode, Sidharth talks to Robert about his thoughts on the global scenario of journalism as it stands today, what differences or changes he has observed through 2020 and beyond, whether it's gotten better or worse for journalists over the years around the globe, the trend of seeing some democracies becoming increasingly authoritarian over the last 10 to 15 years, and much more. They also discuss where India stands in terms of press freedoms and harassment of journalists - especially when talking about journalists being killed with impunity and journalists being put behind bars. How did it come to this? Tune in for an eye-opening conversation.
    Follow the Committee to Protect Journalists: https://twitter.com/pressfreedom
    Follow Robert Mahoney on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobertMMahoney
    Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram @bombaywallahhttps://twitter.com/bombaywallah and https://instagram.com/bombaywallah
    You can listen to this show on The Wire's website, the IVM Podcasts website, app on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios, or any other podcast app.

    • 41 min
    Ep. 14: Internet Shutdowns Don't Decrease Violence feat. Raman Jit Singh Chima

    Ep. 14: Internet Shutdowns Don't Decrease Violence feat. Raman Jit Singh Chima

    The Indian government is flexing it's muscles to control the internet and social media platforms. A prolonged internet shutdown near Delhi due to the farmers' protests and orders to Twitter to block accounts - all these actions speak of tougher government measures. All of this has been closely followed by organisations such as 'Access Now'. Where does India stand among other countries with regards to internet restrictions? Also, apart from shutdowns, what else should we as citizens worry about?
    On this episode, host Sidharth Bhatia is joined by Raman Jit Singh Chima, Asia Pacific Policy Director and Senior International Counsel of Access Now - an international non-profit organisation working on human rights in the digital age.Sidharth talks to Raman Jit about why the Indian government is becoming so tough off-late on supressing internet access, why these actions have now backfired on the government with regards to international attention, why suppressing news or suppressing people's access to the internet usually doesn't help with the issue at hand, what we as citizens can do to combat this, and lots more. Tune in for an important eye-opening conversation.
    Follow Raman on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tame_wildcard
    Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram @bombaywallahhttps://twitter.com/bombaywallah and https://instagram.com/bombaywallah
    You can listen to this show on The Wire's website, the IVM Podcasts website, app on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios, or any other podcast app.

    • 40 min
    Ep. 13: The Human Cost of Internet Shutdowns in Kashmir feat. Devdutta Mukhopadyay

    Ep. 13: The Human Cost of Internet Shutdowns in Kashmir feat. Devdutta Mukhopadyay

    Internet data and voice were both shutdown for months in Kashmir, after the removal of Article 370 in August of 2019, that has given Kashmir some autonomy. This action split the state into three parts. Since then, the local governments have implemented internet shutdowns more often - the latest being in Haryana and on the outskirts of Delhi where farmers are currently protesting. In addition to that, recent orders to Twitter to take lock several accounts have added another dimension to the government's move to curb the internet.
    On this episode, Sidharth talks to Devdutta Mukhopadhyay, a young lawyer who's part of the digital rights platform 'Internet Freedom Foundation'. Devdutta has studied and written about internet lockdowns in india which are getting more frequent and bigger in terms of geography and duration. She shares her views on how Twitter cannot really reveal what the reason behind accounts being locked down are or who the order has been sent by, and, if ignored, they can be imprisoned for at least 7 years, why it's important for companies like Twitter to give more time in getting more resources and content moderation in India and not only first world countries. Devdutta also touches upon how internet shutdown are different in Kashmir in comparison to most other states, how in Kashmir 18 out 20 districts don't have access to 4G, how, while there were internet shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the doctors couldn't practice telemedicine and faced problems due to curbing of the internet, and even that there has been no academic season for 2 years. The economic cost of internet shutdowns in India have cost around $2.8 billion dollars. Devdutta also talks about the failures of our education system and how schools should teach children how to spot misinformation, because as internet penetration increases, internet shutdowns will occur time and again, but also how the government can use the internet to prevent internet penetration. All this and a whole lot more on this episode, so do tune in.
    Follow the Internet Freedom Foundation on Twitter: internetfreedom
    Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram @bombaywallahbombaywallah and https://instagram.com/bombaywallah
    You can listen to this show on The Wire's website, the IVM Podcasts website, app on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios, or any other podcast app.

    • 35 min
    Ep. 12: Persecution of Comedians Has a Chilling Effect feat. Anuvab Pal

    Ep. 12: Persecution of Comedians Has a Chilling Effect feat. Anuvab Pal

    At a time when comedians are being targeted by the State and mob attacks, such as the case of Munawar Faruqui, who has been in jail for a month (as of this recording) for a joke he did not make, or Kunal Kamra or Agrima Joshua, it is a good time to talk to someone like Anuvab Pal - standup comedian, screenwriter and novelist, a veteran comedian, to talk about this dangerous trend.
    On this episode, Sidharth and Anuvab get into Anuvab's history as a comedian, being an English comic, his interest in the kind of comedy that has longevity, studying finance and dramatic writing at a university in Ohio and a playwriting diploma from Juilliard, how he met and became friends with Manish Acharya the filmmaker and the movie 'Loins of Punjab' (2007), how he got a job with Reuters, coming back to India and what the atmosphere was like then, the evolution of the standup comedy scene and comedy audiences in India, the opening of The Comedy Store in Mumbai in 2010, which led to the first generation of comedians, the persecution of comedians that has become so mainstream nowadays, what comedians can and should do in times like these, how censorship and self-censorship have increased in our country today, what the role of a comedian comes down to, and lots more. Tune in for a riveting conversation.
    Follow Anuvab on Twitter & Instagram: https://twitter.com/AnuvabPal and https://instagram.com/anuvabpal
    Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram @bombaywallahhttps://twitter.com/bombaywallah and https://instagram.com/bombaywallah
    You can listen to this show on The Wire's website, the IVM Podcasts website, app on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios, or any other podcast app.

    • 50 min
    Ep. 11: Going undercover in Gujarat feat. Ashish Khetan

    Ep. 11: Going undercover in Gujarat feat. Ashish Khetan

    This week on The Wire Talks, host Sidharth Bhatia is joined by investigative reporter Ashish Khetan, whose new book 'Undercover: My Journey into the Darkness of Hindutva' describes his many forays into Gujarat. He visited the state several times to meet and interview those who were involved with the brutal Gujarat violence of 2002, during which over 1,000 people were killed, majority of which were Muslims. Ashish, who was reporting for Tehelka in those days, had to resort to any number of tricks to meet the people involved, people who never gave interviews otherwise. The results, however, were great, with many of these people getting convicted, which shows the importance of good honest old-fashioned journalism.
    On this episode, Sidharth talks to Ashish about good old-fashioned journalism and it's importance in today's times, the 2002 riots of Gujarat, the Godhra Train Burning on 2002 and the narratives that formed around the incident, what Ashish considers as the two turning points of recent Indian journalism, why he had to go undercover as a Hindu fanatic to talk to these rioters and conspirators, the deep-seated hatred that all the perpetrators shared for Muslims (and other minorities), the kinds of 'false facts' that were spread about Muslims, why it seemed like the police and the CBI did not do their job aptly and why our institutions and authorities completely failed during the riots, whether the ere the perpetrators were any different on the ground than what we saw on the news, and lots lots more. Tune in for a hair-raising and eye-opening episode, an indeed must listen.
    Follow Ashish on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AashishKhetan
    Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram @bombaywallahhttps://twitter.com/bombaywallah and https://instagram.com/bombaywallah
    You can listen to this show on The Wire's website, the IVM Podcasts website, app on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios, or any other podcast app.

    • 26 min
    Ep. 10: Tagore Was Always Against Narrow Nationalism feat. Prof. Sibaji Pratim Basu

    Ep. 10: Tagore Was Always Against Narrow Nationalism feat. Prof. Sibaji Pratim Basu

    Rabindranath Tagore was a Renaissance man. An author, a poet, a musician and a playwright. He also wrote on a wide variety of issues. Tagore was a literary giant, not only in India, but across the world, and holds a special place in the hearts of all Bengalis. Today, Tagore's name has been dragged into politics. With elections approaching in West Bengal, the BJP has now cited him as a big champion of nationalism, which goes completely against what he wrote about at the time.
    On this episode, host Sidharth Bhatia is joined by Prof. Sibaji Pratim Basu, professor of political science and the Dean of Arts & Commerce at Vidyasagar University in West Bengal.Among the many books that Prof. Basu has written is one called 'The Poet and the Mahatma: Engagement with Nationalism and Internationalism' which compares the nationalisms of Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi. Do tune in for a fascinating and eye-opening conversation on Rabindranath Tagore and his ideologies.
    You can get in touch with Prof. Basu on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SibajiPratim
    Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram @bombaywallahhttps://twitter.com/bombaywallah and https://instagram.com/bombaywallah
    You can listen to this show on The Wire's website, the IVM Podcasts website, app on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios, or any other podcast app.

    • 31 min

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