Winamp Logo
The Wire Talks Cover
The Wire Talks Profile

The Wire Talks

English, Interview, 1 seasons, 108 episodes, 3 days 1 hour 46 minutes
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.
Episode Artwork

Bharat Jodo Yatra helped the Congress in Karnataka Ft. Salman Khurshid, Congress Leader

Join Sidharth Bhatia on an engaging episode of The Wire Talks as he sits down with Salman Khurshid, the Former Minister of External Affairs of India. As the nation edges closer to the 2024 elections, their conversation delves into various topics, including the recent victory of the Congress Party in the Karnataka elections, discovering whether the party is making strategic adjustments in light of the approaching elections and gain valuable insights from an experienced political figure. Stay informed and engaged with the latest developments in Indian politics on this compelling episode.Follow Salman Khurshid on Twitter: @salman7khurshidFollow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram The Wire Talks is a weekly podcast, in which each week host Sidharth Bhatia, Founder Editor of The Wire, will chat with gue
23/05/202335 minutes 50 seconds
Episode Artwork

Khalistanis in Canada are few & far between Ft. Ujjal Dosanjh- Prominent Canadian Politician

Get ready for an enthralling episode of The Wire Talks as Sidharth Bhatia engages in a captivating conversation with Ujjal Dosanjh, a renowned Canadian lawyer. Embark on a journey through Ujjal's remarkable life story, beginning from his humble origins in Jalandhar, Punjab, India, to his eventual settlement in Canada. During this engaging dialogue, Ujjal Dosanjh shares captivating anecdotes from his personal journey, shedding light on the experiences that shaped his life. Also gain valuable insights into his literary works, as well as his profound inclination towards politics and the intricate dynamics of religious extremism in Canada. Follow Ujjal Dosanjh on Twitter: @ujjaldosanjh Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram The Wire Talks is a wee
16/05/202346 minutes 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

Same sex marriages are about equal rights Ft. Onir- Filmmaker

The Supreme Court is currently hearing a case on whether same-sex partners should be permitted to marry. The petitioners argue that marriage is a union between two individuals regardless of their gender, but the government appears to disagree with this perspective. Meanwhile, there is a proposal to establish an administration to examine this issue further. LGBTQIA+ community too having significant interest in this case; our host Sidharth Bhatia invited Filmmaker Onir to discuss the matter on our podcast, The Wire Talks. Reach out to Onir on Instagram: @iamonirTo know more tune into this episode of The Wire Talks. Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram The Wire Talks is a weekly podcast, in which each week host Sidharth Bhatia, Founder Editor of The Wire, will chat with guests on p
09/05/202343 minutes 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

There is fear among people of Kashmir Ft. Anuradha Bhasin Executive Editor Kashmir Times

The recent revelation by Jammu &amp; Kashmir's former governor Satya Pal Malik about the death of 40 soldiers in Pulwama attack in 2019 to The Wire, has caused a major political stir. While the government remains tight-lipped, it was then blamed on Pakistan. Back then the former governor mentioned PM Narendra Modi had asked him to stay quiet when he had raised questions regarding security issues and more. In August 2019, Article 370 which had given Kashmir a special status was revoked, thus left everyone shocked.   This week on The Wire Talks joining Sidharth Bhatia is Anuradha Bhasin, the executive editor of The Kashmir Times. The duo talks about Kashmir as what happened after Article 370 was revoked till now, in her book A Dismantled State. She has written about Kashmir's politics for over 3 decades.  Know more about Anuradha Bhasin on Twitter @AnuradhaBhasin_</
25/04/202337 minutes 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Agenda behind changing school textbooks with Prof. Mridula Mukherjee

This week on The Wire Talks, Sidharth is in conversation with Mridula Mukherjee, Noted Historian. Historic movements are always penned in textbooks in order to let the readers know about the rise and fall of that particular era. And this compilation of various happenings in the past is nothing less than painstaking efforts by experts over decades. But post Independence, the history chapters reflected in the Indian textbooks focused more on the Indian perspective over the Colonial. Currently, as per news regarding NCERT, it is observed that many cuts were made in the textbooks, thus sending shock waves amongst academics and educationalists. There is no mention of Moghuls, Maulana Azad and more, this has led to protests. Why do these changes matter?   To know more tune into this episode of The Wire Talks. Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram T
18/04/202339 minutes 13 seconds
Episode Artwork

This is a big crisis for Israel Ft. Danny Ben-Moshe

The protests in Israel against PM Benjamin Netanyahu have been in the headlines for quite some time now. To decode and discuss the current scenario in the country, joining Sidharth Bhatia on The Wire Talks is documentary filmmaker Danny Ben Moshe.  To know more about Danny Ben Moshe follow him on Twitter @dannyb_mFollow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram 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 gr
04/04/202349 minutes 36 seconds
Episode Artwork

Internet shutdowns affect people's livelihoods Ft Namrata Maheshwari

The Punjab government recently shut down internet access which created a huge havoc in the state. This move was taken as its law and order wanted to chase the most wanted criminal Amritpal Singh. The move which was taken with the intention to continue for a short while has been unfortunately being in action in some cities and districts in Punjab for longer time now. Media bodies criticized this move, as over 27 million people were deprived of connectivity. To discuss this joining Sidharth Bhatia on The Wire Talks is Internet Policy Expert, Namrata Maheshwari who works at Asia Pacific Policy Counsel at Access Now. To know more about Namrata Maheshwari follow him on Twitter @NamrataM_Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram The Wire Talks is a weekly podcast, in which each week host Sidharth Bhat
28/03/202332 minutes 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

Air Purifying towers in cities are a Waste of Money Ft. Anju Goel

In the past few days, Mumbai has recorded the worst air pollution ever. City's air quality level has surpassed the alarming level recorded in the country's capital, Delhi. This led to India being ranked 8th spot of the most polluted country in the world. The research was conducted by a Swiss company IQAir. To discuss this, our host Sidharth Bhatia talks to Dr. Anju Goel on The Wire Talks. An expert in Air Quality Management at the Tata Energy and the Resources Institute in  Delhi. She is a fellow in TERI's Earth science and climate change; she studied at IIT Delhi and also has a PhD in her respective field. She is currently leading Clean Air Project focusing on 4 cities along with a team of 15 researchers.  During her conversation, Anju takes us through the techniques, measurements taken by other nations to control pollution, how not just urban but rural areas in India too faced pollution issues, will government's moves help reduce this ever-increasing pollution in t
21/03/202329 minutes 13 seconds
Episode Artwork

We need Anti-Corruption Laws in Sports Ft. Neeraj Kumar

Cricket is not a game, but religion in the country. BCCI, the body that has helped this game flourish in the country for years now, has become one of the richest associations in the world. Thus, giving to rise corruption and more unhealthy techniques to make a big moolah out of it. Later in 2015, former Police Commissioner, Neeraj Kumar was appointed as the chief advisor of the BCCI's Anti-Corruption Unit.  But did this move of BCCI, clean the dirt in the world of cricket? Well in his new book, A Cop In Cricket released in 2023, he pens down some candid chapters from his tenure between 2015-18. His account tells us this move of the BCCI to clean up the corruption, was just taken for granted. Tune into this episode of The Wire Talks as Neeraj unveils some unheard chapters in his conversation with Sidharth Bhatia. To know more about Neeraj Kumar follow him on Twitter @neerajkumarexcpFollow Sidharth Bhati
14/03/202334 minutes 27 seconds
Episode Artwork

Caste discrimination is a reality in America Ft. Kshama Sawant

On 21st February, Seattle emerged as the first city in the United States that explicitly banned discrimination on the basis of caste, after the city council passed an ordinance. The ordinance passed by council member Kshama Sawant introduced it termed as profound and historic. Kshama who moved to the USA to complete her Ph.D. in Economics, has served the council for a decade now, she talks about what makes people elect her, rent control, why taxes should be levied on billionaire bosses, how it helps society, and more. Tune in to The Wire Talks with Sidharth Bhatia, as he talks in peaceful conversation with Kshama Sawant.   Find Kshama Sawant on Twitter Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram The Wire Talks is a weekly podcast, in which each
07/03/202337 minutes 15 seconds
Episode Artwork

The raid on the BBC is a reaction to the documentary Ft. Satish Jacob

Income tax raid on the BBC office in New Delhi or rather survey as they are being termed, after a documentary on the Gujarat riots, has been in the headlines. This conveyed the message anything against the ruling government and the Prime Minister of the country, Narendra Modi will not be tolerated. In this episode of The Wire Talks, our host Sidharth Bhatia talks to Satish Jacob, former Deputy Bureau Chief, who worked with the BBC Network for a long period. During his tenure with BBC, he covered the Punjab Violence, the Blue Star operation and several significant incidents in the past. He shared his reactions on the Income tax raid on BBC, he gave his take on the questions raised on BBC's funds, and he also claimed the network is not a commercial organization. Tune into this episode now. Follow guest Satish Jacob on Twitter @jacob_satishFollow Sidharth Bhatia on <a href="
28/02/202331 minutes 7 seconds
Episode Artwork

Adani should know Hindenberg report is not an attack on India Ft. PN Vijay

Hindenburg report released merely two days before Adani's public issue, caused a stir in the industry. Resulting in business tycoon Gautam Adani canceling the public issue despite it being fully subscribed. Meanwhile, the free-fall of stocks continued. This raised many questions in the stock market as well as amongst the politicians who questioned why SEBI did not look into the group of companies. Answering and discussing all this and more is investment banker, PN Vijay in conversation with our host Sidharth Bhatia, on The Wire Talks. With over 50 years of experience in the stock market, PN Vijay worked with CNBC as a stock market expert and also worked as a national spokesperson for BJP on economics affairs. He starts by answering if short-selling is an unethical activity. Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram The Wire Talks is a weekly podcast, in
21/02/202330 minutes 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

Coming out for queers is still not easy even after 377 is gone Ft. Sharif Rangnekar

There was a huge sigh of relief in 2018 when the Government of India ruled against section 377. Sexual intercourse between same-sex couples earlier observed as a crime was debunked. But has it completely removed the stigma surrounding LGBTQIA+?  In this episode of The Wire Talks joining Sidharth Bhatia, is Sharif Rangnekar, former journalist, TEDx speaker, musician and public relation consultant. Coming out of the closet, he revealed it to his mother about his identity. Following this, he penned a book titled, Straight to Normal: My Life as a Gay Man, the book speaks about his battle for identity. Now his next book, Queersapien, takes it to the next level, diving further into his life.Tune into The Wire Talks, a socio-political podcast every Tuesday on the IVM Podcast and all audio streaming platforms.Follow our guest Sharif Rangnekar on Instagram and
14/02/202344 minutes 36 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Bharat Jodo Yatra surpassed everyone's expectations Ft. Shruti Kapila

Indian politician and a member of the Indian Parliament, Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra is one of the most talked about event in the current times. Starting in September 2022 from Kanyakumari, heading towards the north, the motto was to bring the nation together. But was this the only motto of this Yatra and what did this event achieve in the political term.  Joining our host Sidharth Bhatia on The Wire Talks is Professor of History &amp; global thought, Shruti Kapila. She claims Yatra is a political intervention and also has a connection with the upcoming elections. The duo also talks about the potshots taken at the leader during his Yatra. Shruti further recalls some of the iconic events in the past as Mahatma Gandhi's Salt Satyagraha &amp; L.K. Advani's Rath Yatra.  Tune into The Wire Talks, a socio-political podcast every Tuesday on the IVM Podcast and all audio streaming platforms. Follow Shruti Kapila on <a href="
07/02/202338 minutes 36 seconds
Episode Artwork

The delay in the census will cause a lot of problems Ft. Pramit Bhattacharya

Every 10 years, a massive number of people assigned by the government fan out to count the number of people residing in the country. This survey also includes studying citizens' incomes, the number of family members, property owned by an individual and more. This is the government's Census that has been implemented since 1872. However, the COVID- 19 pandemic pressed a pause button on it, and the census scheduled to take place in 2021 did not happen. To discuss this delay in the census, in this episode of The Wire Talks, our host Sidharth Bhatia, reaches out to journalist and columnist Pramit Bhattacharya. He is an acknowledged columnist for The Mint and The Hindustan Times. He has extensively studied Census, therefore who better than him to understand this delay and its effect on it?   Tune into The Wire Talks, a socio-political podcast every Tuesday on the IVM Podcast and all audio streaming platforms. Follow Pramit Bhattacharya on <a href="https://twitter.c
31/01/202334 minutes 33 seconds
Episode Artwork

India has one of the world's most enlightened constitutions Ft. Raju Ramachandran

On 26th January 2023, India will mark its 74th year of the republic, with a grand parade in the capital. What does this day signify? Well, this was the day back in 1950, when the constitution of India, became into existence. Thus, forming many designations to look into the country's progress. One of these designations was of the Governor of the respective states of the country. However, lately, this designation has been in the news, for not-so-good reasons. So its time to evaluate?  Joining our host Sidharth Bhatia, on The Wire Talks, is Raju Ramchandran, the senior lawyer at Supreme Court. He has practiced for more than 45 years, he was also the additional solicitor general of India from 2002 to 2004. Gujarat Riots &amp; Ajmal Kasab's case are a few of the cases in his portfolio. In this episode, he answers the significance of the republic day of India. During his conversation, he mentions back in time, it was the Congress government that introduced the chapter of fundament
24/01/202342 minutes 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

Art Deco has come to define Bombay Ft. Abigail McGowan

The western part of Mumbai is far moreover desirable than its eastern seaboard. But this transition only happened 2 centuries ago, prior to that the eastern part of Mumbai was a hotspot for all the formal &amp; informal gatherings, from the government bodies to a lot of spots of socializing were majorly in Eastern Mumbai. The western seaboard became a hot-selling cake only after Marine Drive was built, aka Queen's Necklace. Thus, giving rise to some iconic buildings many of which are still standing strong, introducing the citizens' to art decor and a new lifestyle. Leading many academics to study this massive transition. This week on The Wire Talks, joining Sidharth Bhatia, is Abigail McGowan, a professor at the University of Vermont. Our guest particularly focuses on what makes these architectural buildings in the western part of Mumbai, stand apart from the rest. Her book, Crafting the Nation in Colonial India, dives deep into how crafts seized the politica
17/01/202336 minutes 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

BJP has an advantage in 2024 Ft. Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay

Another year has begun and this is a significant year for India. As it is the last year of the ruling government before the general elections. This year will see the political parties in power as well as in the opposition, revising their strategies to connect with their voters. To understand and decode how will this workout, joining our host Sidharth Bhatia on The Wire Talks is Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, journalist &amp; author. Tune into this episode, as he makes some informed guesses as to how 2023 will unfold for the nation.Know more about the guest Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay on Twitter. Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram You can listen to this show on The Wire's website, the IVM Podcasts website and all audio streaming platforms.See
10/01/202343 minutes 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

Gandhiji thought films were evil Ft. Prakash Magdum

A film titled Gandhi released in 1982 helmed by Richard Attenborough, won several prestigious accolades and also introduced the iconic figure of India, to the younger generation. This was followed by many films, newsreels, and documentaries allowing the audience to know more about the Father Of The Nation. However, contrary to this, Mahatma Gandhi, himself didn't like films, as he thought the technology was distractive and harmful, claimed our guest. In this episode of The Wire Talks Sidharth is joined by Prakash Magdum, former director of the National Film Archives of India, civil servant and author. Our guest takes us through his journey about what intrigued him about Mahatma Gandhi and his perspective towards the films. Prakash titles the great leader as the 'Star of The Newsreels' era for the amazing fan following he developed across the borders in the 1930s and 1940s. In addition to this, he also talks about what made him write the book, The Mahatma on Celluloid.  <
03/01/202336 minutes 3 seconds
Episode Artwork

The world admires our elections Ft. S. Y. Quraishi

The Supreme Court recently raised a question on the government for hasty decision regarding the appointment of a new election commissioner. Arun Goel was appointed as the new Election Commissioner (EC) of India in recent times. To discuss the same, joining our The Wire Talks host Sidharth Bhatia is S. Y. Quraishi. He has served as the 17th Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India, was appointed as the CEC as the successor to Navin Chawla in 2010 and had also served as a Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.Follow S.Y. Quraishi on Twitter. Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram You can listen to this show on The Wire's website, the IVM Podcasts website and all audio streaming platforms. See <a href="https://omnystudio.
20/12/202243 minutes 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

NDTV deal not an ordinary business transaction Ft N.Ram

A lot happened after Adani's acquisition of a certain percentage of the stake in NDTV. Our host Sidharth Bhatia of The Wire Talks is back after a short sabbatical with a big question. The question is will the acquisition get news channel to be in favour of the ruling party? Join him as he welcomes Narasimhan Ram, Former Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu to discuss the same. Follow N. Ram on Twitter. Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram You can listen to this show on The Wire's website, the IVM Podcasts website, app on Android: or iOS or any other podcast app. See for privacy information.
13/12/202229 minutes 49 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Booker Prize Changes a Lot for Me Ft. Shehan Karunatilaka

The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida penned by Srilankan author, Shehan Karunatilaka, made him bag the Booker Prize, 2022. The delightful announcement was made on October 17, 2022, in a ceremony held in London. Thus, making him the second Sri Lankan-born author to take this prestigious award home. His novel as described in the ceremony, as "a searing, mordantly funny satire set amid the murderous mayhem of a Sri Lanka beset by civil war." The author was awarded this award, as our neighbouring healed from soaring prices of commodities that lead to a civil uprising. Tune into this fresh episodes of The Wire Talks to listen to our host Sidharth Bhatia's conversation with Shehan Karunatilaka here.&nbsp;Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram @bombaywallah and can listen to this show on The Wire's website, the IVM Podcasts website, app on Android: <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href
01/11/202230 minutes 23 seconds
Episode Artwork

Not One Woman in My Family's Business Group for Over 120 years Dr. Valli Arunachalam

Today's episode of The Wire Talks has our host Sidharth Bhatia in conversation with Dr. Valli Arunachalam. The daughter of former Executive Chairman, MV Murugappan, is fighting against patriarchy and gender discrimination. She is the eldest daughter of the late MV Murugappan and the former Executive Chairman of the Murugappa group. During her conversation she states that for 120 years, the Murugappa Group has been operated by the sons, keeping daughters of the family out of the family business. The Murugappa group has wings spread in bicycles, sugar, abrasives, fertilisers, financial services, and manufacturing. Tune in to this episode to listen to her perspective and battle to get her seat in the family-operated business.Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram @bombaywallah and can listen to this show on The Wire's website, the IVM Podcasts website, app on And
25/10/202234 minutes 27 seconds
Episode Artwork

Uddhav Thackeray's Shiv Sena is not like the old one Ft. Kumar Ketkar

Shiv Sena was formed by cartoonist Bal Thackeray in 1966. Its initial aim was to get Marathi speaking population in Maharashtra preferential treatment. Though the now late Bal Thackeray's headed party also stuck to the party being a non-Hindutva believer, it was in the 1970s when they began placing on weight Hindutva ideology. In this episode of The Wire Talks, Sidharth Bhatia talks to the journalist and Congress MP, Kumar Ketkar. Their conversation covers topics ranging from the inception of the political party, its alliances with other parties, Eknath Shinde's massive move in June 2022, leading to Uddhav Thackeray resigning from CM's chair and the party's future. Keep yourself updated by tuning into The Wire Talk on the IVM Podcasts networks every Tuesday.Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram @bombaywallah and <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_bla
18/10/202251 minutes
Episode Artwork

Social Media disinformation has played a role in Leicester violence Ft. Rohit K Dasgupta

A sudden disturbance was observed in the city of Leicester in the month of September 2022. As per cops following India's win at the Asia Cup 20 tournament against Pakistan, clashes were observed in Hindu &amp; Muslim communities. This led to arrest of people. In this episode of The Wire Talks joining our host Sidharth Bhatia is Rohit K Dasgupta, Senior Lecturer in Cultural Industries, School of Culture &amp; Creative Arts, University of Glasgow. Rohit interacts with Sidharth decoding these clashes and possible factors that gave rise to them. In addition to this, they also discuss the role of social media, as it spread disinformation regarding the Leicester violence attack.Keep yourself updated by tuning into The Wire Talks every Tuesday on the IVM Podcasts networks.Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram @bombaywallah and&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank"
11/10/202245 minutes 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

British colonialism was both good and bad Ft. John Zubrzycki

​Tune in to the latest episode of The Wire Talks as our host Sidharth Bhatia talks to Australian author and researcher, John Zubrzycki.The duo talks about the latter's recent book, The Shortest History of India. The book covers a wide range of topics right from the earliest humans to Harappan civilisation to the invasion of the country by Mughals and Britishers.His book is also documentation of the 5000 years of Indian history including mentions of colonisation to the Independence period.British historian John Keay says, "The Shortest History of India may be a one-day read but it's no small achievement. Nimbly navigating 5000 years of erratic documentation, Zubrzycki's narrative retains its poise, misses little and is a delight to read."&nbsp;Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram @bombaywallah and <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"
04/10/202238 minutes 5 seconds
Episode Artwork

Boycott Bollywood campaigns have hardly any impact Ft. Nikkhil Advani

The recently released movie, Brahmastra starring Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor in pivotal roles remained in the news for varied reasons. This week on The Wire Talks Sidharth Bhatia is joined by filmmaker Nikkhil Advani. The director who has carved his niche in the industry with the films such as D Day, Batla House and more, shares his thoughts on movies. He answers how the audience’s taste in the movie is now more specific, 3 must-do for Hindi filmmakers, how the industry remains unorganized and more. He also shares if the political world has an impact on movie making business, Boycott campaigns and lastly how has COVID-19 pandemic affected the cinematic world overall. Keep yourself updated with the world happening by tuning into The Wire Talks every Tuesday on the IVM Podcasts networks.Follow Nikkhil Advani on Instagram and Twitter- and&nbsp;@nikkhiladvani respectively.&nbsp;Follow Sidharth
27/09/202241 minutes 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

Courts should open their eyes to bulldozer governments Ft. Chander Uday Singh

An independent judiciary is a crucial pillar of democracy, however, over the period of time, the perception has grown that institutions lean more towards the political establishments. In&nbsp;this episode of The Wire Talks, our guest Chander Uday Singh, Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court, in conversation with our host Sidharth Bhatia, has spoken about it extensively. The duo discusses delay and procrastination being huge hurdles, and how they affected some of the prominent issues, and pending cases that required immediate attention.Keep yourself updated with the world happening by tuning into The Wire Talks every Tuesday on the IVM Podcasts networks.Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram @bombaywallah and&nbsp; can listen to this show on The Wire's website, the IVM Podcasts website, app on
20/09/202244 minutes 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Congress has diminished not vanished Ft. Zoya Hasan

Indian National Congress formed in 1885, ruled the nation for several years. However, since 2014, they experienced a decline in power with BJP winning the elections. On this episode of The Wire Talks, Sidharth Bhatia talks to Indian academic and political scientist Zoya Hasan regarding her book, Growing Polarization and the Decline of the Congress Party. The duo discusses the current scenario in the congress party, crises and its ways ahead. Keep yourself updated with the world happening by tuning into The Wire Talks every Tuesday on the IVM Podcasts networks.Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram @bombaywallah and can listen to this show on The Wire's website, the
13/09/202251 minutes 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

We track ads that land on hate sites Ft. Nandini Jammi

It was noticeable of the right-wing outlet getting advertisements from the big companies and making a big moolah. Our guest today on The Wire Talks Nandini Jammi, co-founder of Sleeping Giants, studied this trend in the industry and came up with steps that left the advertisers stupefied. Her organisation led the advertisers to distance themselves from the Pro-Trump newsletters after the USA election of that particular year. Following her, Sleeping Giants venture, she now runs Check My Ads- Ad-Tech industry's watchdog. In this episode, Sidharth and Nandini discuss how the latter has taken this initiative to curtail the promotion of hate ads in the digital space and on television too. Keep yourself updated with the world happening by tuning into The Wire Talks every Tuesday on the IVM Podcasts networks.&nbsp;Follow Nandini Jammi on Twitter @nandoodlesFollow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram @bombaywallah and
06/09/202246 minutes 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

Ethics are not enough, medical sector also needs regulation Ft. Dr. Sanjay Nagral

One of pharmaceutical companies spending 1000 crore to promote its paracetamol, Dolo has currently hit the headline. However, the company claims spending nothing more than 6-10 crore in marketing. However, it is no secret that Pharma companies being aggressive in pushing their products to doctors. From providing incentives, freebies, trips and much more, these pharma companies don't leave any stone unturned to make their product the top selling one. Joining our host Sidharth Bhatia on The Wire Talks this week is Dr. Sanjay Nagral, serving as Consultant Hepatobiliary Surgeon, Dept of Surgical Gastroenterology at Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai. The duo speaks about if these techniques harm or help the patients, massive promotional budgets' effect on the medical segment and the common man and more. Our guest also sheds light on the hospitals emphasizing patients to buy medicines from the hospital itself when a person is undergoing treatment or admitted. In
30/08/202241 minutes 25 seconds
Episode Artwork

Only a Small number of marriages are inter religious Ft. Seema Chishti

In this episode of The Wire Talks host, Sidharth Bhatia is joined by Seema Chishti, a journalist-writer for three decades. The duo discusses inter-religious marriage back in time and now, with the help of Seema's new book, Sumitra and Anees: Tales and Recipes from a Khichdi Family.Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram @bombaywallah and can listen to this show on The Wire's website, the IVM Podcasts website, app on Android: or iOS:, or any other podcast app.&nbsp;See for privacy information.
23/08/202239 minutes 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

How our Tiranga was born Ft. Prof. Arundhati Virmani

Our National Flag came into existence keeping in mind the resemblance of courage and sacrifice (saffron), honesty, peace and purity (white) and faith &amp; chivalry (green). But there were several controversies behind the emergence of our Indian National Flag. In this episode of The Wire Talks, let’s dive deep into the birth of our National Flag.&nbsp;Listen to our host Sidharth Bhatia in conversation with Professor Arundhati Virmani. Our guest Arundhati is an Indian historian and teaches at École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Marseille. One of her many books is A National Flag for India: Rituals, Nationalism and the Politics of Sentiment published in 2008. The book sheds light on the&nbsp;fact that the Indian flag strongly connects&nbsp;to the ethos of colonialism.Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram @bombaywallah and <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="" target="_blank
15/08/202252 minutes 48 seconds
Episode Artwork

Govt cannot be trusted on Data privacy Ft. Apar Gupta

On several instances, people in India are asked to submit their unique identification cards such as PAN cards and Aadhar cards. However, there have been occasions when this private information is leaked into the public domain, thus leading to some misuse of this information. In this episode of The Wire Talks, our host Sidharth Bhatia talks to Apar Gupta. Founder of Internet Freedom Foundation, lawyer, activist and writer on technology from India. Apar gives his take on it. The duo talks about the Private Data Information Bill which was targeted to address this issue, however, was later withdrawn.Follow Apar Gupta on Twitter&nbsp;@apar1984Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram&nbsp;&nbsp;@bombaywallah and&nbsp;</div
09/08/202241 minutes 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

Saffronisation of Indian diplomacy Ft. Kira Huju

On The Wire Talks this week in conversation with Sidharth Bhatia is the Lecturer in International Relations&nbsp;at University of Oxford, Kira Huju. She spoke about her recently released paper, Saffronizing diplomacy: the Indian Foreign Service under Hindu nationalist rule.&nbsp;Link to the article - Kira Huju on Twitter @KiraHujuFollow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram @bombaywallah and can listen to this show on The Wire's website, the IVM Podcasts website, app on Android: or iOS: http
02/08/202244 minutes 2 seconds
Episode Artwork

In Parliament members should be able to speak freely Ft. P. D. T. Achary

Recently when the Lok Sabha secretariat released a list of words to be banned in parliament, it created headlines in the political world. Words such as Jumlajeevi, drama, corrupt and more were banned from being used in the Parliament. The Indian politician and a member of the Indian Parliament, Rahul Gandhi took a dig at the current ruling party for the same.On The Wire Talks, our host Sidharth Bhatia talks to P. D. Thankappan Achary. An ex-officio administrative head of the Secretariat of the Lok Sabha, Achary explains the reason behind the ruling party releasing a booklet of the banned words and their pros and cons. So don't forget to tune in to the latest episode of The Wire Talks on IVM Podcasts.Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram&nbsp;@bombaywallah&nbsp;and&nbsp;<span data-auto-link="true" data-href=
26/07/202231 minutes 58 seconds
Episode Artwork

Congress problems go back a long way Ft. Manish Tewari

This week on The Wire Talks hosted by Sidharth Bhatia, we have Manish Tewari, MP Sri Anandpur Sahib-Punjab, former Union Minister of Information &amp; Broadcasting Government of India and former MP Ludhiana Punjab. In this episode, we have our guest Manish Tewari giving us a round-up of what's happening in his own party (Indian National Congress), his stand on certain things which are distinctive and his take on the current political scenario.Following his opinion on Agnipath Scheme, when asked if this is a pathway out of the party, he replied, "And my stock answer has been, I will repeat it to you, that after having spend 42 years I consider it to be demeaning to be really be answering this question also." He shares his opinions about the upcoming organisational election and if Mrs. Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi will contest for it in any capacity. He speaks about the Congress party's journey from the time it ruled till now. Don't miss his answer
19/07/202249 minutes 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

Kali controversy is needless Ft. Prof. R. Mahalakshmi

Tune in to listen to our The Wire Talks host Sidharth Bhatia in conversation with professor of History at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, R. Mahalakshmi. The duo decodes and talks about the ongoing Kaali movie poster controversy that has arrested the attention of the nation. Our guest speaks about the what lies behind this outrage and shares the mythological aspect of the deity of the Hindu culture. For the uninitiated ones, Leena Manimekalai's documentary Kaali's poster has a character portraying Hindu Goddess Kali, smoking a cigarette, holding a trident in one hand and the LGBTQ flag in the other. This poster has created a stir in the society. Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram @bombaywallah and&nbsp;<
12/07/202244 minutes 19 seconds
Episode Artwork

Authoritarian regimes suppress everyone Ft. Christophe Jaffrelot

Is India inching closer to dictatorship in the current times? or is the country in an emergency without any declaration? This week on The Wire Talks, listen to our host Sidharth Bhatia in conversation with French political scientist and Indologist, Christophe Jaffrelot. Our guest has penned books such as MODIS INDIA: Hindu Nationalism and the Rise of Ethnic Democracy and India's First Dictatorship: The Emergency, 1975 -1977 and more. During their conversation, they discuss Christophe's perspective behind penning down these books. He adds how the current political ruling party has massive budgets for promotion, why one should study about politics has goes in between the elections phase and more. Tune in to this episode of The Wire Talks Follow Christophe Jaffrelot on Twitter @jaffrelotcFollow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram @bombaywallah and http
05/07/202242 minutes 31 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Trend of nationalist films has still some years to go Ft. Alankrita Shrivastava

Is the economics of the film industry changing? Has the audience become pickier when it comes to consuming films in theatres? Are OTT platforms like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and others proving to be game-changing factors in the film business. In this episode of The Wire Talks our host Sidharth Bhatia decodes all these during his conversation with international award-winning film director and screenwriter Alankrita Shrivastava.She has written and directed three feature films - Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare, Lipstick Under My Burkha and Turning 30. She has created the series Bombay Begums and written and directed for it. She has also written and directed for the series Made in Heaven.Most recently she has written and directed a segment for the series Modern Love Mumbai.&nbsp;Tune in to this episode to listen to Alankrita's opinion on the changing movie business.Follow Alankrita Shrivastava on Twitter @alankrita6
28/06/202241 minutes 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

Coping with Bipolar Disorder ft. Aparna Piramal Raje

This week on The Wire Talks our host Sidharth Bhatia talks to writer, columnist, public speaker and educator, Aparna Piramal Raje. The former chats with her about her book, Chemical Khichdi- How I Hacked My Mental Health, where she spilled the beans about suffering from bipolar disorder. When asked why did she write the book and didn't she feel inhibited to let it out in the open she replied, "I wrote because we all want to tell our stories." She adds in today's time opening about your not-so-pleasant parts of our lives is called owning your truth.&nbsp;She shares when she was suffering from bipolar disorders she was not in control of herself, experiencing some sharp highs and lows in her emotions. During the conversation, she takes us through her very first incident, followed by how she struggled and coped with it. Sharing about her uncharacteristic behaviour which left many mystified, she shared experiencing decrease in her sleep, being energetic, several thoug
21/06/202245 minutes 42 seconds
Episode Artwork

My critics did not read my book on Hindus ft. Wendy Doniger

This week on The Wire Talks listen to our host Sidharth Bhatia in conversation with American Indologist Wendy Doniger. The episode unfolds her keen interest in the Indian tradition and the motto behind her book, An American Girl in India: Letters and Recollections 1963–64. During the interaction, Wendy Doniger shares that her mother gave her a book, A passage to India by E. M. Forster when she was 10-11 years old, which led to her developing interest in India and its&nbsp;tradition.In the chapters of her book, she has penned an incident when she fainted while she attended an animal sacrifice event, thus giving up on the thought of being an anthropologist, witnessing of Indo-Pak war in 1965 and more.&nbsp;Recalling her days in India and why she decided to drape saree, she said, "When I first came to India, I wore my European clothes, I wore dresses and short skirts,
14/06/202251 minutes 41 seconds
Episode Artwork

Government should not promote any language ft. Ashok Vajpeyi

Our guest on The Wire Talks is Ashok Vajpeyi, a Hindi-language poet, essayist,, who published over 20 books of poetries. A Sahitya Akademi Award winner; he was the former chairman of Lalit Kala Akademi India's National Academy of Arts, Ministry of Culture, Govt of India, 2008–2011. In this episode of The Wire Talks in conversation with our host Sidharth Bhatia, he spoke the Hindi language, and the challenges and victories of this language. He says, “Hindi is one of the most hospitable languages.” When asked if there is a readership when popular South Indian languages are translated into Hindi, he claims the readership in Hindi is limited. The Hindi literary world’s reaction to Geetanjali Shree’s victory, he mentions it was welcoming, but the negative reviews did exist. In addition to it, he shared about the challenges faced by beyond the borders created novel in the country, as government creates unavoidable hurdles. He speaks about being in favour of the Educati
07/06/202225 minutes 19 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Current crisis in Sri Lanka ft. Sasanka Perera

Sri Lanka is in a bad state, as the country is suffering from severe inflation, scarcity of fuel, with things turning worse as the country also defaults with its international debts. Thus, causing turmoil in the social and political arena as well. It has resulted in countrymen protesting against the government and the Prime Minister of the country, stepping down from designation.In this episode of The Wire Talks, our guest Sasanka Perera who teaches sociology at South Asian University, New Delhi, helps us understand the crisis in Sri Lanka. When asked, our guest if he was shocked by the current state of Sri Lanka, he responded, after observing the situation for the last two years, it was likely to happen and added that the state of the country was not unknown. Our guest was the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences from 2011 to 2018 and the University’s Vice President from 2016 to 2019. His publications in English include Fear of the Visual? Ph
31/05/202238 minutes 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

This book about partition is very relevant today Ft. Navdeep Suri

This week’s guest on The Wire Talks is Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, Navdeep Suri. In conversation with our host Sidharth Bhatia, he speaks about his passion for translation, especially of the novels penned by his grandfather Nanak Singh. During the podcast, Navdeep shares his grandfather being the eyewitness of the dark chapter of Indian history, the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Further, he shares how his mother motivated him to translate his grandfather’s novel so that the stories penned by him, don’t remain restricted to the boundary of a state. Navdeep Suri reads the verses from his grandfather's book where he described about the Jallianwala bagh massacre, "5:30 sharp the clock had struck thousand gathered in the bagh my friends..." His English translations of his grandfather’s classic Punjabi novels have been published by Penguin as ‘The Watchmaker’ and by HarperCollins as ‘A Life Incomplete’ and ‘Khooni Vaisakhi’. His translation o
24/05/202233 minutes 15 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Taj Mahal was never a Hindu temple Ft. Rana Safvi

Taj Mahal or TejoMahalaya? Recently there was a stormy debate about whether the Taj Mahal is a Hindu Temple, Rajput Palace or mausoleum. In The Wire Talks, our host Sidharth Bhatia interacts with Rana Safvi to get more insights on it. Rana Safvi is a writer, blogger and translator. She has published eight books so far on the culture, history, and monuments of India. She has penned books- Tales from the Quran and Hadith, the Delhi Trilogy : Where Stones Speak, The Forgotten Cities of Delhi and Shahjahanabad the Living City of Old Delhi and A Saint, A Folk Tale and Other Stories: Lesser Known Monuments of India. She has translated both the editions of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan's seminal work on Delhi -Asar us Sanadid, Dastan e Ghadar and four accounts of 19th and 20th century Delhi from Urdu to English. She is also a regular contributor to various national newspapers and magazines. Follow Rana Safvi on Twitter and Instagram @iamrana and ranasafvi.Follow Sidharth Bhatia
17/05/202225 minutes 4 seconds
Episode Artwork

India deadly country for journalists ft. Daniel Bastard

Why did India drop from 142nd rank to 150th rank on the World Press Freedom Index produced Reporters Without Borders? Today in The Wire Talks episode our host Sidharth Bhatia talks to the journalist and a media freedom activist, Daniel Bastard, Asia-Pacific Desk at Paris-based global press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders and understands the same. Our guest shares about the freedom and limitations of the journalism world; and also states India is a deadly country for journalists.Follow Daniel Bastard on Twitter @danbastFollow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram @bombaywallah and can listen to this show on The Wire's website, the IVM Podcasts website, app on Android: <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" targ
10/05/202242 minutes 41 seconds
Episode Artwork

The rise in communal violence ft. Ashutosh Varshney

In this episode of The Wire Talks our host Sidharth Bhatia talks about the rise in communal violence in the story. He speaks about violence against minorities, especially Muslims, residing in the states ruled by the political party in power currently. Joining him in this conversation is Ashutosh Varshney, a Sol Goldman Professor of International Studies and the Social Sciences and Professor of Political Science at Brown University. He also directs the Center for Contemporary South Asia. He has penned books such as Battles Half Won: India’s Improbable Democracy (2013), Collective Violence in Indonesia (2009), Ethnic Conflict and Civic Life: Hindus and Muslims in India (Yale 2002), India in the Era of Economic Reforms (1999), and Democracy, Development and the Countryside: Urban-Rural Struggles in India (Cambridge 1995).Follow Ashutosh Varshney on Twitter @ProfVarshneyFollow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram @bombaywallah and
03/05/202250 minutes 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

The rise and fall of the Sassoon Dynasty Ft. Joseph Sassoon

This episode of The Wire Talks hosted by Sidharth Bhatia is graced by Joseph Sassoon, Professor of History and Political Economy and Director of the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University.The episode unveils the secret of the Sassoon dynasty's rise and fall. They were one of the greatest commercial dynasties of the 19th century. The guest talks about Sassoon spreading their wings in the trade and political arena and more. Our guest Joseph Sassoon also speaks about his book, The Global Merchants: The Enterprise and Extravagance of the Sassoon Dynasty.Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram @bombaywallah and can listen to this show on The Wire's website, the IVM Podcasts
26/04/202242 minutes 29 seconds
Episode Artwork

A communal poison has spread in Gujarat ft. Manishi Jani

Communalism riots in Gujarat 2002 witnessed massacre, arson and protests, these riots are considered as one of the most gruesome riots in the history of India. Our guest on The Wire Talks, activist and documentary filmmaker, Manishi Jani gives insight about these spine-chilling riots in Gujarat that went to the new depths of horror and threat with our host Sidharth Bhatia. In this episode, Manishi Jani spoke about Godhra train burning, destruction of shops, houses, restaurants owned by Muslims in Ahmedabad, more and the aftermath of these riots. He adds Godhra train burning was termed as an accident by Railway commission, while conspiracy by Nanavati commission. He continues 150 litres of petrol was used in putting this train on fire, that resulted in the death of 59 pilgrims returning from Ayodhya. Manishi Jani states, “Being a muslim in Gujarat is being nobody”. Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram <a href="" rel="noo
08/03/202240 minutes 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

India's reputation is taking a big hit in the west in recent years Ft. Jason Stanley

This week on The Wire Talks our host Siddharth Bhatia interacts with Jason Stanley, American philosopher and professor at Yale university. The episode has our guest Jason decoding his book, How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them published in 2018.During their conversation, Jason throws light on cultural wars in the nation's history leading to threat, minority being scapegoat, past of fascism, protest against fascism and more. He doles out examples from America and India, where he speaks about the rise and history of fascism. Further explains the idea of fascism, its proliferation thus making the democratic societies go weak in the knees.Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram @bombaywallah bombaywallah and Jason Stanley on Twitter: <a h
01/03/202240 minutes 12 seconds
Episode Artwork

My Mahabharat Is Political feat. G. N. DEVY

Please do fill out our Brand Recall Survey: ( )Indian audiences saw various versions of Mahabharat till date via books, TV shows and movies penned and produced by geniuses in the country. But which one gives out the actual deets about this tale that is packed with love, respect but also with warfare, jealousy, chicanery and morality, still remains a question.On this episode of The Wire Talks, our host Sidharth Bhatia is in conversation with Indian literary critic, former professor and author G.N.Devy. The author in his latest book, MAHABHARATA: The Epic and the Nation has tried to answer the questions such as who wrote this epic, what is its history, why Vyas tried to write this poem and more. According to him, in our country, everyone loves Mahabharat, but nobody respects it. He adds Vyas' Mahabharat was abou
22/02/202239 minutes 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

The 1946 Naval Mutiny Speeded Up Independence feat. Pramod Kapoor

Please do fill out our Brand Recall Survey:&nbsp;(Brand Recall Survey | IVM Podcasts)February 18, 1946 Royal Indian Navy mutiny also called 1946 Naval Uprising saw the Indian Naval Ratings, soldiers, police and civilians locking horns with the British Government. Indian Naval Ratings' anger reached the boiling point due to poor services, racism and broken promises. Though this story has disappeared from our history syllabus, all thanks to our guest author Pramod Kapoor to get us thinking on it all over again.On this episode of The Wire Talks, our host Sidharth Bhatia in conversation with the author Pramod Kapoor, speaks about this forgotten chapter from Indian history. Guest Pramod Kapoor's soon to be releasing book, 1946 Royal Indian Navy Mutiny: Last War o
15/02/202248 minutes 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

Violence in India Has Grown feat. Thomas Blom Hansen

Please do fill out our Brand Recall Survey: (Brand Recall Survey | IVM Podcasts)Violence seems to be all around India and growing. Several sickening incidents have come to light in the most ghastly manner. This episode raises the question if the violence in the country has increased or it is just more prevalent these days as one witnesses it more on their phones and computer in the current times?On this episode of The Wire Talks, our host Sidharth Bhatia talks to Social scientist Thomas Blom Hansen, a Reliance Dhirubhai Ambani professor of anthropology of Stanford University, director of the centre of South Asia on it. Our guest throws light on escalating violence in the country, how it has changed over the period of time, how statistics available with the cops are not reliable and more.Tho
08/02/202251 minutes 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

A Novel on Fake News feat. Amitava Kumar

Fake news has become an endemic problem all over the world. With the advent of social media and sharing platforms, fake news travels in seconds and often ends up hitting the target much before the real news even begins to go out. Refuting or exposing every bit of fake news is a futile task because the damage is done. People seem to be more inclined to believe the fake news that conforms with their well-set beliefs.So far, authors have not engaged with the issue in any kind of major way, but a writer-journalist reacts much faster. Author, writer and journalist Amitava Kumar is just such a person.On this episode, Sidharth Bhatia is joined by Amitava Kumar, teacher, journalist and author, Amitava Kumar has come out with a new novel - 'A Time Outside This Time' which grapples with fake news and the harm it can do. Of course, the novel is far more complex than just that - it talks about Hindutva, about identity, and about the narrator's own personal story.Amitava Kum
01/02/202241 minutes 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

"I Have to Avoid Some Names in My Show" feat. Akash Banerjee

It's a tough time to be a comedian or satirist in India today. They are being harassed online and even jailed, like Munawar Faruqui was. Munawar has been prevented from holding a show anywhere in the country.In such a climate, Akash Banerjee is thriving. His YouTube channel and show 'The Deshbhakt' has more than 2.3 million subscribers on YouTube and 500k Twitter followers, and 450k on Instagram. Akash is a former radio jockey and TV anchor, and has worked in print, publishing, television, radio, and is now on a digital platform. He makes pointed comments about the hypocrisy of politicians, journalists, and even judges.Akash Banerjee joins Sidharth Bhatia on this year ender episode of The Wire Talks, to sum up 2021 in his inevitable style, talk about the state of satire in India, the need to be aware and cautious, and what he would do if he ever got targeted for his videos and other content criticising and asking questions of the status-quo.Follow Akash and The
28/12/202152 minutes 41 seconds
Episode Artwork

Why Are the Beatles So Popular Even Today? feat. Oliver Craske

The Beatles are back in the news. Not that they ever were out of it, but now with the release of the three-part series 'The Beatles: Get Back' by director Peter Jackson, with so far unseen footage, has put them back in the limelight. What is the secret of their longevity that their music sounds fresh to every new generation of music lovers?On this episode, Sidharth is joined by Oliver Craske, author and freelance editor, has been associated with several prominent projects about The Beatles. He was one of a team of four editors of the huge official The Beatles Anthology in 2000, and he was Project Editor of the new Get Back book which has come out along with the movie. Oliver's book 'Indian Sun: The Life of Music of Ravi Shankar' was published in 2020 to rave reviews. It's been extremely well-received everywhere. Among the many books he has edited was Olivia Harrison's book on her husband George Harrison, which is yet another Beatles connection in Oliver's career. Tune in for
14/12/202140 minutes 11 seconds
Episode Artwork

Police Cases Against Farmers Must Be Withdrawn feat. Harinder Happy

More than a year after the farmers' protests started, PM Narednra Modi recently announced that the three laws that had angered the farmers would be repealed. The farmers, on their part, have refused to budge, and will now intensify their agitation. They have faced accusations from BJP spokespersons of being Khalistanis and terroroists, but the farmers haven't budged. Many people have worked behind the scenes to ensure that the farmers' point-of-view is heard, especially in the media. One such person is Harinder Happy, himself the son of Dalit landless farmers in Rajasthan. He is currently Media Coordinator of the protests. He has an MA in Rural Development and Governance from TATA Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad, and was about to pursue his PhD in Agrarian Sociology when the protests began.On this episode, Sidharth talks to Harinder about how he got involved with the farmers protest, why he felt the need to do so, the three laws that angered the farmers in the first p
07/12/202139 minutes 21 seconds
Episode Artwork

360 Degrees Surveillance of Citizens is Emerging in India feat. Anushka Jain

Facial recognition technology is a contentious and controversial subject all over the world. It enables law and order forces to identify faces and check them against databases, except that the technology has in-built biases because of which minorities and other marginalised communities suffer. There are other issues with it as well. A new worldwide campaign 'Ban The Scan' has been launched by Amnesty International and the Delhi-based Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF), a digital liberties organisation, is leading it in India. The campaign demands that police stop using this tech. The IFF has files an RTI request asking the police in Hyderabad, where it is apparently being used, to reveal its database. Thus far, the police have not complied.On this episode, Sidharth Bhatia is joined by Anushka Jain, lawyer and policy researcher, Associate Counsel: Surveillance &amp; Transparency at Internet Freedom Foundation, who is interested in disruptive technologies such as facial recognit
23/11/202136 minutes 45 seconds
Episode Artwork

UP Anti-Muslim Violence Led by State feat. Ghazala Wahab

Violence against Muslims has escalated in different parts of the country. The recent incident of many houses belonging two Muslims in Tripura being burnt down, is the latest in a long series of attacks that begin in 2014. Add to that, the many new legislative measures to marginalize the community, such as the Citizens Amendment Act and the so-called 'Love Jihad Law' in Uttar Pradesh. The coming elections in UP may have something to do with it, but this anti-minority campaign goes much deeper than that.On this episode, Sidharth is joined by Ghazala Wahab, Executive Editor of FORCE magazine, who just published her new book 'Born a Muslim: Some Truths About Islam in India'. The book explores some of the issues mentioned above, and brings together history, politics, and Ghazal's own personal stories. Some of the stories are quite distressing and discomforting, but they make essential reading because it gives a perspective and insight into what could happen to any Muslim - from mi
09/11/202135 minutes 29 seconds
Episode Artwork

We See Ugly Jingoism During India-Pak Matches feat. Ayaz Memon

Cricket in India is a national obsession. Some say, even our national religion. Crowds turn up where ever India is playing in whichever format, from IPL to test matches. The team's fortunes are closely followed and most of all, players can make big money, especially those who perform well. Indians have always been fans of cricket and stadiums are packed on all five days during test matches going back to the 60's. But players got modest salaries well upto the 80's.On this episode, Sidharth Bhatia is joined by Ayaz Memon, sports writer, journalist, columnist, author and lawyer, has followed the trajectory of Indian sports, especially of cricket, for over four decades. He began as a cub reporter and grew to be one of the most authoritative commentators on the game, covering it for a number of papers, and now, like many others, has moved into channels and digital platforms. His new book 'Indian Innings: The Journey of Indian Cricket Since 1947', is a curation of articles written
02/11/202159 minutes 20 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Congress Must Hold Internal Elections feat. Neera Chandhoke

The grand old party of Indian politics is in shambles. With a weak presence in Parliament of only 44 seats, the Congress has lost much of its voice and influence. Its state governments are racked by internal dissent and the leadership cannot seem to makeup its mind.Much of the blame is laid at the door of the Gandhi family - Sonia Gandhi and her two children Rahul and Priyanka - and their grip on the party. But is that the only reason?On this episode, host Sidharth Bhatia is joined by Prof. Neera Chandhoke. She has been studying Indian politics for a long time. She was Professor of Political Science at Delhi University, and is now a Distinguished Fellow at Centre for Equity Studies. She has authors several books on politics and civil society, and contributes regularly to newspapers and online news portals.Sidharth and Prof. Chandhoke talk about the Indian National Congress' loss in seats, popularity and even relevance, the BJP's systematic attacks and trolls on
26/10/202140 minutes 28 seconds
Episode Artwork

Communalisation is a Feature of Society in UP feat. Gilles Verniers

The forthcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh are crucial for the current incumbent Yogi Adityanath and his party, the BJP. The communal temperature has risen quite a bit in the last few years, and especially so in the last few months. Recently, new tensions were added after 8 people, including 4 farmers, died after a car, allegedly driven by the Union Minister's son, ploughed into them. Opposition parties, especially the Congress, have condemned the incident and are sure to focus on it during the campaign. Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav have been drawing big crowds wherever they have travelled. How will all this play out? Will it have an impact on the results and will polarisation between Hindus and others be the main plank of the Adityanath campaign?On this episode, Sidharth is joined by Professor Gilles Verniers, who is the Assistant Professor of Political Science at Ashoka University and Co-Director of the Trivedi Centre for Politi
19/10/202146 minutes 23 seconds
Episode Artwork

Aadhar is Just the Beginning to Link All Databases feat. Srinivas Kodali

On this episode, Sidharth is joined by Srinivas Kodali to talk about Aadhar, the problems with it, what the original intention for it was, what its transforming into now, and tons more. They talk about how the idea of Aadhar was to remove fraud in a major way, the current move to link Aadhar with voter ID, the ability to transfer money digitally, why it seems to have grown to such an extent such that we can't seem to manage our lives anymore without it, people who were warning against such an ID even when Aadhar was being launched, and more.Follow Srinivas on Twitter: Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram @bombaywallahbombaywallah and <span data-auto-link="true" data-hr
12/10/202152 minutes 43 seconds
Episode Artwork

It is Difficult for India and Japan to Work Together feat. Pallavi Aiyar

Author and Journalist Pallavi Aiyar has led a life of wanderings all around the globe. As a student, she lived in England, worked in Delhi after that, and with her diplomat husband Julio, she has lived in China, Indonesia, Japan, and now lives in Spain. From her travels have emerged books that are fascinating studies of societies quite alien from her own personal experience in India. She writes about the countries' society, culture, behaviour, and most of all, how she acts and reacts. Her latest book is 'Orienting: An Indian in Japan', where she talks about Japan and its beauty, but doesn't turn away from looking at its wars. On this episode, Pallavi Aiyar joins host Sidharth Bhatia, to talk about how she goes about planning her books, whether there is even a plan in the beginning to write a book, the ways she notices and observes things around her in all these different places, and lots more. Pallavi also talks about how she manages not to lose the enamour of being in a foreign cou
05/10/202146 minutes 1 second
Episode Artwork

Lynchings in India Are Worrying feat. Dilip Menon

In recent years, Indian history is being rewritten. Cities are being renamed, historical events are being reinterpreted, and old books are being discarded for portraying what is called 'discarded history.' Naturally, historians are aghast and are challenging this tendency to overwrite past history. But, what does all of this mean? Does it mean that there is a campaign or are these local assertions?On this episode, host Sidharth Bhatia is joined by Dilip Menon, a historian of modern India, a Professor of South Asian History at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. He has been observing these things mentioned above happening for some time. Dilip calls himself a historian who engages in writing and conceptualising history beyond the map of India inherited from colonialism. Dilip helps us interpret the war-borne history in India, as she is being taught and learnt for generations.Follow Dilip on LinkedIn: <a href=""
28/09/202144 minutes 16 seconds
Episode Artwork

Climate Change is Visible in Mumbai feat. Nikhil Anand

Climate Change is a harsh reality and it is getting closer than we think. Coastal cities are in great danger because of rising temperatures in the oceans. Mumbai, which is on the Arabian Sea, is going to be particularly hit by the effects of climate change, like many other cities, like many other coastal cities of the world. A few days ago, the civic authority, i.e. the BMC, announced the creation of a climate adaptation and mitigation plan and invited experts to submit ideas and proposals.One of those who attended was Nikhil Anand from Mumbai, an Assistant Professor in the University of Pennsylvania and an environmental anthropologist, and author, whose research focusses on cities, infrastructure, state power and the environment. Four years ago, Nikhil's award winning book 'Hydraulic City: Water and the Infrastructures of Citizenship in Mumbai' was published by Duke University Press. He is currently writing a new book 'Urban Seas'. He joins host Sidharth on this episode to h
21/09/202135 minutes 12 seconds
Episode Artwork

Hindutva RW Trolls feat. Dr. Audrey Truschke

Trolling on social media is serious and menacing problem which has gone far beyond just heckling and what-about-ry. Trolls now threaten violence and worse. Women, especially activists, journalists, academics and celebrities routinely face threats to them and even their family.On this episode, Sidharth Bhatia is joined by Dr. Audrey Truschke, historian of South Asia and Associate Professor at Rutgers University, who has been attacked ceaselessly for her allegedly 'anti-Hindu' views. She writes about Hindu-Muslim relations during the Mughal Empire and her book on Aurangzeb, have made her a constant target of trolls.Sidharth and Dr. Truschke talk about when these online attacks against Dr. Truschke started. Hindu and Hindutva, facing anti-Semitic hate and misogyny that she gets from Hindu nationalists, and lots more. Tune in for an eye-opening episode.Follow Dr. Truschke on Twitter: <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_bla
14/09/202138 minutes 6 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Jallianwala Bagh Redesign is INSENSITIVE to the MARTYRS feat. KBS Sidhu

The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre is a story every India knows. On April 13, 1919, a crowd that had gathered at the Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar to protest against the arrest of Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlu and Dr. Satya Pal, was fired upon by soldiers led by Brigadier General REH Dyer. As the crowd tried to exit from this one solitary path open that day, hundreds of people were killed and the estimated now are said to be anywhere between 400 to 1000 people who were killed in the massacre. Over 1200 people were injured. The Bagh, since the, has become a memorial. a very simple one, to replicate what happened on that particular day in 1919, with bullet holes very much visible, and the narrow exit still looks the same, giving visitors a chilling idea of what it must have been like to be trapped in. Now, the central government in its wisdom has redesigned the path with phases of all kinds of Punjab scenes, including Baisakhi celebrations. This has drawn widespread condemnation.On this epis
07/09/202129 minutes 27 seconds
Episode Artwork

Religion as Politics Does Not Work in Kerala feat. Manu Pillai

History has become a battle ground between those who want to change it and re-write it, though selectively, and those who say our history has been well researched and is fine the way it is. The latest target is the Moplah Rebellion of 1921 in Kerala, which has been so far seen as a revolt of the peasantry against the British colonial government. The BJP and the RSS now disagree and call the Moplahs an early example of a 'Taliban mindset'. That may have something to do with the fact that the Moplahs are Muslim. But these are strong words and have offended many Keralites as well as established historians.On this episode, host Sidharth Bhatia is joined by Manu Pillai, author and historian, to talk about and explain why Ram Madhav, who holds a prominent position in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has brought this up suddenly. Manu has written very well-regarded books like 'The Ivory Throne', about the Travancore royal families, and 'Rebel Sultans', about the rulers of sout
31/08/202141 minutes 18 seconds
Episode Artwork

Afghans Say the World Has Forgotten Us feat. Taran Khan

Afghanistan, which till the other day had thousands of American troops, has fallen to the Taliban. The swift manner in which the Taliban occupied Kabul, with the Afghan army offering no resistance, has shocked the world. The Taliban said it has changed and will not revert to its old ways, but not everyone is convinced. Ordinary citizens are scared and trying to get out of the country and the biggest impact is likely to be on the women of Afghanistan, who will have restrictions imposed on them, including the compulsory wearing of the burqa and hiding the face.On this episode, host Sidharth Bhatia is joined by Taran Khan, an Indian journalist and author who recently wrote the book 'Shadow City - A Woman Walks Kabul'. Taran went to Kabul several times between 2006 and 2013, staying there for several weeks or months at a time.Taran shares her experiences and perceptions about staying and living in Kabul and Afghanistan. Tune in for an eye opening conversation.Follow
24/08/202147 minutes 38 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Restaurant Sector is in a Crisis feat. AD Singh

Among the sectors hit badly due to the prolonged lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic, is the hospitality business. This includes, not just the big hotels, but also independent it stand alone restaurants and bars and even very small joints which have been operating for years. Many of them couldn't pay their employees and rents. There was some respite during the relaxation last year, but after the second wave, it is back to another round of the lockdown. Even now, in cities like Mumbai, restaurants can remain open only till 4pm (this has just changed to 10pm recently).On this episode, host Sidharth Bhatia is joined by AD Singh, Entrepreneur and Founder &amp; Managing Director of the Olive Group of Restaurants, to tell us more about how badly the hospitality business has suffered through the pandemic.Follow AD Singh on Twitter: <span data-auto-link="true" data-href="https://twitter.
17/08/202131 minutes 36 seconds
Episode Artwork

Women Scriptwriters Have Been Ignored in Bollywood feat. Anubha Yadav

The writer is a critical part of making a film. Yet, in India, the credit goes to only the director. Audiences, and even critics, ignore the screenplay writer completely, and really, who remembers the names of the writers of even well known and admired films? Women screenwriters are even more ignored and even academic books and encyclopaedias do not acknowledge them. Why is that so?On this episode, Sidharth is joined by Anubha Yadav, Professor of Broadcast Studies in Delhi University, and also a fiction writer, set out to find more and track down many women who have written for films throughout the history of Hindi cinema, but still remain unrecognised. Her new book 'Scripting Bollywood: Candid Conversations with Women Who Write Hindi Cinema' begins in the 1930's with Devika Rani and Jaddanbai, and ends with contemporary writers like Juhi Chaturvedi. Sidharth and Anubha talk about her book and what she discovered when she researched and spoke to the women.Fo
10/08/202136 minutes 36 seconds
Episode Artwork

Hindutva Cannot Reconcile With Kabir feat. Purushottam Agrawal

School children are taught that Kabir was weaver-poet from the 15th or 16th Century, and that he wrote 'dohas'. That he spoke of unity and harmony and offered simple wisdom about love. And when he died, Hindus and Muslims both claimed him - one wanted to cremate him and the other bury him. Apart from that, very little details were given to the average student. But, Kabir was, of course, much much more than that. He was a prominent poet of the 'Bhakti Movement', one which angered the Brahmin orthodoxy, and in fact, his dohas go much beyond what is widely known.On this episode, Sidharth Bhatia is joined by Purushottam Agrawal, who has been interested in (one might even say obsessed with) Kabir since his student days in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). Kabir was a subject of his PhD dissertation and he has already written one book in Hindi on Kabir's poetry. Purushottam's new book 'Kabir, Kabir: The life and work of the early modern poet-philosopher' takes his research much fu
03/08/202144 minutes 44 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Parsi Community Has Contributed a lot to India feat. Coomi Kapoor

Coomi Kapoor is a well known journalist who has been writing on the the inner workings of the corridors of power for many many years. Her last book 'The Emergency: A Personal History' chronicles the lives of her own family and her father's during the internal emergency from 1975 to 1977. Hey new book is about Parsis, or more specifically, the icons of the community ranging from Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy, the tycoon of the 19th Century, to Nusli Wadia, to Freddie Mercury, who's real name, as we all know, was Farrokh Bulsara.On this episode, Sidharth talks to Coomi about how she wrote and researched for her new book, how she got into writing, and tons more.Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Twitter and Instagram @bombaywallahbombaywallah and can listen to this show
27/07/202143 minutes 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

In UAPA Process is the Punishment feat. Shadan Farasat

The death of Father Stan Swamy, an 80 year old who was in prison for 9 months, facing charges of terrorism, has once again focused sharp attention on the issue of human rights. A crusader for the rights of tribals, Father Swamy has been started under the dreaded Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, which allows the police to hold the accused for almost unlimited period and bail is virtually impossible to get. 15 others including Prof. Anand Teltumbde and trade unionist and activist Sudha Bhardwaj have been in jail for 3 years also under this very law. Human rights have always been a controversial subject in India. Governments have been openly hostile and the public suspicious of what they mean. This has allowed the police, under all kind of political dispensations, to reply disregard civil liberties laws and arrest suspects at random, many of whom are found to be totally innocent many years later.What exactly do we mean by missing human rights?On this episode, host S
13/07/202132 minutes 8 seconds
Episode Artwork

The BJP Has Not Taken Well its Loss in West Bengal feat. Suhas Palshikar

The general elections are are at least three years away, and already the first stirrings of political activity have already begun. Of course, the state elections seem like good indicators as to where voting patterns lie, but as we know, in the past, state elections have not been good representation of how the national vote would go. Nonetheless, the BJP, which is always in election mode, has started preparing because it also has to now go fight elections in the crucial state of UP, and the opposition is trying to see what possibilities exist.On this episode, host Sidharth Bhatia is joined by Dr. Suhas Palshikar, eminent political scientist. Dr. Palshikar is an Indian academic and social and political scientist. He taught Political Science at the Savitribai Phule Pune University, and is the Chief Editor of Studies in Indian Politics. He is also co-director of Lokniti Programme on Comparative Democracy, CSDS. Tune in as Dr. Palshikar breaks all this down, and tons more.F
06/07/202151 minutes 1 second
Episode Artwork

The Anti Digital Drive is a Distraction feat. Mishi Choudhary

Internet freedoms have become a topic of worldwide debate. In India, we have seen growing government interference in the digital domain. The internet has been shut down at will, digital news platforms are threatened and stringent new regulations have been imposed on independent digital news sites. What does all this indicate and how can citizens resist this encroachment on their rights?On this episode, host Sidharth Bhatia is joined by Mishi Choudhari, a technology lawyer, online civil liberties activist with a pretty long record of raising these issues. Mishi is the Legal Director at the Software Freedom Law Centre in Delhi which she founded and practises in India and New York.The centre has conducted landmark litigation cases, petitioned the government of India on freedom of expression, and campaigned for WhatsApp and Facebook to fix a feature on their platform which has been used to harass women in India.Mishi and Sidharth talk about all this and more on this
29/06/202146 minutes 37 seconds
Episode Artwork

Government is Becoming More Intolerant feat. Manjul

The Indian government has been regularly asking Twitter to take down posts especially of those who are critical of it. Recently, it told Twitter to remove the tweets of a few people, and one of them was the cartoonist Manjul, whose cartoons appear all over the place. No one knows which particular department wrote to Twitter, but the social media platform, in the notice that they sent to Manjul, said, "We are writing to inform you that Twitter had received a request from Indian law enforcement regarding your Twitter account @MANJULtoonsz that claims that the content violates the laws of India." No details are available on what particular tweets violate which laws of India.Shortly after this happened, it emerged that this notice is office sent out two account holders. Manjul simply ignored it and went about his work but almost immediately after, his contract with a news portal was abruptly cancelled. The cartoonist has been in the business for many many years, but rarely
18/06/202139 minutes 10 seconds
Episode Artwork

This Regime is Frightened feat. Jawhar Sircar

A new set of rules imposed by the central government recently, will make it almost impossible for retired civil servants to write and publish anything that is critical of government policies. According to these rules, any writing by retired bureaucrats and intelligence officers must be cleared by their former departments before it can be published. If they don't do so, the risk losing their pensions. Regular writers for publications and websites are stunt by these new regulations, already many of them have gone silent.On this episode, Sidharth Bhatia is joined by Jawhar Sircar, who has become a very familiar name with his prolific writing on issues of governance and more. Jawhar Sircar retired recently after 40 years in the civil services, and his last job was as CEO of Prasar Bharti, one of the largest public broadcasters in the world.Sidharth and Jawhar discuss the implications of these new set of rules. Tune in to this invigorating conversation.
15/06/202154 minutes 59 seconds
Episode Artwork

Film Industry is Facing Many Challenges feat. Hansal Mehta

On this episode, host Sidharth Bhatia is joined by director Hansal Mehta. Hansal has made some highly critically acclaimed films such as Shahid and Aligarh, and recently dominated the OTT space with his web series 'Scam 1992' - a multi-part series that tells the compelling story of the stock market scandal of the 1990's. Hansal often also tweets on current topic and speaks up about industry matters.Here, Sidharth talks to Hansal Mehta about how the lockdowns have affected the film industry, the closure of cinemas, and the future of films and the wya films will be made in the coming months and years.Hansal also talks about not expecting this kind of euphoria and response for Scam 1992, at what point he realised they were working on something that would resonate, the combination of factors for the show's success, the 3 years it took to write and shoot the show, and lots more.They also talk about the banking system and frauds that have taken place ove
08/06/202132 minutes 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Whole Central Vista Has Been Non-Transparent feat. Gautam Bhatia

As India grapples with COVID-19, the incumbent in Delhi is going ahead with its planned redevelopment of the Central Vista - a 3km long path that connects India Gate with Rashtrapati Bhawan in the capital. The entire projects is estiamted to cost Rs. 20,000 crores and at the end of it, many distinct buildings will be demolished. A new parliament building, as well as new residences for the Prime Minister and the Vice President will come up. Some of the building that will be brought down include the National Museum, the National Archives and the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. The entire plan has come under a lot of criticism - the expenditure, the lack of transparency, and needlessly building a new parliament, when the old one is still standing solid.Among the critics of this expensive project is Gautam Bhatia, architect, sculptor and author, who's books include - Punjabi Baroque and Other Memories of Architecture, Stories of Stories' 'Delirious City: Polity
01/06/202146 minutes 39 seconds
Episode Artwork

Mental Health Problems Have Increased During the Covid Pandemic feat. Dr. Rajesh Parikh

Along with the COVID-19 pandemic, not just in India but around the world, doctors are noticing a rise in mental health issues. Dévora Kestel, Director of Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at the WHO, recently said that poor mental health has become a parallel pandemic. In India, numbers of people going through psychological distress are rising. The same has been noticed in western countries such as the US and the UK, but also in our neighbour China. How do we address this?On this episode, host Siddharth Bhatia is joined by Dr Rajesh Parikh, Director of Medical Research and Hon. Neuropsychiatrist at Jaslok Hospital in Mumbai. Amount has impressive credentials, such as teaching psychiatrist at The University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine and a former WHO Global Expert on Depression, he has been invited to speak at many international universities and has written over 150 papers for medical journals. Dr. Parikh has been observing and writing about this p
11/05/202150 minutes 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

Satyajit Ray Was a Renaissance Man feat. Dhritiman Chatterjee

This year marks the 100th birth anniversary of Satyajit Ray, the internationally renowned filmmaker with a canon of great films in his repertoire. This anniversary would have been marked with great fanfare, but it was affected by the pandemic and the elections in West Bengal. Nonetheless, Ray remains in the hearts of his legions of fans all over the world. For those who had worked with him, the memories are even more special.Dhritiman Chatterjee, who made his film acting debut in Satyajit Ray's 'Pratidwandi' is one of them. Pratidwandi was a landmark film, one of the very few that Ray made on the politics of the day, when Bengal was in the throes of violence. There are sharp touches of political commentary in the film which captures the spirit and zeitgeist of the times.On this episode, Dhritiman Chatterjee speaks about his memories of Satyajit Ray, his style of working and his own illustrious career as an actor since then. Tune in for an exhilarating convers
04/05/202149 minutes 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

Muslims Are Feeling Excluded feat. Ali Khan Mahmudabad

In recent years, India's Muslims have found themselves on the receiving end of violence, ostracisation, and even legislative measures that undermine their status as equal citizens of India. The media consistently runs propaganda campaigns, often with false narratives, against Muslims and the Citizenship Amendment Act was seen as a blatant attempt to to deprive them of their citizenship. Politicians spare no opportunity to attack them directly or through dog whistles statements. How do Muslims perceive these attacks? And why hasn't there when a backlash by the community or from anyone from the side of the community, be it leadership or people.Dr. Ali Khan Mahmudabad is a man of many parts - scholar, writer and poet. He has often spoken about this subject. A PhD from Cambridge University, and now the Assistant Professor of Political Science at Ashoka University. Dr. Mahmudabad has also recently published an English translation of an Urdu novel on the events of 1857 when I
27/04/202149 minutes 5 seconds
Episode Artwork

Bengal is in the Midst of a Cultural Battle feat. Dr. Ranabir Samaddar

The assembly elections in West Bengal have turned into a battle for survival for the incumbent Mamata Banerjee, who is facing an unprecedented BJP onslaught with heavy weights like the Prime Minister and the Home Minister of India, Narendra Modi and Amit Shah respectively, pulling out all the stops against her. The BJP has never been able to win West Bengal and it is a big price for the party. Hindutva, unheard of in the state, has made big in-roads and threatens to alter the social structure of this state. If you listen to the big media, which only ever gives only one side of the story, the BJP has already won. How much of this is hype? How much of this is reality? Is Bengal today fundamentally different than even a decade ago?On this episode, host Sidharth Bhatia is joined by Dr. Ranabir Samaddar, one of the best known political scientists of West Bengal and of India. He's the author of several books and currently holds the the Distinguished Chair in Migration and For
20/04/202139 minutes 34 seconds
Episode Artwork

AI Can Have Serious Consequences on People feat. Shalini Kantayya

This week, host Sidharth Bhatia is joined by American filmmaker Shalini Kantayya, who's documentary 'Coded Bias' is currently streaming on Netflix. The documentary talks about facial recognition technology and algorithms, how they work, the moral and racial problems that they pose, and how this technology is being welcomed by police forces all over the world, from dictatorships to democracies. The documentary premiered at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival in 2020. Shalini's other films include 'Catching the Sun' and 'A Drop of Life', both highly acclaimed documentaries in their own right.On this episode, Sidharth talks to Shalini about how Coded Bias alarmed and shocked him and how people often tell Shalini that they found the documentary disturbing and terrifying, and yet, somehow hopeful. They also get into whether this is actually something that we should worry about, how AI and facial recognition technologies need to definitely be vetted for racial bias, gender bias and
13/04/202142 minutes
Episode Artwork

Bombay Begums is About Real Women feat. Pooja Bhatt

The Netflix show 'Bombay Begums' released early last month and immediately became much-talked-about, mainly due to its portrayal of its women characters. While it was attracting both admiration and criticism for its bold portrayal of women today, the State got involved.On this episode, host Sidharth Bhatia talks to actress and film director Pooja Bhatt about starring in Bombay Begums, it's characters and story, what made Pooja want to play the role of Rani on the show. They also talk about what it was like for Pooja to get back into acting after 21 years despite being very active behind the camera over the past few years, meeting Alankrita Shrivastav (creator and director of the show), how audiences and the processes have changed in the field of acting, and tons more.See for privacy information.
06/04/202153 minutes 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

Analysing Violence Among Indians in Australia Feat. Dr. Surjeet Dhanji

Tensions are said to be rising among many members of the Indian community in Australia. Last month, a car belonging to some Sikhs in Sydney was damaged by some men with bats and it was captured on CCTV. Restaurants have said that they are being caught in a crossfire between Sikhs and others. The police are investigating this and other incidents and some reports say that deportation may be considered. Why has this suddenly broken out in Australia, a country where there is no history of intra community violence among Indians.On this episode, Sidharth Bhatia is joined by Dr. Surjeet Dhanji of the University of Melbourne and the Asia Institute, who specialises in and has been studying migration issues for a long time.Sidharth talks to Surjeet about the sudden outburst of tensions among Indians in Australia, how some of the anti-farmer hype in India has morphed into anti-Sikh hype in Australia, how this is the first time seeing such intra community violence in Australia where
30/03/202128 minutes 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

Oversized Statues Are About Identity Feat. Prof. Kajri Jain

Larger than life statues are visible throughout India. These are mainly of religious figures, but not limited to them, as the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Gujarat shows. In Mumbai, the government is contemplating erecting a tall statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in the sea.This week, host Sidharth Bhatia is joined by Prof. Kajri Jain, Professor of Art History and Visual Studies at the University of Toronto and author of 'Gods in the Bazaar: The Economies of Indian Calendar Art'. Kajri's work focuses on the imagery at the interface between religion, politics and vernacular business cultures in India.On this episode, Sidharth talks to Kajri about her latest book 'Gods in the Time of Democracy', a book about such statue building that seems to be spreading not just in India, but all across the world.Sidharth talks to Kajri about what lies behind this race to build such huge outsized statues. Is there a political dynamic involved, or is this an assertion
23/03/202149 minutes 40 seconds
Episode Artwork

Researching Victoria and Abdul Was a Big Challenge feat. Shrabani Basu

On this episode, host Sidharth Bhatia is joined by Shrabani Basu, a journalist and author based in London, who's works have been on bestsellers lists.Her books include the critically acclaimed 'For King and Another Country', 'Spy Princess, the Life of Noor Inayat Khan', and 'Victoria &amp; Abdul: The True Story of the Queen's Closest Confidant' which became a major movie starring Dame Judi Dench and Ali Fazal. Her latest book is 'The Mystery of the Parsee Lawyer: Arthur Conan Doyle, George Edalji and the Case of the Foreigner in the English Village', an unlikely story of a young Parsi in a small village in Victorian England, who is convicted for a strange crime and then appeals to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to help him.Sidharth talks to Shrabani about the process of writing each of her books, the kind of painstaking research it takes, the fascinating way she did her research for the Victoria &amp; Abdul, the letters of Abdul Kareem, the relationship between Abdul Kareem an
09/03/202131 minutes 35 seconds
Episode Artwork

The Australian Tech Deal with Big Media is Terrible feat. Christopher Warren

On this episode, host Sidharth Bhatia is joined by Christopher Warren, a veteran journalist who is currently the media editor of Crikey, Australia's leading independent news service. Christopher reports on media, old and new, and has been writing about media disruption and innovation for over a decade. He recently wrote a piece called 'How Australia Ended Up with the Worst Deal Possible'. The deal referred to in the article is the fight and subsequent compromise between the Australian government and tech giants like Facebook and Google, about payment for content to the big media houses. This case is being followed closely by governments, media companies and readers worldwide.On this episode, Sidharth and Christopher get into this extremely meaty issue by talking about what the Australian government is trying to do with these proposals, whether it's actually a good feasible path forward or whether it's a terrible deal, why this issue has come about in the first place, where pu
02/03/202143 minutes 5 seconds
Episode Artwork

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 st
23/02/202139 minutes 30 seconds
Episode Artwork

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 suppressin
16/02/202138 minutes 53 seconds
Episode Artwork

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, t
09/02/202133 minutes 25 seconds
Episode Artwork

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 gene
02/02/202148 minutes 46 seconds
Episode Artwork

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 p
26/01/202124 minutes 26 seconds
Episode Artwork

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 &amp; 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
19/01/202129 minutes 51 seconds
Episode Artwork

The New Farm Laws Will Finish Off a Way of Life feat. Prof. Pritam Singh

For the past month and a half, thousands of farmers of Punjab and Haryana have been camping near the borders of Delhi to protest against the three new laws passed by the Modi Government. The farmers feel that these laws will favour the big cooperate buyers are these protest only about incomes.On this episode, host Sidharth Bhatia is joined by Dr. Prof. Pritam Singh, Indian Academic, Educationist &amp; Professor of Economics at Oxford Brookes University. The professor gives us an overview of the farmer protest, why the green revolution was passed and how it has affected India in imports and exports, how there will be two laws and two markets working at the same time due to these laws, people from Bollywood also raising their voices for the protest and how many of them have roots in villages, Prime Minister Modi saying that many farmers' delegations from Punjab have met him and have supported the laws and how farmer agitation during colonel rule has been evoked in this current
12/01/202140 minutes 47 seconds
Episode Artwork

This Government is Against Dissent feat. Aishe Ghosh

In December 2019, the students of JNU - Jawaharlal Nehru University were attacked by a mob that broke onto the campus. The students were protesting in support of their demands, which included the scaling back of the fee hike that had just been implemented. More than 20 students were injured in the attacks - among them was Aishe Ghosh, scholar and student leader at JNU, President of the JNU Students' Union and a member of the Students' Federation of India, who had to be hospitalised because of her injuries, but instead of helping her, the Delhi police charged her with vandalism.This week, Aishe Ghosh joins Sidharth Bhatia on this episode of The Wire Talks, to talk about that incident in detail, what led to the unrest and the attacks on the students, the problems with the fee hikes not only at JNU but also at colleges across the board, what it seemed like the authorities wanted with the violence, how that backfired for them and instead became a unifying issue across the c
22/12/202031 minutes 22 seconds
Episode Artwork

Love Jihad and Anti-Minority Violence feat. Harsh Mander

This week on The Wire Talks, Sidharth Bhatia is joined by Harsh Mander, author, columnist, teacher and social activist. Harsh is an activist for harmony and love. In 2002, Harsh Mander left his job as an IAS officer after the riots in Gujarat. He has since worked on Right to Information at the policy level, and also worked with victims of marginalized and disadvantaged communities. In 2017, he took a Karwan e Mohabbat, a caravan of love, on a journey of atonement and solidarity, and found minorities everywhere in the country living in fear.On this episode, Sidharth and Harsh talk about Harsh leaving his IAS job, what made him leave the IAS, why he felt that our country was losing everything that was precious to us, why our constitution is in need of protection, why our system seems to always let down victims of the 2002 Gujarat riots, the Delhi anti-Sikh riots of 1984 and the Bombay riots of 1992-93, what it was like being a human rights defender for the Gujarat riots victims, t
15/12/202046 minutes 32 seconds
Episode Artwork

Parallels Between the Plague and COVID-19 Pandemics feat. Prashant Kidambi

125 years ago, Bombay was hit by a deadly disease called 'the plague'. Nobody had seen anything like it, a large number of people were losing their lives everyday due to this disease, and the hospitals were full of patients in trying to combat it. The plague spread to other cities and localities as well. By the time it ended, more than a million people had lost their lives. The colonial administration, which ran Bombay at the time, took matters in their own hands and went about the task of containing the disease with clinical ruthlessness - crowded homes were demolished, people were displaced and entire areas were cleaned up. In the end, however, a newly laid out city emerged.On this episode, host Sidharth Bhatia is joined by Dr. Prashant Kidambi, author of the book 'The Making of an Indian Metropolis: Colonial Governance and Public Culture in Bombay, 1890-1920' and Associate Professor of Colonial Urban History at the University of Leicester, to talk about how he traced the g
08/12/202039 minutes 33 seconds
Episode Artwork

Making Gully Boy Was an Incredible Experience feat. Zoya Akhtar

This week, Sidharth Bhatia is joined by the extremely talented filmmaker and screenwriter Zoya Akhtar. Zoya has been a part of some of the most successful and well received Hindi movies in recent years. With every film of hers, Zoya's reputation as a good and bankable director has only grown.On this episode, Sidharth and Zoya talk about how she got interested in movies, growing up in a film industry family with screenwriter parents and how that played into how she looked at films from a young age, how her films often feel like a blend between Indian as well as western influences, the 'gaze' that keeps changing when making a film or any other project, how working on Gully Boy was different than working on Dil Dhadakne Do, how she got to work on Gully Boy and how she got in touch with rapper Naezy for it, the importance of layered characters, certain backlash that Zoya got for Dil Dhadakne Do, the various upcoming projects Zoya is working on, and lots lots more. Tune in for an ama
01/12/202045 minutes 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

Pollution Hits the Poor More feat. Siddharth Singh

Smog issues in parts of India, especially in the north, have reached hazardous levels. This is the case not just in Delhi and it's neighbourhoods, but in most of North India. Residents are breathing not just foul smelling air, but also air which is extremely dangerous to their health and wellbeing.This week on The Wire Talks, Sidharth Bhatia is joined by Siddharth Singh. Siddharth Singh is the Lead India Analyst and Coordinator at the International Energy Agency (IEA), and is the author of the book 'The Great Smog of India'. That's exactly what he joins Sidharth Bhatia to talk about on this episode. They discuss why it seems like nothing major and effective has been done on the matter of the smog in all these years, eventhough we know by now that this is an annual issue, and more importantly, what can infact be done to battle this major health hazard. They also talk about some health issues caused by the smog, including Vitamin D deficiencies, respiratory problems, and more.
24/11/202041 minutes 9 seconds
Episode Artwork

Dylan Mohan Gray on Vijay Mallya & Bad Boy Billionaires

This week on The Wire Talks, Sidharth Bhatia is joined by the Canadian-Indian filmmaker Dylan Mohan Gray. Dylan recently directed the much acclaimed 'King of Good Times' section of the Netflix series 'Bad Boy Billionaires', which talked about the rise and fall of Vijay Mallya and his business empire. Dylan has also directed a 2012 movie called 'Fire in the Blood' which depicts the international obstruction of access to low-cost drugs and medicines used in the treatment of HIV/AIDS to people on Africa and other parts of the global south. It talks about how this agenda is pushed by multinational pharmaceutical companies holding patent monopolies and how various governments consistently do their bidding.On this episode, Dylan talks about his career and background, being originally from Canada, living in Mumbai, also having lived in Budapest and Berlin, how he began working in the film industry in Europe, why a lot of his films are tied to topics in contemporary history, wo
17/11/202042 minutes 55 seconds
Episode Artwork

Arshia Sattar on India's Many Ramayanas

The Ramayana is an integral part of the Indian ethos. Every child in India knows the basic story of the Ramayana. There are hundreds of versions of the story in the country and in other parts of southeast Asia. Apart from the cultural traditions that reflect the diversity of this vast land, the Ramayana has now also become a political weapon of sorts.With Diwali right around the corner, on this episode, Sidharth Bhatia is joined by Arshia Sattar, an inspiring Indian translator, facilitator, author and director. Her book - 'Valmiki's Ramayana', is an abridged translation of the epic - an epic which is said to be written 2500 years ago. A PhD in South Asian languages and Indian civilizations from the University of Chicago, Arshia has also studied under the famous scholar, Wendy Doniger, and the scholar poet A. K. Ramanujan.On the episode, Sidharth talks to Arshia about how different people see the Ramayana, and what she feels about how it should be looked at - as a piece
10/11/202035 minutes 25 seconds
Episode Artwork

Jairam Ramesh on Indira Gandhi's Legacy

Welcome to the very 1st episode of The Wire Talks with Sidharth Bhatia, Founding Editor of The Wire, where he talks to thought leaders and opinion formers about various happenings in the news and beyond.On this first episode, Sidharth is joined by a most esteemed guest - Jairam Ramesh, Member of Parliament and Author, to mark the 36th anniversary of the death of Mrs. Indira Gandhi, India's first woman Prime Minister, and discuss some key points from her political career, as well as talk about her indomitable legacy.For 18 years before her death, Indira Gandhi was the dominant political force in the country. She is mostly admired and remembered fondly, but also has her critics who say that she was an imperious non-democrat who destroyed institutions. But ofcourse, it's not as simple as that. Tune in to listen to Sidharth Bhatia and Jairam Ramesh discuss Indira Gandhi in great detail, tell some fascinating stories about her life and break down various aspects of her care
03/11/20201 hour 14 minutes 17 seconds
Episode Artwork


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.Follow Sidharth Bhatia on Instagram and Twitter @bombaywallah : can listen to this show on The Wire's website, the IVM Podcasts website, app on Android: or iOS:, or any other podcast app.See <a h
30/10/20201 minute 23 seconds