Weekend Reads

  1. At least six Bharatiya Janata Party leaders that Liz Mathew of the Indian Express contacted, including a Union minister, admitted that the leaked WhatsApp chats of Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami put them in a spot, with some comparing them to the infamous Nira Radia tapes.
  2. Beyond the more gossipy bits of the leaks, Ayush Tiwari of Newslaundry looks at an important question: did Rajyavardhan Rathore bury Republic TV’s multi-crore corruption complaint?
  3. “Wisecracks about a 25-year-old Bollywood song and Home Minister Amit Shah in a nine-month-old YouTube video, a law that does not exist and another wrongly applied form the basis of a Uttar Pradesh police arrest warrant against standup comic Munawar Faruqui, now in jail for 18 days in Madhya Pradesh for jokes he did not make,” write Saurabh Sharma and Kunal Purohit for Article 14.
  4. Aishwarya S Iyer reporting for the Quint pens a portrait of Munawar Faruqui, who lost his mother at a young age to suicide and worked hard to make it in the difficult world of stand-up comedy.
  5. India has sent millions of Covid-19 vaccine doses to countries around the globe, using its large vaccine manufacturing industry as a powerful diplomatic tool, writes Joanna Slater of the Washington Post.
  6. Dismissing criticism of India’s vaccine process in nationalist tones does not help India, writes Anand Krishnan in the Indian Express, arguing that public institutions have to earn trust.
  7. Somesh Jha reports for BloombergQuint that the government plans to stick to the definition of wages it had put into the new labour codes, despite pushback from industry, in part because of the farmer protests and the danger of further mobilisation.
  8. Asmita Bakshi reports for Mint on how giving voting rights to Non-Resident Indians could affect politics in the country – and whether India should be prioritising them over internal migrants who still don’t have any way of voting other than traveling home.
  9. “I can’t pinpoint the exact moment. At a guess, it was somewhere between Ajinkya Rahane’s century at the MCG and the almighty battering Hanuma Vihari and R Ashwin took at the SCG. As with the business of growing old, it probably wasn’t a moment, per se but, a gradual realisation. Incrementally, surreptitiously, and then it was done: this India team had become likeable,” writes Osman Samiuddin for Cricinfo.
  10. “In doing what they have done in the land of Oz like no other visiting team before them, the folklore around Ajinkya’s Unbreakables will only grow taller and bigger. And why shouldn’t they? Generations will be told that Pujara, if required, could bat against a cruise missile. On one leg. With a broken arm. During a nuclear attack. That Rahane walked on water and Rishabh Fast Hands Pant played one-handed fadeaway slog sweeps blindfolded,” writes Sharda Ugra in the Hindustan Times.