This week on Hafta, host Abhinandan Sekhri is joined by Raman Kirpal, Anand Vardhan and Mehraj D Lone of Newslaundry, and Shoaib Daniyal of Scroll.

Shoaib begins by discussing the ongoing Bengal election, which he’s covering for his news platform. The panellists also discuss the Myanmar coup and India’s role as the crisis-struck country’s neighbour. “India has its part in not antagonizing the affairs in Myanmar,” Anand argues, while quoting Aung San Suu Kyi’s observation that “India, being a great regional power, must shoulder responsibility”.

Talking about whether the Quad grouping can play a role in Myanmar, Raman says, “If strategically they want to counter China, the USA will suggest letting their forces out while traditionally India has never gone for it. The USA is going to be far more interested in this because it wants its hegemony in the subcontinent.”

Noting the surge in new coronavirus infections in India and globally, the panellists express scepticism about the Indian government’s role in enforcing the Covid protocols.

The discussion also covers the finance ministry’s now withdrawn order cutting interest rates for small savings schemes, the Delhi amendment bill, and the multifaceted reasons for the BJP’s rise as India’s dominant political force.

Listen.

Text by Ritika Chauhan.

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