The Seen and the Unseen - hosted by Amit Varma (2023)

1 day ago

Ep 298: The Life and Work of Ashwini Deshpande

Her pioneering work has helped us understand how caste and gender remain huge problems in India. But her past goes beyond numbers, into a rich history of ajobs and ajis and theatre and song. Ashwini Deshpande joins Amit Varma in episode 298 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss how she used her economist's gaze to understand our social problems -- and how films and music also played their part. (For full linked show notes, go to SeenUnseen.in.) Also check out: 1. Ashwini Deshpande on Twitter, Ashoka, Google Scholar, Amazon and her own website. 2. The Grammar of Caste -- Ashwini Deshpande. 3. Why are Indian Women not employed? -- Ashwini Deshpande's talk for Manthan. 4. What Women Do: Is it even "work"? -- A seminar by Ashwini Deshpande at Ashoka. 5. The New Grammar of Caste -- Ashwini Deshpande's talk at JNU. 6. Gender and Caste Discrimination and Affirmative Action in India -- Ashwini Deshpande speaks to Shruti Rajagopalan on the Ideas of India podcast. 7. Caste, Capitalism and Chandra Bhan Prasad -- Episode 296 of The Seen and the Unseen. 8. Select episodes of The Seen and the Unseen that discussed gender with Shrayana Bhattacharya, Paromita Vohra, Kavita Krishnan, Urvashi Butalia, Namita Bhandare, Manjima Bhattacharjya, Mahima Vashisht and Alice Evans. 9. Amit Varma's tweet with Ashwini Deshpande's viral and potentially award-winning vocal performance. 10. Archaeology and the Public Purpose -- Nayanjot Lahiri. 11. Rahimatpur: Town along the Kamandalu -- GP Deshpande. 12. Satyashodhak (out-of-print book) (YouTube) -- GP Deshpande. 13. Uddhwasta Dharmashala (Marathi) (English)-- GP Deshpande. 14. Thelma and Louise -- Ridley Scott. 15. Jyoti Subhash, Amruta Subhash, Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Ebrahim Alkazi, Rohini Hattangadi, Jayadev Hattangadi, Manohar Singh, Sai Paranjpye, Arun Joglekar, Shriram Lagoo and Amol Palekar. 16. Ghashiram Kotwal -- Vijay Tendulkar. 17. Jai Santoshi Maa -- Vijay Sharma. 18. English Vinglish -- Gauri Shinde. 19. Satyajit Ray and Manmohan Desai. 20. Qurbani -- Feroz Khan. 21. Dance Dance For the Halva Waala -- Episode 294 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Jai Arjun Singh and Subrat Mohanty). 22. Dance Dance — Babbar Subhash. 23. Aagaya Aagaya Halwa Wala — Song from Dance Dance. 24. Ek Aur Ek Gyarah -- David Dhawan. 25. Baba Sehgal and ML Sondhi. 26. The Man Who Resides in Music -- PL Deshpande on Malikarjun Mansur, translated by Ashwini Deshpande. 27. Narendra Shenoy and Mr Narendra Shenoy -- Episode 250 of The Seen and the Unseen. 28. Chhoti Si Baat -- Basu Chatterjee. 29. Raj Kumar's famous dialogue from Waqt. 30. Ashwini Bhide Deshpande and Manik Bhide. 31. Yuval Noah Harari on Amazon. 32. The Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect. 33. Womaning in India With Mahima Vashisht -- Episode 293 of The Seen and the Unseen. 34. Kaushik Basu and Amazon, Twitter, Wikipedia and his own website. 35. Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? -- Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan. 36. Race At Work: Realities of Race and Criminal Record in the NYC Job Market -- Devah Pager and Bruce Western. 37. Walking the Talk? What Employers Say Versus What They Do -- Devah Pager and Lincoln Quillian. 38. The Economics of Discrimination -- Gary Becker. 39. How Gary Becker Saw the Scourge of Discrimination -- Kevin Murphy. 40. The Theory of Discrimination -- Kenneth Arrow. 41. What Has Economics to Say About Racial Discrimination? -- Kenneth Arrow. 42. Who gains from the new Maternity Benefit Act Amendment? — Devika Kher. 43. Here’s What’s Wrong With the Maternity Benefits Act — Suman Joshi. 44. Who is the Identifiable Victim?: Caste Interacts with Sympathy in India -- Ashwini Deshpande and Dean Spears. 45. Identifiable victim effect. 46. Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study -- Thomas Sowell. 47. Dominant or Backward? Political Economy of the Demand for Quotas by Jats, Patels and Marathas -- Ashwini Deshpande and Rajesh Ramachandran. 48. (In)Visibility, Care and Cultural Barriers: The Size and Shape of Women's Work in India -- Ashwini Deshpande and Naila Kabeer. 49. Norms that matter -- Ashwini Deshpande and Naila Kabeer. 50. The gendered effects of droughts -- Farzana Afridi, Kanika Mahajan and Nikita Sangwan. 51. The COVID-19 Pandemic and Gendered Division of Paid and Unpaid Work -- Ashwini Deshpande. 52. Women’s Work in India: Evidence from changes in time use between 1998 and 2019 -- Nicholas Li. 53. Dropping Out, Being Pushed Out or Can’t Get in? Decoding Declining Labour Force Participation of Indian Women -- Ashwini Deshpande and Jitendra Singh. 54. Women at Work -- Episode 132 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Namita Bhandare). 55. The Loneliness of the Indian Woman -- Episode 259 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shrayana Bhattacharya). 56. The Refreshing Audacity of Vinay Singhal -- Episode 291 of The Seen and the Unseen. 57. Metrics of Empowerment — Episode 88 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Devika Kher, Nidhi Gupta & Hamsini Hariharan). 58. We Should Celebrate Rising Divorce Rates (2008) — Amit Varma. 59. Elite Imitation in Public Policy -- Episode 180 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan and Alex Tabarrok). 60. Fixing Indian Education — Episode 185 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Karthik Muralidharan). 61. Understanding Indian Healthcare — Episode 225 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Karthik Muralidharan). 62. Karthik Muralidharan Examines the Indian State -- Episode 290 of The Seen and the Unseen. 63. Ret Samadhi -- Geetanjali Shree. 64. Main Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhata Chala Gaya -- Mohammed Rafi song from Hum Dono. 65. Court — Chaitanya Tamhane. 66. The Disciple — Chaitanya Tamhane. 67. Line of Duty, Downton Abbey, Bridgerton, Shetland, The Good Wife, The Good Fight and Giri/Haji. 68. The Good Doctor -- Damon Galgut. 69. Gangubai Kathiawadi -- Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing. And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free! Episode art: 'Patriarchy' by Simahina.

4 hr 25 min

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Oct 2, 2022

Ep 297: Alice Evans Studies the Great Gender Divergence

We're in the 21st century, and it would seem that the world is finally moving towards gender equality, right? Not so fast. Alice Evans joins Amit Varma in episode 297 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss why some parts of the world are crawling slower than others. (For full linked show notes, go to SeenUnseen.in.) Also check out: 1. Alice Evans on her blog, website, YouTube, podcast, Google Scholar, King's College and Twitter. 2. Rocking Our Priors -- Alice Evans's podcast. 3. Ten Thousand Years of Patriarchy, Updated! -- Alice Evans. 4. An Intellectual History of the Patriarchy -- Alice Evans. 5. Friendships and Women's Liberation -- Alice Evans. 6. 3 Things I Got Wrong About Patriarchy -- Alice Evans. 7. What Don't We Know About Patriarchy? -- Alice Evans. 8. Overcoming the Global Despondency Trap -- Alice Evans. 9. Ideas of India: The Great Gender Divergence -- Alice Evans on Shruti Rajagopalan's podcast. 10. Ideas of India: Female Friendships and Fraternal Capital -- Alice Evans on Shruti Rajagopalan's podcast. 11. Select episodes of The Seen and the Unseen that discussed gender with Shrayana Bhattacharya, Paromita Vohra, Kavita Krishnan, Urvashi Butalia, Namita Bhandare, Manjima Bhattacharjya and Mahima Vashisht. 12. Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome. 13. We Should Celebrate Rising Divorce Rates (2008) — Amit Varma. 14. Metrics of Empowerment — Episode 88 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Devika Kher, Nidhi Gupta & Hamsini Hariharan). 15. The Loneliness of the Indian Woman — Episode 259 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shrayana Bhattacharya). 16. Desperately Seeking Shah Rukh — Shrayana Bhattacharya. 17. Chup: Breaking the Silence About India’s Women -- Deepa Narayan. 18. Terror as a Bargaining Instrument -- Francis Bloch and Vijayendra Rao. 19. Russia: Bill to Decriminalize Domestic Violence -- Human Rights Watch. 20. The Argumentative Indian -- Amartya Sen. 21. Climate Change and Our Power Sector -- Episode 278 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshay Jaitly and Ajay Shah). 22. Nuclear Power Can Save the World — Joshua S Goldstein, Staffan A Qvist and Steven Pinker. 23. Emergent Ventures prizes for best new and recent blogs -- Tyler Cowen. 24. Zotero -- Your Personal Research Assistant. 25. Most of Amit Varma’s writing on DeMon, collected in one Twitter thread. 26. On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough -- Alberto Alesina, Paola Giuliano, Nathan Nunn. 27. The Ties That Bound -- Barbara A Hanawalt. 28. Jared Diamond and Paul Collier on Amazon. 29. Pseudoerasmus.-- Blog about economic history & comparative development. 30. Daron Acemoglu on Amazon. 31. Naila Kabeer on Twitter, LSE, her own website.and Google Scholar. 32. Sylvia Chant at LSE and Google Scholar. 33. Claudia Goldin at Harvard and Google Scholar. 34. Early Indians — Tony Joseph. 35. Tony Joseph’s episode of The Seen and the Unseen. 36. Who We Are and How We Got Here — David Reich. 37. Wanderers, Kings, Merchants: The Story of India through Its Languages — Peggy Mohan. 38. Understanding India Through Its Languages — Episode 232 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Peggy Mohan). 39. On the Economic Origins of Restricting Women’s Promiscuity -- Anke Becker. 40. Herding, Warfare, and a Culture of Honor: Global Evidence -- Yiming Cao, Benjamin Enke, Armin Falk, Paola Giuliano and Nathan Nunn. 41. The Politics of Marriage in Medieval India: Gender and Alliance in Rajasthan -- Sabita Singh. 42. The Ulema-State Alliance: A Barrier to Democracy and Development in the Muslim World -- Ahmet T Kuru. 43. Gendered Morality -- Zahra Ayubi. 44. Parkinson’s Law — C Northcote Parkinson. 45. Sowmya Dhanaraj and Vidya Mahambare speak to Alice Evans on her podcast. 46. Structural Transformation and Employment Generation in India -- Amit Basole. 47. Networks and Misallocation: Insurance, Migration, and the Rural-Urban Wage Gap -- Kaivan Munshi and Mark Rosenzweig. 48. Curse of the Mummy‐Ji: The Influence of Mothers‐In‐Law on Women in India -- S Anukriti, Catalina Herrera‐Almanza, Praveen Pathak and Mahesh Karra. 49. Gender, Intersectionality and Smartphones in Rural West Bengal -- Sirpa Tenhunen. 50. Private Truths, Public Lies — Timur Kuran. 51. The Rise and Fall of Imperial China: The Social Origins of State Development -- Yuhua Wang. 52. Penis pins. 53. Female Monarchs and Merchant Queens in Africa -- Nwando Achebe. 54. The Enlightened Economy: Britain and the Industrial Revolution, 1700-1850 -- Joel Mokyr. 55. The Slave Trade and the Origins of Mistrust in Africa -- Nathan Nunn and Leonard Wantchekon. 56. Michael Pollan on coffee. 57. Public Goods and Ethnic Divisions -- Alberto Alesina, Reza Baqir and William Easterly. 58. The Progress of Humanity -- Episode 101 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Steven Pinker). 59. Claiming the State -- Gabrielle Kruks-Wisner. 60. Capable Women, Incapable States -- Poulami Roychowdhury. 61. The Big Questions -- Steven Landsburg. 62. A Godless Congregation — Amit Varma. 63. Honour and Shame: Women in Modern Iraq -- Sana Al-Khayyat. Check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing. And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free! Episode art by Simahina.

4 hr 8 min

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Sep 25, 2022

Ep 296: Caste, Capitalism and Chandra Bhan Prasad

The evil of caste will be solved not by deliverance from up top but empowerment from down below. Dalit scholar and writer Chandra Bhan Prasad joins Amit Varma in episode 296 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain why the cure for caste lies in capitalism -- and why his two great heroes are Babasaheb Ambedkar and Adam Smith. (For full linked show notes, go to SeenUnseen.in.) Also check out: 1. Chandra Bhan Prasad on Twitter, Amazon, Wikipedia. Mercatus, Times of India and Google Scholar. 2. Defying the Odds: The Rise of Dalit Entrepreneurs -- Devesh Kapur, D Shyam Babu and Chandra Bhan Prasad. 3. What is Ambedkarism? -- Chandra Bhan Prasad. 4. Dalit Phobia: Why Do They Hate Us -- Chandra Bhan Prasad. 5. When Adam Smith entered an Ambedkar village -- Chandra Bhan Prasad. 6. In defence of suit, boot -- Chandra Bhan Prasad. 7. How Piketty got it wrong -- Chandra Bhan Prasad. 8. Who was the real Ambedkar? -- Chandra Bhan Prasad. 9. On Ambedkarism, Caste and Dalit Capitalism -- Chandra Bhan Prasad in conversation with Shruti Rajagopalan in the Ideas of India podcast. 10. 'Indian languages carry the legacy of caste' -- Chandra Bhan Prasad interviewed by Sheela Bhatt. 11. Rethinking Inequality: Dalits in Uttar Pradesh in the Market Reform Era -- Devesh Kapur, Chandra Bhan Prasad, Lant Pritchett and D Shyam Babu. 12. The Collected Writings and Speeches of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. 13. The Dalit Emancipation Manifesto of 1951 -- Babasaheb Ambedkar. 14. Select episodes of The Seen and the Unseen that discussed caste with TM Krishna, Shruti Rajagopalan and Manu Pillai. 15. Select episodes of The Seen and the Unseen that discussed the 1991 reforms with Shruti Rajagopalan+Ajay Shah, Vinay Sitapati and Montek Singh Ahluwalia. 16. Select episodes of The Seen and the Unseen that discussed gender with Shrayana Bhattacharya, Paromita Vohra, Kavita Krishnan, Urvashi Butalia, Namita Bhandare, Manjima Bhattacharjya and Mahima Vashisht. 17. Ramchandra Keh Gaye Siya Se -- Song from Gopi. 18. The Laws of Manu (Manu Smriti) -- The Penguin edition & the Buhler translation. 19. India’s Problem is Poverty, Not Inequality — Amit Varma. 20. What Have We Done With Our Independence? — Episode 186 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pratap Bhanu Mehta). 21. Devesh Kapur at University of Pennsylvania. 22. Crusader Sees Wealth as Cure for Caste Bias -- The New York Times profile of Chandra Bhan Prasad by Somini Sengupta. 23. In an Indian Village, Signs of the Loosening Grip of Caste -- The Washington Post piece on Chandra Bhan Prasad by Emily Wax. 24. Small Holdings in India and Their Remedies -- Babasaheb Ambedkar. 25. Aims and Objects of the Republican Party of India -- Babasaheb Ambedkar. 26. Ambedkar's memorandum to the British (in Volume 10 of his collected works). This episode is sponsored by CTQ Compounds. Check out The Daily Reader and FutureStack. Use the code UNSEEN for Rs 2500 off. Check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing. And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free! Episode art by Simahina, in a homage to Gond painting.

3 hr 38 min

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Sep 18, 2022

Ep 295: The Girl From Kashmir

Imagine being a young girl growing up in a world of constant curfews, occasional raids, army bunkers outside homes, and the fear that whoever leaves home may not return. Farah Bashir joins Amit Varma in episode 295 of The Seen and the Unseen to speak about her childhood in Kashmir — and the act of writing about it. (For full linked show notes, go to SeenUnseen.in.) Also check out: 1. Farah Bashir on Twitter and Instagram. 2. Rumours of Spring: A Girlhood in Kashmir -- Farah Bashir. 3. Kashmir and Article 370 — Episode 134 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Srinath Raghavan). 4. Curfewed Night -- Basharat Peer. 5. The Good Women Of China -- Xinran. 6. Svetlana Alexievich on Amazon. 7. Portrait of a Turkish Family -- Irfan Orga. 8. Amitava Kumar Finds the Breath of Life — Episode 265 of The Seen and the Unseen. 9. Sharon and My Mother-in-Law -- Suad Amiry. 10. Derry Girls on Netflix and Wikipedia. 11. Nazia Hasan on Spotify. 12. Little Women -- Louisa May Alcott. 13. Nikaah -- BR Chopra. 14. Things Fall Apart -- Chinua Achebe. 15. Sonnets -- William Shakespeare. 16. Hussain Haidry, Hindustani Musalmaan -- Episode 275 of The Seen and the Unseen. 17. The Life and Times of Nilanjana Roy — Episode 284 of The Seen and the Unseen. 18. The Life and Times of Urvashi Butalia — Episode 287 of The Seen and the Unseen. 19. Ghazal -- Agha Shahid Ali. 20. Farah Bashir on the Raw Mango campaign. 21. The Wretched of the Earth -- Frantz Fanon. 22. Kaabil: That Old Regressive Bollywood Strikes Again -- Amit Varma. 23. Georges Simenon on Amazon. 24. Varun Grover Is in the House -- Episode 292 of The Seen and the Unseen. 25. Masaan — Directed by Neeraj Ghaywan and written by Varun Grover. 26. Against White Feminism -- Rafia Zakaria. 27. Another Birth and Other Poems -- Forugh Farrokhzad. 28. The Late Bourgeois World -- Nadine Gordimer. 29. Telling Times -- Nadine Gordimer. 30. Kashmir ki Kali -- The Shakti Samanta film starring a Bengali! 31. Territory of Desire -- Ananya Jahanara Kabir. 32. Mahjoor and Habba Khatoon. 33. Ali Saffuddin and Parvaaz on Spotify. 34. Toni Morrison on Amazon. 35. The Patience Stone -- Atiq Rahimi. 36. Elena Ferrante on Amazon. 37. Milkman -- Anna Burns. 38. Paradise Lost -- John Milton. 39. Macbeth -- William Shakespeare. 40. Greta Gerwig on IMDb, Wikipedia and Mubi. 41. Hisham Matar on Amazon. 42. Museum of Innocence -- Orhan Pamuk. 43. Bell Hooks and WG Sebald on Amazon. 44. The Loneliness of the Indian Woman — Episode 259 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shrayana Bhattacharya). 45. Vivian Gornick on Amazon. 46. The Odd Woman and the City — Vivian Gornick. 47. Fierce Attachments -- Vivian Gornick. 48. Shame On Me -- Tessa McWatt. 49. Home Fire -- Kamila Shamsie. 50. Joan Didion and Jane Austen on Amazon. This episode is sponsored by Capital Mind. Check out their offerings here. Check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing. And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free! Episode art by Simahina, in a homage to Madhubani painting.

3 hr 15 min

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Sep 12, 2022

Ep 294: Dance Dance For the Halva Waala

You can lose yourself in cinema -- and you can find yourself in it. Jai Arjun Singh and Subrat Mohanty join Amit Varma in episode 294 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about the films in their lives, why we should watch old films, why we should watch new films, why Bollywood and Hollywood and other woods are all great, and why we live in a wonderful technicolor world. This episode is a celebration of cinema!(For full linked show notes, go to SeenUnseen.in.)Also check out: 1. Jai Arjun Singh on Twitter and Instagram. 2. Haal-Chaal Theek Thaak Hai -- Subrat Mohanty and Pavan Jha's podcast. 3. Jai Arjun Singh Lost It at the Movies -- Episode 230 of The Seen and the Unseen. 4. Jabberwock — Jai Arjun Singh’s blog. 5. Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron: Seriously Funny Since 1983 — Jai Arjun Singh. 6. The World of Hrishikesh Mukherjee -- Jai Arjun Singh. 7. Popcorn Essayists: What Movies do to Writers -- Edited by Jai Arjun Singh. 8. The Golden Era -- Subrat Mohanty's YouTube playlist of 100 lesser-known songs from the golden era of Hindi film music (mostly 1935-65). 9. The Unseen Lata -- Subrat Mohanty's YouTube playlist of 54 lesser-heard songs from Lata Mangeshkar, from 1948 to 1976. 10. Old posts by Subrat Mohanty from the Passion For Cinema web archives. 11. Some Spotify playlists, courtesy Nishant Shah, from Haal-Chaal Theek Thaak Hai episodes: 1, 2, 3, 4. 12. Pavan Jha's YouTube channel. 13. The only 1980s Maltova Mum commercial I could locate from the 1980s. (Couldn't find Singer.) 14. Kashmir Ki Kali -- Shakti Samanta. 15. Mughal-E-Azam -- K Asif. 16. Khuda Nigehbaan Ho -- Song from Mughal-E-Azam, sung by Lata Mangeshkar, music by Naushad, lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni. 17. Cinema Paradiso -- Giuseppe Tornatore. 18. Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan -- talk show by Tabassum. 19. Old episodes of Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan with RD Burman, Deepti Naval, Anand Bakshi and Bhupinder. 20. The Indiana Jones and Superman franchises. 21. The Evil Dead -- Sam Raimi. 22. Sam Raimi, Wes Craven and John Carpenter. 23. The Fugitive and The Bodyguard. 24. The Unbearable Lightness of Being -- Milan Kundera. 25. The Antichrist -- Friedrich Nietzsche. 26. The 400 Blows -- Francois Truffaut. 27. Salò, or The 120 Days of Sodom -- Pier Paolo Pasolini. 28. Łódź Film School and Andrzej Wajda. 29. Do the Right Thing -- Spike Lee. 30. On Exactitude in Science (Wikipedia) -- Jorge Luis Borges. 31. Titus Andronicus -- William Shakespeare. 32. A Chess Story (previously published as The Royal Game) -- Stefan Zweig. 33. The World of Yesterday -- Stefan Zweig. 34. The Friday the 13th franchise. 35. Tracy and Hepburn -- Garson Kanin. 36. Bhimsen Joshi, Mallikarjun Mansur, Kumar Gandharva and Lata Mangeshkar on Spotify. 37. Vijay Anand, Guru Dutt, Raj Kapoor, Bimal Roy and Hrishikesh Mukherjee. 38. Guide -- Vijay Anand. 39. Kaagaz Ke Phool -- Guru Dutt. 40. Jean-Luc Godard and Federico Fellini. 41. Shankar–Jaikishan, Hasrat Jaipuri, Shailendra, Mukesh, KA Abbas, Ramanand Sagar and Kidar Sharma. 42. Aag, Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Awaara, Barsaat and Shree 420.43. Nargis and Nadira. 44. Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh -- Song from Shree 420, sung by Asha Bhosle and Manna Dey, music by Shankar-Jaikishan, lyrics by Shailendra. 45. Orson Welles. 46. Squid Game on Netflix. 47. The Immediate Experience -- Robert Warshow. 48. Dil Dhadakne Do, Luck by Chance and Gully Boy -- Zoya Akhtar. 49. Casablanca -- Michael Curtiz. 50. Yudh and Tridev -- Rajiv Rai. 51. Amit Varma’s Twitter threads on the MAMI festival from 2018 and 2019. 52. The Art of Translation -- Episode 168 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Arunava Sinha). 53. Dead Poet's Society -- Peter Weir. 54. The desire to help, and the desire not to be helped — Roger Ebert’s review of Goodbye Solo. 55. Pauline Kael on Amazon. 56. Dekalog — Krzysztof Kieślowski. (And Roger Ebert’s essay on it.) 57. The Dead — John Huston. 58. In the Bedroom -- Todd Field. 59. Devdas (Sanjay Leela Bhansali) and Parineeta (Pradeep Sarkar). 60. Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy and Vikram Seth. 61. Raag Darbari (Hindi) (English) — Shrilal Shukla. 62. PG Wodehouse on Amazon and Wikipedia. 63. Films, Feminism, Paromita — Episode 155 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Paromita Vohra). 64. Dharmyug and Dharamvir Bharati. 65. Andha Yug (Hindi) (English) -- Dharamvir Bharati. 66. Suraj ka Satvaan Ghoda -- Dharamvir Bharati. 67. Gunahon Ka Devta — Dharamvir Bharati. 68. Sara Rai Inhales Literature — Episode 255 of The Seen and the Unseen. 69. The Life and Times of Mrinal Pande — Episode 263 of The Seen and the Unseen. 70. Anil Biswas, SD Burman, Chitragupt, Roshan, C Ramchandra and Madan Mohan. 71. Naushad and Aan. 72. Maan Mera Ehsan -- Song from Aan, sung by Mohammad Rafi, music by Naushad, lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni. 73. Sebastian D'Souza, Anthony Gonsalves, Ghulam Mohammed and Mohammed Shafi. 74. Khayyam and RD Burman. 75. The Long Tail -- Chris Anderson. 76. The Sound of Music -- Robert Wise. 77. Do-Re-Mi -- Song from The Sound of Music. 78. Giacomo Puccini and Giuseppe Verdi on Spotify. 79. Tosca -- Giacomo Puccini -- performed at Arena di Verona. 80. Dua Lipa, Olivia Rodrigo, Lizzo and Billie Eilish on Spotify. 81. About That Time -- Lizzo. 82. Renaissance -- Beyoncé. 83. Ae Dil Hai Mushkil -- Karan Johar. 84. Aar Paar, Geeta Dutt and Eminem. 85. Pet Shop Boys, Guns N' Roses, U2, REM and Stone Temple Pilots on Spotify. 86. Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. 87. How This Nobel Has Redefined Literature -- Amit Varma. 88. Mera Joota Hai Japani -- Song from Shree 420, sung by Mukesh, music by Shankar-Jaikishen, lyrics by Shailendra. 89. Sahir Ludhianvi and Majrooh Sultanpuri. 90. Do Bigha Zamin -- Bimal Roy. 91. Dharti Kahe Pukaar Ke -- Song from Do Bigha Zamin, sung by Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshkar, music by Salil Chowdhury, lyrics by Shailendra. 92. Varun Grover Is in the House -- Episode 292 of The Seen and the Unseen. 93. Mondegreen. 94. Tragedy -- Bee Gees. 95. Aap Jaisa Koi -- Song from Qurbani, sung by Nazia Hassan, music by Biddu Appaiah, lyrics by Masth Ali & Shashi Pritam. 96. Ek Akela Is Shaher Mein -- Song from Gharaonda, sung by Bhupinder Singh, music by Jaidev, lyrics by Gulzar. 97. Jonathan Haidt on Amazon. 98. Amar Akbar Anthony and Andrei Tarkovsky. 99. 2001: A Space Odyssey -- Stanley Kubrick. 100. Mirza Ghalib (and the show on him by Gulzar). 101. Roy Lichtenstein, Drowning Girl, Jackson Pollock, René Magritte, Pablo Picasso and the Pre-Raphaelites. 102. The Wire, Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. 103. Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorcese, Quentin Tarantino, Coen Brothers and Preston Sturges. 104. Ball of Fire -- Howard Hawks. 105. The Lady Eve -- Preston Sturges. 106. Barbara Stanwyck and Lawrence Olivier. 107. Francis Ford Coppola, Brian De Palma and Alfred Hitchcock. 108. How to Read and Why -- Harold Bloom. 109. Malayankunju -- Sajimon Prabhakar. 110. Muqaddar Ka Sikandar -- Prakash Mehra. 111. Agatha Christie on Amazon and Wikipedia. 112. Nayak -- Satyajit Ray. 113. Prakash Mehra and Kader Khan. 114. Laawaris -- Prakash Mehra. 115. Don and Majboor. 116. Sample SSR conspiracy theory: He’s alive! 117. David Cronenberg. 118. Masaan — Directed by Neeraj Ghaywan and written by Varun Grover. 119. Moonlight — Barry Jenkins. 120. Chacha Bhatija, Parvarish, Amar Akbar Anthony and Dharam Veer -- Manmohan Desai. 121. Man, Woman and Child -- Erich Segal. 122. Man, Woman and Child (1983 film) -- Dick Richards. 123. Masoom -- Shekhar Kapoor. 124. Shyam Benegal, Govind Nihalani, Mani Kaul, Kumar Shahani, Mrinal Sen and Robert Bresson. 125. Au Hasard Balthazar -- Robert Bresson. 126. Uski Roti -- Mani Kaul. 127. Narendra Shenoy and Mr Narendra Shenoy — Episode 250 of The Seen and the Unseen. 128. Calcutta 71 -- Mrinal Sen. 129. Ivan's Childhood, Solaris and Andrei Rublev -- Andrei Tarkovsky. 130. Stanislaw Lem on Amazon an…

4 hr 51 min

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Sep 4, 2022

Ep 293: Womaning in India With Mahima Vashisht

The world we live in is designed by men for men. What is it like to be a woman in this world? Mahima Vashisht joins Amit Varma in episode 293 of The Seen and the Unseen to share her experiences documenting all that is unseen by men and lived by women. (For full linked show notes, go to SeenUnseen.in.) Also check out: 1. Mahima Vashisht on Twitter and Buy Me A Coffee. 2. Womaning in India -- Mahima Vashisht's newsletter. 3. The Womaning in India podcast. 4. The All-Powerful Female Imposter Syndrome -- Mahima Vashisht. 5. Maternity Discrimination is killing women's careers -- Mahima Vashisht. 6. Body shaming women is our favourite national pastime -- Mahima Vashisht. 7. Let's talk about Office Toilets -- Mahima Vashisht. 8. The Raja Beta Syndrome -- Mahima Vashisht. 9. Fabulous Lives of Indian Housewives -- Mahima Vashisht. 10. What is obstetric violence? (Aka my birth story) -- Mahima Vashisht. 11. Women face selective deafness in meetings -- Mahima Vashisht. 12. Lessons from the Tarun Tejpal judgment -- Mahima Vashisht. 13. The Great Indian Dhakosla -- Mahima Vashisht. 14. Kavitha Rao and Our Lady Doctors -- Episode 235 of The Seen and the Unseen. 15. The Memoirs of Dr Haimabati Sen — Haimabati Sen (translated by Tapan Raychoudhuri). 16. Nobody Told Me -- John Lennon. 17. The Sunk Cost Fallacy. 18. Koffee With Karan. 19. An Unsuitable Boy -- Karan Johar. 20. The Nurture Assumption -- Judith Rich Harris. 21. The Confidence Gap — Katty Kay and Claire Shipman. 22. Dunning-Kruger Effect (Wikipedia). 23. Poker at Lake Wobegon — Amit Varma. 24. India = Migration — Episode 128 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Chinmay Tumbe). 25. India Moving — Chinmay Tumbe. 26. The Life and Times of Mrinal Pande — Episode 263 of The Seen and the Unseen. 27. The Road to Freedom -- Arthur C Brooks. 28. Clarification Regarding Release of Funds to Prasar Bharti -- I&B Ministry press release. 29. A Life in Indian Politics — Episode 49 of The Seen and the Unseen (w JP Narayan). 30. The Darwaza Band campaign with Amitabh Bachchan and Anushka Sharma. 31. The Vidya Balan Nirmal Bharat commercial. 32. Swachh Bharat -- Episode 82 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan. 33. The Good Girls — Sonia Faleiro. 34. Two Girls Hanging From a Tree — Episode 209 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Sonia Faleiro). 35. Toilet: Ek Prem Katha. 36. Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Pednekar's Swachh Bharat commercial. 37. Twin Peaks -- David Lynch. 38. The Life and Times of Nilanjana Roy — Episode 284 of The Seen and the Unseen. 39. My Friend Sancho -- Amit Varma. 40. The #MeToo Movement — Episode 90 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Supriya Nair & Nikita Saxena). 41. Inside Bill's Brain -- Decoding Bill Gates. 42. Daily Rituals — Mason Currey. 43. Daily Rituals: Women at Work — Mason Currey. 44. The tweet Mahima referred to about Albert Einstein's wife. 45. Eileen Mary O’Connell's tweet about Marie Curie and Mariah Carey. 46. The Loneliness of the Indian Woman — Episode 259 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shrayana Bhattacharya). 47. The Life and Times of Urvashi Butalia — Episode 287 of The Seen and the Unseen. 48. The Incredible Curiosities of Mukulika Banerjee -- Episode 276 of The Seen and the Unseen. 49. It is immoral to have children. Here’s why — Amit Varma. 50. Men Must Step Up Now — Amit Varma. 51. Superforecasting — Philip Tetlock & Dan Gardner. 52. Who gains from the new Maternity Benefit Act Amendment? — Devika Kher. 53. Here’s What’s Wrong With the Maternity Benefits Act — Suman Joshi. 54. This Be The Verse — Philip Larkin. 55. Deep Work — Cal Newport. 56. Invisible Women -- Caroline Criado Perez. 57. The controversy over the woman with an oxygen cylinder cooking in the kitchen. 58. We Should Celebrate Rising Divorce Rates (2008) -- Amit Varma. 59. The Kavita Krishnan Files -- Episode 228 of The Seen and the Unseen. 60. Fearless Freedom — Kavita Krishnan. 61. Why Loiter? — Shilpa Phadke. 62. The Jackson Katz quote on passive sentence constructions. 63. Manjima Bhattacharjya: The Making of a Feminist — Episode 280 of The Seen and the Unseen. 64. Karthik Muralidharan Examines the Indian State -- Episode 290 of The Seen and the Unseen. 65. Whole Numbers and Half Truths — Rukmini S. 66. Rukmini Sees India’s Multitudes — Episode 261 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rukmini S). 67. How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men’s Feelings -- Sarah Cooper. 68. Untamed -- Glennon Doyle. 69. Shrill -- Lindy West. 70. Steal Like an Artist -- Austin Kleon. 71. Show Your Work -- Austin Kleon. 72. Keep Going -- Austin Kleon. 73. Hannah Gadsby, Tig Notaro, James Acaster and Karunesh Talwar. 74. And here's Mahima's post with more show notes! This episode is sponsored by Capital Mind. Check out their offerings here. Check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing. And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free! Episode art by Simahina, in a tribute to Cubism.

5 hr 45 min

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Aug 28, 2022

Ep 292: Varun Grover Is in the House

He's one of our finest writers, lyricists, comedians, dissenters -- and the breadth of his work is matched by the depth of his insights. Varun Grover joins Amit Varma in episode 292 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about his life and work so far. (For full linked show notes, go to SeenUnseen.in.) Also check out: 1. Varun Grover on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and IMDb. 2. Masaan -- Directed by Neeraj Ghaywan and written by Varun Grover. 3. Aisi Taisi Democracy on YouTube. Twitter and Instagram. 4. Sandeep aur Pinky Faraar -- Directed by Dibakar Banerjee and co-written by Varun Grover. 5. Biksu -- Raj Kumari (illustrations) and Varun Grover (words). 6. Learn Screen Writing -- Varun Grover's course on Front Row. 7. Varun Grover interviewed on Slow Cafe by Neelesh Misra. 8. Guftagoo with Varun Grover. 9. Moh Moh Ke Dhaage -- Lyrics by Varun Grover. 10. Tu Kisi Rail Si -- Lyrics by Varun Grover. 11. Mann Kasturi -- Lyrics by Varun Grover. 12. Network -- Sidney Lumet. 13. Hot Drinks Equal Warm Feelings. 14. The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism — Episode 139 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshaya Mukul). 15. A Life in Indian Politics — Episode 149 of The Seen and the Unseen (w JP Narayan). 16. Massive fire breaks out at Chitrakoot ground in Andheri. 17. Private Truths, Public Lies — Timur Kuran. 18. I, Pencil -- Leonard Read. 19. Uski Roti -- Mani Kaul. 20. The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind — Gustave le Bon. 21. Crowds and Power — Elias Canetti. 22. Nikaah -- BR Chopra. 23. Masoom -- Shekhar Kapur. 24. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner -- Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 25. The Refreshing Audacity of Vinay Singhal -- Episode 291 of The Seen and the Unseen. 26. Stage.in. 27. The Indianness of Indian Food — Episode 95 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vikram Doctor). 28. Blowin' in the Wind -- Bob Dylan. 29. You're Missing -- Bruce Springsteen. 30. Gajanan Madhav Muktibodh and Dushyant Kumar. 31. M Indicator. 32. Range -- David Epstein. 33. The desire to help, and the desire not to be helped — Roger Ebert’s review of Ramin Bahrani's Goodbye Solo. 34. Georges Simenon on Amazon. 35. Fast Car -- Tracy Chapman. 36. Amitava Kumar Finds the Breath of Life -- Episode 265 of The Seen and the Unseen. 37. Aadha Gaon -- Rahi Masoom Raza. 38. Biba Sada Dil Morr De -- Nusrat Fatek Ali Khan. 39. Mirza Ghalib on Rekhta. 40. Early Indians — Episode 112 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tony Joseph). 41. Early Indians: The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From — Tony Joseph. 42. Kishore Kumar, Mohammed Rafi, SD Burman, RD Burman and Abida Parveen on Spotify. 43. From Cairo to Delhi With Max Rodenbeck -- Episode 281 of The Seen and the Unseen. 44. Invisible Cities -- Italo Calvino. 45. The Rooted Cosmopolitanism of Sugata Srinivasaraju -- Episode 277 of The Seen and the Unseen. 46. Songs of Life -- Puneet Aghi. 47. Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! -- Sooraj Barjatya. 48. Surabhi. 49. Forrest Gump, Notting Hill and Rambo. 50. Majid Majidi, Abbas Kiorastami and Jafar Panahi. 51. Loha, Farishtay, Border and Gadar. 52. Babel and Amores Perros. 53. The Killing of a Chinese Bookie -- John Cassavetes. 54. Mean Streets and Taxi Driver by Martin Scorcese. 55. Flow: The Psychology of Happiness -- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. 56. Ellevoro on Instagram and Trip Advisor. 57. Wanting — Luke Burgis. 58. Gunahon Ka Devta -- Dharamvir Bharati. 59. It is Immoral to Have Children. Here’s Why — Amit Varma. 60. The Four Quadrants of Conformism — Paul Graham. 61. The Importance of Satya -- Episode 241 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Uday Bhatia). 62. The Great Man Theory of History. 63. Gaata Rahe Mera Dil -- Lyrics by Shailendra. 64. Surinder Kaur, Asa Singh Mastana, Mehdi Hassan, Ghulam Ali, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Parveen Sultana and Noor Jehan on Spotify. 65. Satyajit Ray on Wikipedia, IMDb and Amazon. 66. Agantuk -- Satyajit Ray. 67. The Wind Rises -- Hayao Miyazaki 68. Michael Haneke on Wikipedia and IMDb. 69. Dekalog — Krzysztof Kieślowski. 70. The Three Colours Trilogy -- Krzysztof Kieślowski. 71. A Short Film About Love -- Krzysztof Kieślowski. 72. A Short Film About Killing -- Krzysztof Kieślowski. 73. The God of Small Things -- Arundhati Roy. 74. Dharamvir Bharati, Harishankar Parsai, Uday Prakash and Manohar Shyam Joshi. 75. Raag Darbari (Hindi) (English) — Shrilal Shukla. 76. Naiyer Masud on Wikipedia, Rekhta and Amazon. 77. Collected Stories -- Naiyer Masud. 78. Shamsur Rahman Faruqi on Wikipedia, Rekhta and Amazon. 79. Kai Chaand The Sar-e-aasman -- Shamsur Rahman Faruqi. 80. Sara Rai Inhales Literature -- Episode 255 of The Seen and the Unseen. 81. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, The Phantom of Liberty, That Obscure Object of Desire — Luis Buñuel. 82. The Dead -- John Huston. This episode is sponsored by Capital Mind. Check out their offerings here. Check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing. And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free! The illustration for this episode is by Nishant Jain aka Sneaky Artist. Check out his podcast, Twitter, Instagram and Substack.

4 hr 26 min

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Aug 21, 2022

Ep 291: The Refreshing Audacity of Vinay Singhal

He was born in a small village in Haryana, built and lost one of the biggest viral sites in the world, and is now building a Netflix for India's dialects. Vinay Singhal joins Amit Varma in episode 291 of The Seen and the Unseen to speak about what he learnt from Witty Feed, the philosophy behind his new venture Stage, and how India lives, truly lives, in its dialects. (For full linked show notes, go to SeenUnseen.in.) Also check out: 1. Vinay Singhal on Twitter and LinkedIn. 2. Stage.in. 3. Building Netflix for Bharat (2020) -- Vinay Singhal. 4. What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur (2016) -- Vinay Singhal. 5. 5 Ways to keep people before business (2017) -- Vinay Singhal. 6. Dreamers: How Young Indians Are Changing Their World -- Snigdha Poonam. 7. Young India -- Episode 83 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Snigdha Poonam). 8. SuperSiblings -- Prachi Garg. 9. Wanting -- Luke Burgis. 10. Where Have All The Leaders Gone? — Amit Varma. 11. The Double ‘Thank-You’ Moment — John Stossel. 12. Immanuel Kant’s Categorical Imperative. 13. Paper Menagerie -- Ken Liu. 14. A Venture Capitalist Looks at the World -- Episode 213 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Sajith Pai). 15. The Indus Valley Playbook -- Sajith Pai. 16. India2, English Tax and Building for the Next Billion Users -- Sajith Pai. 17. Understanding India Through Its Languages — Episode 232 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Peggy Mohan). 18. Real Steel -- Shawn Levy. 19. The Rocky series. 20. The Martian -- Ridley Scott. 21. The Good Doctor on Netflix. 22. The Hard Thing About Hard Things -- Ben Horowitz. 23. The Infinite Game -- Simon Sinek. 24. Zero to One -- Peter Thiel. 25. The Lean Startup -- Eric Ries. 26. Startup School. Check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing. And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free! The illustration for this episode is by Nishant Jain aka Sneaky Artist. Check out his podcast, Twitter, Instagram and Substack.

3 hr 43 min

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Aug 14, 2022

Ep 290: Karthik Muralidharan Examines the Indian State

In 1947, few people gave us 75 years. Bloody hell, here we are! And it is up to us now to make this country the best version of itself. Karthik Muralidharan joins Amit Varma in episode 290 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss one of our problemareas: the Indian state. Can we fix it? Yes we can! (For full linked show notes, go to SeenUnseen.in.) Also check out: 1. Karthik Muralidharan onTwitter,LinkedIn,Google ScholarandUCSD. 2.Centre for Effective Governance of Indian States(CEGIS) 3.Fixing Indian Education-- Episode 185 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Karthik Muralidharan). 4.Understanding Indian Healthcare-- Episode 225 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Karthik Muralidharan). 5.General equilibrium effects of (improving) public employment programs: experimental evidence from India-- The paper on NREGA by Karthik Muralidharan, Paul Niehaus and Sandip Sukhtankar. 6.Kashmir and Article 370-- Episode 134 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Srinath Raghavan). 7.The Citizenship Battles-- Episode 152 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Srinath Raghavan). 8.The Loneliness of the Indian Woman— Episode 259 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shrayana Bhattacharya). 9.In Service of the Republic— Vijay Kelkar and Ajay Shah. 10.The Art and Science of Economic Policy— Episode 154 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vijay Kelkar and Ajay Shah). 11.Pramit Bhattacharya Believes in Just One Ism-- Episode 256 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pramit Bhattacharya). 12.The Paradox of Narendra Modi— Episode 102 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shashi Tharoor). 13.The Life and Times of Montek Singh Ahluwalia-- Episode 285 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Montek Singh Ahluwalia). 14.Episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on the creator ecosystem withRoshan Abbas,Varun Duggirala,Neelesh Misra,Snehal Pradhan,Chuck Gopal,Nishant Jain,Deepak ShenoyandAbhijit Bhaduri. 15.The Case Against Sugar— Gary Taubes. 16.The Big Fat Surprise— Nina Teicholz. 17.The Forgotten Greatness of PV Narasimha Rao-- Episode 283 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vinay Sitapati). 18.The Macroeconomist as Scientist and Engineer-- NGregory Mankiw. 19.The Gated Republic-- Shankkar Aiyar. 20.Despite the State— M Rajshekhar. 21.The Power Broker— Robert Caro. 22.The Death and Life of Great American Cities— Jane Jacobs. 23.India’s Security State-- Episode 242 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Josy Joseph). 24.We Are Fighting Two Disasters: Covid-19 and the Indian State-- Amit Varma. 25.India’s Lost Decade— Episode 116 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra). 26.The Importance of the 1991 Reforms-- Episode 237 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan and Ajay Shah). 27.State Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century— Francis Fukuyama. 28.The Origins of Political Order— Francis Fukuyama. 29.Political Order and Political Decay— Francis Fukuyama. 30.Computer Nahi Monitor-- Episode 5 of season 1 ofPanchayat. 31.Naushad Forbes Wants to Fix India-- Episode 282 of The Seen and the Unseen. 32.Courts Redux: Micro-Evidence from India-- Manaswini Rao. 33.The Checklist Manifesto-- Atul Gawande. 34.Annie Hall-- Woody Allen. 35.The Politics Limerick-- Amit Varma. 36.The Decline of the Congress-- Episode 248 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rahul Verma). 37.The Burden of Democracy-- Pratap Bhanu Mehta. 38.A Theory of Clientelistic Politics versus Programmatic Politics-- Pranab Bardhan and Dilip Mookherjee. 39.Power and Prosperity— Mancur Olson. 40.The Business of Winning Elections-- Episode 247 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shivam Shankar Singh). 41.Premature load bearing: Evidence, Analysis, Action-- Matt Andrews, Lant Pritchett and Michael Woolcock. 42.A Meditation on Form— Amit Varma. 43.Religion and Ideology in Indian Society-- Episode 124 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Suyash Rai). 44.The Tragedy of Our Farm Bills-- Episode 211 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ajay Shah). 45.India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy-- Ramachandra Guha. 46.Participatory Democracy-- Episode 160 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ashwin Mahesh). 47.Cities and Citizens-- Episode 198 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ashwin Mahesh). 48.Helping Others in the Fog of Pandemic-- Episode 226 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ashwin Mahesh). 49.Aakar Patel Is Full of Hope-- Episode 270 of The Seen and the Unseen. 50.The Tamilian gentleman who took on the world-- Amit Varma on Viswanathan Anand. 51.Running to Stand Still-- U2. 52.Population Is Not a Problem, but Our Greatest Strength-- Amit Varma. 53.India’s Founding Moment— Madhav Khosla. 54.The Ideas of Our Constitution-- Episode 164 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Madhav Khosla). 55.The Life and Times of Urvashi Butalia-- Episode 287 of The Seen and the Unseen. 56.Pitfalls of Participatory Programs-- Abhijit Banerjee, Rukmini Banerji, Esther Duflo, Rachel Glennerster and Stuti Khemani. 57.Our Parliament and Our Democracy-- Episode 253 of The Seen and the Unseen (w MR Madhavan). 58.Elite Imitation in Public Policy-- Episode 180 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan and Alex Tabarrok). 59.Urban Governance in India-- Episode 31 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan). 60.The Life and Times of Abhinandan Sekhri-- Episode 254 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Abhinandan Sekhri). 61.TheTiebout Model. 62.Every Act of Government Is an Act of Violence-- Amit Varma. 63.Taxes Should Be Used for Governance, Not Politics-- Amit Varma. 64.The Effects of Democratization on Public Goods and Redistribution: Evidence from China--Nancy Qian, Gerard Padró i Miquel, Monica Martinez-Bravo and Yang Yao. 65.Sneaky Artist Sees the World-- Episode 260 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Nishant Jain). 66.Science and Covid-19-- Episode 221 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Anirban Mahapatra). 66.Centrally Sponsored Government Schemes-- Episode 17 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pranay Kotasthane.). 67.India's states can be laboratories for policy innovation and reform-- Karthik Muralidharan. 68.Clientelism in Indian Villages-- Siwan Anderson, Patrick Francois, and Ashok Kotwal. 69.Patching Development-- Rajesh Veeraraghavan. 70.Opportunity, Choice and the IPL(2008) — Amit Varma. 71.The IPL is Here and Here Are Six Reasons to Celebrate It(2019) — Amit Varma. 72.Climate Change and Our Power Sector-- Episode 278 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshay Jaitley and Ajay Shah). 73.The Delhi Smog-- Episode 44 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul). 74.The Life and Times of Nilanjana Roy-- Episode 284 of The Seen and the Unseen. 75.The Life and Times of Nirupama Rao-- Episode 269 of The Seen and the Unseen. 76.The Life and Times of Mrinal Pande-- Episode 263 of The Seen and the Unseen. 77.Objects Speak to Annapurna Garimella-- Episode 257 of The Seen and the Unseen. 78.Letters for a Nation: From Jawaharlal Nehru to His Chief Ministers 1947-1963-- Edited by Madhav Khosla. 79.To Raise a Fallen People-- Rahul Sagar. 80.The Progressive Maharaja-- Rahul Sagar. 81.India = Migration-- Episode 128 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Chinmay Tumbe). 82.India: A Sacred Geography-- Diana Eck. 83.Unlikely is Inevitable— Amit Varma. 84.The Law of Truly Large Numbers. 85.Political Ideology in India-- Episode 131 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rahul Verma). Check out Amit’s online course,The Art of Clear Writing. And subscribe toThe India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free! The illustration for this episode is by Nishant Jain aka Sneaky Artist. Check out hispodcast,Twitter,InstagramandSubstack.

5 hr 10 min

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Aug 7, 2022

Ep 289: Shruti Jahagirdar is the Sporty One

She's skated down tekdis, played volleyball for her state, run through deserts and wrestled a bear with her bare hands. Ok, not the last one. Shruti Jahagirdar joins Amit Varma in episode 289 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss women's sports in India, fitness, nutrition and a world without limits. Also check out: 1. Shruti Jahagirdar on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. 2. Halomi Fitness, Shruti Jahagirdar's startup. 3. The Evolution of Cricket -- Episode 97 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Harsha Bhogle). 4. Building Sports Ecosystems -- Episode 126 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Joy Bhattacharjya). 5. The State of Indian Sport -- Episode 238 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Joy Bhattacharjya and Nandan Kamath). 6. Other episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on sport with Ram Guha, Prem Panicker, Sharda Ugra, Ayaz Memon, Snehal Pradhan and Pradeep Magazine. 7. Wait But Why by Tim Urban. 8. This Ramesh Nagdev was a blazing bat -- Makarand Waingankar. 9. Chak De! India -- Shimit Amin. 10. The Sporting Spirit — George Orwell. 11. Allah Ke Bande -- Kailash Kher. 12. Kusha Kapila and the B-Plus Baccha.. 13. Wanting — Luke Burgis. 14. Atomic Habits -- James Clear. 15. Barefoot in the Park -- Neil Simon. 16. Tiger Muay Thai. 17. Former British Boxing Champ Julius Francis knocks out troublemaker. 18. Gimme Mo -- Mohit Satyanand's newsletter. 19. The Bell Hooks quote posted by Shruti Jahagirdar. 20. Everybody Lies — Seth Stephens-Davidowitz. 21. The Mary Oliver quote posted by Shruti Jahagirdar. 22. The Case Against Sugar — Gary Taubes. 23. The Big Fat Surprise: why butter, meat, and cheese belong in a healthy diet — Nina Teicholz. 24. The Obesity Code — Jason Fung. 25. Nina Teicholz on The Joe Rogan Experience. 26. Wheat Belly -- William Davis.. 27. The Four Quadrants of Conformism -- Paul Graham. 28. Population Is Not a Problem, but Our Greatest Strength — Amit Varma. 29. The Diabetes Code -- Jason Fung. 30. Hikikomori. 31. The Confidence Gap — Katty Kay and Claire Shipman. 32. Everything is Illuminated -- Liev Schreiber, based on the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer. 33. The White Balloon -- Jafar Panahi. 34. Majid Majidi on Wikipedia and IMDb. 35. Panchayat, Season 2. 36. Schitt's Creek. 37. This is Us. 38. The Playbook- A Coach's Rules for Life. Check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing. And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free! The illustration for this episode is by Nishant Jain aka Sneaky Artist. Check out his podcast, Twitter, Instagram and Substack.

4 hr 45 min

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Jul 31, 2022

Ep 288: Chandrahas Choudhury's Country of Literature

To immerse yourself in literature is to immerse yourself in the world. Chandrahas Choudhury joins Amit Varma in episode 288 of The Seen and the Unseen to chat about reading, writing, friendship, Mumbai and the guests at his fantasy dinner table. Also check out: 1. Chandrahas Choudhury on Instagram and Amazon. 2. The Middle Stage -- Chandrahas Choudhury's blog. 3. My Country Is Literature -- Chandrahas Choudhury. 4. Days of My China Dragon -- Chandrahas Choudhury. 5. Clouds -- Chandrahas Choudhury. 6. Arzee The Dwarf -- Chandrahas Choudhury. 7. Bamana Arzee -- Chandrahas Choudhury, translated by Sindhubala Choudhury. 8. The Life and Times of Abhinandan Sekhri -- Episode 254 of The Seen and the Unseen. 9. Two Men Who Left Third Man Alone -- Amit Varma and Chandrahas Choudhury. 10. The Curse of Knowledge. 11. Eunice De Souza on Amazon. 12. House of the Dead — Fyodor Dostoevsky. 13. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. 14. The Naive and the Sentimental Novelist -- Orhan Pamuk. 15. The Ferment of Our Founders -- Episode 272 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Kapila). 16. Jai Arjun Singh Lost It at the Movies -- Episode 230 of The Seen and the Unseen. 17. Madame Bovary -- Gustave Flaubert. 18. How Fiction Works -- James Wood. 19. Marcel Proust and Karl Ove Knausgaard on Amazon. 20. Six and a Third Acres -- Fakir Mohan Senapati. 21. Is There an Indian Way of Thinking? -- AK Ramanujan. 22. Sara Rai Inhales Literature -- Episode 255 of The Seen and the Unseen. 23. Rukmini Sees India’s Multitudes -- Episode 261 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rukmini S). 24. Cuckold -- Kiran Nagarkar. 25. Robert Bly on Amazon. 26. A Meditation on Form — Amit Varma. 27. Amitava Kumar Finds the Breath of Life -- Episode 265 of The Seen and the Unseen. 28. Georges Simenon on Amazon. 29. Beautiful Thing — Sonia Faleiro. 30. Two Girls Hanging From a Tree — Episode 209 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Sonia Faleiro). 31. Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay on Amazon. 32. The Business of Books -- Episode 150 of The Seen and the Unseen (w VK Karthika). 33. The Bear Came Over the Mountain -- Alice Munro. 34. Against Rang De Basanti -- Chandrahas Choudhury. 35. The Loneliness of the Indian Woman — Episode 259 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shrayana Bhattacharya). 36. A Godless Congregation -- Amit Varma. 37. Adam Smith and Friedrich Hayek. 38. The City -- CP Cavafy. 39. Junoon on Spotify. 40. Verrier Elwin on Amazon. 41. The Tribal World of Verrier Elwin: An Autobiography. 42. Suite Francaise -- Irène Némirovsky. 43. Taking Stock of Our Republic — Episode 157 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ram Guha). Check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing. And subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free! The illustration for this episode is by Nishant Jain aka Sneaky Artist. Check out his work on Twitter, Instagram and Substack.

3 hr 50 min

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Jul 24, 2022

Ep 287: The Life and Times of Urvashi Butalia

She helped generations of women in India find a voice. She expanded the worldview of countless people. She confronted the horrors of our past and the fissures of our present. Urvashi Butalia joins Amit Varma in episode 287 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about her life and learnings. Also check out: 1. Urvashi Butalia at Zubaan and Amazon. 2. The Other Side of Silence -- Urvashi Butalia. 3. Zubaan Books and Kali for Women. 4. Turning the Page for Feminism -- Nilanjana Roy on Urvashi Butalia. 5. Episodes on The Seen and the Unseen that touched on feminism with Paromita Vohra, Kavita Krishnan, Mrinal Pande, Kavitha Rao, Namita Bhandare, Shrayana Bhattacharya, Mukulika Banerjee, Manjima Bhattacharjya and Nilanjana Roy. 6. The Life and Times of Nilanjana Roy -- Episode 284 of The Seen and the Unseen. 7. Memories and Things — Episode 195 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aanchal Malhotra). 8. Tales from the Kathasaritsagara -- Somadeva (translated by Arshia Sattar). 9. The Ausch…

4 hr 5 min

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Jul 17, 2022

Ep 286: Pradeep Magazine Replays His Life

He wrote about cricket for decades -- and also turned his piercing gaze on society and himself. Pradeep Magazine joins Amit Varma in episode 286 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about his journey, and how it changed him. Also check out: 1. Pradeep Magazine onTwitter,AmazonandHindustan Times. 2.Not Just Cricket: A Reporter's Journey through Modern India-- Pradeep Magazine. 3.Not Quite Cricket: The Xplosive Story of How Bookmakers Influence the Game Today-- Pradeep Magazine. 4.The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism— Episode 139 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshaya Mukul). 5.Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India— Akshaya Mukul. 6. Some ofSatyajit Ray'smasterpieces:Pratidwandi,Seemabaddha,AgantukandGhare Bhaire. 7.Memories and Things— Episode 195 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aanchal Malhotra). 8.Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas— Natasha Dow Schüll. 9.Adam SmithandJohn Locke. 10.The Art of Cric…

3 hr 18 min

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Jul 10, 2022

Ep 285: The Life and Times of Montek Singh Ahluwalia

Our real heroes are often backstage. Montek Singh Ahluwalia joins Amit Varma in episode 285 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss his life, his learnings and the liberalisation of 1991. Also check out: 1. Backstage: The Story behind India’s High Growth Years -- Montek Singh Ahluwalia. 2. Breaking Through: A Memoir -- Isher Judge Ahluwalia. 3. The M Document -- Montek Singh Ahluwalia's legendary note from 1990. 4. The Importance of the 1991 Reforms — Episode 237 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan and Ajay Shah). 5. The Forgotten Greatness of PV Narasimha Rao -- Episode 283 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vinay Sitapati). 6. Public Choice Theory -- Episode 121 of The Seen and the Unseen. 7. Principles of Economics -- Alfred Marshall. 8. Alexandre Dumas on Amazon. 9. Gurbani and Heer Ranjha. 10. The Life and Times of Abhinandan Sekhri -- Episode 254 of The Seen and the Unseen. 11. India’s Problem is Poverty, Not Inequality — Amit Varma. 12. On Inequality…

3 hr 12 min

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Jul 3, 2022

Ep 284: The Life and Times of Nilanjana Roy

A lifetime spent reading, writing and reflecting teaches you a lot. Nilanjana Roy joins Amit Varma in episode 284 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about books, feminism, family, memory and the state of the world. Also check out:1. Nilanjana Roy on Twitter, Instagram, Amazon, Financial Times, Business Standard and her own website. 2. The Girl Who Ate Books: Adventures in Reading -- Nilanjana Roy. 3. The Wildings -- Nilanjana Roy. 4. The Hundred Names of Darkness -- Nilanjana Roy. 5. Episodes of The Seen and the Unseen that discuss reading and writing with Sara Rai, Amitava Kumar, VK Karthika, Sugata Srinivasaraju, Mrinal Pande, Sonia Faleiro, Vivek Tejuja, Samanth Subramanian, Annie Zaidi and Prem Panicker. 6. Episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on the creator ecosystem with Roshan Abbas, Varun Duggirala, Neelesh Misra, Snehal Pradhan, Chuck Gopal, Nishant Jain, Deepak Shenoy and Abhijit Bhaduri. 7. A Meditation on Form -- Amit Varma. 8. Why Are My Episodes so Long? -- Amit…

5 hr 47 min

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Jun 26, 2022

Ep 283: The Forgotten Greatness of PV Narasimha Rao

If leaders are to be judged by their actions, PV Narasimha Rao was our tallest leader. Vinay Sitapati joins Amit Varma in episode 283 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss how Rao showed conviction and political skill in going against the tides of the day to enable the 1991 reforms, which brought hundreds of millions of Indians out of poverty Also check out: 1. Half-Lion: How PV Narasimha Rao Transformed India -- Vinay Sitapati. 2. Jugalbandi: The BJP Before Modi -- Vinay Sitapati. 3. The BJP Before Modi -- Episode 202 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vinay Sitapati). 4. The Insider -- PV Narasimha Rao. 5. The Importance of the 1991 Reforms -- Episode 237 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan and Ajay Shah). 6. Gandhi's Assassin: The Making of Nathuram Godse and His Idea of India -- Dhirendra Jha. 7. Ascetic Games and Ayodhya: A Dark Night. 8. How the BJP wins: Inside India’s Greatest Election Machine -- Prashant Jha. 9. The BJP’s Magic Formula -- Episode 45 of T…

4 hr 22 min

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Jun 19, 2022

Ep 282: Naushad Forbes Wants to Fix India

He's been an academic who's studied the country, and a businessman who's created wealth and jobs. Now he wants to help India achieve its potential. Naushad Forbes joins Amit Varma in episode 282 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about his life and learnings -- and the roadmap that can help India lift its citizens. Also check out: 1. The Struggle And The Promise: Restoring India's Potential -- Naushad Forbes. 2. Ram Guha Reflects on His Life -- Episode 266 of The Seen and the Unseen. 3. Aakar Patel Is Full of Hope -- Episode 270 of The Seen and the Unseen. 4. PG Wodehouse on Amazon. 5. The Importance of the 1991 Reforms -- Episode 237 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan and Ajay Shah). 6. Elite Imitation in Public Policy -- Episode 180 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan and Alex Tabarrok). 7. The Great Redistribution -- Amit Varma. 8. Early Indians — Tony Joseph. 9. Tony Joseph's episode of The Seen and the Unseen. 10. Who We Are and How We Got H…

3 hr 2 min

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Jun 12, 2022

Ep 281: From Cairo to Delhi With Max Rodenbeck

He grew up in Cairo, spent many years writing on the Middle East, saw the Arab Spring coming, and was bureau chief of the Economist in South Asia. Max Rodenbeck joins Amit Varma in episode 281 of The Seen and the Unseen to share his experiences in journalism, the lessons he learnt in India, and the troubling ways in which it resembles Egypt. Also check out: 1. Max Rodenbeck on Twitter, The New York Review of Books and Wikipedia. 2. Cairo: The City Victorious -- Max Rodenbeck. 3. Selected stories on India by the Economist: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. 4. The Power of Arabic -- Max Rodenbeck. 5. The Father of Violent Islamism -- Max Rodenbeck. 6. How She Wants to Modify Muslims -- Max Rodenbeck. 7. Bin Laden’s Death: Why the Arab World Shrugs -- Max Rodenbeck. 8. The Long Wait -- Max Rodenbeck. 9. Max Rodenbeck interviewed on What I Did Next. 10. Top Gun -- Tony Scott. 11. The Godfather -- Francis Ford Coppola. 12. Once Upon a Time in the West -- Sergio…

4 hr 17 min

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Jun 5, 2022

Ep 280: Manjima Bhattacharjya: The Making of a Feminist

The world is changing for women -- but is it getting better? Manjima Bhattacharjya joins Amit Varma in episode 280 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe her journey as a feminist and why she believes in the long arc. She also talks about her book Intimate City, and the changing face of sex work in India. Also check out: 1. Manjima Bhattacharjya on Twitter, YouTube and Google Scholar. 2. Intimate City -- Manjima Bhattacharjya. 3. Mannequin: Working Women in India's Glamour Industry -- Manjima Bhattacharjya. 4. Jhumpa Lahiri on Amazon. 5. Empire of the Sun -- Steven Spielberg. 6. In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones — Pradip Krishen. 7. Farouk Abdul-Aziz and Kuwait Cine Club. 8. Nancy Drew on Wikipedia and Amazon. 9. The Life and Times of Mrinal Pande -- Episode 263 of The Seen and the Unseen. 10. Some episodes on The Seen and the Unseen that touched on feminism with Paromita Vohra, Kavita Krishnan, Kavitha Rao, Namita Bhandare and Shrayana Bhattacharjya, 11. Kali For Women…

4 hr 3 min

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May 30, 2022

Ep 279: Abhijit Bhaduri Breaks the Algorithm

If you make space for serendipity in your life, good things happen. Abhijit Bhaduri joins Amit Varma in episode 279 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe his journey from the corporate life to the creator economy -- and the lessons he learnt along the way. Also check out: 1. Abhijit Bhaduri on Amazon, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and his own website. 2. Dreamers and Unicorns -- Abhijit Bhaduri. 3. The Digital Tsunami -- Abhijit Bhaduri. 4, Selected talks on YouTube by Abhijit Bhaduri: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. 5. Episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on the creator ecosystem with Roshan Abbas, Varun Duggirala, Neelesh Misra, Snehal Pradhan, Chuck Gopal, Nishant Jain and Deepak Shenoy. 6. A Meditation on Form — Amit Varma. 7. The Prem Panicker Files -- Episode 217 of The Seen and the Unseen. 8. The Curse of Knowledge. 9. Amitava Kumar Finds the Breath of Life -- Episode 265 of The Seen and the Unseen. 10. The Invisible Gorilla. 11. When Daddy Was a Little Boy -- Alexander Ra…

4 hr 17 min

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May 22, 2022

Ep 278: Climate Change and Our Power Sector

To fight climate change, we need to reform the power sector. Right now, it's dysfunctional. Akshay Jaitly and Ajay Shah join Amit Varma in episode 278 of The Seen and the Unseen to share their roadmap for change. Also check out: 1. Akshay Jaitly on Twitter, Linkedin, Nicheless and Substack. Ajay Shah on Twitter and Substack. 2. The lowest hanging fruit on the coconut tree: India's climate transition through the price system in the power sector -- Akshay Jaitly and Ajay Shah. 3. Akshay Jaitly and Ajay Shah's aggregated pieces on energy and climate. 4. The Time To Privatise India’s Electricity Sector Is Now -- Akshay Jaitly and Ajay Shah. 5. Root cause analysis for the electricity crisis -- Akshay Jaitly and Ajay Shah. 6. In Service of the Republic — Vijay Kelkar & Ajay Shah. 7. The Art and Science of Economic Policy -- Episode 154 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vijay Kelkar and Ajay Shah). 8. Other episodes of The Seen and the Unseen with Ajay Shah: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. 9. We Ar…

3 hr 44 min

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May 15, 2022

Ep 277: The Rooted Cosmopolitanism of Sugata Srinivasaraju

He grew up breathing Kannada literature -- and he also embraced the globalised world. Sugata Srinivasaraju joins Amit Varma in episode 277 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss this confluence of the old and the new, the near and the far, his society and the world. Also check out: 1. Sugata Srinivasaraju in Outlook, ToI/Mumbai Mirror, New Indian Express, The Wire, Mint, Twitter and his own website. 2. Furrows in a Field -- Sugata Srinivasaraju. 3. Pickles from Home: The Worlds of a Bilingual -- Sugata Srinivasaraju. 4. Keeping Faith with the Mother Tongue -- Sugata Srinivasaraju. 5. Sugata Srinivasaraju on his father, Chi Srinivasaraju: 1, 2, 3. 6. Maharashtra Politics Unscrambled -- Episode 151 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Sujata Anandan). 7. Dodda Alada Mara (Big Banyan Tree). 8. GP Rajarathnam, AR Krishnashastry, P Lankesh and KS Nissar Ahmed on Wikipedia. 9. The Tell Me Why series of encyclopedias -- Arkady Leokum. 10. Stendhal, Honoré de Balzac, Victor Hugo and Charl…

5 hr 18 min

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May 8, 2022

Ep 276: The Incredible Curiosities of Mukulika Banerjee

How did one of the greatest nonviolent movements in history emerge from within the supposedly violent Pathans of the wild frontier? Why do poor people in India vote even though there seems to be no point to it? Why does an ancient garment like the sari endure -- but democracy seem in peril? Mukulika Banerjee joins Amit Varma in episode 276 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the questions that kept her up at night -- and the lessons they hold for us. Also check out:1. Mukulika Banerjee at LSE, Google Scholar, Amazon and Twitter. 2. The Pathan Unarmed -- Mukulika Banerjee. 3. Why India Votes -- Mukulika Banerjee. 4. Cultivating Democracy -- Mukulika Banerjee. 5. The Sari -- Mukulika Banerjee and Daniel Miller. 6. Muslim Portraits: Everyday Lives in India -- Edited by Mukulika Banerjee. 7. The Life and Times of Mrinal Pande -- Episode 263 of The Seen and the Unseen. 8. Thomas Hardy on Amazon. 9. Maxim Gorky, Leo Tolstoy and Anton Chekhov on Amazon. 10. The Proposal -- Anton…

5 hr 17 min

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May 1, 2022

Ep 275: Hussain Haidry, Hindustani Musalmaan

We live in times when all Indian Muslims are forced to be aware of their Muslimness. Hussain Haidry joins Amit Varma in episode 275 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about his life, his art and these difficult times we live in. Also check out: 1. Hussain Haidry on Twitter, Instagram and IMDb. 2. Hindustani Musalmaan -- Hussain Haidry. 3. Lat -- Hussain Haidry. 4. 10 Poems recommended by Hussain Haidry -- Chalchitra Talks. 5. Being Muslim in India -- Episode 216 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ghazala Wahab). 6. Who Broke Our Republic? -- Episode 163 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Kapil Komireddi). 7. The City and the City -- China Miéville. 8. Nida Fazli and Dushyant Kumar at Rekhta. 9. Maximum City -- Suketu Mehta. 10. Shantaram -- Gregory David Roberts. 11. A Fine Balance -- Rohinton Mistry. 12. The Intellectual Foundations of Hindutva -- Episode 115 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aakar Patel). 13. Aakar Patel Is Full of Hope -- Episode 270 of The Seen and the Unseen (w…

4 hr 59 min

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Apr 24, 2022

Ep 274: Two-and-a-Half Bengalis Have an Economics Adda

India is in bad shape. Bad economics is one reason why. Economists Rajeswari Sengupta and Shrayana Bhattacharya join Amit Varma in episode 274 of The Seen and the Unseen to take stock of the mess. You don't like dissent? Too bad. We're Bongs, and you cannot shut us up. Also check out: 1. Shrayana Bhattacharya on Twitter, Instagram and Google Scholar. 2. Rajeswari Sengupta on Google Scholar and her own site. 3. Demystifying GDP -- Episode 130 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rajeswari Sengupta). 4. Twelve Dream Reforms -- Episode 138 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan, Rajeswari Sengupta & Vivek Kaul). 5. The Loneliness of the Indian Woman -- Episode 259 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shrayana Bhattacharya). 6. Desperately Seeking Shah Rukh -- Shrayana Bhattacharya. 7. The Importance of the 1991 Reforms — Episode 237 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan and Ajay Shah). 8. India’s Lost Decade — Episode 116 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra).…

3 hr 41 min

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Apr 17, 2022

Ep 273: Warren Mendonsa Plays the Universal Pentatonic

He's that Blackstratblues guy. He's done rock, blues, sessions work for Bollywood, and you can't put him in a box. Indie music legend Warren Mendonsa joins Amit Varma and guest co-host Chuck Gopal in episode 273 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about his career, how he only aims to make music that makes him happy, and the common thread that binds us all. Also check out: 1. Warren Mendonsa on Instagram and Twitter. 2. Blackstratblues music and community. Also, on YouTube and Spotify. 3. Anuva's Sky and Ode to a Sunny Day. 4. The therapy that is Blackstratblues -- Deepak 'Chuck' Gopalakrishnan. 5. Warren interviewed by Chuck and Varad Wategaonkar: Part 1 & Part 2. 6. Warren Mendonsa: The Universe Has The Blues -- Interview by Michael Limnios. 7. 2018 interview of Warren by EveryoneLovesGuitar. 8. The Universe of Chuck Gopal -- Episode 258 of The Seen and the Unseen. 9. Ted Gioia on Music as Cultural Cloud Storage -- Episode 79 of Conversations With Tyler. 10. The Great Man…

3 hr

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Apr 10, 2022

Ep 272: The Ferment of Our Founders

Our freedom fighters didn't just fight the British. They also grappled with each other in the marketplace of ideas and actions. Shruti Kapila joins Amit Varma in episode 272 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe how so many of our founders were also innovative political philosophers -- and how we still fight their battles today. Also check out: 1. Shruti Kapila at Cambridge, The Print and Twitter. 2. Violent Fraternity: Indian Political Thought in the Global Age -- Shruti Kapila. 3. An Intellectual History for India -- Edited by Shruti Kapila. 4. Political Thought in Action: The Bhagavad Gita and Modern India -- Edited by Shruti Kapila and Faisal Devji. 5. The Death and Life of Great American Cities -- Jane Jacobs. 6. Nehru: The Debates that Defined India — Tripurdaman Singh and Adeel Hussain. 7. Nehru’s Debates — Episode 262 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tripurdaman Singh and Adeel Hussain.) 8. Tryst With Destiny (Text) (Video) -- Jawaharlal Nehru's speech at Independ…

3 hr 23 min

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Apr 3, 2022

Ep 271: Crossing Over With Deepak Shenoy

Deepak Shenoy wants to ask Amit Varma about the creator economy. Amit wants to talk to Deepak about finance and his new book. Episode 271 of The Seen and the Unseen is a crossover episode with the Capital Mind Podcast in which Amit and Deepak get a jugalbandi going. Also check out: 1. Deepak Shenoy on LinkedIn and Twitter. 2. Money Wise: Timeless Lessons on Building Wealth -- Deepak Shenoy. 3. Capitalmind, Deepak Shenoy’s investment research and wealth management company. 4. The Capitalmind Podcast and YouTube channel. 5. Lessons in Investing (and Life) -- Episode 208 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Deepak Shenoy). 6. If You Are a Creator, This Is Your Time -- Amit Varma. 7. Episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on the creator ecosystem with Roshan Abbas, Varun Duggirala, Neelesh Misra, Snehal Pradhan, Chuck Gopal and Nishant Jain. 8. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty -- James Thurber. 9. Mungerilal Ke Haseen Sapne (on Wikipedia and YouTube). 10. The Truman Show -- Peter Weir.…

4 hr 55 min

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Mar 27, 2022

Ep 270: Aakar Patel Is Full of Hope

Things are bad -- so bad that he's written two books about it. Aakar Patel joins Amit Varma in episode 270 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss politics, the media and his reasons for being hopeful in spite of all the doom and gloom. Also check out: 1. Aakar Patel on Twitter, Amazon, Deccan Chronicle, Business Standard and the Times of India. 2. Our Hindu Rashtra: What It Is. How We Got Here -- Aakar Patel. 3. Price of the Modi Years -- Aakar Patel. 4. The Intellectual Foundations of Hindutva -- Episode 115 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aakar Patel). 5. The Tank Man video. (And the Wikipedia page.) 6. August Landmesser, who may have been the man who didn't salute. 7. The Life and Times of Abhinandan Sekhri -- Episode 254 of The Seen and the Unseen. 8. Amit Varma's Twitter thread on Westland shutting down. 9. Exit, Voice, and Loyalty -- Albert O. Hirschman. 10. Selected episode of The Seen and the Unseen on the economy: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. 11. Nehru: The Debates that Defined…

3 hr 7 min

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Mar 20, 2022

Ep 269: The Life and Times of Nirupama Rao

A lifetime in diplomacy gave Nirupama Rao an inside view of the making of the first draft of history. She joins Amit Varma in episode 269 of The Seen and the Unseen to share her life lessons -- and what still keeps her buzzing every day. Also check out: 1. Nirupama Rao on Twitter, Substack, Instagram and her own website. Her bio and work are here. 2. The Fractured Himalaya -- Nirupama Rao. 3. A Life in Diplomacy -- Nirupama Rao's talk at Claremont McKenna College. 4. Selected episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on China: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. 5. Selected episode of The Seen and the Unseen on Foreign Policy: 1, 2. 6. Amitava Kumar Finds the Breath of Life -- Episode 265 of The Seen and the Unseen. 7. Sara Rai Inhales Literature -- Episode 255 of The Seen and the Unseen. 8. The Life and Times of Mrinal Pande -- Episode 263 of The Seen and the Unseen. 9. The Glass Cliff. 10. Philip Tetlock on the Art of Forecasting -- Episode 31 of Brave New World (hosted by Vasant Dhar). 11.…

4 hr 10 min

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Mar 13, 2022

Ep 268: Russia, Ukraine, Foreign Policy

Russia's invasion of Ukraine is not just a seminal moment in world history, but a teachable one. Pranay Kotasthane and Nitin Pai join Amit Varma in episode 268 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss concepts and frameworks of foreign policy that can help us make sense of this turmoil. If this subject interests you, consider signing up for Takashshila's GCPP: Defence & Foreign Affairs course. Registration is open for the May Cohort. Also check out: 1. Pranay Kotasthane Talks Public Policy -- Episode 233 of The Seen and the Unseen. 2. Foreign Policy is a Big Deal — Episode 170 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pranay Kotasthane & Manoj Kewalramani). 3. Radically Networked Societies — Episode 158 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pranay Kotasthane). 4. Democracy in Pakistan -- Episode 79 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pranay Kotasthane & Hamsini Hariharan.) 5. Older episodes of The Seen and the Unseen w Pranay Kotasthane: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. 6. Understanding Foreign Policy — Episode 63 o…

3 hr 27 min

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Mar 6, 2022

Ep 267: Dhanya Rajendran Fights the Gaze

Indian mainstream media tends to see our country with the gaze of a privileged North Indian man. That is changing. Dhanya Rajendran joins Amit Varma in episode 267 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about her journey in setting up The News Minute, and in deepening our journalism and the conversations we have. Also check out: 1. Dhanya Rajendran on Twitter, Instagram and The News Minute. 2. Support The News Minute. 3. Cut the Clutter. 4. The Life and Times of Abhinandan Sekhri -- Episode 254 of The Seen and the Unseen. 5. The death of Savita Halappanavar. 6. Steven Van Zandt: Springsteen, the death of rock and Van Morrison on Covid — Richard Purden. 7. Some regional publications: Newsmeter, The Cue and Truecopythink. 8. 7 Indians are hostages in a conflict between Houthi rebels and Saudi coalition in Yemen -- Sanyukta Dharmadhikari. 9. The Story of an Income Tax Search -- Dhanya Rajendran on Instagram. 10. TV Newsance -- Manisha Pande -- YouTube Playlist. 11. 10,000 peopl…

3 hr 28 min

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Feb 27, 2022

Ep 266: Ram Guha Reflects on His Life

Historians write about the lives of others -- but what about their own journeys? Ramachandra Guha joins Amit Varma in episode 266 of The Seen and the Unseen to reflect on his notion of home, how he got from there to here, and the strange dreams that sometimes come. Also check out: 1. Rebels Against the Raj -- Ramachandra Guha. 2. Savaging the Civilized -- Ramachandra Guha. 3. A Functioning Anarchy?: Essays for Ramachandra Guha -- Nandini Sundar and Srinath Raghavan. 4. Ramachandra Guha on Amazon. 5. A Cricket Tragic Celebrates the Game -- Episode 201 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ram Guha). 6. Taking Stock of Our Republic -- Episode 157 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ram Guha). 7. Understanding Gandhi. Part 1: Mohandas -- Episode 104 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ram Guha). 8. Understanding Gandhi. Part 2: Mahatma -- Episode 105 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ram Guha). 9. Amitava Kumar Finds the Breath of Life -- Episode 265 of The Seen and the Unseen. 10. Aadha Gaon -- Rahi…

2 hr 29 min

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Feb 20, 2022

Ep 265: Amitava Kumar Finds the Breath of Life

Life is beautiful, but we are too busy to notice. Writing is one way to capture the world, and to make our journey memorable. Amitava Kumar joins Amit Varma in episode 265 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe his journey as an author, journalist, artist, Instagrammer -- and to explain the joys of slow-jamming the news. Also check out:1. Amitava Kumar on Instagram, Twitter, Amazon, Vassar and his own website. 2. The Blue Book: A Writer's Journal -- Amitava Kumar. 3. Husband Of A Fanatic -- Amitava Kumar. 4. A Matter of Rats -- Amitava Kumar. 5. Writing Badly is Easy -- Amitava Kumar. 6. Pyre -- Amitava Kumar. 7. Beautiful World, Where Are You -- Sally Rooney. 8. The Life and Times of Mrinal Pande -- Episode 263 of The Seen and the Unseen. 9. Susan Sontag and Joan Didion on Amazon. 10. Dom Moraes, Khushwant Singh and Suketu Mehta on Amazon. 11. Despatches 15: A World of Stopped Watches -- Amit Varma. 12. A Picture of Hell, and No Kerosene -- Amit Varma. 13. Why I Write -…

3 hr 38 min

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Feb 13, 2022

Ep 264: Barun Mitra, Philosopher and Practitioner

Intellectuals need to get out of their ivory towers and take their ideas to the people, learning from them in the process. Barun Mitra joins Amit Varma in episode 264 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss what he learnt from his decades combining reflection and activism. Also check out: 1. Barun Mitra on Twitter, and at The Print, Indian Express and Pragati. Also, a bio. 2. India's Agriculture Crisis -- Episode 140 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Barun Mitra and Kumar Anand). 3. The Anti-Defection Law -- Episode 13 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Barun Mitra). 4. Sell the Tiger to Save It -- Barun Mitra. 5. Lessons From an Ankhon Dekhi Prime Minister -- Amit Varma. 6. Nehru’s Debates -- Episode 262 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tripurdaman Singh and Adeel Hussain). 7. The State of Our Farmers -- Episode 86 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Gunvant Patil). 8. Farmers, Technology and Freedom of Choice: A Tale of Two Satyagrahas -- Amit Varma. 9. Down to Earth -- Sharad Joshi. 10. T…

4 hr 5 min

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Feb 6, 2022

Ep 263: The Life and Times of Mrinal Pande

Mrinal Pande, older than our republic, was writing from a time when it was felt that "a woman writing was like a dog walking on two hind legs." She joins Amit Varma in episode 263 of The Seen and the Unseen to share her learnings from a life in literature. Subjects discussed include our society, our languages, gender, politics and the state of our media. Also check out: 1. Mrinal Pande on Twitter, Amazon, Indian Express and Scroll. 2. The Other Country -- Mrinal Pande. 3. A Conservative Rebel: Memories of an Unusual Mother -- Ira Pande. 4. Amader Shantiniketan -- Shivani (translated by Ira Pande). 5. Mahadevi Verma and Amrit Lal Nagar on Amazon. 6. Sara Rai Inhales Literature -- Episode 255 of The Seen and the Unseen. 7. A House Divided: Origin and Development of Hindi/Urdu — Amrit Rai. 8. Hindi Nationalism — Alok Rai. 9. The Second Sex -- Simone de Beauvoir. 10. Bechan Sharma 'Ugra' on Amazon. 11. Search For My Tongue -- Sujata Bhatt. 12. Wanderers, Kings, Merchants:…

3 hr 4 min

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Jan 30, 2022

Ep 262: Nehru's Debates

There was a time when our leaders dived into the public discourse and embraced the world of ideas. Tripurdaman Singh and Adeel Hussain join Amit Varma in episode 262 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe four debates that Jawaharlal Nehru entered with Muhammad Iqbal, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Sardar Patel and Syama Prasad Mookerjee. These old debates matter today, because those ideas are still being contested. Also check out: 1. Nehru: The Debates that Defined India -- Tripurdaman Singh and Adeel Hussain. 2. Sixteen Stormy Days -- Tripurdaman Singh. 3. The First Assault on Our Constitution -- Episode 194 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tripurdaman Singh). 4. Jawaharlal Nehru on Amazon. 5. Shruti Rajagopalan's talk on the many amendments in our constitution. 6. Karl May on Amazon. 7. Christopher Bayly on Amazon. 8. Violent Fraternity -- Shruti Kapila. 9. Amit Varma's tweet about books read, a snarky response, and a, um, weird comment. 10. Jürgen Habermas on Amazon and Wikipedia.…

4 hr 15 min

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Jan 23, 2022

Ep 261: Rukmini Sees India's Multitudes

You may think you have India figured out -- but do you? Rukmini S joins Amit Varma in episode 261 of The Seen and the Unseen to speak about the many layers of India she has uncovered by looking closely at data, and the stories that lie beneath. Also check out: 1. Whole Numbers and Half Truths -- Rukmini S. 2. The Importance of Data Journalism -- Episode 196 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rukmini S). 3. The Loneliness of the Indian Woman -- Episode 259 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shrayana Bhattacharya). 4. The White Album -- Joan Didion. 5. The world’s most expensive coffee, made from poop of civet cat, is made in India -- Hindustan Times news report. 6. A Life in Indian Politics -- Episode 149 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Jayaprakash Narayan). 7. What Have We Done With Our Independence? -- Episode 186 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pratap Bhanu Mehta). 8. The Business of Books -- Episode 150 of The Seen and the Unseen (w VK Karthika). 9. Munni Badnaam Hui. 10. Beautiful…

3 hr 41 min

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Jan 16, 2022

Ep 260: Sneaky Artist Sees the World

What we mean by art has changed in modern times -- and there has never been a better time to be an artist. Nishant Jain aka Sneaky Artist joins Amit Varma in episode 260 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about his journey, and to share his insights on the creator economy. Also check out: 1. The Sneaky Artist -- Nishant Jain's website. 2. The Sneaky Art Post -- Nishant Jain's newsletter. 3. The Sneaky Art Podcast on Apple and Spotify. 4. Nishant Jain on Twitter, Instagram and Linktree. 5. Earlier episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on the creator ecosystem with Roshan Abbas, Varun Duggirala, Neelesh Misra, Snehal Pradhan and Chuck Gopal. 6. The Story of Art -- EH Gombrich. 7. Population Is Not a Problem, but Our Greatest Strength -- Amit Varma. 8. The Time a Stiff Caught Fire — Keith Yates. 9. Random BOOMER Journalist Says WHAT About Paul Simon??? — Rick Beato’s magnificent rant. 10. Puneet Superstar interviewed on Dostcast. 11. Only Fans. 12. 1000 True Fans — Kev…

5 hr 6 min

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Jan 9, 2022

Ep 259: The Loneliness of the Indian Woman

Indian women are lonely in the bedroom, lonely in the kitchen, lonely in the workplace. Shrayana Bhattacharya joins Amit Varma in episode 259 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the interior and exterior lives of these unseen millions. Also check out 1. Desperately Seeking Shah Rukh: India's Lonely Young Women and the Search for Intimacy and Independence -- Shrayana Bhattacharya. 2. Select Shah Rukh Khan films: Baazigar, DDLJ, Dil Tho Pagal Hai, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Dilwale, Mohabbatein. 3. Shar Rukh Khan interviews selected by Shrayana: 1, 2, 3, 4. 4. The Power to Choose -- Naila Kabeer. 5. Naila Kabeer on Amazon. 6. Counting for Nothing: What Men Value and What Women are Worth -- Marilyn Waring. 7. The Odd Woman and the City -- Vivian Gornick. 8. Vivian Gornick on Amazon. 9. Future Sex -- Emily Witt. 10. Kamala Das's autobiography, poems and stories. 11. Deborah Levy and Bell Hooks on Amazon. 12. Poor Economics -- Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo. 13. Exit, Voice, and Loy…

3 hr 58 min

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Jan 2, 2022

Ep 258: The Universe of Chuck Gopal

There has never been a better time to be a creator -- but you need to be productive to make use of it! Deepak Gopalakrishnan aka Chuck Gopal joins Amit Varma in episode 258 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about his journey, and to share his learnings on creation and productivity. Also check out: 1. Earlier episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on the creator ecosystem with Roshan Abbas, Varun Duggirala, Neelesh Misra and Snehal Pradhan. 2. Chuck Gopal on Twitter, Instagram, LinkTree and his own website. 3. Chuck's podcasts: Simblified, The Origin of Things and Getting Meta. 4. Chuck's newsletter: Things of Internet. 5. Chuck on Spotify where he shares his playlists. 6. Agency Trash Talk -- Instagram account c-authored by Chuck that used cat pictures to make fun of advertising. 7. The Telegram Channel where Chuck and Berty Ashley share a song every day. 8. Chucks comics for Pagalguy. 9. Some of Chuck's writing on Music: a) Making live-streamed concerts better b) The therap…

4 hr 22 min

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Dec 26, 2021

Ep 257: Objects Speak to Annapurna Garimella

The world is what it is -- but no one knows what that is, and we all see different worlds. Designer and art historian Annapurna Garimella joins Amit Varma in episode 257 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe her passage of seeing, remembering, reflecting. Also check out:1. Annapurna Garimella on Amazon. 2. Sara Rai Inhales Literature -- Episode 255 of The Seen and the Unseen. 3. Memories and Things -- Episode 195 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aanchal Malhotra). 4. Lord of the Flies -- William Golding. 5. Human Behavioral Biology -- 25 Lectures by Robert Sapolsky. 6. On Children -- Kahlil Gibran. 7. The Better Angels of Our Nature -- Steven Pinker. 8. Mamta -- Directed by Asit Sen. 9. 'Rahen Na Rahen Hum' -- Song from Mamta. 10. 'Rahte The Kabhi Jinke' -- Song from Mamta. 11. 'Chupa Lo Yun Dil Mein Pyar Mera' -- Song from Mamta. 12. 'Kuchh Tho Log Kahenge' -- Song from Amar Prem. 13. Clara Barton, Margaret Mead and Florence Nightingale on Wikipedia. 14. The Complete Wor…

3 hr 20 min

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Dec 19, 2021

Ep 256: Pramit Bhattacharya Believes in Just One Ism

Data has no ideology, and journalists should always be guided by skepticism. Pramit Bhattacharya joins Amit Varma in episode 256 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe his journey learning the craft and the values of analytical journalism. Also check out: 1. Pramit Bhattacharya's writings in Mint. 2. The Importance of Data Journalism -- Episode 196 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rukmini S). 3. Data Journalism and Indian Politics — Episode 136 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Roshan Kishore). 4. India’s Greatest Civil Servant -- Episode 167 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Narayani Basu). 5. Taking Stock of Our Republic -- Episode 157 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ramachandra Guha). 6. Growth in a Time of Debt -- The Reinhart–Rogoff paper. 7. Fear the Boom and Bust: Keynes vs. Hayek - The Original Economics Rap Battle! 8. Fight of the Century: Keynes vs. Hayek - Economics Rap Battle Round Two. 9. Conversation and Society -- Episode 182 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Russ Robert…

3 hr 36 min

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Dec 12, 2021

Ep 255: Sara Rai Inhales Literature

In India, we inhabit many worlds, and we live in many languages, many literatures. Sara Rai joins Amit Varma in episode 255 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about her rich life learning to write, learning to read, learning to live. Also check out: 1. Sara Rai on Amazon. 2. “You will be the Katherine Mansfield of Hindi” -- Sara Rai's essay in Caravan. 3. Other Skies -- Sara Rai. 4. Wilderness -- Sara Rai. 5. Premchand's Kazaki And Other Marvellous Tales -- Munshi Premchand (translated and with an introduction by Sara Rai). 6. The City -- CP Cavafy. 7. Memories and Things -- Episode 195 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aanchal Malhotra). 8. The World of Premchand: Selected Short Stories -- Munshi Premchand (translated and with an introduction by David Rubin). 9. Literary Cultures in History: Reconstructions From South Asia -- Sheldon Pollock. 10. Blue Is Like Blue -- Vinod Kumar Shukla (translated by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra and Sara Rai). 11. Vinod Kumar Shukla on Amazon.…

2 hr 55 min

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Dec 5, 2021

Ep 254: The Life and Times of Abhinandan Sekhri

He carried cables on a film set. He teamed up with friends named Arvind and Manish to save Delhi. He started a media company that said Boo to advertisers. Abhinandan Sekhri joins Amit Varma in episode 254 of The Seen and the Unseen to speak about the many things he's learned during his rich and unconventional life. Also check out: 1. Abhinandan Sekhri on Twitter, Instagram and Newslaundry. 2. Subscribe to Newslaundry. 3. PG Wodehouse on Amazon. 4. War and Peace and The Thorn Birds. 5. The Return of the Native -- Thomas Hardy. 6. Far From the Madding Crowd -- Thomas Hardy. 7. Leo Tolstoy, Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare on Amazon. 8. Mills and Boon on Amazon. 9. Rang De Basanti. 10. Amusing Ourselves to Death -- Neil Postman. 11. It is Obscene -- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. 12. Highway on My Plate. 13. Gustakhi Maaf on NDTV. 14. The Barkha Dutt Files -- Episode 243 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Barkha Dutt). 15. The Dark Side of Indian Pharma -- Episode 245 of The…

3 hr 56 min

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Nov 28, 2021

Ep 253: Our Parliament and Our Democracy

A democracy is not just about voting, The rules of the game have to protect individuals, and institutions have to keep the government accountable. MR Madhavan joins Amit Varma in episode 253 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss his efforts at empowering MPs and MLAs with knowledge -- and why we should not lose hope in our nation. Also check out: 1. PRS Legislative Research. 2. When You Could Only Buy Two Litres of Milk -- MR Madhavan. 3. The Functioning of the Indian Parliament -- MR Madhavan. 4. Dilli Door Nahin: Engaging With the Policy Process -- MR Madhavan. 5. Ulysses and Dubliners -- James Joyce. 6. Fixing Indian Education -- Episode 185 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Karthik Muralidharan). 7. Education in India -- Episode 77 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Amit Chandra). 8. Every Act of Government Is an Act of Violence -- Amit Varma. 9. Taxes Should Be Used for Governance, Not Politics -- Amit Varma. 10. Battles Half Won: India's Improbable Democracy -- Ashutosh Varshn…

3 hr 3 min

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(Video) Ep 285: The Life and Times of Montek Singh Ahluwalia

Nov 21, 2021

Ep 252: The State of Our Economy

Winter is here.The pandemic has receded, but our economy was already in bad shape before Covid struck, which made it plummet further. Where do we stand now? Can we recover? Puja Mehra and Mohit Satyanand join Amit Varma in episode 252 of The Seen and the Unseen to take stock. Also check out: 1. The Lost Decade -- Puja Mehra. 2. Gimme Mo -- Mohit Satyanand's newsletter. 3. India's Lost Decade -- Episode 116 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra). 4. This is All Because of Rupal Ben -- Episode 5 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Mohit Satyanand.) 5. Poker and Stock Markets -- Episode 47 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Mohit Satyanand). 6. Two Economic Crises (2008 & 2019) -- Episode 135 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Mohit Satynanand). 7. India’s Start-Up Ecosystem -- Episode 171 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Mohit Satyanand). 8. The Tragedy of Our Farm Bills -- Episode 211 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ajay Shah). 9. Episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on agriculture (in revers…

3 hr 9 min

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Nov 14, 2021

Ep 251: Amit Schandillia, History Communicator

History is often told in such a boring way that it might as well not have happened. And then, there are those who bring it so alive that the present seems so much clearer. Amit Schandillia joins Amit Varma in episode 251 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about how his historical storytelling made him a Twitter sensation -- and why both history and storytelling matter in these times. Also check out: 1. Select Twitter threads by Amit Schandillia: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. 2. Amit Schandillia on Storytel. 3. Nina’s Journey -- Nina Markovna. 4. Episodes of The Seen and the Unseen with Manu Pillai: 1, 2, 3, 4. 5. Episodes of The Seen and the Unseen with Srinath Raghavan: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. 6. Early Indians — Episode 112 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tony Joseph). 7. Early Indians — Tony Joseph. 8. Who We Are and How We Got Here -- David Reich. 9. Understanding India Through Its Languages -- Episode 232 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Peggy Mohan). 10. Wanderers, Ki…

3 hr 28 min

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Nov 7, 2021

Ep 250: Narendra Shenoy and Mr Narendra Shenoy

Narendra Shenoy and Mr Narendra Shenoy are cult figures who transcend the universe of ordinary podcast guests. One of them, a renowned storyteller, joins Amit Varma in episode 250 of The Seen and the Unseen. Which one? Who knows? Schrödinger's Shenoy. Also check out: 1. Simblified, co-hosted by Narendra Shenoy. 2. Why Are My Episodes so Long? -- Amit Varma. 3. The Hunter Becomes the Hunted -- Episode 200 of The Seen and the Unseen. 4. EconTalk (hosted by Russ Roberts) and Conversations With Tyler (hosted by Tyler Cowen). 5. A Meditation on Form -- Amit Varma. 6. A Scientist in the Kitchen -- Episode 204 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Krish Ashok). 7. Getting Meta, hosted by Deepak Gopalakrishnan. 8. Why I Am Not a Christian -- Bertrand Russell. 9. A Godless Congregation -- Amit Varma. 10. It is immoral to have children. Here’s why -- Amit Varma. 11. The Paperclip Maximiser. 12. Self-Esteem (and a Puddle) -- Amit Varma. 13. Dekalog -- Krzysztof Kieślowski. (And Roger E…

3 hr 56 min

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Oct 31, 2021

Ep 249: Dial C For Snehal Pradhan

C is for Cricket. C is also for Creator. Snehal Pradhan, former fast bowler for the Indian team and current superstar creator, joins Amit Varma in episode 249 of The Seen and the Unseen to share her insights on both these ecosystems. Also check out: 1. Snehal Pradhan's website, newsletter, YouTube Channel, Instagram and Twitter. 2. An Equal Hue -- Senhal Pradhan, Karunya Keshav and Sidhanta Patnaik. 3. The Fire Burns Blue: A History of Women's Cricket in India -- Karunya Keshav and Sidhanta Patnaik. 4. A Day in the Life of an IPL Cricket Commentator -- Snehal Pradhan. 5. The Writing Habit behind the Spirit of Cricket -- Snehal Pradhan. 6. Why I regret my Cricket Coaching Journey -- Snehal Pradhan. 7. A Meditation on Form -- Amit Varma. 8. How Social Media Threatens Society -- Episode 8 of Brave New World, featuring Jonathan Haidt in conversation with Vasant Dhar. 9. Kavitha Rao and Our Lady Doctors -- Episode 235 of The Seen and the Unseen. 10. India Women v Pakistan Women,…

2 hr 58 min

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Oct 24, 2021

Ep 248: The Decline of the Congress

The Congress Party once dominated Indian politics. Today, it's on the outside looking in. Rahul Verma joins Amit Varma in episode 248 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the complex social and political factors behind this massive decline. Also check out: 1. Political Ideology in India -- Episode 131 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rahul Verma). 2. Ideology and Identity: The Changing Party Systems of India -- Pradeep K Chhibber and Rahul Verma. 3. Taking Stock of Our Republic -- Episode 157 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ramachandra Guha). 4. The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism -- Episode 139 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshaya Mukul). 5. Religion and Ideology in Indian Society — Episode 124 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Suyash Rai). 6. The BJP Before Modi -- Episode 202 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vinay Sitapati). 7. The BJP’s Magic Formula — Episode 45 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Prashant Jha). 8. The First Assault on Our Constitution — Episode 194 of The Seen…

3 hr 26 min

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Oct 17, 2021

Ep 247: The Business of Winning Elections

Our politicalparties suck at governance but excel at narratives, as that's what wins them elections. Shivam Shankar Singh joins Amit Varma in episode 247 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe his experiences at the heart of different political machines. Also check out: 1.How to Win an Indian Election-- Shivam Shankar Singh. 2.The Art Of Conjuring Alternate Realities-- Shivam Shankar Singh and AnandVenkatanarayanan. 3.LAMP Fellowships. 4. TheLok SabhaandRajya Sabhawebsites. 5.Why I Am Resigning From the BJP-- Shivam Shankar Singh. 6.Is Parliament’s questions system broken? — Here’s how to fix it!-- Shivam Shankar Singh. 7. Episode of The Seen and the Unseen on China, in reverse chronological order:1,2,3,4,5,6,7. 8.In Absentia: Where are India’s conservative intellectuals?-- Ramachandra Guha. 9.The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism-- Episode 139 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshaya Mukul). 10.Political Ideology i…

3 hr 33 min

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Oct 10, 2021

Ep 246: The Life and Times of Ayaz Memon

Over the last few decades, India has changed, cricket has changed, our media has changed -- and one man has seen it all. Ayaz Memon joins Amit Varma in episode 246 of The Seen and the Unseen to reflect on some of what he has seen and learnt. Also check out: 1. Indian Innings: The Journey of Indian Cricket from 1947 -- Edited by Ayaz Memon. 2. Cricket-related episodes of The Seen and the Unseen with Harsha Bhogle, Sharda Ugra, Ramachandra Guha, Prem Panicker and Gideon Haigh+Prem Panicker. 3. The Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack. 4. The Wisden Book of Test Cricket (1877-1977) -- Compiled & edited by Bill Frindall. 5. The Test where India beat Australia at Brabourne Stadium, 1964. 6. Sachin Tendulkar's first Test, Sunil Gavaskar's last Test, Kapil Dev's 175 and the 1983 World Cup final. 7. Opportunity, Choice and the IPL (2008) -- Amit Varma. 8. What cricket can learn from poker -- Amit Varma. 9. The Tamasha All Purists Should Love -- Amit Varma. 10. Beyond a Boundary -- CLR Jam…

4 hr 4 min

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Oct 3, 2021

Ep 245: The Dark Side of Indian Pharma

When we pick up medicine from our nearby chemist, we assume that we are getting what we pay for. That trust may be misplaced. Dinesh Thakur joins Amit Varma in episode 245 of The Seen and the Unseen to share the story of the Ranbaxy fraud, and the shoddy state of Indian pharma today. Also check out: 1. Dinesh Thakur's foundation, blog and Twitter. 2. Bottle of Lies : Ranbaxy and the Dark Side of Indian Pharma -- Katherine Eban. 3. The Impact of Regulatory Structure on Quality of Medicines in India -- Talk by Dinesh Thakur. 4. Dinesh Thakur interviewed by News Laundry, Lallantop and The Accad and Koka Report. 5. The Indian pharmaceutical industry is in denial over drug-quality charges -- Dinesh Thakur. 6. Pharma industry’s playbook on low-quality drugs -- Dinesh Thakur and Prashant Reddy Thikkavarapu. 7. India’s drug regulator has failed the pandemic stress test -- Dinesh Thakur. 8. In generic drug plants in China and India, data falsification is still a problem -- Katheri…

3 hr 14 min

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Sep 26, 2021

Ep 244: The Multitudes of Our Maharajahs

India's Maharajahs get a bad rap. Both the British empire and our freedom fighters pushed wrong stereotypes about them. Manu Pillai joins Amit Varma in episode 244 of The Seen and the Unseen to chat about the multitudes of our maharajahs -- and much else that matters. Also check out: 1. Manu Pillai's Website, Twitter and Instagram. 2. False Allies: India’s Maharajahs in the Age of Ravi Varma -- Manu Pillai. 3. Ivory Throne: Chronicles of the House of Travancore -- Manu Pillai. 4. Rebel Sultans: The Deccan from Khilji to Shivaji -- Manu Pillai. 5. The Courtesan, the Mahatma and the Italian Brahmin -- Manu Pillai. 6. Kerala and the Ivory Throne -- Episode 156 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manu Pillai). 7. Our Colorful Past -- Episode 127 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manu Pillai). 8. The Deccan Before Shivaji -- Episode 98 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manu Pillai). 9. Sudhir Sarnobat's epic tweet summing up the first 200 episodes of The Seen and the Unseen. 10. The Hunter…

3 hr 22 min

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Sep 19, 2021

Ep 243: The Barkha Dutt Files

In the last 25 years, India has changed, journalism has changed and Barkha Dutt has been at the frontlines. She joins Amit Varma in episode 243 of The Seen and the Unseen to speak about how we got here, and the lessons of these years. Also check out: 1. Barkha Dutt on Twitter, Instagram and the Washington Post. 2. Mojo Story on YouTube. 3. This Unquiet Land: Stories from India's Fault Lines -- Barkha Dutt. 4. The Nurture Assumption -- Judith Rich Harris. 5. Barkha Dutt's conversation with Deep Sidhu. 6. What They Did Yesterday Afternoon -- Warsan Shire. 7. We The Women on Facebook. 8. Memories and Things -- Episode 195 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aanchal Malhotra). 9. Little Crazy Love Song -- Mary Oliver. This episode is sponsored by CTQ Compounds. Check out The Daily Reader, FutureStack and The Social Capital Compound. Use the code UNSEEN for Rs 2500 off. Please subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter. It’s free! And check out Amit’s online course, The Art of C…

2 hr 36 min

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Sep 12, 2021

Ep 242: India's Security State

We are subjects, not citizens -- and India's state is designed to keep us that way. Josy Joseph joins Amit Varma in episode 242 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the astonishing ways in which India's security state misuses its powers. Also check out: 1. The Silent Coup: A History of India's Deep State -- Josy Joseph. 2. A Feast of Vultures: The Hidden Business of Democracy in India -- Josy Joseph. 3. Investigative Journalism: Silence is an Expensive Commodity -- Josy Joseph's TedX talk. 4. Vultures of Modern India -- Josy Joseph at Manthan Samvaad 2016. 5. The Geography of Genius -- Eric Weiner. 6. Where Have All The Leaders Gone? -- Amit Varma. 7. Franz Kafka, George Orwell and Gabriel Garcia Marquez on Amazon. 8. Poland -- James A Michener. 9. Curfewed Night -- Basharat Peer. 10. Our Moon Has Blood Clots -- Rahul Pandita. 11. The Prem Panicker Files -- Episode 217 of The Seen and the Unseen. 12. Afghanistan: The Bear Trap -- Mohammad Yousaf and Mark Adkin. 13. The…

Sep 5, 2021

Ep 241: The Importance of Satya

The gangster film and the city film are two genres that took a while to evolve in Bollywood. Uday Bhatia joins Amit Varma in episode 241 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain why Ram Gopal Varma's Satya was a seminal moment, shaped by what came before it, and changing the course of Hindi cinema. Also check out: 1. Satya -- Ram Gopal Varma. 2. Bullets Over Bombay -- Uday Bhatia. 3. Uday Bhatia's Twitter, Blog and author page at Mint Lounge. 4. Jai Arjun Singh Lost It at the Movies -- Episode 230 of The Seen and the Unseen. 5. Greil Marcus, Lester Bangs, David Fricke and Peter Guralnick. 6. Lester Bangs on The Stooges. 7. Pauline Kael on Bonnie and Clyde. 8. Pauline Kael, Lester Bangs and the Twitter Age -- Uday Bhatia. 9. Have You Seen?: A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films -- David Thomson. 10. Risen From the Depths -- Uday Bhatia on Neecha Nagar. 11. The First Picture Show -- Uday Bhatia. 12. So Many Cinemas -- BD Garga. 13. Jawaharlal Nehru : Rebel and Statesman -- B…

2 hr 38 min

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Aug 29, 2021

Ep 240: Prakash Iyer, Alteration Tailor

You can learn life lessons by actually living life -- or you can take a short cut and learn them from those who have done the living for you. Prakash Iyer joins Amit Varma in episode 240 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss his journey rising to the top of the corporate world, and then sharing the lessons he learnt. Also check out: 1. Prakash Iyer on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Amazon and his own website. 2. How Come No One Told Me That? -- Prakash Iyer. 3. Some talks on YouTube by Prakash Iyer: 1, 2, 3, 4. 4. Luck is All Around -- Amit Varma. 5. The Answer is 42 -- Amit Varma. 6. The Numbers Game -- Amit Varma. 7. Poker at Lake Wobegon -- Amit Varma. 8. Range Rover -- The Archives of Amit Varma's poker column for Economic Times. 9. Air India Express ousts 'Sir' from cockpit, brings in 'Captain.' 10. Defending the Indefensible -- Episode 55 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Yazad Jal). 11. Where Are the Jobs? -- Episode 87 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Yazad Jal). 12. Metri…

2 hr 53 min

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Aug 22, 2021

Ep 239: Roshan Abbas and the Creator Economy

If you're a creative person, there is no better time to be alive. Roshan Abbas joins Amit Varma in episode 239 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe his remarkable journey as a creator -- and to explain why the best is yet to come. Also check out: 1. Roshan Abbas on Twitter, Instagram and his own homepage. 2. Kommune on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 3. Speechless: What would you say if your life depended on it? A Pocket-Guide to Public Speaking -- Roshan Abbas and Siddharth Banerjee. 4. Always Kabhi Kabhi, directed by Roshan Abbas, on ErosNow, JioCinema, Amazon (DVD) and Amazon Prime (outside India). 5. A Road Less Travelled -- Roshan Abbas's TedX talk. 6. Roshan Abbas interviewed by Vishal Gondal, Varun Duggirala and Cyrus Broacha. 7. Tom Peters on Amazon -- and VUCA in Wikipedia. 8. A Creator of the Floating World -- Episode 218 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Varun Duggirala). 9. Dreamy Dutch Coffee -- Prahniika Borkar | The Storytellers 10. Storytelling and C…

3 hr 20 min

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Aug 15, 2021

Ep 238: The State of Indian Sport

Indian sport has never been healthier. Joy Bhattacharjya and Nandan Kamath join Amit Varma in episode 238 of The Seen and the Unseen to share their inside view on what has happened behind the scenes to bring us here. Also check out:1. GoSports Foundation. 2. Building Sports Ecosystems -- Episode 126 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Joy Bhattacharjya). 3. Go!: India's Sporting Transformation -- Edited by Nandan Kamath & Aparna Ravichandran. 4. Great sporting nations are built on collaborative efforts -- Nandan Kamath. 5. Some print interviews of Nandan Kamath, in reverse chronological order: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. 6. Nandan Kamath on sports governance (YouTube talk). 7. 87.58 for 1.3 bn: Will Neeraj Chopra's javelin hurl spearhead a turn in India's Olympic medal-hauling capabilities? -- Joy Bhattacharjya. 8. Winning medals wasn’t always so serious, whisky-swilling shooters and café-stopping runners were once Olympians too -- Joy Bhattacharjya. 9. The Importance of the 1991 Reforms --…

3 hr 18 min

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Aug 8, 2021

Ep 237: The Importance of the 1991 Reforms

The liberalisation of 1991 lifted more than a quarter of a billion people in India out of poverty. And yet, we often don't recognise their importance, and have gone backwards in the last decade. Shruti Rajagopalan and Ajay Shah join Amit Varma in episode 237 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss what life was like before 1991, where we had gone wrong, what we put right and what remains to be done. Also check out: 1. The 1991 Project. 2. The quest for economic freedom in India -- Shruti Rajagopalan. 3. Ideas and Origins of the Planning Commission in India -- Shruti Rajagopalan. 4. The Art and Science of Economic Policy -- Episode 154 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vijay Kelkar and Ajay Shah). 5. The Economics and Politics of Vaccines -- Episode 223 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ajay Shah). 6. The Tragedy of Our Farm Bills -- Episode 211 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ajay Shah). 7. Other episodes of The Seen and the Unseen with Ajay Shah: 1, 2, 3. 8. In Service of the Republic…

3 hr 41 min

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Aug 1, 2021

Ep 236: The Life and Times of Vir Sanghvi

The task of a journalist is to document the present moment. And there have been plenty of crazy present moments in India in the last 40 years. Vir Sanghvi joins Amit Varma in episode 236 of The Seen and the Unseen to share his insights on how our society, politics and media have been transformed over the course of his career. He also looks inwards. Also check out: 1. A Rude Life -- Vir Sanghvi. 2. Vir Sanghvi's books on Amazon. 3. Vir Sanghvi's homepage, Twitter and Instagram. 4. Travelling in the Time of Covid -- Vir Sanghvi. 5. Biryani Was Always Meant for the Masses and Not the Kings -- Vir Sanghvi. 6. Don’t Think Too Much of Yourself. You’re an Accident -- Amit Varma. 7. The Great Gatsby -- F Scott Fitzgerald. 8. Kanti Bajpai on India vs China -- Episode 234 of The Seen and the Unseen. 9. A Cricket Tragic Celebrates the Game — Episode 201 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ramachandra Guha). 10. The Indianness of Indian Food — Episode 95 of The Seen and the Unseen (w…

2 hr 48 min

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Jul 26, 2021

Ep 235: Kavitha Rao and Our Lady Doctors

Back in the 19th century, women were supposed to stay home and learn cooking and needlework -- but some dared to fight the odds and get an education. Some even became doctors. Kavitha Rao joins Amit Varma in episode 235 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss her new book on six pioneering lady doctors. Also discussed: the craft of writing and storytelling, and the endless possibility for late bloomers. Also check out: 1. Lady Doctors: The Untold Stories of India's First Women in Medicine -- Kavitha Rao. 2. Kavitha Rao's other books on Amazon. 3. I grew up as an Indian expat in Iran, before the revolution -- Kavitha Rao. 4. The Memoirs of Dr Haimabati Sen -- Haimabati Sen (translated by Tapan Raychoudhuri). 5. Crossing Thresholds -- Meera Kosambi. 6. A Fragmented Feminism -- Meera Kosambi. 7. The Art of Narrative Nonfiction -- Episode 183 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Samanth Subramanian). 8. Following Fish -- Samanth Subramanian. 9. A Dominant Character -- Samanth Subramanian…

3 hr 36 min

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Jul 18, 2021

Ep 234: Kanti Bajpai on India vs China

What exactly is going on between India and China? When cooperation would lead to a win-win game, why is there conflict? Kanti Bajpai joins Amit Varma in episode 234 of The Seen and the Unseen to share his Four Ps framework for understanding this conflict. Also discussed: academia, public intellectuals, how one learns, and why writing and teaching make you a better thinker Also check out: 1. India Versus China : Why They Are Not Friends -- Kanti Bajpai. 2. Roots of Terrorism -- Kanti Bajpai. 3. Kanti Bajpai on Amazon. 4. The China Dude Is in the House -- Episode 231 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manoj Kewalramani). 5. The Dragon and the Elephant — Episode 181 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Hamsini Hariharan & Shibani Mehta). 6. What Does China Want? — Episode 143 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manoj Kewalramani). 7. Understanding Terrorism -- Amit Varma's 2007 review of Alan Krueger's What Makes a Terorrist.8. Soft Power: The Means To Success In World Politics -- Joseph Nye.…

3 hr 34 min

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Jul 10, 2021

Ep 233: Pranay Kotasthane Talks Public Policy

Public policy may seem like a dull subject fit only for wonks, but it matters: our lives are deeply affected by what our governments do. Pranay Kotasthane joins Amit Varma in episode 233 of The Seen and the Unseen to chat about his intellectual journey, his private beach and why public policy can be so stimulating. He also answers racy questions from the Twitterverse. If you share Pranay's interest in public policy, you should check out Takshashila's Graduate Certificate in Public Policy (GCPP). Also check out: 1. Anticipating the Unintended -- Pranay Kotasthane's newsletter (with RSJ). 2. Puliyabaazi -- Pranay Kotasthane's podcast (with Saurabh Chandra). 3. Foreign Policy is a Big Deal -- Episode 170 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pranay Kotasthane & Manoj Kewalramani). 4. Radically Networked Societies -- Episode 158 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pranay Kotasthane). 5. Older episodes of The Seen and the Unseen w Pranay Kotasthane: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. 6. Raghu Sanjaylal Jaitley…

3 hr 38 min

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Jul 3, 2021

Ep 232: Understanding India Through Its Languages

The problem with the past is that it's over. How can we enter distant history and understand what happened? Language is one way. Peggy Mohan joins Amit Varma in episode 232 of The Seen and the Unseen to share her insights on what the evolution of our languages reveals about how we got here. Also check out: 1. Wanderers, Kings, Merchants: The Story of India through Its Languages -- Peggy Mohan. 2. Peggy Mohan's books on Amazon. 3. Amit Varma's Twitter thread on episodes of The Seen and the Unseen about India. 4. Early Indians -- Episode 112 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tony Joseph). 5. India = Migration -- Episode 128 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Chinmay Tumbe). 6. The Art of Translation -- Episode 168 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Arunava Sinha). 7. The Indianness of Indian Food -- Episode 95 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vikram Doctor). 8. One Hundred Years of Solitude (Spanish) (English) -- Gabriel García Márquez. 9. Songs of Kabir -- Translated by Arvind Krishna Mehro…

2 hr 48 min

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Jun 26, 2021

Ep 231: The China Dude Is in the House

Bollywood lost him, journalism wasted him, and thank goodness for that. Manoj Kewalramani, the foreign policy analyst also known as The China Dude, joins Amit Varma in episode 231 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss his brilliant new book on post-Covid China, Smokeless War. Also discussed: Lokhandwala Cafes and the art of building narratives. Also check out: 1. Smokeless War: China's Quest for Geopolitical Dominance -- Manoj Kewalramani. 2. Eye on China -- Manoj Kewalramani's newsletter. (+ older archives at Pragati.) 3. The Takshashila Institution. 4. What Does China Want? -- Episode 143 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manoj Kewalramani). 5. Chinese Foreign Policy -- Episode 81 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manoj Kewalramani). 6. Foreign Policy is a Big Deal -- Episode 170 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pranay Kotasthane & Manoj Kewalramani). 7. The Dragon and the Elephant -- Episode 181 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Hamsini Hariharan & Shibani Mehta). 8. Keeping India Safe -…

4 hr 8 min

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Jun 20, 2021

Ep 230: Jai Arjun Singh Lost It at the Movies

His writing is self-reflective, his humour is self-deprecatory, and he's one of our finest writers on cinema. Jai Arjun Singh joins Amit Varma in episode 230 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe how he to came to love cinema -- and how that love changed shape as he did. Also check out: 1. Jabberwock -- Jai Arjun Singh's blog. 2. Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron: Seriously Funny Since 1983 -- Jai Arjun Singh. 3. The World of Hrishikesh Mukherjee -- Jai Arjun Singh. 4. Popcorn Essayists -- Edited by Jai Arjun Singh. 5. Seeing is believing? An essay about encounters with religious cinema -- Jai Arjun Singh. 6. Meandering thoughts on the consumer-art relationship, glorification vs depiction, etc -- Jai Arjun Singh. 7. In praise of “commercial” acting -- Jai Arjun Singh. 8. One Moment Please -- Jai Arjun Singh's column for the Hindu. 9. Jai Arjun Singh at Mint Lounge, Scroll and First Post. 10. The First Assault on Our Constitution -- Episode 194 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tripurdam…

3 hr 3 min

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Jun 12, 2021

Ep 229: The Practice of Medicine

In these difficult times, no one's had a harder time than our medical professionals. They see death every day, and they fight it. What is it like to be a doctor in India? Lancelot Pinto joins Amit Varma in episode 229 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about the practice of medicine in general, and the battle against Covid-19 in particular. Also discussed: the incentives of doctors, the importance of sleep, how to quit smoking, and the Epidemic of Sighing. Also check out: 1. Past episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on Covid-19, featuring (in reverse chronological order) Ashwin Mahesh, Gautam Menon, Ajay Shah, Anirban Mahapatra, Ruben Mascarenhas, Chinmay Tumbe, Rukmini S, Vaidehi Tandel, Vivek Kaul, Anup Malani and Shruti Rajagopalan. 2. Robin Cook on Amazon. 3. The Case Against Sugar — Gary Taubes. 4. The Big Fat Surprise: why butter, meat, and cheese belong in a healthy diet — Nina Teicholz. 5. UpToDate. 6. Understanding Indian Healthcare -- Episode 225 of The Seen and th…

2 hr 46 min

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Jun 5, 2021

Ep 228: The Kavita Krishnan Files

We're well into the 21st century, but Indian society seems stuck in ages past -- especially when it comes to the state of our women. Kavita Krishnan joins Amit Varma in episode 228 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss her evolution as a feminist, and what she has learned from her activism. Also check out: 1. Fearless Freedom -- Kavita Krishnan. 2. Kavita Krishnan's speech in the anti-rape protests of 2012. 3. Kavita Krishnan on the Tarun Tejpal verdict. 4. Kavita Krishnan's Facebook posts on stalking and marital rape. 5. Gendered Discipline in Globalising India -- Kavita Krishnan. 6. Kavita Krishnan's Twitter thread on the Mahmood Farooqui case. 7. Films, Feminism, Paromita -- Episode 155 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Paromita Vohra). 8. Women at Work -- Episode 132 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Namita Bhandare). 9. Metrics of Empowerment -- Episode 88 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Devika Kher, Nidhi Gupta and Hamsini Hariharan). 10. The #MeToo Movement -- Episode 90 of Th…

4 hr 18 min

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May 29, 2021

Ep 227: Taking Stock of Our Economy

The Indian economy has been going downhill for a decade now. How has Covid-19 affected it? Ila Patnaik joins Amit Varma in episode 227 of The Seen and the Unseen to take stock of where we are today, and where we go from here. Also check out: 1. Ila Patnaik at NIPFP, The Print, YouTube, Indian Express & Business Standard. 2. Asia Confronts the Impossible Trinity -- Ila Patnaik & Ajay Shah. 3. The Economics and Politics of Vaccines -- Episode 223 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ajay Shah). 4. The Tragedy of Our Farm Bills -- Episode 211 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ajay Shah). 5. The Art and Science of Economic Policy -- Episode 154 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vijay Kelkar & Ajay Shah). 6. In Service of the Republic -- Vijay Kelkar and Ajay Shah. 7. India’s Lost Decade -- Episode 116 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra). 8. The Lost Decade -- Puja Mehra. 9. What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been -- Episode 188 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Arvind Subramanian). 10. The F…

2 hr 18 min

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May 22, 2021

Ep 226: Helping Others in the Fog of Pandemic

Does shared suffering lead to greater empathy? There has been an outpouring of relief work during this pandemic, with citizens rushing to help other citizens where the state has failed. But there are complexities and moral dilemmas involved. Ashwin Mahesh joins Amit Varma in episode 226 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe his experiences of organising relief at scale, and the importance of working with the state. Also check out: 1. Participatory Democracy -- Episode 160 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ashwin Mahesh). 2. Cities and Citizens -- Episode 198 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ashwin Mahesh). 3. Understanding Indian Healthcare -- Episode 225 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Karthik Muralidharan). 4. Past episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on Covid-19, featuring (in reverse chronological order) Gautam Menon, Ajay Shah, Anirban Mahapatra, Ruben Mascarenhas, Chinmay Tumbe, Rukmini S, Vaidehi Tandel, Vivek Kaul, Anup Malani and Shruti Rajagopalan. 5. Despatches 36: The broader…

3 hr 6 min

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May 15, 2021

Ep 225: Understanding Indian Healthcare

We may have been in denial earlier, but no more. Covid-19 has laid bare how badly India's healthcare system is broken. Before we can fix it, we must understand it. Karthik Muralidharan joins Amit Varma in episode 225 of The Seen and the Unseen to shed light on his many years of studying this field. The discussion also contains thoughts on whether GDP is edible, and a bout of antakshiri right at the end. Also check out: 1. Fixing Indian Education -- Episode 185 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Karthik Muralidharan). 2. Past episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on Covid-19, featuring (in reverse chronological order) Gautam Menon, Ajay Shah, Anirban Mahapatra, Ruben Mascarenhas, Chinmay Tumbe, Rukmini S, Vaidehi Tandel, Vivek Kaul, Anup Malani and Shruti Rajagopalan. 3. We Are Fighting Two Disasters: Covid-19 and the Indian State -- Amit Varma. 4. Participatory Democracy -- Episode 160 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ashwin Mahesh). 5. Cities and Citizens -- Episode 198 of The Seen and t…

3 hr 47 min

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May 8, 2021

Ep 224: Modeling Covid-19

How do we make sense of the madness around us? Well, there's the rational, scientific approach: gather data, build models, keep refining and iterating, get closer and closer to the truth. Gautam Menon joins Amit Varma in episode 224 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe the exciting field of biophysics and his work in building mathematical models of infectious diseases -- especially Covid-19. Also discussed: the joys of science, and how Indian music is the best embodiment of the idea of India. Kumar Gandharva FTW! Also check out: 1. Gautam Menon on Twitter, Ashoka, IMSc and Google Scholar. 2. The Novel Coronavirus Variants and India’s Uncertain Future -- Gautam Menon. 3. How Do Scientists Model the Spread of an Infectious Disease? -- Gautam Menon. 4. Control, Consensus, Chaos: The Global Response to the Pandemic -- A talk on YouTube by Sheila Jasanoff. 5. The Big Question: Can India Find a Way Out of Its Covid Nightmare? -- Shahid Jameel interviewed by Bobby Ghosh. 6. Past e…

2 hr 27 min

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May 1, 2021

Ep 223: The Economics and Politics of Vaccines

The second wave in India could have been avoided. We should not have been suffering like this. Vaccines were the answer. Ajay Shah joins Amit Varma in episode 223 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss how our thinking about vaccines was fundamentally flawed -- and what we should do now. Also discussed: why Indian healthcare is in such a mess. Also check out: 1. Indian Health Policy in Light of COVID-19 -- Ajay Shah's paper from July 14, 2020. 2. How the Vaccine Story Will Play Out -- Ajay Shah (Nov 30, 2020). 3. SARS-Cov-2 Vaccines for India -- Ajay Shah's presentation from December 29, 2020. 4. Price Controls for Vaccines? -- Ajay Shah (March 8, 2021). 5. Responding to the Second Wave -- Ajay Shah (April 5, 2021). 6. An Important Change of Course by Policy in Indian Covid-19 Vaccination -- Amrita Agarwal & Ajay Shah. 7. Vaccination in India: How Will Demand Change When Persons Above Age 18 Are Eligible? -- Renuka Sane & Ajay Shah. 8. The Best Way to Vaccinate Most Indians i…

2 hr 32 min

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Apr 24, 2021

Ep 222: The Saffron Trail

Trained as a medical doctor, Nandita Iyer has blazed a trail in the last 15 years creating content about food in media as diverse as blogs, Instagram, YouTube and even good old-fashioned columns and books. She joins Amit Varma in episode 222 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss her journey in food, what we can learn from our grandparents and the fine art of dissecting cadavers. Also check out: 1. Everyday Superfoods -- Nandita Iyer. 2. The Everyday Healthy Vegetarian -- Nandita Iyer. 3. Nandita Iyer's website, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube channel and Substack newsletter. 4. Memories and Things -- Episode 195 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aanchal Malhotra). 5. The Sharda Ugra Files -- Episode 220 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Sharda Ugra). 6. Luis Buñuel on IMDB and Wikipedia. 7. The last scene of Hostel 2. (Trigger warning: extreme violence.) 8. The Case Against Sugar -- Gary Taubes. 9. The Big Fat Surprise: why butter, meat, and cheese belong in a healthy diet -- Nina Teic…

2 hr 52 min

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Apr 17, 2021

Ep 221: Science and Covid-19

These are difficult times. How do we make sense of what is happening around us? Well, there is science. Anirban Mahapatra joins Amit Varma in episode 221 of The Seen and the Unseen to share his insights on the science of Covid-19 -- and on the state of science and scientific writing in general. Also check out: 1. Covid-19: Separating Fact from Fiction -- Anirban Mahapatra. 2. Anirban Mahapatra on Twitter and Google Scholar. 3. The Age of Pandemics -- Chinmay Tumbe. 4. India's Tryst With Pandemics -- Episode 205 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Chinmay Tumbe). 5. Other episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on the pandemic: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. 6. Publish and Perish -- Agnes Callard. 7. The Tragedy of Our Farm Bills -- Episode 211 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ajay Shah). 8. A Scientist in the Kitchen -- Episode 204 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Krish Ashok). 9. Gell-Mann Amnesia. 10. The Prem Panicker Files -- Episode 217 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Prem Panicker). 11. How Zeynep…

3 hr 9 min

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Apr 10, 2021

Ep 220: The Sharda Ugra Files

India has changed so much in the last 30 years -- and so has Indian sport. One of our finest chroniclers, Sharda Ugra, joins Amit Varma in episode 220 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about sports journalism, cricket, other Indian sports, and how she has embraced both the sublime and the shady. Also discussed: the eternal charm of Sion, Atul Bedade, gorillas and paagal kuttas. Also check out: 1. Sharda Ugra at ESPN Cricinfo (1, 2) and India Today. 2. Sharda Ugra's books for John Wright and Yuvraj Singh. 3. A Cricket Tragic Celebrates the Game -- Episode 201 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ramachandra Guha). 4. Building Sports Ecosystems -- Episode 126 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Joy Bhattacharjya). 5. The Evolution of Cricket -- Episode 97 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Harsha Bhogle). 6. Money in Cricket -- Episode 41 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Gideon Haigh and Prem Panicker). 7. Summertime -- The Miles Davis version. (Other iconic versions here.) 8. Ghachar Ghochar -- V…

2 hr 58 min

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Apr 3, 2021

Ep 219: Keeping India Safe

There are many things that threaten our nation, both internal and external, both seen and unseen. Our armed forces protect us from some of them. Sushant Singh joins Amit Varma in episode 219 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the state of our military, his experiences in Kashmir, the threats from Pakistan and China, and the danger of politics to national security. Also check out: 1. Sushant Singh at CPR and Indian Express. 2. Kashmir and Article 370 -- Episode 134 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Srinath Raghavan). 3. The India-Pakistan Conflict -- Episode 111 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Srinath Raghavan). 4. The Citizenship Battles -- Episode 152 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Srinath Raghavan). 5. The Indian Armed Forces -- Episode 175 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Lt Gen Prakash Menon). 6. India in the Nuclear Age -- Episode 80 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Lt Gen Prakash Menon). 7. The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew and Enid Blyton on Amazon. 8. The Gita Press and Hindu National…

2 hr 37 min

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Mar 28, 2021

Ep 218: A Creator of the Floating World

The world of creators has changed in the last few years -- and maybe advertising is dead? Varun Duggirala joins Amit Varma in episode 218 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe his journey as a creator in the world of advertising -- and the time he kidnapped people for reality television. Also check out: 1. Varun Duggirala's website, Linktree, Instagram and Twitter. 2. Advertising is Dead -- Varun Duggirala. 3. The Varun Duggi Show. 4. Unschooled by Varun Duggirala. 5. Amit Varma on Podcasting on The Varun Duggi Show. 6. Flipped Script -- Episode 112 of Advertising is Dead (w Pooja Jauhari). 7. The Jungle Book (1967 film). 8. This Be The Verse -- Philip Larkin. 9. Small Town Mindset -- TEDx talk by Varun Duggirala. 10. How Social Media Threatens Society -- Episode 8 of Brave New World (Jonathan Haidt speaking to host Vasant Dhar). 11. The Prem Panicker Files -- Episode 217 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Prem Panicker). 12. An Adman Reflects on Society & the Self -- Episode…

3 hr 15 min

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Mar 20, 2021

Ep 217: The Prem Panicker Files

Prem Panicker has been raising hell in Indian journalism for over 30 years: A muckraker and a pioneer, a maverick and an elder statesman, he is loved by fans and feared by the establishment. Prem joins Amit Varma in episode 217 of The Seen and the Unseen for a raw and intimate account of the wounds he got from living, and the lessons he learnt while healing. Also check out: 1. Smoke Signals -- Prem Panicker's blog. 2. The Peepli Project -- Edited by Prem Panicker 3. The State of the Media -- Episode 46 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Prem Panicker). 4. Money in Cricket -- Episode 41 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Gideon Haigh and Prem Panicker). 5. The New World Upon Us -- Amit Varma. 6. The Glimpse -- Trilok Gurtu. 7. The Out of Eden Walk -- Paul Salopek. 8. A Picture of Hell, and No Kerosene -- Amit Varma. 9. A World of Stopped Watches -- Amit Varma. 10. Being Muslim in India -- Episode 216 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ghazala Wahab). 11. One Way Ticket -- Neil Sedaka. 12…

3 hr 13 min

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Mar 13, 2021

Ep 216: Being Muslim in India

What is it like to be Muslim in India? Ghazala Wahab joins Amit Varma in episode 216 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss.the history of Islam in the subcontinent -- and how, at this present moment, we may be trapped in a vicious circle. Also check out: 1. Born a Muslim: Some Truths About Islam in India -- Ghazala Wahab. 2. Dragon On Our Doorstep -- Pravin Sawhney and Ghazala Wahab. 3. Force -- The magazine edited by Ghazala Wahab. 4. Ghubar-e-Khatir -- Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. 5. The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism -- Episode 139 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshaya Mukul). 6. Political Ideology in India -- Episode 131 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rahul Verma). 7. The Notebook Trilogy -- Agota Kristof. 8. Jhumpa Lahiri on Writing, Translation, and Crossing Between Cultures -- Episode 17 of Conversations With Tyler. 9. A Writer Learns to See -- Episode 215 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Annie Zaidi). 10. Private Truths, Public Lies -- Timur Kuran. 11. Memories and Thing…

3 hr 47 min

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Mar 6, 2021

Ep 215: A Writer Learns to See

There is so much about India that is unseen to us, hidden behind layers of blindness. If only we could peel them off. Annie Zaidi joins Amit Varma in episode 215 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe how her many years as a writer, blogger, journalist, playwright and filmmaker deepened her vision of our world. Also check out: 1. Bread, Cement, Cactus -- Annie Zaidi. 2. Unbound: 2,000 Years of Indian Women's Writing -- Annie Zaidi (editor). 3. Prelude to a Riot -- Annie Zaidi. 4. Annie Zaidi's author page on Amazon.in. 5. Known Turf -- Annie Zaidi's blog. 6. History, Fear and the Role of the Writer -- A talk by Annie Zaidi for Mumbai Local. 7. Ek Red Color Ki Love Story -- A short film by Annie Zaidi. 8. Annie Zaidi's films. 9. The Art of Translation -- Episode 168 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Arunava Sinha). 10. राधा सौंदर्य -- Beni Prasad Beni. 11. Thandi Hawayein Lehrake Aaye. 12. Aakar Patel at The Windowpane Sessions. 13. A Scientist in the Ki…

2 hr 50 min

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Feb 27, 2021

Ep 214: Raghu Sanjaylal Jaitley's Father's Scooter

India is a complex country. The last few decades have been full of tumult. How does one make sense of it all? Raghu Sanjaylal Jaitley joins Amit Varma in episode 214 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about the many frames he uses to look at our politics, economics, culture and Dilip Kumar. Also check out: 1. Anticipating the Unintended -- Pranay Kotasthane and Raghu Sanjaylal Jaitley's newsletter. 2. Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin, featuring Raghu Jaitley. 3. Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, featuring Sanjay Lal. 4. It Happened One Night. 5. Persuasion -- Yascha Mounk's newsletter. 6. The Coddling of the American Mind -- Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt. 7. A Meditation on Form -- Amit Varma. 8. Public Opinion -- Walter Lippman. 9. The World Outside and the Pictures in our Heads -- Walter Lippman. 10. A Venture Capitalist Looks at the World -- Episode 213 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Sajith Pai). 11. Puliyabaazi -- Saurabh Chandra and Pranay Kotasthane's podcast. 12. ये लिब…

3 hr 9 min

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Feb 20, 2021

Ep 213: A Venture Capitalist Looks at the World

VCs have a crazy job description. They need to understand society, figure out what people will want tomorrow and bet on the future. Sajith Pai joins Amit Varma in episode 213 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about his frames of looking at the world -- and what he has learnt about media, entrepreneurship and this country of ours. Also check out: 1. The Indus Valley Playbook -- Sajith Pai. 2. Understand Startups, Metrics and Valuations -- Twitter thread by Sajith Pai. 3. India2, English Tax and Building for the Next Billion Users -- Sajith Pai. 4. India1, Avocado Startups & Product-Market Fit -- Sajith Pai. 5. Indo-Anglians: The newest and fastest-growing caste in India -- Sajith Pai. 6. MERIT colleges, national track India, & privilege blindness -- Sajith Pai. 7. Deconstructing Indian Startups & VCs -- YouTube talk by Sajith Pai. 8. India’s Start-Up Ecosystem -- Episode 171 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Mohit Satyanand). 9. Indian Society: The Last 30 Years — Episode 13…

2 hr 45 min

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Feb 13, 2021

Ep 212: Pandemonium in India's Banks

India's financial system has been in crisis for more than a decade -- and it affects all of us. Tamal Bandyopadhyay joins Amit Varma in episode 212 of The Seen and the Unseen to make sense of all the turbulence. Also check out: 1. Pandemonium: The Great Indian Banking Tragedy -- Tamal Bandyopadhyay. 2. Tamal Bandyopadhyay's books on Amazon. 3. Tamal Bandyopadhyay's website. 4. Tamal Bandyopadhyay's columns in Mint and Business Standard.5. India's Lost Decade -- Episode 116 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra). 6. The Fight of the Central Banker -- Episode 193 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Viral Acharya). 7. The Importance of Finance -- Episode 125 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ajay Shah). 8. Zombie Firms and Creative Destruction -- 118 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ajay Shah). 9. Easy Money -- Episode 56 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul). 10. IL&FS and the Indian Financial System -- Episode 91 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul and Ashutosh Datar). 11. E…

2 hr 20 min

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Feb 6, 2021

Ep 211: The Tragedy of Our Farm Bills

Our agriculture needs reform -- but we should be wary that our attempt to get there is not at the cost of our democracy. Ajay Shah joins Amit Varma in episode 211 of The Seen and the Unseen to share his insights on the process, content and implication of the farm bills. Also discussed: knowledge assimilation, public health, how we tackled the pandemic and what we can do going forward. Also check out: 1. Ajay Shah's homepage. 2. The Art and Science of Economic Policy -- Episode 154 of The Seen and the Unseen. 3. In Service of the Republic — Vijay Kelkar & Ajay Shah. 4. Other episodes of The Seen and the Unseen with Ajay Shah: 1, 2, 3. 5. The State of Our Farmers — Ep 86 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Gunvant Patil, in Hindi). 6. India's Agriculture Crisis -- Episode 140 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Barun Mitra & Kumar Anand). 7. Other episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on Agricultire: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. 8. We Must Save Our Farmers — Amit Varma. 9. The Indian State is the G…

2 hr 2 min

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Jan 30, 2021

Ep 210: Feeding the Hungry in the Pandemic

A virus can kill you -- and so can hunger. The lockdown last year led to an explosion of hunger around the country. Where the state failed, civil society stepped in. Ruben Mascarenhas joins Amit Varma in episode 210 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss his initiative, Khaana Chahiye, that fed lakhs of people in Mumbai. Also discussed: activism, local politics and the clash between principles and the will to power. Also check out: 1. Khaana Chahiya. (also on Twitter.) 2. Litmus Test Project. 3. A Life in Indian Politics -- Episode 149 of The Seen and the Unseen (w JP Narayan). 4. Participatory Democracy -- Episode 160 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ashwin Mahesh). 5. Cities and Citizens -- Episode 198 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ashwin Mahesh.) 6. Previous episodes of The Seen and the Unseen on the pandemic: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. 7. We Are Fighting Two Disasters: Covid-19 and the Indian State -- Amit Varma. 8. Reforming Urban Governance -- Episode 48 of The Seen and the Unseen (…

2 hr 58 min

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Jan 23, 2021

Ep 209: Two Girls Hanging From a Tree

In 2014, a photograph of two girls hanging from a tree in an Indian village went viral. Sonia Faleiro joins Amit Varma in episode 209 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the years she spent researching their story, and the complex layers of truth she uncovered. And also, how the larger crime is the one our society commits on itself. Also check out: 1. The Good Girls -- Sonia Faleiro. 2. Beautiful Thing -- Sonia Faleiro. 3. 13 Men -- Sonia Faleiro. 4. Sonia Faleiro's website. 5. Lessons in Investing (and Life) -- Episode 208 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Deepak Shenoy). 6. The Art of Narrative Nonfiction (+ JBS Haldane) -- Episode 183 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Samanth Subramanian). 7. Random Family -- Adrian Nicole LeBlanc. 8. Yuganta -- Irawati Karve. This episode is sponsored by The Great Courses Plus. Check out their course, How Digital Technology Shapes Us. For free unlimited access for a month, click here. You can now buy Seen/Unseen swag. And do check out Ami…

2 hr 3 min

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Jan 16, 2021

Ep 208: Lessons in Investing (and Life)

Is the stock market an engine of our economy or a casino disconnected from reality? Does it require deep thinking or mad gambling? Deepak Shenoy joins Amit Varma in episode 208 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about the lessons he has learnt about the markets -- and about life. Also check out: 1. Capitalmind, Deepak Shenoy's investment research and wealth management company, 2. The Capitalmind Podcast. 3. Cats in the Cradle -- Ugly Kid Joe (Also, the Harry Chapin original.) 4. Midnight in Chernobyl -- Adam Higginbotham. 5. Nuclear Power Can Save the World -- Joshua S Goldstein, Staffan A Qvist and Steven Pinker. 6. Poker and Stock Markets -- Episode 47 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Mohit Satyanand). 7. Luck is All Around -- Amit Varma. 8. Range Rover -- Archives of Amit Varma's poker column for the Economic Times. 9. Variants of chess on chess.com. 10. The Dichotomy of Markets -- Deepak Shenoy. 11. Brave New World -- Episode 203 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vasant Dhar)…

3 hr 42 min

(Video) Ep 290: Karthik Muralidharan Examines the Indian State

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Jan 9, 2021

Ep 207: Religion, Food, Indian Society

God is a controversial subject, but we can all agree that food exists, and is often divine. Shoba Narayan joins Amit Varma in episode 207 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe her explorations of religion and food in India. Also check out: 1. Food and Faith: A Pilgrim's Journey through India -- Shoba Narayan. 2. Shoba Narayan's books on Amazon. 3. Shoba Narayan's website and columns. 4. The Indianness of Indian Food — Episode 95 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vikram Doctor). 5. A Scientist in the Kitchen -- Episode 204 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Krish Ashok). 6. The God of Small Feasts -- Shoba Narayan. 7. Meenakshi Ammal's Cook and See: Volumes one, two and three. 8. Vikram Doctor's columns and KT Achaya's books. 9. Harold McGee's books. 10. Fuchsia Dunlop's books. 11. Michael Pollan's books. 12. The Man Who Ate Everything -- Jeffrey Steingarten. 13. Feast: Food of the Islamic World -- Anissa Helou. 14. Feast and Fasts: A History of Food in India -- Colleen Taylor…

2 hr 28 min

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Jan 2, 2021

Ep 206: Lessons From 2020

Finally, 2020 is behind us. It changed our world, the way we live our lives, and how we relate to each other and to ourselves. Shruti Rajagopalan and Alex Tabarrok join Amit Varma in episode 206 of The Seen and the Unseen to take stock of the year gone by, with each of them picking five lessons they feel 2020 holds for us. Because they can't count, though, they end up with more than 15 -- here they are, below. (Listen to the episode for the elaborations and arguments.) The Lessons: 0. Don't take anything for granted. (Amit) 1. Don't make the mistake of Omission, Commission, Distinction. (Alex) 2. We should pay more attention to tail risks. (Shruti) 3. Art and Entertainment can be intimate and personal. (Amit) 4. People care more about narratives to explain the world than the world itself. (Amit) 5. We should think more about inter-generational tradeoffs, and consider lowering the voting age. (Shruti) 6. Software is eating the biological world. (Alex) 7. Science is not the pro…

2 hr 47 min

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Dec 26, 2020

Ep 205: India's Tryst With Pandemics

Pandemic, lockdown, masks, vaccine, state failure, state overreach: India's been here before, and it's been worse. Chinmay Tumbe joins Amit Varma in episode 205 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss how 40 million lives were lost in the subcontinent between 1817 and 1920 in the cholera, plague and influenza pandemics -- and the lessons we need to learn from them. Also check out: 1. Age of Pandemics -- Chinmay Tumbe. 2. India Moving -- Chinmay Tumbe. 3. India = Migration -- Episode 128 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Chinmay Tumbe). 4. Everyday Technology: Machines and the Making of India's Modernity -- David Arnold. 5. Cholera and Colonialism in British India -- David Arnold. 6. Smritichitre: The Memoirs of a Spirited Wife -- Lakshmibai Tilak (translated by Shanta Gokhale). 7. The British in India: A Social History of the Raj -- David Gilmour. 8. The Great Escape -- Angus Deaton. 9. The Birth of the Modern World -- CA Bayly. 10. Eric Hobsbawm's books on Amazon. 11. Harsh Man…

2 hr 59 min

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Dec 19, 2020

Ep 204: A Scientist in the Kitchen

Indian cooking is often treated as a mystical art -- but it is the science behind it that should fill us with wonder. Krish Ashok joins Amit Varma in episode 204 of The Seen and the Unseen to speak about Masala Lab, his effort at explaining this great art from scientific first principles. Every meal of yours can now be a romantic adventure filled with the ecstasy of insight -- whether you cook it, eat or or do both while playing the violin. Also check out: 1. Masala Lab -- Krish Ashok. 2. Krish Ashok's website, blog, YouTube, Soundcloud & columns. 3. The Indianness of Indian Food -- Episode 95 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vikram Doctor). 4. Neurogastronomy -- Gordon M Shepherd. 5. Hot Ones (the spicy wings show) on Wikipedia and YouTube. 6. The Botany of Desire -- Michael Pollan. 7. Ganesh Bagler's homepage, Wikipedia, academic papers and YouTube Channel. 8. Shukto (Ekla Cholo Re). Bloody hell! 9. Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat -- Samin Nosrat. 10. Nisha Madhulika on YouTub…

3 hr 12 min

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Dec 12, 2020

Ep 203: Brave New World

If someone from the year 1990 visited the world of 2020, it would seem magical, even fictional. Vasant Dhar joins Amit Varma in episode 203 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about how technology will continue to change our world in ways we cannot imagine. Will the future upgrade us -- or will it make us obsolete? Also check out: 1. Vasant Dhar at NYU Stern. 2. Brave New World -- hosted by Vasant Dhar. 3. When Should We Trust Machines? -- Vasant Dhar at TEDxHamilton. 4. Vasant Dhar on machine learning and investing. 5. Vasant Dhar on the Commercialisation of Big Data. 6. The New World Upon Us -- Amit Varma. 7. The Interpreter -- Amit Varma. 8. Human -- Michael S Gazzaniga. 9. My Stroke of Insight -- Jill Bolte Taylor. 10. Why Nations Fail -- Daron Acemoglu and James A Robinson. 11. Here's Why Aadhaar is a Big Deal -- Episode 61 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Nikhil Pahwa). 12. The Future of the Internet -- Episode 65 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Nikhil Pahwa & Amit Doshi)…

2 hr 47 min

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Dec 5, 2020

Ep 202: The BJP Before Modi

The dominance of Hindu nationalism in Indian politics is so complete that it seems like it was inevitable. Was it? Vinay Sitapati joins Amit Varma in episode 202 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the BJP's long journey to this point, as reflected in the jugalbandi of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani. Also check out: 1. Jugalbandi: The BJP Before Modi -- Vinay Sitapati. 2. Half-Lion: How P.V. Narasimha Rao Transformed India -- Vinay Sitapati. 3. The BJP's Magic Formula -- Episode 45 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Prashant Jha). 4. The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism -- Episode 139 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshaya Mukul). 5. The First Assault on Our Constitution -- Episode 194 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tripurdaman Singh). 6. The Ideas of Our Constitution -- Episode 164 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Madhav Khosla). 7. Who Broke Our Republic? -- Episode 163 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Kapil Komireddi). 8. The Intellectual Foundations of Hindutva -- Episo…

3 hr 46 min

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Nov 28, 2020

Ep 201: A Cricket Tragic Celebrates the Game

Cricket has a unique place in Indian society, and has touched and shaped millions of lives. Ramachandra Guha joins Amit Varma in episode 201 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe how he came to love, play and even administer the 'most subtle and sophisticated game known to humankind.' Also check out: 1. The Commonwealth of Cricket -- Ramachandra Guha. 2. A Corner of a Foreign Field -- Ramachandra Guha. 3. The Picador Book of Cricket -- Edited by Ramachandra Guha. 4. Ramachandra Guha's books on Amazon. 5. Understanding Gandhi. Part 1: Mohandas -- Episode 104 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ramachandra Guha). 6. Understanding Gandhi. Part 2: Mahatma -- Episode 105 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ramachandra Guha). 7. Taking Stock of Our Republic -- Episode 157 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ramachandra Guha). 8. Autobiography of an Unknown Cricketer -- Sujit Mukherjee. 9. Beyond a Boundary -- CLR James. 10. The Tao of Cricket -- Ashis Nandy. 11. Money in Cricket -- Episode 41 of…

2 hr 16 min

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Nov 21, 2020

Ep 200: The Hunter Becomes the Hunted

The tables are turned in episode 200 of The Seen and the Unseen. Host Amit Varma is in the firing line, replying to questions from 22 of his past guests and fans as Shruti Rajagopalan plays proctor. They talk about poker, podcasting, politics, policy and the personal. Show Notes 1. Select episodes of The Seen and the Unseen featuring Shruti Rajagopalan (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), Manu Pillai (98, 127, 156), VK Karthika, Rajat Ubhaykar, Chinmay Tumbe, Prem Panicker (41, 46), Joy Bhattacharjya, Akshaya Mukul, Ira Mukhoty, Parvati Sharma, Manimugdha Sharma, Supriya Gandhi, Harsha Bhogle, Karthik Muralidharan, Srinath Raghavan (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), Pranay Kotasthane (1, 2), Hamsini Hariharan (1, 2, 3, 4), Russ Roberts, Arvind Subramanian, Ram Guha (1, 2, 3), Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Narayani Basu, Amardeep Singh, Aakar Patel, Rahul Verma, Ashok Malik, Barun Mitra+Kumar Anand, Matt Ridley, Neelesh Misra, Puja Mehra, Rajeswari Sengupta (1, 2), Aanchal Malhotra, Alex Tabarrok (1, 2, 3), Madhavi Menon and Mohit…

5 hr

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Nov 14, 2020

Ep 199: An Adman Reflects on Society & the Self

Figuring out what consumers want is pretty similar to figuring out what society wants. Adman and author Ambi Parameswaran joins Amit Varma in episode 199 of The Seen and the Unseen to share his insights from his decades in advertising, and the many books he has written. Also check out: 1. Spring: Bouncing Back From Rejection -- Ambi Parameswaran. 2. Nawabs, Nudes, Noodles: India through 50 Years of Advertising -- Ambi Parameswaran. 3. Sponge: Leadership Lessons I Learnt From My Clients -- Ambi Parameswaran. 4. For God's Sake: An Adman on the Business of Religion -- Ambi Parameswaran. 5. Ambi Parameswaran's talk at Godrej India Culture Lab. 6. Indian Society: The Last 30 Years -- Episode 137 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Santosh Desai). 7. Gender Advertisements -- Erving Goffman. 8. Airtel -- The Boss TVC. 9. Fair and Lovely -- The Air Hostess TVC. 10. Santoor -- The Aerobics & Flute TVCs. 11. Titan Fastrack 'Come out of the Closet' TVC. And do check out Amit’s online c…

2 hr 28 min

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Nov 7, 2020

Ep 198: Cities and Citizens

As our cities are growing, our citizens are growing apathetic. Can we reassert our rights and reform our governance? Ashwin Mahesh joins Amit Varma in episode 198 of The Seen and the Unseen for a wide-ranging conversation on urban governance, citizenship, education and much more. Also check out: 1.Participatory Democracy-- Episode 160 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ashwin Mahesh). 2.Ashwin Mahesh's website. 3.A New, Urban India-- Ashwin Mahesh. 4.The Publicly Managed City-- Ashwin Mahesh. 5. The tweets bySabyasachi KarandNaval Ravikant. 6. Tiago Forte'sSecond Brain, & videos on Roam Research byThomas Frank&Ali Abdaal. 7.Fixing Indian Education-- Episode 185 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Karthik Muralidharan). 8.Our Unlucky Children(2008) -- Amit Varma. 9.The Element-- Ken Robinson. 10.Urban Governance in India-- Episode 31 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan). 11.Reforming Urban Governance-- Episode 48 of The Seen…

3 hr 7 min

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Oct 31, 2020

Ep 197: Storytelling and Conversation

Stories and conversations can shape the world, and ourselves, in ways that we often don't appreciate. Neelesh Misra joins Amit Varma in episode 197 of The Seen and the Unseen to chat about his journey as a storyteller and interviewer. Also check out: 1. Neelesh Misra's YouTube page. 2. Gaon Connection. 3. Slow. 4. Neelesh Misra's interviews with Pankaj Tripathi, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Sanjay Mishra, Piyush Mishra, Vishal Bhardwaj, Ayushmann Khurrana, Anurag Kashyap, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Tapsee Pannu, Manoj Bajpayee, Swanand Kirkire and Varun Grover. 5. Neelesh Misra's books on Amazon. 6. Papa Se Shart -- Neelesh Misra. 7. Sa Re Ga Ma Pa -- Neelesh Misra. 8. Maine Dil Se Kaha Dhoond Laana Khushi. 9. Conversation and Society -- Episode 182 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Russ Roberts). 10. Memories and Things -- Episode 195 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aanchal Malhotra). 11. A World of Stopped Watches -- Amit Varma. 12. A Meditation on Form -- Amit Varma. 13. Story -- Robert McK…

2 hr 55 min

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Oct 24, 2020

Ep 196: The Importance of Data Journalism

Good data journalism can reveal otherwise unseen truths about our society. Pioneering journalist Rukmini S joins Amit Varma in episode 196 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about the insights data brought to her journalism, and her groundbreaking podcast on Covid-19, The Moving Curve. Also check out: 1. The Moving Curve -- Rukmini S's podcast, also on all podcast apps. 2. Rukmini S at HuffPost, Hindu, Scroll, Mint,Times of India (1, 2) and India Spend. 3. Canary -- Amy Brittain's podcast. 4. How the Coronavirus Could Take Over Your Body (Before You Ever Feel It) -- Jeff Wise. (This is the piece mistakenly referred to in this episode as an Atlantic article.) 5. Muslim Population Growth Slows -- Rukmini S & Vijaita Singh (2015). 6. The Art of Narrative Nonfiction -- Episode 183 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Samanth Subramanian). 7. Raag Darbari (Hindi) (English) -- Shrilal Shukla 8. Memories and Things -- Episode 195 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aanchal Malhotra). 9. India…

2 hr 39 min

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Oct 17, 2020

Ep 195: Memories and Things

Decades after the trauma of separation, Partition remains with us. Aanchal Malhotra joins Amit Varma in episode 195 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about her work in excavating the memories of Partition survivors through the objects they carried with them -- and their resonance in these modern times. Also check out: 1. Aanchal Malhotra's website. 2. Remnants of a Separation -- Aanchal Malhotra. 3. Museum of Material Memory. 4. Profile of Aanchal Malhotra by Mayank Austen Soofi, 2010. 5. Nanak Was Here -- Episode 166 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Amardeep Singh). 6. Imaginary Number -- Vijay Seshadri. 7. Punjabi Tappe on YouTube. 8. The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Trucker -- Episode 192 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rajat Ubhaykar). And do check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing.

2 hr 2 min

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Oct 10, 2020

Ep 194: The First Assault on Our Constitution

The constitution of India, it has been said, is not a book but a periodical. Starting with Jawaharlal Nehru, every prime minister who wanted to do something unconstitutional simply amended the constitution. Tripurdaman Singh joins Amit Varma in episode 194 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss India's First Amendment, which began a rot that never ended. Also check out: 1. Sixteen Stormy Days -- Tripurdaman Singh. 2. Imperial Sovereignty and Local Politics -- Tripurdaman Singh. 3. The books of CA Bayly. 4. Shruti Rajagopalan on our constitutional amendments. 5. The Right to Property -- Episode 26 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan). 6. 'Not murder but mimicry' -- Kapil Komireddi's tweet. 7. Modi's Lost Opportunity -- Episode 119 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Salman Soz). 8. India's Greatest Civil Servant -- Episode 167 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Narayani Basu). 9. India's Founding Moment -- Madhav Khosla. 10. The Ideas of Our Constitution -- Episode 164 of T…

2 hr 35 min

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Oct 8, 2020

Ep 193: The Fight of the Central Banker

The conflict between the government and the central bank seems like an arcane one that only wonks care about -- but it affects the lives of all of us. Viral Acharya joins Amit Varma in episode 193 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain why we should all join him in the battle against Fiscal Dominance. Also check out: 1. Quest for Restoring Financial Stability in India -- Viral Acharya. 2. Viral Acharya at NYU Stern. 2. Guaranteed to Fail -- Viral Acharya et al. 3. Indian Banks: A Time to Reform? -- Viral Acharya and Raghuram Rajan. 4. On the Importance of Independent Regulatory Institutions –The Case of the Central Bank -- Viral Acharya's AD Shroff Memorial lecture 2018. 5. Yaadon Ke Silsile -- Viral Acharya. 6. Viral Acharya interviewed by Ira Dugal, Mitali Mukherjee, Vivek Kaul and Anantha Narayan. 7. Lakshya Ko har Haal Mein Paana Hai. 8. Rahul Dravid at Headingley, Adelaide and Rawalpindi. 9. What Really Happened? -- Lawrence H White on the 2008 Financial Crisis. 10.…

3 hr 13 min

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Sep 26, 2020

Ep 192: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Trucker

There is much romance in being on the open road, always on the move. But not for the long-distance trucker, trapped in a moving cocoon, always travelling but getting nowhere slowly. Rajat Ubhaykar joins Amit Varma in episode 192 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe his insights from hitchhiking around India on trucks. Also check out: 1. Truck de India!: A Hitchhiker's guide to Hindustan -- Rajat Ubhaykar. 2. A Free Man -- Aman Sethi. 3. English, August -- Upamanyu Chatterjee. 4. Bird on the Wire -- Leonard Cohen. 5. Why Children Labour -- Amit Varma. 6. Young India -- Episode 83 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Snigdha Poonam). 7. Dreamers -- Snigdha Poonam. 8. Aloo Posto recipes: 1, 2, 3, 4. 9. Amit Varma's India Uncut posts from Peshawar (2006): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. 10. A Tale Of Two Bandits: Naxals And The Indian State -- Amit Varma. 11. Power and Prosperity -- Mancur Olson. 12. The Roving Bandits of Uttar Pradesh -- Episode 4 of Econ Central. 13. Jeevan Ke Safar Mein Rah…

2 hr 39 min

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Sep 19, 2020

Ep 191: Our Cities After Covid-19

In normal times, cities are an engine of prosperity. In these strange times, they are also an engine of pandemic. Vaidehi Tandel joins Amit Varma in episode 191 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss how important cities are to civilisation, and how Covid-19 will affect the way we live. Also check out: 1. COVID-19 a Grim Reminder for Govts -- Vaidehi Tandel. 2. Don’t Blame Dense Cities. They Have Been Resilient -- Reuben Abraham and Vaidehi Tandel. 3. Why India Has the Fastest-Growing Cities -- Kadambari Shah, Vaidehi Tandel and Harshita Agarwal. 4. Cities and Pandemics Have a Long History -- Edward L Glaeser 5. A World of Cities: The Causes and Consequences of Urbanisation in Poorer Countries -- Edward L Glaeser. 6. Cities After Coronavirus: How Covid-19 Could Radically Alter Urban Life -- Jack Shenker. 7. Spatial Economics: The Declining Cost of Distance -- Karen Harris, Andrew Schwedel and Austin Kimson. 8. Triumph of the City -- Edward L Glaeser. 9. Order Without Design…

2 hr 10 min

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Sep 12, 2020

Ep 190: Queeristan

Whatever you say of India, an old cliche goes, the opposite is also true. India has always been homophobic -- but it also contains Queeristan. Parmesh Shahani joins Amit Varma in episode 190 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about his long ongoing battle for LGBTQ inclusion in corporate India -- and much beyond. Also check out: 1. Queeristan -- Parmesh Shahani. 2. Gay Bombay -- Parmesh Shahani. 3. Godrej India Culture Lab. 4. Being Gay, Loving Books -- Episode 141 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Tejuja). 5. Being Gay in India -- Episode 84 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Navin Noronha). 6. Habiba -- Bappi Lahiri. 7. Blank Noise. 8. India’s Problem is Poverty, Not Inequality -- Amit Varma. 9. On Inequality -- Harry Frankfurt. 10. On Bullshit -- Harry Frankfurt. 11. An Empty Shell of a Gangster Film -- Amit Varma's review of Raees.12. Films, Feminism, Paromita -- Episode 155 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Paromita Vohra). 13. Women at Work -- Episode 132 of The Seen an…

2 hr 49 min

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Sep 5, 2020

Ep 189: The Acting Life

These are exciting times for Indian cinema, as multiple worlds and sensibilities collide in the streets and studios of Mumbai. Actors Rasika Dugal and Mukul Chadda join Amit Varma in episode 189 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe their journeys in this brave new world. Rasika's films:1.Kshay(Amazon Prime). 2.Qissa(Mubi). 3.Manto(Netflix). 4.Hamid(Netflix). 5.Lootcase(Hotstar). 6.Tu Hai Mera Sunday(Netflix). Rasika's shows:1.Delhi Crime(Netflix). 2.Mirzapur(Amazon Prime). 3.Made in Heaven(Amazon Prime). 4.Out of Love(Hotstar). 5.Humorously Yours(TVF). 6.A Suitable Boy(BBC). Rasika's short films: 1.Banana Bread(withMukul, on YouTube). 2.Chutney(YouTube). 3.The School Bag(YouTube). Selected work by Mukul: 1.The Office(Hotstar). 2.Banana Bread(with Rasika, on YouTube). 3.Ek Bahut Choti Si Love Story(YouTube). 4.Pressure Cooker(YouTube). 5.Butnama(YouTube). Als…

1 hr 57 min

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Aug 29, 2020

Ep 188: What a Long Strange Trip It's Been

The Indian economy has been on a wild ride, traumatic in parts, for the last 73 years. And Arvind Subramanian was on a wild ride of his own as Chief Economic Advisor in the Indian government between 2014 and 2018. Arvind joins Amit Varma in episode 188 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss both these journeys. Also check out: 1. Of Counsel: The Challenges of the Modi-Jaitley Economy -- Arvind Subramanian. 2. India's Turn: Understanding the Economic Transformation -- Arvind Subramanian. 3. Eclipse: Living in the Shadow of China's Economic Dominance -- Arvind Subramanian. 4. Remembering Arun Jaitley -- Arvind Subramanian. 5. From "Hindu Growth" to Productivity Surge: The Mystery of the Indian Growth Transition -- Arvind Subramanian & Dani Rodrik (2004). 6. India's Great Slowdown: What's Happened? What's the Way Out? -- Arvind Subramanian and Josh Felman (Dec 2019). 7. Arvind Subramanian interviewed by Karthik Muralidharan -- I4I Conversations (2015). 8. 'Not Just Any Ordinary S…

3 hr 6 min

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Aug 22, 2020

Ep 187: Dadabhai Naoroji and the Fight for India

Dadabhai Naoroji and the Fight for India Description: In the 19th century, when the Idea of India was so nebulous, what did it mean to be a freedom fighter? Dinyar Patel joins Amit Varma in episode 187 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe Dadabhai Naoroji's battle to transform India from within the British empire. Also check out: 1. Naoroji: Pioneer of Indian Nationalism -- Dinyar Patel. 2. Dadabhai Naoroji's books on Amazon. 3. Dadabhai Naoroji -- RP Masani. 4. Three Statesmen: Gokhale, Gandhi and Nehru -- BR Nanda. 5. Understanding Gandhi. Part 1: Mohandas -- Episode 104 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ramachandra Guha). 6. Understanding Gandhi. Part 2: Mahatma -- Episode 105 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ramachandra Guha). 7. The Art of Narrative Nonfiction (+ JBS Haldane) -- Episode 183 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Samanth Subramanian). And do check out Amit's writing course, The Art of Clear Writing.

2 hr 21 min

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Aug 14, 2020

Ep 186: What Have We Done With Our Independence?

As India completes 73 years, it's worth taking stock of our journey so far. Pratap Bhanu Mehta joins Amit Varma in episode 186 of The Seen and the Unseen, an Independence Day Special that takes a discursive look at the political and social currents that made us what we are. Also check out: 1. Pratap Bhanu Mehta's writing in the Indian Express. 2. The Burden of Democracy -- Pratap Bhanu Mehta. 3. On Politics -- Alan Ryan. 4. The Making of Modern Liberalism -- Alan Ryan. 5. Human Dignity -- George Kateb. 6. Patriotism and Other Mistakes -- George Kateb. 7. Conversation and Society -- Episode 182 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Russ Roberts). 8. Fixing Indian Education -- Episode 185 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Karthik Muralidharan). 9. The Three Languages of Politics -- Arnold Kling. 10. The Dark Side of Democracy -- Michael Mann. 11. The Emergency -- Episode 103 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Gyan Prakash). 12. The Ideas of our Constitution -- Episode 164 of The Seen and th…

3 hr 9 min

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Aug 8, 2020

Ep 185: Fixing Indian Education

It is a humanitarian and moral failure that 73 years after Independence, our education system remains broken. We have failed our children through all this time. Karthik Muralidharan joins Amit Varma in episode 185 of The Seen and the Unseen to share his insights from years of research on the ground. We can fix this. Is the NEP part of the solution? Also check out: 1.Karthik Muralidharan's bio at UCSD. 2.Walking the Talk--Inga Kiderra'sprofile of Karthik Muralidharan. 3.Reforming the Indian School Education System-- Karthik Muralidharan's chapter fromWhat the Economy Needs Now. 4.The State and the Market in Education Provision-- Karthik Muralidharan. 5.Karthik Muralidharan interview by Pranav Kotharifor EI Dialogues. 6.Charting a Course for the Indian Economy-- Karthik Muralidharan in conversation with Arvind Subramanian. 7. Karthik Muralidharan'sarchivedresearchandarticles. 8.Education in India -- Episode 77 of The Seen and the Unseen…

Aug 1, 2020

Ep 184: Finding Dara Shukoh

The rivalry between Dara Shukoh and Aurangzeb is often considered a foundational one for Islam in India. Good Muslim vs Bad Muslim. But it's not quite that simple. Historian Supriya Gandhi joins Amit Varma in episode 184 of The Seen and the Unseen to point out that the truth is complex, and there are no easy binaries. Also check out: 1.The Emperor Who Never Was: Dara Shukoh in Mughal India-- Supriya Gandhi. 2.City of Djinns-- William Dalrymple. 3.Jill LeporeandShamsur Rahman Faruqion Amazon. 4.Dara Shukoh--Kalika Ranjan Qanungo (full text). 5.Dārā S̲h̲ikūh: Life and Works-- Bikrama Jit Hasrat (full text). 6.Mysteries of Selflessness: Rumuz-i Bekhudi-- Muhammad Iqbal. 7.The Month We Lost Dara-- Ashok Malik. 8.Women in Indian History-- Episode 144 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ira Mukhoty). 9.Jahangir the Curious-- Episode 147 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Parvati Sharma). 10.The Resonance of Akbar-- Episode 173 of The See…

1 hr 41 min

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Jul 25, 2020

Ep 183: The Art of Narrative Nonfiction (+ JBS Haldane)

In a complex world where the truth is up for grabs, we need narrative nonfiction. Samanth Subramanian joins Amit Varma in episode 183 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about the art and craft of this form of literature. Also discussed:A Dominant Character, Samanth's book on JBS Haldane, and the intersection of science and politics. Also check out: 1.A Dominant Character-- Samanth Subramanian. 2.Samanth Subramanian's website,Amazon pageand his work attheGuardianandtheNew Yorker. 3.The Intersection-- the podcast hosted by Padmaparna Ghosh and Samanth Subramanian. 4.Psmith, Journalist-- PG Wodehouse. 5.Question Time: My Life as a Quiz Obsessive-- Samanth Subramanian. 6.Quizzing is Not Just a Trivial Pursuit-- Amit Varma. 7.Neville Carduson Amazon. 8.Darwin's Dangerous Idea-- Daniel Dennett. 9.The Perfect Murder-- HRF Keating. 10.Conversationand Society-- Episode 182 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Russ Roberts). 11.Cr…

2 hr 16 min

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Jul 18, 2020

Ep 182: Conversation and Society

We live in an age of competing monologues. We talk, but we do not listen. Russ Roberts joins Amit Varma for a wide-ranging conversation in episode 182 of The Seen and the Unseen. Also check out: 1.Econ Talk-- Russ Roberts'spodcast. 2. Russ Roberts'swebsite,archived writingandbooks. 3.How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life-- Russ Roberts. 4.The Theory of Moral Sentiments-- Adam Smith. 5.The Three Languages of Politics-- Arnold Kling. 6.The Three Blind Sports of Politics-- Russ Roberts. 7.Tribe-- Sebastian Junger. 8.The Economics of the Chilling Effect-- Episode 5 of Econ Central. 9.You’re From the Mutton Lobby— Transcript of episode 49 of The Seen and the Unseen (solo episode on political discourse). 10.A Letter on Justice and Open Debate-- Various authors (in Harper's). 11.My Twelve Rules for Life-- Russ Roberts. 12.Shallow-- A Star is Born. 13.Shallow-- Lady Gaga and Bradely Cooper at the Oscars. 14.Shall…

1 hr 47 min

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Jul 11, 2020

Ep 181: The Dragon and the Elephant

Why is there this tension between China and India? To understand that, we must uncover many layers of the past. Foreign Policy scholars Hamsini Hariharan and Shibani Mehta join Amit Varma in episode 181 of The Seen and the Unseen to share their insights on the rich history of the interactions between these two great civilizations. Also check out: 1. What Does China Want? -- Episode 143 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manoj Kewalramani). 2. Chinese Foreign Policy -- Episode 81 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manoj Kewalramani). 3. Foreign Policy is a Big Deal -- Episode 170 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pranay Kotasthane & Manoj Kewalramani). 4. Understanding Foreign Policy -- Episode 63 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Nitin Pai). 5. The Geopolitics of the Bangladesh War -- Episode 113 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Srinath Raghavan). 6. The India-Pakistan Conflict -- Episode 111 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Srinath Raghavan). 7. War and Peace in Modern India -- Srinath Raghavan. 8.…

2 hr 59 min

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Jul 4, 2020

Ep 180: Elite Imitation in Public Policy

Indian decision makers often blindly copy public policy from abroad, without considering whether it would work in local conditions. Shruti Rajagopalan and Alex Tabarrok join Amit Varma in episode 180 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain the damage caused by such 'isomorphic mimicry,' and why it happens in the first place. Also check out: 1. Premature Imitation and India’s Flailing State -- Shruti Rajagopalan & Alexander Tabarrok. 2. Modern Principles of Macroeconomics -- Tyler Cowen & Alex Tabarrok. 3. Modern Principles of Microeconomics -- Tyler Cowen & Alex Tabarrok. 4. DeMon, Morality and the Predatory Indian State -- Episode 85 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan). 5. The Delhi Smog -- Episode 44 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul). 6. Is India a Flailing State? -- Lant Pritchett. 7. We Are Fighting Two Disasters: Covid-19 and the Indian State -- Amit Varma. 8. Political Ideology in India -- Episode 131 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rahul Verma). 9.…

2 hr

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Jun 27, 2020

Ep 179: The Plight of Our Street Vendors

India suffers from a predatory state, and nothing illustrates this better than the sorry state of our street vendors. Prashant Narang joins Amit Varma in episode 179 of The Seen and the Unseen to elaborateon this unseen tragedy of the streets around us. Also check out: 1.Street Vendor Act 2014: Progress Report --2017,2018-19,2020. 2.Do Street Vendors Have a Right to the City?-- Prashant Narang & Vidushi Sabharwal. 3.The Ease of Doing Business on the Streets of India-- Bhuvana Anand, Prashant Narang, Riktika Shah, Vidushi Sabharwal. 4.Suboptimal vendor enumeration practices in Gurugram-- Prashant Narang & Vidushi Sabharwal. 5.Enumerating Street Vendors in Mumbai-- Prashant Narang. 6.Street Vendors Act 2014: Allocating Certificates of Vending-- Prashant Narang & Bhuvana Anand. 7.Vendors Need Ease of Doing Business to Become Atmanirbhar-- Bhuvana Anand, Jayana Bedi & Prashant Narang. 8.Modi govt will count hawkers in job data but must im…

1 hr 39 min

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Jun 20, 2020

Ep 178: What Happened to Our Journalism?

Journalism used to be a quest to establish the truth. It has now become a battle of conflicting narratives. We have gone from seeking to shouting. What went wrong? Nidhi Razdan joins Amit Varma in episode 178 of The Seen and the Unseen to share insights from her eventful career. Also check out: 1.Left, Right and Centre: The Idea of India-- Nidhi Razdan (editor). 2.Special: Inside Pakistan-occupied Kashmir(Dec 2004) -- NDTV/Nidhi Razdan. 3.Best in the Field (w Nidhi Razdan)-- NDTV. 4.The Facts Do Not Matter-- Amit Varma. 5.The State of the Media-- Episode 46 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Prem Panicker). 6.The State of the Media 2-- Episode 89 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Sidharth Bhatia & Peter Griffin). 7.You're From the Mutton Lobby-- Episode 49 of The Seen and the Unseen (solo ep with transcript). 8.Television Price Controls-- Episode 27 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ashok Malik). 9.Jon Stewart Is Back to Weigh In-- David Marchese.…

1 hr 20 min

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Jun 13, 2020

Ep 177: India's Economy in the Time of Covid-19

Our economy was going down, down, down well before Covid-19 struck. And now? Vivek Kaul joins Amit Varma in episode 177 of The Seen and the Unseen to spread his usual quota of sunshine and joy. Also check out: 1.TikTok and Indian Society— An online course by Amit Varma. 2.Bad Money— Vivek Kaul. 3.Taking Stock of Covid-19— Episode 169 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan). 4.The Nuances of Lockdown— Episode 176 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Anup Malani). 5.The Indian Economy in 2019— Episode 153 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul). 6.India’s Lost Decade— Episode 116 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra). 7.The Art and Science of Economic Policy— Episode 154 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vijay Kelkar & Ajay Shah). 8.Demystifying GDP— Episode 130 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rajeswari Sengupta). 9.Ponzi Schemes— Episode 142 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul). 10.The State of Our Farmers…

2 hr 2 min

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Jun 6, 2020

Ep 176: The Nuances of Lockdown

What do past epidemics teach us about Covid-19? What do past disasters teach us about politics and the state? Is there a false binary between lockdown and no-lockdown? Anup Malani joins Amit Varma in episode 176 of The Seen and the Unseen to share his insights on these subjects and more. Also check out: 1.Anup Malani's homepage. 2.Taking Stock of Covid-19-- Episode 169 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan). 3.We Are Fighting Two Disasters-- Amit Varma. 4.The Economic Approach to Human Behaviour-- Gary Becker. 5.Learning During a Crisis: the SARS Epidemic in Taiwan-- Daniel Bennett, Chun-Fang Chiang, Anup Malani. 6.Identifying Placebo Effects with Data from Clinical Trials-- Anup Malani. 7.FSI (Floor Space Index)-- Episode 11 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Alex Tabarrok). 8.Rent Control-- Episode 14 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Alex Tabarrok). 9.Slums-- Episode 21 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pavan Srinath).

2 hr 11 min

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May 30, 2020

Ep 175: The Indian Armed Forces

As institutions wither around us, the Indian Armed Forces have retained their credibility. But is there a risk of politicization there as well? Lt Gen Prakash Menon joins Amit Varma in episode 175 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the evolution of our armed forces through the decades, and the challenges they face today. Also check out: 1.India in the Nuclear Age-- Episode 80 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Lt Gen Prakash Menon). 2.The Strategy Trap-- Lt Gen Prakash Menon. 3.The India-Pakistan Conflict-- Episode 111 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Srinath Raghavan). 4.The Geopolitics of the Bangladesh War-- Episode 113 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Srinath Raghavan). 5.Our Colorful Past-- Episode 127 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manu Pillai). 6.Army and Nation-- Steven I Wilkinson. 7.Rommel: The Desert Fox-- Desmond Young. 8.To Serve With Honour-- SD Verma. 9.The Battle for Money-- Sushant Singh. 10.The Insurgents-- Fred Kaplan.…

1 hr 46 min

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May 23, 2020

Ep 174: Tawaif

Tawaifs played a unique role in Indian society and culture in the 19th century, but have since been either vilified or romanticized. Filmmakerand author Saba Dewan joins Amit Varma in episode 174 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about the fascinating human stories behind this lost community. Also check out: 1.Tawaifnama-- Saba Dewan 2.The Other Song-- Saba Dewan 3.Films, Feminism, Paromita-- Episode 155 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Paromita Vohra) 4.The History of Desire in India-- Episode 161 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Madhavi Menon) 5.Women in Indian History-- Episode 144 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ira Mukhoty) 6.The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism-- Episode 139 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshaya Mukul) The Seen and the Unseen is a labour of love.Click hereto support it.

2 hr 8 min

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May 16, 2020

Ep 173: The Resonance of Akbar

So much of our historyhas been weaponized by politics -- especially the Mughal period. Manimugdha Sharma joins Amit Varma in episode 173 of The Seen and the Unseen to shed light on the tug of war around Emperor Akbar -- and why that history remains relevant even today. Also check out: 1.Allahu Akbar: Understanding the Great Mughal in Today's India-- Manimugdha Sharma. 2.Parthian Shot-- Manimugdha Sharma'scolumn archives. 3.Manimugdha Sharma'sreportinginTimes of India. 4.Who Broke Our Republic?-- Episode 163 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Kapil Komireddi). 5.The Ideas of Our Constitution-- Episode 164 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Madhav Khosla), 6.The Many Cities of Delhi-- Episode 172 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rana Safvi). 7.Women in Indian History-- Episode 144 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ira Mukhoty). 8.Jahangir the Curious-- Episode 147 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Parvati Sharma). 9.Our Colorful Past-- Episode 127 of…

2 hr 41 min

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May 9, 2020

Ep 172: The Many Cities of Delhi

There is much more to Delhi than Old Delhi and New Delhi. The stones bear witnessto a rich history, with much drama and tumult. Rana Safvi joins Amit Varma in episode 172 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about how the forgotten past of Delhi continues to shape its present. Also check out:1.Where Stones Speak-- Rana Safvi 2.The Forgotten Cities of Delhi-- Rana Safvi 3.Shahjahanabad: The Living City of Old Delhi-- Rana Safvi 4.City of My Heart-- Rana Safvi 5.The History of Desire in India-- Episode 161 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Madhavi Menon) 6.Our Colorful Past-- Episode 127 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manu Pillai) 7.The Deccan Before Shivaji-- Episode 98 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manu Pillai) 8.Kerala and the Ivory Throne-- Episode 156 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manu Pillai) 9.Women in Indian History-- Episode 144 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ira Mukhoty) 10.Jahangir the Curious-- Episode 147 of The Seen and the U…

1 hr 50 min

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May 2, 2020

Ep 171: India's Start-Up Ecosystem

Many entrepreneurs aim to plug a hole in the world. Some try to expand the universe. Mohit Satyanand joins Amit Varma in episode 171 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about why these are exciting times to be an angel investor. Also check out:1.Two Economic Crises (2008 & 2019)-- Episode 135 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Mohit Satyanand) 2.Poker and Stock Markets-- Episode 47 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Mohit Satyanand) 3.Entrepreneurship: If You Love Them, Set Them Free-- Mohit Satyanand 4.Where Angels Fear to Tread-- Mohit Satyanand 5.Mohit Satyanand in conversation with Amitabh Kant at JLF.

2 hr 4 min

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Apr 25, 2020

Ep 170: Foreign Policy is a Big Deal

So much of the lives of common people depends on the relationships between nations. But is foreign policy an arcane subject, meant only for wonks and elites? No! Pranay Kotasthane and Manoj Kewalramani join Amit Varma in episode 170 of The Seen and the Unseen to demystify international relations. Note: This episode contains an update about how foreign policy will be affected by Covid-19. That sections begins at around 1 hr 57 minutes. Also check out: 1.Foreign Policy-- Episode 63 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Nitin Pai) 2.What Does China Want?-- Episode 143 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manoj Kewalramani) 3.Chinese Foreign Policy-- Episode 81 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manoj Kewalramani) 4.China's Influence in South Asia-- Episode 22 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pranay Kotasthane) 5.Democracy in Pakistan-- Episode 79 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pranay Kotasthane and Hamsini Hariharan) 6.India's Maldives Dilemma-- Episode 57 of The Seen and the…

2 hr 38 min

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Apr 18, 2020

Ep 169: Taking Stock of Covid-19

How should India handle Covid-19? Every option on the table carries huge costs, and will take countless lives.Shruti Rajagopalan joins Amit Varma in episode 169 of The Seen and the Unseen to help navigate the complex decisions that policy makers are being forced to make with little information. Also check out: 1.India must shut itself down to contain the coronavirus-- Shruti Rajagopalan (Mar 16) 2.Shruti Rajagopalan on India and the coronavirus-- Marginal Revolution (Mar 25) 3.The lockdown may be doing us more harm than good-- Shruti Rajagopalan (Mar 30) 4.Assessing Healthcare Capacity in India-- Shruti Rajagopalan andAbishek Choutagunta 5.Pandemic Policy in Developing Countries: Recommendations for India-- Shruti Rajagopalan and Alex Tabarrok 6.We have miles of roadblocks to remove before we sleep(Apr 13) -- Shruti Rajagopalan 7.We Are Fighting Two Disasters: Covid-19 and the Indian State-- Amit Varma 8.Urban Governance in India-- Episo…

2 hr 51 min

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Apr 11, 2020

Ep 168: The Art of Translation

There are over 6000 languages in the world. How can we possibly understand one another? Arunava Sinha joins Amit Varma in episode 168 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain the importance of translation,and literature itself,in these divisive times.. Select books translatedby Arunava: 1.Chowringhee-- Sankar 2.When the Time is Right-- Buddhadeva Bose 3.Shake the Bottle and Other Stories-- Ashapurna Debi 4.Seventeen-- Anita Agnihotri 5.Harbart-- Nabarun Bhattacharya 6..The Greatest Bengali Stories Ever Told-- Arunava Sinha (ed) 7,The Moving Shadow: Electrifying Bengali Pulp Fiction-- Arunava Singa (ed) Also check out: 1.Why Translation Matters-- Edith Grossman 2.Through the Language Glass-- Guy Deutscher 3.Translating Neruda-- John Felstiner 4.The Task of the Translator-- Walter Benjamin 5.The Impossibility of Translating Homer into English-- Emily Watson Twitter thread 6.The Odyssey-- Homer (Trans. Emily Wats…

1 hr 45 min

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Apr 4, 2020

Ep 167: India's Greatest Civil Servant

In 1906, a 13-year-old boy burnt down his school in a village in Kerala and ran away from home to work in the gold mines of Kolar. Decades later, he put this country together. Narayani Basu joins Amit Varma in episode 167 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about the extraordinary life of VP Menon. Also check out: 1.VP Menon: The Unsung Architect of Modern India-- Narayani Basu 2.Integration of the Indian States-- VP Menon 3.The Transfer of Power in India-- VP Menon 4.Kashmir and Article 370-- Episode 134 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Srinath Raghavan)

2 hr 43 min

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Mar 28, 2020

Ep 166: Nanak Was Here

The man known as Guru Nanak was one of the great travellers of his time, passing through lands that are today spread across nine countries. Amardeep Singh joins Amit Varma in episode 166 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about how he retraced Nanak's path -- and also about his efforts at documenting the Sikh heritage of Pakistan. Also check out: 1.Lost Heritage: The Sikh Legacy in Pakistan-- Amardeep Singh. 2.The Quest Continues: Lost Heritage-- Amardeep Singh. 3. Peering Soul -- A documentary by Amardeep Singh. 4. Peering Warrior-- A documentary by Amardeep Singh. 5. The Lost Heritage website. 6. Amardeep Singh on Facebook (Lost Heritage,Tapestry),InstagramandTwitter. 7. Hindu, Sufi or Sikh-- Steven W Ramey. 8. Our Colourful Past-- Episode 127 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manu Pillai). 9. The History of Desire in India-- Episode 161 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Madhavi Menon). 10. The Truth About Us-- Sanjoy Chakravorty. You can e…

2 hr 19 min

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Mar 21, 2020

Ep 165: Genetic Engineering

Humans are the only bots with the ability to reprogram themselves. Shambhavi Naik joins Amit Varma in episode 165 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the science, ethics, politics and policy implications of genetic engineering. Also check out: 1.A Framework for Governing Gene Editing-- TakshashikaDiscussion Document. 2.Gene Drives in Infectious Diseases--Takshashila Discussion Slidedoc 3.Chinese gene-edited baby row rekindles need for guidelines in India-- Shambhavi Naik. 4.The scientific argument for marrying outside your caste -- Shambhavi Naik. 5.The gene of prejudice in gender determination-- Shambhavi Naik. 6.The Evolution of Everything-- Episode 96 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Matt Ridley). 7.The Selfish Gene-- Richard Dawkins. 8.The Blank Slate-- Steven Pinker. 9.Politics and the Sociopath-- Amit Varma. 10.Farmers, Technology and Freedom of Choice: A Tale of Two Satyagrahas-- Amit Varma. 11.Let's Rethink Doping-…

2 hr 2 min

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Mar 14, 2020

Ep 164: The Ideas of Our Constitution

Contrary to popular belief, the Indian constitution was not a copy-paste job without a vision. It emerged from decades of intellectual ferment. Madhav Khosla joins Amit Varma in episode 164 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe the history of the key ideas that drove our founders and shaped our constitution. Also check out: 1.India's Founding Moment-- Madhav Khosla 2.The Indian Constitution(Oxford Short Introductions) -- Madhav Khosla 3.The Idea of India-- Sunil Khilnani 4.The Citizenship Battles-- Episode 152 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Srinath Raghavan) 5.Citizenship and its Discontents-- Niraja Gopal Jayal 6.Narendra Modi Takes a Great Leap Backwards-- Amit Varma 7.India's Sedition Law-- Episode 146 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Chitranshul Sinha) 8.Who Broke Our Republic?-- Episode 163 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Kapil Komireddi) 9.The Emergency-- Episode 103 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Gyan Prakash) 10.Democracies of the…

1 hr 58 min

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Mar 7, 2020

Ep 163: Who Broke Our Republic?

Seven decades after Independence, India is still wracked by poverty and strife. Who is responsible? Kapil Komireddi joins Amit Varma in episode 163 of The Seen and the Unseen to excoriate every political player of Independent India. No prisoners taken. Also check out: 1. Malevolent Republic -- Kapil Komireddi. 2. Kashmir and Article 370 -- Episode 134 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Srinath Raghavan). 3. Understanding Gandhi. Part One: Mohandas -- Episode 104 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ram Guha). 4. Understanding Gandhi. Part Two: Mahatma -- Episode 105 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ram Guha). 5. The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism -- Episode 139 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshaya Mukul). 6. Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India -- Akshaya Mukul. 7. India's Founding Moment -- Madhav Khosla. 8. Where Have All the Leaders Gone? -- Amit Varma. 9. Democracy in Pakistan -- Episode 79 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pranay Kotasthane & Hamsini Hariharan). 10. The 2019 Elect…

1 hr 55 min

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Feb 29, 2020

Ep 162: Caste, Gender, Karnatik Music

(Video) Ep 185: Fixing Indian Education

So much of our culture is shaped by our social fault lines.TM Krishnajoins Amit Varma in episode 162 of The Seen and the Unseen to peel the layers off the development of Karnatik music -- and Indian society itself. Also check out: 1.Sebastian and Sons-- TM Krishna 2.A Southern Music-- TM Krishna 3.Reshaping Art-- TM Krishna 4.TM Krishna singing on a bus. 5.Superforecasting-- Philip Tetlock & Dan Gardner 6.The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism-- Episode 139 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshaya Mukul)

2 hr 40 min

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Feb 22, 2020

Ep 161: The History of Desire in India

We may be a sexually repressed country today, but it wasn't always like this. Madhavi Menon joins Amit Varma in episode 161 of The Seen and the Unseen to elaborate on the infinite variety of our desires all through history, Also check out: 1. Infinite Variety -- Madhavi Menon 2. Madhavi Menon's Amazon page. 3. Masala Shakespeare -- Jonathan Gil Harris 4. The Seven Basic Plots -- Christopher Booker 5. The Ascetic of Desire -- Sudhir Kakar 6. Early Indians -- Tony Joseph 7. Early Indians -- Episode 112 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tony Joseph) 8. Being Gay, Loving Books -- Episode 141 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Tejuja) 9. It is Immoral to Have Children. Here’s Why -- Amit Varma 10. Everybody Lies -- Seth Stephens-Davidowitz 11. The Truth About Ourselves -- Amit Varma 12. Lihaaf -- Ismat Chugtai

2 hr 16 min

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Feb 15, 2020

Ep 160: Participatory Democracy

In India, we have government of the people and for the people, but notbythe people. How can we fix this? Polymath thinker Ashwin Mahesh joins Amit Varma in episode 160 of The Seen and the Unseen to chat about participatory democracy, India Against Corruption, the Aam Aadmi Party and what makes a Good Indian. Also check out: 1.Ashwin Mahesh's homepage. 2.With the Government, Within the Government, As the Government-- Ashwin Mahesh 3.The State of our Farmers-- Episode 86 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Gunvant Patil) 4.A Life in Indian Politics-- Episode 149 of The Seen and the Unseen (w JP Narayan) 5.Radically Networked Societies-- Episode 158 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pranay Kotasthane) 6.Education in India-- Episode 77 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Amit Chandra) 7.The Anti-Defection Law-- Episode 13 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Barun Mitra)

2 hr 29 min

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Feb 8, 2020

Ep 159: The Theatre of the Budget

Budgets matter more than they should -- and the process of making them matters more than their contents. Ajay Shah and Vivek Kaul join Amit Varma in episode 159 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss both journey & destination, strategy & tactics. Also check out: 1.The Art and Science of Economic Policy-- Episode 154 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vijay Kelkar and Ajay Shah) 2.Analysing the February 2020 budget-- Ajay Shah 3.India budget raises more questions than answers-- Vivek Kaul 4.What the budget says and how it impacts you-- Vivek Kaul 5.Long on Talk, Short on Ideas-- Vivek Kaul 6.Bae, look how I shrank the Budget-- Vivek Kaul 7.Budget 2020: Tactics Over Strategy-- Suyash Rai 8.TN Ninan and AK Bhattacharya dissect Budget 2020 9.The Indian Economy in 2019-- Episode 153 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul) 10.Budget, Bollywood, Badmaashi-- Episode 129 of The Seen and the Unseen (on the 2019 budget, w Vivek Kaul) 11.Twe…

1 hr 51 min

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Feb 1, 2020

Ep 158: Radically Networked Societies

From the Arab Spring to Shaheen Bagh, radically networked societies are rising up to express themselves. What do they have in common? How will a hierarchicalstate deal with a networked society? Pranay Kotasthane shares his insights with Amit Varma in episode 158 of The Seen and the Unseen. Also check out: 1.Individual Liberty vs Public Security in a Radically Networked Society-- Nitin Pai and Pranay Kotasthane. 2.Networked Societies and Hierarchical States: The Emerging Challenge to Political Order-- Nitin Pai and Sneha Shankar 3.Twitter and Tear Gas-- Zeynep Tufekci 4.Serdar Akinan's pictureof the procession of coffins 5.Episodes of The Seen and the Unseen featuring Pranay Kotasthane 6.Protesters Are United by Something Other Than Politics-- Tyler Cowen 7.Films, Feminism, Paromita-- Episode 155 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Paromita Vohra) 8.Fighting Fake News-- Episode 133 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pratik Sinha) 9.The Facts Do Not M…

1 hr 22 min

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Jan 25, 2020

Ep 157: Taking Stock of Our Republic

India has endured -- but as we celebrate another Republic Day, we must remember that we cannot take this for granted. Historian Ramachandra Guha joins Amit Varma in episode 157 of The Seen and the Unseen to examine some of the currents of history that brought us here, and are still in flux. Also check out: 1. The books of Ramachandra Guha on Amazon. 2. Ramachandra Guha's columns in the Telegraph. 3. Understanding Gandhi: Part 1: Mohandas: Episode 104 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ram Guha). 4. Understanding Gandhi: Part 2: Mahatma: Episode 105 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ram Guha). 5. Patriotism vs Jingoism -- Ram Guha's speech at the Kerala Lit Fest. 6. The Citizenship Battles -- Episode 152 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Srinath Raghavan). 7. A Life in Indian Politics -- Episode 149 of The Seen and the Unseen (w JP Narayan). 8. The Intellectual Foundations of Hindutva -- Episode 115 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aakar Patel). 9. Religion and Ideology in Indian Society --…

1 hr 27 min

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Jan 19, 2020

Ep 156: Kerala and the Ivory Throne

Kerala has a madly interesting history. It was a hub of globalisation centuries ago, an exemplar of tolerance. Almost in contrast, it took casteism to an extreme. It also had a matrilineal system, a tradition of empowered women, and some badass queens. Historian Manu Pillai joins Amit Varma in episode 156 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss all this and more. Also check out: 1.The Ivory Throne-- Manu Pillai 2.Our Colourful Past -- Episode 127 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manu Pillai) 3.The Deccan Before Shivaji -- Episode 98 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manu Pillai) 4.The Indianness of Indian Food -- Episode 95 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vikram Doctor) For complete archives, do visit seenunseen.in.

2 hr 21 min

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Jan 12, 2020

Ep 155: Films, Feminism, Paromita

Immense changes have swept through our lives in the last three decades. Filmmaker and writer Paromita Vohra joins Amit Varma in episode 155 of The Seen and the Unseen, and turns her unique gaze both inwards and outwards. Also check out: 1.Agents of Ishq 1.Unlimited Girls(95 mins) 2.Cosmopolis: Two Tales of a City(13 mins) 3.Where's Sandra(18 mins) 4.Morality TV(32 mins) 5.Partners in Crime(95 mins) 6.A Love Latika(Trailer) 7.Interview of Paromita Vohraby Anuradha Sengupta 8.A Lover's Argument-- Talk by Paromita Vohra 9.Paromita Vohra on Shah Rukh Khan 10.My True North: All Renewal Starts With the Self-- Paromita Vohra 11.On My First Data, My True Love Gave To Me-- Paromita Vohra 12.The Mystery of The Half-Girlfriend and the Double Chetan-- Paromita Vohra 13.Automatic Bodies-- Paromita Vohra 14.Indian Society: The Last 30 years-- Episode 137 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Santosh Desai) 15.The Dialect of a Crick…

2 hr 50 min

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Jan 5, 2020

Ep 154: The Art and Science of Economic Policy

Economic policy affects each of us -- and yet, India has gotten it wrong for decades. In their groundbreaking new book, Vijay Kelkar and Ajay Shah write not just how to do policy, but how to think about policy. They join Amit Varma in episode 154 of The Seen and the Unseen to share their learnings, first principles onwards. Also check out: 1. In Service of the Republic-- Vijay Kelkar & Ajay Shah 2. Zombie Firms and Creative Destruction -- Ep 118 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ajay Shah) 3. The Importance of Finance -- Ep 125 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ajay Shah) 4.Every Act of Government Is an Act of Violence -- Amit Varma 5. The Delhi Smog -- Ep 44 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul) 6. Public Choice Theory -- Ep 121 of The Seen and the Unseen 7.Narendra Modi takes a Great Leap Backwards -- Amit Varma 8.Three Reasons Why A Cashless Society Would Be A Disaster -- Amit Varma 9. Where Have All the Leaders Gone? -- Amit Varma 10. India's Agriculture C…

2 hr 44 min

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Dec 29, 2019

Ep 153: The Indian Economy in 2019

Alongside much social unrest, the Indian economy went to hell in 2019. Vivek Kaul joins Amit Varma in episode 153 of The Seen and the Unseen to survey the damage, and to demystify the rubble.For detailed show notes, head on over to seenunseen.in.

1 hr 54 min

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Dec 21, 2019

Ep 152: The Citizenship Battles

Why is India burning over the Citizenship Amendment Bill? Why does the NRC matter? What is happening in Assam? Srinath Raghavan joins Amit Varma in episode 152 of The Seen and the Unseen to give historical perspective on our current ferments. For detailed show notes, head on over to seenunseen.in.

2 hr 32 min

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Dec 15, 2019

Ep. 151: Maharashtra Politics Unscrambled

Politics in Maharashtra is deeply complicated. Its themes and fault lines have been formed over decades. Veteran journalist and author Sujata Anandan joins Amit Varma in episode 151 of The Seen and the Unseen to unravel some of the mysteries behind its fascinating dramas. Also check out: 1.Hindu Hriday Samrat-- Sujata Anandan 2.Maharashtra Maximus--Sujata Anandan 3.Marathi Manoos -- Sujata Anandan.

2 hr 25 min

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Dec 8, 2019

Ep. 150: The Business of Books

How has Indian publishing evolved in the last few decades? What does India read, and why? Publisher VK Karthika joins Amit Varma in episode 150 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about what she learnt in her years in Penguin, Harper Collins and (now) Westland.Also check out: * Death of the Author -- Roland Barthes (pdf link) * How to Read and Why-- Harold Bloom * A Poetry Handbook-- Mary Oliver * Roseanna-- Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö * The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism -- Akshaya Mukul

2 hr 13 min

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Dec 1, 2019

Ep. 149: A life in Indian Politics

Jayaprakash Narayan was trained as a physician, served in the IAS, and went on to start a political movement. JP joins Amit Varma in episode 149 of The Seen and the Unseen to share his insights on Indian politics, the nature of the state and what we need to do to change India for the better.Also check out: * The State of Indian Politics-- Episode 50 of The Seen and the Unseen (w JP Narayan) * What Is It Like to Be a Bat? -- Thomas Nagel (pdf link) * Lessons from an Ankhon Dekhi Prime Minister -- Amit Varma * Where Have All The Leaders Gone? -- Amit Varma * Government's End-- Jon Rauch * The Emergency -- Episode 103 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Gyan Prakash) * Urban Governance in India-- Episode 31 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan) * Crime in Indian Politics-- Episode 114 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Milan Vaishnav) * The Indianness of Indian Food-- Episode 95 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vikram Doctor)You can listen to this show an…

2 hr 30 min

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Nov 24, 2019

Ep. 148: The Bombzooka Question

In episode 148 of The Seen and the Unseen, host Amit Varma invokes a fictional super-weapon to build an argument against gun rights in India. Guests Shubho Roy and Sudhanshu Neema disagree with him, and each other, most vigorously.Also check out: * The Bombzooka Question-- Amit Varma on India Uncut * Resisting State Injustice-- Episode 120 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Jason Brennan)You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android:https://ivm.today/android or iOS:https://ivm.today/ios

1 hr 19 min

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Nov 17, 2019

Ep. 147: Jahangir the Curious

Jahangir is often considered a lightweight Mughal emperor, an ineffectual drunkard sandwiched between his father and his son, Akbar and Shah Jahan. But this is an unfair view. Parvati Sharma joins Amit Varma in episode 147 of The Seen and the Unseen to shed light on not just Jahangir as an emperor, but on his human side, endearing and infuriating in equal measure.Also check out: * Jahangir: An Intimate Portrait of a Great Mughal-- Parvati Sharma * Women in Indian History-- Episode 144 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ira Mokhoty) * Our Colouful Past-- Episode 127 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manu Pillai) * The Deccan Before Shivaji-- Episode 98 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manu Pillai) * Talk by Parvati Sharma at The Loft * Shī‘Ī polemics at the Mughal court-- Sajjad RizviYou can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android:https://ivm.today/android or iOS:https://ivm.today/ios

2 hr 10 min

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Nov 10, 2019

Ep. 146: India's Sedition Law

Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code is an archaic law and needs to go. But what is the historical background of our sedition law? What are the political and social contexts in which it evolved and thrived? Chitranshul Sinha joins Amit Varma in episode 146 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss his book on the subject, The Great Repression.Also check out: * The Great Repression-- Chitranshul Sinha * Don't Insult Pasta (2007)-- Amit Varma * Hardcore Historyby Dan Carlin * Archive.org * The Emergency-- Episode 103 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Gyan Prakash)You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android:https://ivm.today/android or iOS:https://ivm.today/ios

1 hr 56 min

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Nov 3, 2019

Ep. 145: The Indian Conservative

Is there such a thing as Indian conservatism? What does it mean and where did it come from? Jaithirth Rao joins Amit Varma in episode 145 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss his latest book.Also check out: * The Indian Conservative-- Jaithirth Rao * Conservatism: Ideas in Profile-- Roger Scruton * Why I am Not a Conservative-- Friedrich Hayek * The Intellectual Foundations of Hindutva-- Episode 115 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aakar Patel) * Religion and Ideology in Indian Society-- Episode 124 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Suyash Rai) * Political Ideology in India-- Episode 131 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rahul Verma) * The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism-- Episode 139 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshaya Mukul) * Our Colourful Past-- Episode 127 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manu Pillai) * The Right to Property-- Episode 26 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan) * Marching for Salt-- Amit Varma * The works of Edmund Burke…

2 hr 28 min

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Oct 27, 2019

Ep. 144: Women in Indian History

The history of humanity is more than just the history of men. Historian Ira Mukhoty joins Amit Varma in episode 144 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about going beyond the male gaze to write history. She also discusses Daughters of the Sun, her account of the rich and complex world of Mughal women.Also check out: * Daughters of the Sun -- Ira Mukhoty * Heroines -- Ira Mukhoty * Yuganta -- Irawati Karve * Domesticity and Power in the Early Mughal World -- Ruby Lal * Empress: -- Ruby Lal * Wolf Hall -- Hilary Mantel * Rebel Sultans -- Manu Pillai * India = Migration -- Episode 128 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Chinmay Tumbe) * Early Indians -- Episode 112 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tony Joseph) * The Deccan Before Shivaji -- Episode 98 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manu Pillai) * Our Colorful Past -- Episode 127 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manu Pillai)You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android:…

1 hr 53 min

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Oct 20, 2019

Ep. 143: What Does China Want?

The geopolitics of the West is reasonably well-understood -- but China remains a mystery to many. What drives China? How does it look at India? China expert Manoj Kewalramani joins Amit Varma in episode 143 of The Seen and the Unseen to provide historical context and strategic perspective.Also check out: * Modi-Xi Informal Summit: An Indian Interests Agenda-- Manoj Kewalramani * Chinese Foreign Policy-- Episode 81 of The Seen and the Unseen * Myths About China-- Episode 66 of The Pragati Podcast * No, China Isn’t Taking Over the World-- Episode 67 of The Pragati Podcast * A Meeting in Mamallapuram-- Episode 179 of All Things Policy * Protracted Contest-- John W Garver * The India-Pakistan Conflict-- Episode 111 of The Seen and the Unseen * India in the Nuclear Age-- Episode 80 of The Seen and the Unseen * Eye on China:Manoj Kewalramani's weekly newsletter on ChinaYou can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM P…

2 hr 7 min

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Oct 13, 2019

Ep. 142: Ponzi Schemes

We are surrounded by frauds, and are dying to believe them. Vivek Kaul joins Amit Varma in episode 142 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss ponzi schemes, both in India and outside, both by private actors and the government. Also discussed: chit funds and kitty parties, and why we are wired to be deceived.Also check out: * Real Estate Prices: Episode 30 of The Seen and the Unseen * The Anti-Defection Law: Episode 13 of The Seen and the Unseen * 12 Dream Reforms: Episode 138 of The Seen and the Unseen * Ponzi's Scheme-- Mitchell Zuckoff * Anatomy of a Ponzi Scheme-- Colleen Cross * Irrational Exuberance-- Robert Shiller * Narrative Economics-- Robert Shiller * Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds-- Charles MackayYou can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android:https://ivm.today/android or iOS:https://ivm.today/ios

2 hr 3 min

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Oct 6, 2019

Ep. 141: Being Gay, Loving Books

Vivek Tejuja, known for his writing on books, has just released his memoir of growing up gay in India. He joins Amit Varma in episode 141 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss how he -- and those around him -- came to terms with his sexuality. In the second half of the episode, Vivek and Amit discuss writers they like, and read out their favourite poetry.Also check out: * So Now You Know-- Vivek Tejuja * Being Gay in India-- Episode 84 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Navin Noronha) * Keeping it Queer * The Matunga Racket-- Amit Varma * Amit Varma's Twitter threadon 'The Lass of Aughrim' and The Dead * Almost Invisible-- Mark Strand * Sputnik Sweetheart-- Haruki Murakami * The Elephant Vanishes-- Haruki Murakami * The Bear Came Over the Mountain-- Alice Munro * The Man Who Loved Children-- Christina Stead * The Notebook-- Agota Kristof * Jhumpa Lahiri on Conversations With Tyler * Paper Menagerie-- Ken Liu * A Poetry Handbook-- Mary O…

2 hr 7 min

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Sep 29, 2019

Ep. 140: India's Agriculture Crisis

What exactly is wrong with Indian agriculture? How can we help our farmers? Barun Mitra and Kumar Anand join Amit Varma in episode 140 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the root causes and remedies of this decades-long problem.Also check out: * The State of Our Farmers-- Ep 86 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Gunvant Patil, in Hindi). * Entry and Exit in Indian Agriculture-- Ep 1 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pavan Srinath & Karthik Shashidhar) * Futures Markets in Agriculture-- Ep 12 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Karthik Shashidhar) * The Unseen Effects of Farm-Loan Waivers -- Ep 25 of The Seen and the Unseen * The Right to Property-- Ep 26 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan) * The Delhi Smog-- Ep 40 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul) * Free the Farmers-- Barun Mitra * Where are the Markets?-- Kumar Anand * The Crisis in Indian Agriculture-- Brainstorm on Pragati * We Must Save Our Farmers-- Amit Varma * The Indian…

2 hr 5 min

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Sep 22, 2019

Ep. 139: The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism

The recent victories of political Hindutva were enabled by a century-long cultural movement spearheaded by a publishing house based in Gorakhpur. Akshaya Mukul, author of Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India, joins Amit Varma in episode 139 of The Seen and the Unseen. Themes discussed include the relationship between society and the state, Marwari history, cow, temple, gender, caste, Muslims, Communism, and the spontaneous combustion of virtuous Hindu women.Also check out: * Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India-- Akshaya Mukul * The Intellectual Foundations of Hindutva-- Episode 115 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aakar Patel) * Political Ideology in India-- Episode 131 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rahul Verma) * Religion and Ideology in Indian Society-- Episode 124 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Suyash Rai) * The 2019 Elections-- Episode 122 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Sadanand Dhume) * The BJP's Magic Formula-- Episode 45 of The Seen and the Unseen…

2 hr 10 min

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Sep 15, 2019

Ep. 138: Twelve Dream Reforms

Times are bad -- but pessimists can dream! Tired of only talking about problems, Shruti Rajagopalan, Rajeswari Sengupta and Vivek Kaul join Amit Varma in episode 138 of The Seen and the Unseen, to propose solutions! Three each. Many bad jokes and Bollywood songs are thrown in.Also check out: * Population Is Not a Problem, but Our Greatest Strength-- Amit Varma. * Alone in the City-- Amit Varma * Where Are the Jobs?-- Ep 87 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Yazad Jal) * Education in India-- Ep 77 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Amit Chandra) * Urban Governance in India-- Ep 31 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan) * The Bad and Complex Tax-- Ep 74 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan) * GST Revisited-- Ep 28 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul) * Early Indians-- Ep 112 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tony Joseph) * Immigration-- Ep 4 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shikha Dalmia) * Rent Control-- Ep 14 of The Seen and the Uns…

2 hr 53 min

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Sep 8, 2019

Ep. 137: Indian Society: The Last 30 Years

The India of 2019 is a different country from the India of 1989. Social commentator Santosh Desai joins Amit Varma in episode 137 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the many ways in which we have been transformed in this time -- not always for the better.Also check out: 1.Santosh Desai's column archivesin The Times of India. 2.Mother Pious Lady: Making Sense of Everyday India-- Santosh Desai 3.The Decline of Collective Trust-- Santosh Desai 4.Surrounded by Screens- Santosh Desai 5.TikTok: Leave Them Kids Alone-- Santosh Desai 6.The Great Indian Rope Trick-- Santosh Desai 7.The Future as Flow-- Santosh Desai 8.Women at Work-- Ep 132 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Namita Bhandare) 9.The Indianness of Indian Food-- Ep 95 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vikram Doctor) 10.How to Escape From the Shallows-- Amit VarmaThis episode is powered by Storytel:https://www.storytel.com/in/en/ Use the linkstorytel.com/ivmto get a 30 day free…

2 hr 9 min

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Sep 1, 2019

Ep. 136: Data Journalism and Indian Politics

Data journalism in India is fast coming of age, shedding light on our society and politics. Roshan Kishore joins Amit Varma in episode 136 of The Seen and the Unseen to speak about his profession (data journalism), his passion (political economy) and his dark, mysterious past as a student leader in JNU.Also check out: * Roshan Kishore's writingsin Hindustan Times. * Demystifying GDP-- Episode 130 of The Seen and the Unseen. * The Intellectual Foundations of Hindutva-- Episode 115 of The Seen and the Unseen. * Political Ideology in India-- Episode 131 of The Seen and the Unseen.This episode is powered by Storytel:https://www.storytel.com/in/en/ Use the linkstorytel.com/ivmto get a 30 day free trial as opposed to a 14 day free trial.You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android:https://ivm.today/android or iOS:https://ivm.today/ios

1 hr 58 min

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Aug 25, 2019

Ep. 135: Two Economic Crises (2008 & 2019)

Mohit Satyanand saw the 2008 crisis coming and put his money where his mouth was. Now he says we're in the middle of another crisis. He joins Amit Varma in episode 135 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain what exactly went wrong in 2008, and what's gone wrong now.Also check out: * This is All Because of Rupal Ben-- Episode 5 of The Seen and the Unseen * Poker and Stock Markets-- Episode 47 of The Seen and the Unseen * DeMon, Morality and the Predatory Indian State-- Episode 85 of The Seen and the Unseen * The Bad and Complex Tax-- Episode 75 of The Seen and the Unseen * Easy Money-- Episode 56 of The Seen and the UnseenThis episode is powered by Storytel:https://www.storytel.com/in/en/ Use the linkstorytel.com/ivmto get a 30 day free trial as opposed to a 14 day free trial.You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android:https://ivm.today/android or iOS:https://ivm.today/ios

2 hr 7 min

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Aug 18, 2019

Ep. 134: Kashmir and Article 370

Kashmir is in lockdown, and Article 370 is history. What does this mean for Kashmir -- and for India? Historian Srinath Raghavan joins Amit Varma in episode 134 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the historical, geopolitical, ideological and moral questions at the heart of the Kashmir problem.Also check out: * War and Peace in Modern India -- Srinath Raghavan * The Geopolitics of the Bangladesh War -- Episode 113 of The Seen and the Unseen. * Understanding the India-Pakistan Conflict -- Episode 111 of The Seen and the Unseen. * Uncle Sam in South Asia -- Episode 93 of The Seen and the Unseen. * We Won’t Need To Fight A War If We Can Win The Peace -- Amit Varma. * The Article 370 Amendments: Key Legal Issues -- Gautam Bhatia * Article 370: A Constitutional History of Jammu and Kashmir -- AG Noorani * A People's Constitution -- Rohit De * The Generation of Rage in Kashmir -- David DevadasThis episode is powered by Storytel: https://www.storytel.com/in/en/ Use…

2 hr 26 min

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Aug 11, 2019

Ep. 133: Fighting Fake News

We live in a world besieged by falsehood -- but there is a growing resistance movement. Pratik Sinha of Alt News joins Amit Varma in episode 133 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about disinformation, misinformation and why the truth will prevail.Also check out: * Alt News * Truth of Gujarat * India Misinformed -- Pratik Sinha and co-authors * The Alt News App for Android * The Facts Do Not Matter -- Amit Varma * Public Opinion -- Walter LippmannThis episode is powered by Storytel: https://www.storytel.com/in/en/ Use the link storytel.com/ivm to get a 30 day free trial as opposed to a 14 day free trial.You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios

1 hr 47 min

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Aug 4, 2019

Ep. 132: Women at Work

There is a crisis in India today. There are not enough women taking up paying jobs -- and their unpaid labour at home continues to be taken for granted. Journalist Namita Bhandare joins Amit Varma in episode 132 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about the state of women in India today.Also check out: *Namita Bhandare's homepage. *Namita Bhandare in the Hindustan Times. *Why Indian Workplaces Are Losing Women -- Namita Bhandare (The IndiaSpend series) *Namita Bhandare at Sheroes. *Metrics of Empowerment -- Episode 88 of The Seen and the Unseen *The Importance of #MeToo -- Episode 90 of The Seen and the Unseen *An Economist Looks at #MeToo -- Episode 92 of The Seen and the Unseen *Frailty, Thy Name is Public Policy -- Devika Kher *The Girl From Haryana (https://indiauncut.com/the-girl-from-haryana/) -- Amit Varma *Men Must Step Up Now -- Amit VarmaThis episode is powered by Storytel: https://www.storytel.com/in/en/ Use the link storytel.com/…

1 hr 58 min

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Jul 28, 2019

Ep. 131: Political Ideology in India

Political Ideology in IndiaDescription: The usual spectrum of left and right does not apply to Indian politics. But does that mean that our politics is based on identity and patronage, and not ideology? Not quite, says political scientist Rahul Verma, as he joins Amit Varma in episode 131 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain the two ideological cleavages that divide India.Also check out: * Ideology and Identity -- Pradeep K Chhibber and Rahul Verma * Religious Practice and Democracy in India -- Pradeep K Chhibber * Religion and Ideology in Indian Society -- Episode 124 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Suyash Rai) * Imagine No Possessions -- Episode 26 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan) * Crime in Indian Politics -- Episode 114 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Milan Vaishnav)This episode is powered by Storytel: https://www.storytel.com/in/en/ Use the link storytel.com/ivm to get a 30 day free trial as opposed to a 14 day free trial.You can listen to this sh…

1 hr 48 min

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Jul 21, 2019

Ep. 130: Demystifying GDP

In recent times, the GDP has become less of an economic measure and more of a political tool. Economist Rajeswari Sengupta joins Amit Varma in episode 130 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain what the GDP is, what it is good for, what it is not good for and what the fuss over this figure in India is all about. This episode has immeasurable value.Also check out: *Rajeswari Sengupta's writings. *GDP – A Brief but Affectionate History -- Diane Coyle *Gross Domestic Problem -- Lorenzo Fioramonti *The Power of a Single Number -- Philipp LepeniesThis episode is powered by Storytel: https://www.storytel.com/in/en/ Use the link storytel.com/ivm to get a 30 day free trial as opposed to a 14 day free trial.You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios

1 hr 35 min

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Jul 14, 2019

Ep. 129: Budget. Bollywood. Badmaashi

Like cricket and cinema, the annual budget brought out by the central government has become a national obsession. Vivek Kaul. the Shah Rukh Khan of Economics, joins Amit Varma, the Govinda of Podcasting, in episode 129 of The Seen and the Unseen to demystify the budget. Much fun is had. Blockbuster guaranteed.Also read: *The Sholay Redux -- Vivek Kaul * Easynomics: Why high-income tax hurts -- Vivek Kaul *How ₹1.7 trillion has gone missing -- Vivek Kaul *The State of Our Farmers -- Episode 86 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Gunvant Patil) *DeMon, Morality and the Predatory Indian State -- Episode 85 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan) *All Hail Public Choice Theory -- Episode 121 of The Seen and the Unseen *India's Lost Decade -- Episode 116 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra) *Economics in One Lesson -- Henry Hazlitt (free pdf link) *The Law -- Frédéric Bastiat *Marginal Revolution UniversityYou can listen to this show…

1 hr 42 min

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Jul 7, 2019

India is a nation on the move, and migration is in our DNA. Economic historian Chinmay Tumbe joins Amit Varma in episode 128 of The Seen and the Unseen to present the rich history of migrations into, out of and within India.Also check out: *India Moving -- Chinmay Tumbe *The Story of Our Ancestors -- Episode 112 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tony Joseph) *Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon -- PatangaYou can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios

1 hr 49 min

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Jun 30, 2019

Ep. 127: Our Colorful Past

Indian history is wild fun. Historian Manu Pillai joins Amit Varma in episode 127 of The Seen and the Unseen to regale him with stories from his latest book. The subjects discussed include caste, gender, narrative manipulation, mad elephants and men blown out of cannons.Also check out: *The Courtesan, the Mahatma and the Italian Brahmin -- Manu Pillai *The Deccan Before Shivaji -- Episode 98 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Manu Pillai) *When Gandhi was Mohandas -- Episode 104 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ram Guha) *Being Mahatma -- Episode 105 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ram Guha) *The Intellectual Foundations of Hindutva -- Episode 115 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aakar Patel)You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios

2 hr 40 min

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Jun 23, 2019

Ep. 126: Building Sports Ecosystems

Can India ever be a sporting nation? What will it take to get there? Joy Bhattacharjya, who started up Kolkata Knight Riders, brought the u-17 Football World Cup to India and is CEO of the Pro Volleyball League, sure thinks so. He joins Amit Varma in episode 126 of The Seen and the Unseen to share his passion and vision for Indian sport.Also check out: *Bindra's Wishlist (2005) -- Amit Varma *Opportunity, Choice and the IPL (2008) -- Amit Varma *The IPL is Here and Here Are Six Reasons to Celebrate It (2019) -- Amit Varma *Netherland -- Joseph O'NeillYou can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios

1 hr 48 min

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Jun 16, 2019

Ep. 125: The Importance of Finance

People often talk of the world of Finance as a giant casino, where sociopathic bankers gamble with the livelihoods of real people. Economist Ajay Shah joins Amit Varma in episode 125 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain why this is a misconception, and why Finance is at the heart of our progress.Also check out: *Why I Loved and Left Poker -- Amit Varma, from his poker column, Range Rover. *Zombie Firms and Creative Destruction -- Episode 118 of The Seen and the Unseen. *Futures Markets in Agriculture -- Episode 12 of The Seen and the Unseen. *The Indian Financial Code *Poker and Stock Markets -- Episode 47 of The Seen and the UnseenYou can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios

49 min

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Jun 9, 2019

Ep. 124: Religion and Ideology in Indian Society

What is the role of religion in Indian society? What is conservatism like in India? Suyash Rai joins Amit Varma in episode 124 of The Seen and the Unseen for a wide-ranging free-wheeling chat on these subjects.Also check out: *The Intellectual Foundations of Hindutva -- Episode 115 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aakar Patel) *What is Libertarianism? -- Episode 117 of The Seen and the Unseen (w David Boaz) *You're From the Mutton Lobby -- Episode 49 of The Seen and the Unseen (Amit Varma solo, on our political discourse) *Every Act of Government is an Act of Violence -- Amit Varma *The Three Languages of Politics -- Arnold Kling *ये लिबरल आख़िर है कौन? -- Episode 37 of Puliyabaazi (w Amit Varma on Hayek) *Ayodhya: The Dark Night -- Dhirendra K Jha and Krishna Jha *Sacred and Secular -- Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart *A Godless Congregation -- Amit VarmaYou can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new…

1 hr 55 min

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Jun 2, 2019

Ep. 123: India's Supreme Court

As the recent sexual harassment case indicates, all is not well with the Supreme Court of India. Constitutional economist Shruti Rajagopalan joins Amit Varma in episode 123 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain why the Supreme Court has gone wrong on both ends of the tradeoff between Independence and Accountability.Also read: *Justice Is Dead, Long Live the Justices -- Shruti Rajagopalan *Imagine No Possessions -- Episode 26 of The Seen and the Unseen *Fixing Our Judicial System -- Episode 62 of The Seen and the Unseen *Ek Baar Jo Maine Commitment Kar Di -- Amit Varma *Where Have All the Leaders Gone? -- Amit VarmaYou can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios

1 hr 41 min

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May 26, 2019

Ep. 122: The 2019 Elections

Elections in India are madly complex, and defy simple explanations. Sadanand Dhume joins Amit Varma in episode 122 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the Age of Modi, and what these elections mean for India, the BJP and the Congress party.Also check out: *Sadanand Dhume's bio and archives *The Questions That Election 2019 Leaves Us With -- Amit Varma *Beware of the Useful Idiots -- Amit Varma *Amit Varma's writings+podcasts on DeMon, in one twitter thread *The Intellectual Foundations of Hindutva -- ep 115 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aakar Patel) *Modi's Lost Opportunity -- ep 119 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Salman Soz) *The BJP's Magic Formula -- ep 45 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Prashant Jha) *Rajesh Jain's Journey to Dhan Vapasi -- ep 94 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rajesh Jain) *The Paradox of Narendra Modi -- ep 102 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shashi Tharoor) *Why Both Modi and Trump are Textbook Populists -- Amit VarmaYou c…

1 hr 48 min

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May 19, 2019

Ep. 121: Public Choice Theory

Governments consist of people, and people respond to incentives. For this reason, there is no better way to understand government than through the tools of economics. Episode 121 of The Seen and the Unseen is a rerun of an old episode of The Pragati Podcast, in which Amit Varma introduces Pavan Srinath to the mindblowing insights of Public Choice Theory.Also check out: *What Does It Mean to Be Libertarian? -- ep 64 of The Seen and the Unseen *Public Choice: A Primer -- Eomonn Butler *Politics Without Romance -- Amit Varma's monthly column on Public Choice for Bloomberg Quint *Parkinson's Law -- C Northcote Parkinson *The Calculus of Consent -- James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock *Bureaucracy and Public Economics -- William A Niskanen *Urban Governance in India -- ep 31 of The Seen and the Unseen *Restaurant Regulations in India -- ep 18 of The Seen and the Unseen *Of Endings and Beginnings -- Amit Varma's goodbye editorial for Pragati

1 hr 2 min

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May 12, 2019

Ep. 120: Resisting State Injustice

Conventional wisdom holds that there are three ways to respond to injustice by the state: we may leave, complain, or comply. Philosopher Jason Brennan joins Amit Varma in episode 120 of The Seen and the Unseen to argue that there is a fourth option: to resist.Also check out:When All Else Fails -- Jason BrennanThe Milgram ExperimentYou can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios

1 hr 4 min

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May 5, 2019

Ep. 119: Modi's Lost Opportunity

Despite being a Congress spokesperson, economist Salman Soz was hopeful in 2014 that the Modi government would be good for India. As the title of his new book indicates, that turned out to be quite The Great Disappointment. Soz joins Amit Varma in episode 119 of The Seen and the Unseen to elaborate on the many economic failures of the Modi government. He also tackles tough questions on the Congress party.Also check out: *The Great Disappointment -- Salman Soz *India's Lost Decade -- Ep 116 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra) *DeMon, Morality and the Predatory Indian State -- Ep 85 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan) *The Bad and Complex Tax -- ep 74 of The Seen and the Unseen ( w Shruti Rajagopalan) *The Fraud of Indian Education -- ep 77 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Amit Chandra) *The Importance of Cities -- ep 108 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Reuben Abraham & Pritika Hingorani) *The State of Our Farmers -- ep 86 of The Seen and the…

1 hr 50 min

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Apr 28, 2019

Ep. 118: Zombie Firms and Creative Destruction

The Indian economy has the seeds of a horror film, with zombies stalking the landscape. Air India is one. Jet could have been another had it been rescued. Economist Ajay Shah joins Amit Varma in episode 118 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain the importance of creative destruction, and why failing firms should be allowed to die. Also discussed: price controls and market failure.Do check out: *Making Sense of Airline Troubles -- Ajay Shah *Lessons from the RCom Mess -- Ajay Shah *A Great Churning -- Ajay Shah *Bankruptcy Process and the Utilisation of Assets -- Ajay Shah *Using the Bankruptcy Code for Privatisation -- Ajay Shah *What Happens to Private Airlines When Air India is Privatised? -- Ajay Shah *The Price is Right -- Amit VarmaYou can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios

1 hr 6 min

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Apr 21, 2019

Ep. 117: What is Libertarianism?

In a sense there have always been but two political philosophies: liberty and power.” David Boaz. author of The Libertarian Mind, joins Amit Varma in episode 117 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain what libertarian thinking stands for, and to bust some of the misconceptions around it.Also check out: *The Libertarian Mind -- David Boaz *The Libertarian Reader -- edited by David Boaz *What Does It Mean to Be Libertarian? -- ep 64 of The Seen and the Unseen (w. Amit Varma) *Every Act of Government Is an Act of Violence -- Amit Varma *The Evolution of Everything -- ep 96 of The Seen and the Unseen (w. Matt Ridley) *The World is Getting Better -- ep 101 of The Seen and the Unseen (w. Steven Pinker) *The Right to Property -- ep 26 of The Seen and the Unseen (w. Shruti Rajagopalan) *Public Choice, Voting and Governance -- ep 92 of The Pragati Podcast (w. Amit Varma) *The Kim Kardashian Liberal -- Amit Varma *I, Pencil -- Leonard ReadYou can lis…

2 hr 1 min

(Video) Ep 283: The Forgotten Greatness of PV Narasimha Rao

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Apr 14, 2019

Ep. 116: India's Lost Decade

In 2008, India was growing at 8.8% and was described as a miracle economy. It all went downhill in the next 10 years. Puja Mehra, author of The Lost Decade, joins Amit Varma in episode 116 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe the random events, political imperatives and human dramas that collided to bring us to the brink of a crisis.Also check out: *The Lost Decade -- Puja Mehra *DeMon, Morality and the Predatory Indian State -- ep 85 of The Seen and the Unseen *Most of Amit Varma’s writing on DeMon, collected in one Twitter thread *Narendra Modi Takes a Great Leap Backwards — Amit Varma *Demonetisation -- Ep 2 of The Seen and the Unseen *The Bad and Complex Tax -- Ep 74 of The Seen and the Unseen (on GST) *Is KitKat a Chocolate or a Biscuit? -- ep 28 of The Seen and the Unseen (on GST) *The State of Our Farmers -- ep 86 of The Seen and the Unseen (in Hindi) *Where Are the Jobs? -- ep 87 of The Seen and the UnseenYou can listen to this sho…

1 hr 51 min

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Apr 7, 2019

Ep. 115: The Intellectual Foundations of Hindutva

The ideology of Hindutva dominates our political and cultural landscape today. How did it begin, and what is it precisely? Aakar Patel, author of the forthcoming book Our Hindu Rashtra, joins Amit Varma in episode 115 of The Seen and the Unseen to shed light on three important Hindutva thinkers.Also check out: *Hindutva – VD Savarkar *Bunch of Thoughts – MS Golwalkar *Integral Humanism – Deendayal Upadhyay *Ayodhya: The Dark Night – Dhirendra Jha and Krishna Jha *The Coffeehouse of Surat – Leo Tolstoy *Why I Write – Saadat Hasan Manto (translated by Aakar Patel) *The Story of Our Ancestors – Episode 112 of The Seen and the Unseen *The BJP’s Magic Formula – Episode 45 of The Seen and the UnseenYou can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios

1 hr 56 min

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Mar 31, 2019

Ep. 114: Crime in Indian Politics

Why is crime ubiquitous in Indian politics? Why is your neta also a dada? Political scientist Milan Vaishnav joins Amit Varma in episode 114 of The Seen and the Unseen to speak about the incentives in play that have brought us to this place.Also check out: *When Crime Pays -- Milan Vaishnav *The Grand Tamasha -- Milan Vaishnav's podcastYou can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios

1 hr 13 min

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Mar 24, 2019

Ep. 113: The Geopolitics of the Bangladesh War

The formation of Bangladesh was neither inevitable nor a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan. Historian Srinath Raghavan joins Amit Varma in episode 113 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe the geopolitical forces that shaped those events of 1971.Also check out: * 1971: A Global History of the Creation of Bangladesh -- Srinath Raghavan * The Blood Telegram -- Gary Bass * Uncle Sam in South Asia -- episode 93 of The Seen and the Unseen, with Srinath Raghavan * Understanding the India-Pakistan Conflict - episode 111 of The Seen and the Unseen, with Srinath Raghavan * The formation of the Mujibnagar interim government * Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's speech at the UNYou can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios

2 hr 11 min

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Mar 17, 2019

Ep. 112: Early Indians

Who were the first Indians? Where did the Harappans go? Who were the Aryans? Whose descendants are we? Tony Joseph joins Amit Varma in episode 112 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe how massive scientific advances in the last few years have given us answers to these questions.Also check out:Early Indians -- Tony JosephWho We Are and How We Got Here -- David ReichYou can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios

1 hr 34 min

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Mar 10, 2019

Ep. 111: The India-Pakistan Conflict

What are the hidden dynamics of the India-Pakistan conflict? What are the possible ways of resolving it? Historian and foreign policy analyst Srinath Raghavan joins Amit Varma in episode 111 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the game theory and geopolitics of this messy situation.Also check out: * Srinath Raghavan's books on Amazon * Unlike Vajpayee & Manmohan, PM Modi thinks prudence in conflict is a self-imposed fetter -- Srinath Raghavan * Uncle Sam in South Asia -- ep 93 of The Seen and the Unseen * Strategy: A History -- Lawrence Freedman * Not War, Not Peace -- George Perkovich and Toby Dalton * Images of Terror -- Philip Jenkins * Posturing For Peace -- Vipin Narang * To Escalate or Not? This is Modi's Zugzwang Moment -- Amit Varma

1 hr 54 min

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Mar 3, 2019

Ep. 110: Reporting Venezuela

Venezuela is a country blessed by nature but cursed by politics. Journalist Alexandra Ulmer joins Amit Varma in episode 110 of The Seen and the Unseen to share her insights from her years as a reporter there.Also check out: - Alexandra Ulmer's homepage *Alexandra Ulmer for Reuters *Crude Nation: How Oil Riches Ruined Venezuela -- Raúl Gallegos *Hugo Chávez: The Definitive Biography -- Cristina Marcano & Alberto Barrera Tyszka *Comandante: Inside Hugo Chavez's Venezuela -- Rory Carroll *Hell of a Fiesta -- Enrique Krauze. non-gated version here *How to End Venezuela’s Nightmare -- Ricardo HausmannYou can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios

1 hr 4 min

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Feb 24, 2019

Ep. 109: Plato (or Why Philosophy Matters)

Should we care about philosophy in these modern times? Philosopher Rebecca Goldstein joins Amit Varma in episode 109 of The Seen and the Unseen to argue that we should -- and Plato's Dialogues illustrate why.Also check out:Plato at the Googleplex -- Rebecca GoldsteinYou can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios

1 hr 2 min

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Feb 17, 2019

Ep. 108: The Importance of Cities

India is rapidly urbanizing – and the Indian state seems to be in denial about it. Reuben Abraham and Pritika Hingorani join Amit Varma in episode 108 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss what India needs to do to prepare for its urban future.Also check out:India’s a Land of Cities, Not Villages -- Reuben Abraham and Pritika HingoraniHow cities, not states, can solve the world's biggest problems -- Robert Muggah and Reuben AbrahamReclaim the Sky -- Episode 11 of The Seen and the Unseen, on FSIWhy Are Our Cities So Messed Up? -- Episode 31 of The Seen and the Unseen, on Urban GovernanceThe Gateway to Our Cities -- Episode 21 of The Seen and the Unseen, on SlumsThe World is Getting Better -- Episode 101 of The Seen and the Unseen, on Human ProgressOrder Without Design -- Alain BertaudTriumph of the City -- Edward GlaeserYoung Rural Women in India Chase Big-City Dreams -- Ellen BarryYou can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM…

1 hr 10 min

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Feb 10, 2019

Ep. 107: An Economics Ramble

Host Amit Varma is joined by Vivek Kaul and Kumar Anand in episode 107 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about the economic landscape of the day. Subjects discussed include the interim budget, the minimum income guarantee, the jobs crisis and how good politics leads to bad economics.Also check out:-Here Is Why the Indian Voter Is Saddled With Bad Economics -- Amit Varma-Politics = Bribery -- Amit Varma and Kumar Anand-Show us the money: Will Rahul Gandhi’s MIG-19 fly? -- Vivek KaulBudget or Fudget?: Read This and Decide -- Vivek Kaul-India budget: Will India buy Narendra Modi's story of hope again? -- Vivek Kaul-The Indian State Is the Greatest Enemy of the Indian Farmer -- Amit Varma-The Business of Doing Business -- Reshu Natani and Kumar Anand-DeMon, Morality and the Predatory Indian State -- ep 85 of The Seen and the Unseen-Rajesh Jain's Journey to Dhan Vapasi -- ep 94 of The Seen and the Unseen-The State of Our Farmers -- ep 86 of The Seen and the Unseen…

1 hr 7 min

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Feb 3, 2019

Ep. 106: Stubborn Attachments

In his latest book, Stubborn Attachments, Tyler Cower lays out a moral vision for the future. He joins Amit Varma in episode 106 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain why future lives matter as much as present ones, and why our priorities should be centered around sustainable economic growth constrained by negative rights.Also check out:Stubborn Attachments by Tyler Cowen. Marginal Revolution. The Marginal Revolution University Reasons and Persons by Derek Parfit. The Odyssey by Homer, translated by Emily WilsonYou can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios

45 min

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Jan 27, 2019

Ep. 105: Understanding Gandhi. Part 2: Mahatma

In the second of a two-part series, historian Ramachandra Guha joins Amit Varma in episode 105 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about Mohandas Gandhi's transformation into Mahatma Gandhi -- and how that changed the world. Among the subjects discussed: caste, misogyny and Gandhi's personal obsessionsAlso check out: Ramachandra Guha's books on Gandhi, Gandhi Before India and Gandhi: The Years That Changed the World.You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the new and improved IVM Podcast App on Android: https://ivm.today/android or iOS: https://ivm.today/ios

1 hr 22 min

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Jan 20, 2019

Ep. 104: Understanding Gandhi. Part 1: Mohandas

Mahatma Gandhi is one of the most fascinating characters in history: complex, misunderstood, deeply impactful. Ramachandra Guha, author of two acclaimed biographies of the man, joins Amit Varma in episode 104 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the first 45 years of Gandhi's life, before he returned to India to catalyse the Indian freedom struggle.Do check out: Ramachandra Guha's books on Gandhi, Gandhi Before India and Gandhi: The Years That Changed the World .You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com

1 hr 29 min

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Jan 13, 2019

Ep. 103: The Emergency

The Emergency of 1975 was not an aberration, but was written into the DNA of the Indian state. Historian Gyan Prakash joins Amit Varma in episode 103 of The Seen and the Unseen to shed light on why the framers of the constitution gave such draconian powers to the state -- and why we may not have become so free in 1947 after all.Also read: *Emergency Chronicles by Gyan Prakash on Amazon. *Shruti Rajagopalan on our constantly changing constitution. (Aug 2015) *The Evil of Family Planning (Dec 2014) -- Amit Varma *Lessons From 1975 (Sep 2015) -- Amit VarmaYou can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com

1 hr 15 min

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Jan 6, 2019

Ep. 102: The Paradox of Narendra Modi

Shashi Tharoor, author of The Paradoxical Prime Minister, joins Amit Varma in episode 102 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about the many faces of Narendra Modi, as well as the nature of politics, the idea of India and his own journey as a politician.Also read:The Paradoxical Prime Minister on Amazon, as well as Shashi Tharoor's other books. The Facts Do Not Matter -- Amit Varma No Free Trade For Horses -- Ep 13 of The Seen and the Unseen, on the Anti-Defection Law.You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com

1 hr 13 min

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Dec 30, 2018

Ep. 101: The Progress of Humanity

We tend to take progress for granted, and are wired to focus on bad news instead of good. Steven Pinker joins Amit Varma in episode 101 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about why the world is getting better, and why Enlightenment values are essential for ensuring that the trend continuesAlso check out:Enlightenment Now and The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker. It is Daft to Worry About Inequality --Amit VarmaYou can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com

48 min

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Dec 23, 2018

Ep. 100: The 100th Episode Ramble

The Seen and the Unseen reaches 100 episodes! Yea! Economist Shruti Rajagopalan, the most frequent guest on the show, joins host Amit Varma as they shoot the breeze about the 99 episodes before this, the horrors of 2018, and the further horrors of 2019.Also check out:These past episodes with Gunvant Patil, Vikram Doctor, Harsha Bhogle, Gideon Haigh+Prem Panicker, Rajesh Jain, Vishwanath S, Parth Shah, Amit Chandra, Alex Tabarrok, Naveen Noronha, Kumar Anand, Vivek Kaul, Ashok Malik, Nikita+Supriya (on #MeToo), Devika+Nidhi+Hamsini and Matt Ridley.And also with Shruti on the Right to Property, DeMon, GST, #MeToo and Caste.And ah, The Matunga Racket.You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com

1 hr 42 min

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Dec 16, 2018

Ep. 99: The Importance of Rules and Institutions

A democracy is not merely about voting. Those who are voted into power need to be kept in check, and Rules and Institutions are essential for this. Foreign policy analyst Ameya Naik joins Amit Varma in episode 99 of The Seen and the Unseen to elaborate -- and to explain the danger that Donald Trump poses.Also check out: *Why Both Modi and Trump are Textbook Populists - Amit Varma *Ek Baar Jo Maine Commitment Kar Di - Amit Varma *Trade Deficits (and Trumpism) - Episode 73 of The Seen and the Unseen *Immigration and Outsourcing - Episode 69 of The Seen and the UnseenYou can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com

1 hr 36 min

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Dec 9, 2018

Ep. 98: The Deccan Before Shivaji

When people think of the Deccan, they think Shivaji vs Mughals. But the history of the Deccan is far richer than that -- and far racier. It's full of lust and laughter, murder and madness, sex and senselessness. Historian Manu S Pillai joins Amit Varma in episode 98 of The Seen and the Unseen to tell that fascinating story.Also check out: Manu S Pillai's book Rebel Sultans, on Amazon and on JuggernautThe Indianness of Indian Food -- ep 95 of The Seen and the UnseenYou can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com

1 hr 47 min

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Dec 2, 2018

Ep. 97: The Evolution of Cricket

In his three-decade career covering cricket, Harsha Bhogle has had an inside view on the transformation of the game. He joins Amit Varma in episode 97 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about how cricket has changed – and why it gives him hope. You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.comAlso check out: How Money Changed Cricket -- Ep 41 of The Seen and the Unseen Opportunity, Choice and the IPL (2008) -- Amit Varma The Tamasha All Purists Should Love -- Amit Varma Purists, keep quiet. Cricket is changing, not dying -- Amit Varma Test Cricket Is Dying, but Cricket Is Not -- Amit Varma

1 hr 15 min

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Nov 25, 2018

Ep. 96: The Evolution of Everything

The world evolves in a bottom-up way, despite the top-down beliefs of those who have blind faith in either God or Government. Matt Ridley joins Amit Varma in episode 96 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe the evolution of the universe, life, culture, language, cities, the economy, our minds, our future and more.Also check out: The Evolution of Everything -- Matt Ridley Other books by Matt Ridley: The Rational Optimist,Genome,The Origins of Virtue Matt Ridley's Homepage What Does It Mean to Be Libertarian? -- Ep 64 of The Seen and the Unseen The Fraud of Indian Education -- Ep 77 of The Seen and the Unseen The Profit Motive in Education -- Ep 9 of The Seen and the Unseen

1 hr 16 min

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Nov 18, 2018

Ep. 95: The Indianness of Indian Food

What does it mean when we say that something is 'Indian'? Does origin matter? Food writer Vikram Doctor joins Amit Varma in episode 95 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about how most of what we think of as Indian food originated elsewhere -- and it doesn't matter.Also check out The Real Food Podcast on Audiomatic

1 hr 8 min

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Nov 11, 2018

Ep. 94: Rajesh Jain and Dhan Vapasi

Rajesh Jain was one of the architects of Narendra Modi's win in 2014 -- and then got buyer's remorse and turned against the BJP. Now, he has launched Dhan Vapasi, an insanely ambitious and innovative attempt at disrupting Indian politics. He joins Amit Varma in episode 94 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain where he's coming from. Note: The first half of the show is about Jain's political journey before this: supporting Modi, changing his mind etc. The conversation about Dhan Vapasi starts at 1:03:25.Also check out: The Dhan Vapasi website The Dhan Vapasi Manifesto The Dhan Vapasi Bill Rajesh Jain's websiteDeMon, Morality and the Predatory Indian State-- Episode 85 of The Seen and the Unseen (on Demonetisation) Why Are Our Cities So Messed Up?-- Episode 31 of The Seen and the Unseen (on Urban Governance) The State of Our Farmers -- Episode 86 of The Seen and the Unseen (on Agriculture) Reclaim the Sky -- Episode 11 of The Seen and the Unseen (on FSI) Shruti Rajagopalan's…

2 hr 3 min

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Nov 4, 2018

Ep. 93: America in South Asia

For over 200 years, America has been interested in South Asia across three separate axes: power, ideology and culture. Historian Srinath Raghavan joins Amit Varma in episode 93 of The Seen and the Unseen to provide a guided tour of this fascinating history.Also read: The Most Dangerous Place: A History of the United States in South Asia.

1 hr 37 min

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Oct 28, 2018

Ep. 92: An Economist Looks at #MeToo

Will the #MeToo movement change behaviour by changing incentives? Economist Shruti Rajagopalan joins Amit Varma in episode 92 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about Criminal Economics in the context of crimes on women in India.Also check out: Changing the Costs for the Rational Sexual Predator: Shruti Rajagopalan in Mint Men Must Step Up Now: Amit Varma's ediotrial in Pragati The Importance of #MeToo: Episode 90 of The Seen and the Unseen Metrics of Empowerment: Episode 88 of The Seen and the Unseen Fixing Our Judicial System: Episode 62 of The Seen and the Unseen

1 hr 20 min

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Oct 21, 2018

Ep. 91: IL&FS and the Indian Financial System

The crisis at IL&FS reveals just how rotten India's financial system is. Vivek Kaul and Ashutosh Datar join Amit Varma in episode 91 of The Seen and the Unseen to demystify the problem. Also check out: DeMon, Morality & the Predatory Indian State -- Episode 85 of The Seen and the Unseen The DNA of the NPA -- Episode 32 of The Seen and the Unseen It's Time to Stop Buying LIC Policies -- Vivek Kaul LIC Should Not Rescue IL&FS -- Vivek Kaul Slay This Indian Hydra -- Andy Mukherjee How IL&FS Was Enriching Itself at Public Cost -- Sucheta Dalal IL&FS: The debt pyramid -- Samar Srivastava

1 hr 10 min

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Oct 14, 2018

Ep. 90: The #MeToo Movement

#MeToo is the most important cultural moment of our lifetimes. Supriya Nair and Nikita Saxena join Amit Varma in episode 90 of The Seen and the Unseen to share their insights.Also check out:Hostile Climate: Nikita Saxena (Feature on RK Pachauri) #MeToo is anarchic, and that’s a good thing: Supriya Nair Metrics of Empowerment: Episode 88 of The Seen and the Unseen Claiming Your Space: Episode 76 of The Seen and the Unseen One Bad Law Goes, but Women Remain Second Class Citizens: Amit Varma I am a Feminist. You should be too: Amit Varma

1 hr 16 min

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Oct 7, 2018

Ep. 89: The State of the Media 2

Are journalists redundant in a world where no one cares about facts any more? Are we to cater to people's imagined realities? And when money and power come together, how are Independent journalists to resist? Sidharth Bhatia of The Wire and Peter Griffin of The Hindu join Amit Varma in episode 89 of The Seen and the Unseen.Also check out: The State of the Media: Episode 46 of The Seen and the Unseen, with Prem Panicker The Facts Do Not Matter -- Amit Varma

1 hr 4 min

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Sep 30, 2018

Ep. 88: Metrics of Empowerment

The lives of women in India must be gradually getting better, right? How do we measure this? Devika Kher, Nidhi Gupta and Hamsini Hariharan join Amit Varma in episode 88 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss a range of possible metrics. Also check out: Where Are the Jobs? -- Episode 87 of The Seen and the Unseen, with Yazad Jal Claiming Your Space -- Episode 76 of The Seen and the Unseen, with Aditi Mittal & Swati Bakshi Take Cities to the Women -- Devika Kher Frailty, Thy Name is Public Policy -- Devika Kher We Should Celebrate Rising Divorce Rates -- Amit Varma Misogyny is the Oldest Indian Tradition -- Amit Varma Namita Bhandare’s series on IndiaSpend

1 hr 28 min

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Sep 24, 2018

Ep. 87: Where Are the Jobs?

India has entered a massive jobs crisis, with more than a million people coming into the workforce every month -- and not enough jobs. Will our Demographic Dividend be a Demographic Disaster? Yazad Jal of the 20 Million Jobs project joins Amit Varma in episode 87 of The Seen and the Unseen to give insight on the scale of the problem.Also check out: The Jobscape -- Yazad Jal 20 Million Jobs: Episode 48 of The Pragati Podcast The Coming Jobs Crisis: Episode 20 of The Seen and the Unseen Namita Bhandare's series on IndiaSpend Why India has a Jobs Crisis -- Vivek Kaul The Agricultural Crisis is a Jobs Crisis -- Nitin Pai But What About the Jobs Crisis? -- Anupam Manur

57 min

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Sep 16, 2018

Ep. 86: The State of Our Farmers

India's agricultural crisis has been caused by the state. Farmer leader Gunvant Patil of the Shetkari Sanghatana joins Amit Varma in episode 86 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain the many ways in which Big Government has created our agricultural crisis.Also see:'We Must Save Our Farmers' -- Amit Varma 'Free the Farmers' -- Barun Mitra 'The Crisis in Indian Agriculture' -- Brainstorm discussion on Pragati 'Entry and Exit in Agriculture' -- Episode 1 of The Seen and the Unseen 'The Farmer Rolls the Dice' -- Episode 12 of The Seen and the Unseen 'The Unseen Effects of Farm Loan Waivers' -- Episode 25 of The Seen and the Unseen Down to Earth -- The collected writings of Sharad Joshi

1 hr 8 min

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Sep 9, 2018

Ep. 85: DeMon, Morality and the Predatory Indian State

Episode 85 of The Seen and the Unseen is about Demonetisation -- and a lot else. First, host Amit Varma launches into an angry monologue about how economic benefits can never justify moral costs. Then he is joined by economist Shruti Rajagopalan, who elaborates on all the things wrong with DeMon. They discuss the predatory Indian state, how Indians are forced into jugaad to cope with it, and that this jugaad might seem to be a good thing, but represents the enormous cost that all of us pay.**Also see**:1. Most of Amit Varma's writing on DeMon, collected in one Twitter thread 2. 'Narendra Modi Takes a Great Leap Backwards' -- Amit Varma 3.'The Landscape of Freedom in India' -- Amit Varma 4.'The Humanitarian Cost Trumps Any Economic Argument' -- Amit Varma 5. 'What the RBI data on demonetization tells us' -- Shruti Rajagopalan 6. 'Demonetisation and Welfare' -- Shruti Rajagopalan and Larry White 7. 'Formalization of the economy is a form of coercion' -- Shruti Rajagopalan 8…

1 hr 13 min

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Sep 2, 2018

Ep. 84: Being Gay in India

What is it like to grow up gay in a deeply homophobic country? Writer and stand-up comedian Navin Noronha joins Amit Varma in ep 84 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about his experience of growing up gay in Bhayandar, and his insights from his podcast, Keeping it Queer.Also check out Keeping it Queer -- Navin Noronha's podcast How I Met My Daddy -- Navin Noronha The Matunga Racket -- Amit VarmaYou can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5 You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com/

1 hr 9 min

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Aug 26, 2018

Ep. 83: Young India

India is a young country, and young Indians today are entitled and angry. Snigdha Poonam joins Amit Varma in episode 83 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the turmoil in small-town India.Also read: Snigdha's book, Dreamers: How Indians are Changing the WorldYou can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5 You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com/

1 hr 25 min

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Aug 19, 2018

Ep. 82: Swachh Bharat

The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is short-sighted, and does not achieve its purpose. Why? What can we do? Economist Shruti Rajagopalan joins Amit Varma in episode 82 of The Seen and the Unseen to break it all down.Also read India needs sewage systems, not free toilets -- Shruti Rajagopalan That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen -- Frédéric Bastiat The Use of Knowledge in Society -- Friedrich Hayek Public Choice: Politics Without Romance -- James Buchanan Where India Goes -- Diane Coffey and Dean Spears Why Are Our Cities So Messed Up -- ep 31 of The Seen and the Unseen How We Messed Up Our Caste Problem -- ep 52 of The Seen and the Unseen

1 hr 6 min

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Aug 12, 2018

Ep. 81: Chinese Foreign Policy

How does China see its place in the world? What are its foreign policy objectives? Should India be worried? China expert Manoj Kewalramani(https://twitter.com/theChinaDude) joins Amit Varma(https://twitter.com/amitvarma) in episode 81 of The Seen and the Unseen.Also check out: Eye on China(https://www.thinkpragati.com/category/world/china/): Manoj Kewalramani's weekly column in Pragati. Inside Xi's China(http://takshashila.org.in/special-courses/): Takshashila's online course, conducted by Manoj. Understanding Foreign Policy(https://www.thinkpragati.com/podcast/the-seen-and-the-unseen/4104/understanding-foreign-policy/): Episode 63 of The Seen and the Unseen.You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5 You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com/

1 hr 2 min

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Aug 5, 2018

Ep. 80: India in the Nuclear Age

India as a nuclear power is a different force from what it was before we went nuclear. Lt Gen Prakash Menon joins Amit Varma(https://twitter.com/amitvarma) in episode 80 of The Seen and the Unseen to describe how War and Statecraft have been redefined by nuclear weapons.Also read: Lt Gen Menon's book, The Strategy Trap: India and Pakistan Under the Nuclear Shadow(https://www.amazon.in/Strategy-Trap-Pakistan-Nuclear-Shadow/dp/8183285244/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1533201671&sr=1-1&keywords=prakash+menon)You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5 You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com/

1 hr 6 min

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Jul 29, 2018

Ep. 79: Democracy in Pakistan

Is there really democracy in Pakistan? What were these elections all about? Pranay Kotasthane(https://twitter.com/pranaykotas) and Hamsini Hariharan(https://twitter.com/HamsiniH) join Amit Varma(https://twitter.com/amitvarma) in episode 79 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the two Pakistans, and what lies ahead. You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com/

41 min

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Jul 22, 2018

Ep. 78: Crowd Violence in India

More and more, across this country, violent crowds are taking the law into their own hands. What's going on? Legal experts Madhav Chandavarkar and Alok Prasanna Kumar share their insights with Amit Varma in episode 78 of The Seen and the Unseen. We Don't Need Another Law (https://express.thinkpragati.com/2018/07/18/why-dont-need-another-law/)-- Amit VarmaYou can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com/

1 hr 5 min

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Jul 15, 2018

Ep. 77: Education in India

According to education scholar and activist Amit Chandra, education in India is a fraud committed on the people of this country by the state. He joins Amit Varma in episode 77 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain why.Also check out: The Profit Motive in Education: Episode 9 of The Seen and the Unseen (http://www.seenunseen.in/episodes/2017/3/13/episode-9-the-profit-motive-in-education)The Right to Screw up Education: Episode 19 of The Seen and the Unseen (https://www.thinkpragati.com/podcast/the-seen-and-the-unseen/1462/right-screw-education/)Data on School Closures (http://nisaindia.org/data-on-school-closures)Our Unlucky Children -- Amit Varma (Jan 2008)(http://indiauncut.com/iublog/article/our-unlucky-children/)Annual Status of Education (ASER) Report 2017 (http://www.asercentre.org/Keywords/p/315.html)The Aggregate Effect of School Choice -- Karthik Muralidharan & Venkatesh Sundararaman (https://academic.oup.com/qje/article/130/3/1011/1931887)A political economy…

1 hr 12 min

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Jul 7, 2018

Ep. 76: Claiming Your Space

Misogyny is ubiquitous. Women begin life with the odds stacked against them. Aditi Mittal joins Amit Varma in episode 76 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss how hard it was for her to claim her space. Guest appearance: Swati Bakshi.Also read: Misogyny is the Oldest Indian Tradition-Amit Varma (http://indiauncut.com/iublog/article/misogyny-is-the-oldest-indian-tradition/)You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com/

1 hr

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Jul 1, 2018

Ep. 75: Stand-Up Comedy in India

"Comedy is tragedy plus time." Aditi Mittal joins Amit Varma to elaborate on this in Episode 75 of The Seen and the Unseen. Abbas Momin sits in as well, as the conversation spins from the evolution of stand-up in India to the challenges it faces.You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com

1 hr 12 min

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Jun 24, 2018

Ep. 74: The Bad and Complex Tax

GST was supposed to be a Good and Simple Tax, but has ended up as just the opposite. This is hurting the poor the most. Economist Shruti Rajagopalan joins Amit Varma in episode 74 of The Seen and the Unseen to suggest a way out.Also check out: -Simple Rules for a Complex World (https://www.livemint.com/Opinion/fStxh8vE5vQCW7V1hq1hOK/Simple-rules-for-a-complex-world-GST-classification.html) - Shruti Rajagopalan-GST -- Episode 3 of The Seen and the Unseen with Devangshu Datta(http://www.seenunseen.in/episodes/2017/1/31/episode-3-gst)-GST Revisited (https://www.thinkpragati.com/podcast/the-seen-and-the-unseen/1847/kitkat-chocolate-biscuit/)You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com/

58 min

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Jun 17, 2018

Ep. 73: Trade Deficits (and Trumpism)

The US has a trade deficit with China. Trump is worried. Trump is nuts. Vivek Kaul explains why to Amit Varma in episode 73 of The Seen and the Unseen.You can listen to the episode on 'Protectionism with Anupam Manur here: https://bit.ly/2JEXu1JYou can listen to the 'Easy Money' episode with Vivek Kaul here: https://bit.ly/2yfeS7XYou can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com/

1 hr 6 min

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Jun 10, 2018

Ep. 72: The GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has just been passed in Europe. What are its Unseen Effects? What can India learn from it? Legal expert Manasa Venkataraman joins Amit Varma in episode 72 of The Seen and the Unseen to demystify this subject.You can listen to this show and other awesome shows on the IVM Podcast App on Android: https://goo.gl/tGYdU1 or iOS: https://goo.gl/sZSTU5You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com/

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