Hafta 292: Meghalaya’s maternal and neonatal mortality crisis, Pranab Mukherjee, and India’s GDP


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On this week’s episode of NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande and Mehraj D Lone are joined by Patricia Mukhim, editor of Shillong Times.

Patricia opens the conversation by providing insight into Meghalaya’s maternal and neonatal mortality crisis. She speaks about her personal experiences in working to create awareness about contraception, reproductive rights, and family planning in rural parts of the state, and the “vicious cycle” of malnutrition that is one of the principal causes of this problem.

On the death of Pranab Mukherjee, the panelists reflect on their experiences of reporting on and about the former president. Abhinandan recalls being invited to Mukherjee’s garden for an interview, while Patricia describes him as “the only Delhi politician who really understood the Northeast”.

The panel then discusses last week’s pellet firing by policemen on a Muharram procession in Srinagar. Mehraj says, “Pellet guns are used for hunting. In Kashmir, they’re being used on people...That’s been the idea all along — to subjugate the population, to reduce them, to dehumanise them.” The conversation also spans the recent decision to end the 131-year-old status of Urdu as the sole official language in Jammu and Kashmir by adding four others, and why this move is facing opposition.

Also in this week’s edition of NL Hafta: Trump’s “shocking” speech in Kenosha, breaking down India’s GDP slump, the news media’s response to the economic fallout, and Facebook’s “interrogation” in Parliament.

All this and more, only on this week’s NL Hafta. Tune in!


00:00 - Introduction and Headlines

07:45 - Maternity and infant deaths in Meghalaya

21:55 - Power of media in Northeast India, its stand on the Citizenship Amendment Act

28:24 - Announcements and subscriber letters

40:27 - Pranab Mukherjee’s death and legacy

54:44:05 - Subscriber letters

01:02:14 - Domicile laws in Jammu and Kashmir, the Official Languages Bill 2020

01:10:43 - Subscriber letters

01:43:25 - India's GDP and how the media covered it

1:53:49 - Recommendations



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