Grand Tamasha
Grand Tamasha
Oct 6, 2020
Paul Staniland on the Surprising Decline in Political Violence in South Asia
39 min

The political landscape of South Asia has changed dramatically in the last two decades. Insurgencies that were raging across the subcontinent in the 1990s and early 2000s have largely been contained and the heavy-hand of the state has enjoyed a remarkable resurgence. Why has this happened and what exactly does it mean for South Asia’s future?

To shed light on the surprising conflict dynamics in South Asia, this week Milan is joined by political scientist Paul Staniland, author of a recent Carnegie essay titled, “Political Violence in South Asia: The Triumph of the State?” Paul is an associate professor at the University of Chicago and nonresident scholar with the South Asia Program at Carnegie.

Milan and Paul discuss intra-state conflict trends in the region, the massive rise in India’s internal security forces, the precarious state of liberal democracy in South Asia, and what South Asia can tell us about political violence in America.

Episode notes:

  1. Paul Staniland, Adnan Naseemullah, and Ahsan Butt, “Pakistan’s Military Elite.”
  2. Paul Staniland, “Leftist Insurgencies in Democracies.”
  3. Paul Staniland, “4 Questions on India, Liberalism America, Etc.
  4. Paul Staniland, “Trends in Insurgency in South Asia.”
The Seen and the Unseen - hosted by Amit Varma
The Seen and the Unseen - hosted by Amit Varma
Amit Varma
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 The Seen and the Unseen (w Gideon Haigh & Prem Panicker). 12. The Evolution of Cricket -- Episode 97 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Harsha Bhogle). 13. Where Have All the Leaders Gone? -- Amit Varma. 14. Who Will Bell the Congress cat? -- Amit Varma. 15. Indian Cricket's Conflict-of-Interest Problem -- Mukul Kesavan. 16. The Sporting Spirit -- George Orwell. 17. Amit Varma on the IPL. 18. Of Gifted Voice -- Keshav Desiraju. 19. Yele Suhabashini -- TM Krishna. 20. S Gopalakrishnan (@gopalears) on Twitter. 21. The Lost World of Hindustani Music -- Kumar Prasad Mukherji. 22. Raga'n Josh -- Sheila Dhar. This episode is sponsored by The Great Courses Plus. Check out their course, Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills. Click here for free unlimited access for a month. You can now buy Seen/Unseen swag. Registrations are now open for Amit’s online courses, The Art of Clear Writing and The Art of Podcasting.
2 hr 16 min
The Pragati Podcast
The Pragati Podcast
IVM Podcasts
Ep. 155: The Nobel Pursuit of Science
Professor Gautam Menon talks to host Pavan Srinath about the Nobel Prize, what they mean for scientists, and how they shape science. In episode 155 of The Pragati Podcast, Gautam and Pavan discuss the outsized role that the Nobel Prize plays in being an aspirational goal for young scientists, how they create role models, the work, and the people who win the awards, and the dynamics at play. Gautam I Menon (@MenonBioPhysics) is a Professor of Physics and Biology at Ashoka University. Prior to joining Ashoka, he was a Professor with the Theoretical Physics and Computational Biology groups at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, where he was the founding Dean of the Computational Biology group. He works on biophysical problems and the modeling of infectious diseases. He is an initiating member of the Indian Scientists' Response to COVID-19 (ISRC). Before working on biological problems, he worked in the broad fields of statistical physics and soft condensed matter physics. Visit for detailed episode notes and links to the Nobel winners and research who are discussed in the episode. For all queries and feedback, email us at or reach out to host Pavan Srinath at @zeusisdead on Twitter: Follow The Pragati Podcast on Instagram: & Twitter: & Facebook: The Pragati Podcast is made possible thanks to the support of The Takshashila Institution and the Independent Public-Spirited Media Foundation (IPSMF).
59 min
The Big Story
The Big Story
The Quint
585: Hyderabad Civic Polls: What at Stake for The BJP and TRS?
Greater Hyderabad is going for civic polls on 1 December and the BJP is leaving no stone unturned to gain some ground. From deploying political heavyweights like Union Ministers Amit Shah, Smriti Irani, UP CM Yogi Adityanath to raising the communal rhetoric — the party seems to be fighting this election tooth and nail. While the BJP has promised to free Hyderabad from the "Nawab Nizam culture" and rechristen the state to "Bhagyanagar", Chief Minister KCR is feeling the heat of this high-octane campaign in his own turf and has been compelled to give it as much importance as the BJP is giving. In his rallies, KCR urged people to not get influenced by what he describes as "outsider politicians" and “to save Hyderabad from divisive forces”. But why is the BJP stressing so much on the municipal elections — what is the game plan here? And what it at stake for the TRS? Tune in! Producer and Host: Shorbori Purkayastha Guests: Aditya Menon, Political Editor, The Quint Sriram Karri, Resident Editor of Deccan Chronicle Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz Listen to The Big Story podcast on: Apple: ( Saavn: ( Google Podcasts: ( Spotify: ( Deezer: (
16 min
NL Hafta
NL Hafta
Hafta 304: Cyclone Nivar, farmer protests, and ‘love jihad’ laws
Timecodes 4:14 - Headlines 7:51 - Cyclone Nivar hits Chennai and Puducherry 14:43 - Kerala withdraws Police Act amendment 28:57 - Farmer protests 44:05 - Jallikattu goes to the Oscars 47:24 - UP brings ‘love jihad’ ordinance 1:12:15 - ED summons Shiv Sena MLA 1:16:57 - Subscriber mail 1:27:47 - Sushil Modi accuses Lalu Prasad Yadav of running political show from behind bars 1:32:23 - Recommendations This week on NL Hafta, it is an all-Newslaundry panel of Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, Raman Kirpal, Jayashree Arunachalam, and Anand Vardhan. The discussion opens with Jayashree talking about the Tamil Nadu government’s response to Cyclone Nivar. Comparing it with the handling of the 2015 Chennai floods, she says, “The government response, clearly learning its lessons from the past, has been great. As early as November 23, they had gotten in place national disaster relief forces...relief camps were set up, and the communication from the government has been extremely clear. This was one of their huge failures during the Chennai floods.” Speaking about the Kerala government withdrawing the controversial Kerala Police Act amendment that sought to punish anyone who posted social media content “with an intention to intimidate, insult or defame any person”, Abhinandan says, “This is what separates the political left in India from the political right. I know for a fact that several spokespersons of the left parties refused to come on news panels defending this...and because of the backlash they withdrew it whereas the political right in India don’t give a fuck. You can keep jumping, but if Modi has given the nod everybody will fall in line and say it’s a great idea!” Responding to Abhinandan, Anand says, “No, in universities and academia, the political left is as intolerant as the political right. I think it has to do with their disciplinarian, cadre-based organizations. You have more to lose in a cadre-based organization if you go against the line.” Talking about the ongoing farmer protests, Raman says, “I am all for this protest. Of course, protest is an integral part of democracy and it should happen but you should see the protest that happened around Delhi, there was so much hooliganism.” Manisha concurs, “Yeah, that has to be stopped. I mean the Jat protests were famously known for complete vandalism, looting and even molestation.” The panel also discuss the “love jihad” ordinance passed by the Uttar Pradesh government and the Indian judiciary’s handling of “forcible conversions” cases.  Tune in! Recommendations  Manisha Yeh Shaadi Nahi Ho Sakti Right-Wing Social Media Finalizes Its Divorce From Reality Jayashree Remember This Much. The Sea Will Eat You   Rivers Remember Raman Two deaths, no FIR: How UP’s criminal justice system failed Pappi Devi and her baby Anand Commonwealth of Cricket It’s dishonest to deny the realities of Lalu’s misrule and lawlessness. Here’s why Abhinandan All Your Genes Are Belong To Us Diego Maradona See for privacy and opt-out information.
1 hr 45 min
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