All public policies -- indeed, all actions by humans -- have two kinds of effects: the effects that are intended, and visible; and unintended consequences, which are invisible. The Seen and the Unseen is a podcast that aims to examine both the seen and the unseen effects of our actions. Presented by Amit Varma (a journalist for a decade-and-a-half, and winner of the prestigious Bastiat Prize for journalism in 2007 and 2015 -- the only person to win it twice), the show takes on a specific public policy in every episode, and dissects its seen and unseen effects. For example: the ban on surge pricing by Uber in Delhi. What is seen is that Uber no longer costs so much; what is unseen is that you cannot get an Uber at all, because of the scarcity that is a direct result of the price control. The host explains the economic reasoning at work, and talks to an expert who breaks it down further. The host will have a panel of experts at his disposal, from a variety of disciplines, and will speak to a relevant expert in every episode. Subjects covered will range from broad ones like the state of education in India, to narrower ones like the banning of 'victimless crimes' like prostitution and gambling.
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 (with Mukul, 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). Also check out: 1. The Art of Translation -- Episode 168 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Arunava Sinha). 2. A Meditation on Form -- Amit Varma. 3. Range Rover -- The archives of Amit Varma's poker column for the Economic Times.
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 Slowdown': Arvind Subramanian interviewed by Prannoy Roy (2019). 9. Walk the Talk -- Arvind Subramanian interviewed by Shekhar Gupta (2016). 10. We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families -- Philip Gourevitch. 11. Fixing Indian Education -- Episode 185 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Karthik Muralidharan). 12. What Have We Done With Our Independence? -- Episode 186 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pratap Bhanu Mehta). 13. In Service of the Republic -- Vijay Kelkar and Ajay Shah. 14. The Art and Science of Economic Policy -- Episode 154 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vijay Kelkar & Ajay Shah). 15. The Lost Decade -- Puja Mehra. 16. India's Lost Decade -- Episode 116 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra). 17. Episode of The Seen and the Unseen on GST with Devangshu Datta, Vivek Kaul and Shruti Rajagopalan. 18. DeMon, Morality and the Predatory Indian State -- Episode 85 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan). 19. ‘Narendra Modi Takes a Great Leap Backwards’ -- Amit Varma. 20. Most of Amit Varma’s writing on DeMon, collected in one Twitter thread. 21. Restart: The Last Chance for the Indian Economy -- Mihir Sharma. 22. We Are Fighting Two Disasters: Covid-19 and the Indian State -- Amit Varma. 23. The State of Our Farmers -- Episode 86 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Gunvant Patil). 24. India's Agriculture Crisis -- Episode 140 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Barun Mitra and Kumar Anand). 25. We Must Save Our Farmers — Amit Varma. 26. The Indian State is the Greatest Enemy of the Indian Farmer — Amit Varma. 27. Demystifying GDP -- Episode 130 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rajeswari Sengupta). And do check out Amit's online writing course, The Art of Clear Writing. Registration for the September batches is now open.
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.
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 the Unseen (w Madhav Khosla). 13. The Facts Do Not Matter -- Amit Varma. 14. A Meditation on Form -- Amit Varma. 15. An Indian Political Life: Charan Singh and Congress Politics, 1937 to 1961 -- Paul R Brass. 16. Taking Stock of Our Republic -- Episode 157 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ram Guha). 17. Who Broke Our Republic? -- Episode 163 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Kapil Komireddi) 18. Participatory Democracy -- Episode 160 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Ashwin Mahesh.) 19. A Life in Indian Politics -- Episode 149 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Jayaprakash Narayan). 20. Kashmir and Article 370 -- Episode 134 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Srinath Raghavan). 21. The Citizenship Battles -- Episode 152 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Srinath Raghavan). 22. Indian Society: The Last 30 Years -- Episode 137 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Santosh Desai). 23. The Gita Press and Hindu Nationalism -- Episode 139 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Akshaya Mukul). 24. Political Ideology in India -- Episode 131 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rahul Verma). 25. Religion and Ideology in Indian Society -- Episode 124 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Suyash Rai). 26. The Intellectual Foundations of Hindutva -- Episode 115 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Aakar Patel). 27. Crime in Indian Politics -- Episode 114 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Milan Vaishnav). Do also check out Amit's writing course, The Art of Clear Writing, and subscribe to The India Uncut Newsletter.
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's profile of Karthik Muralidharan. 3. Reforming the Indian School Education System -- Karthik Muralidharan's chapter from What the Economy Needs Now. 4. The State and the Market in Education Provision -- Karthik Muralidharan. 5. Karthik Muralidharan interview by Pranav Kothari for EI Dialogues. 6. Charting a Course for the Indian Economy -- Karthik Muralidharan in conversation with Arvind Subramanian. 7. Karthik Muralidharan's archived research and articles. 8. Education in India -- Episode 77 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Amit Chandra). 9. The Profit Motive in Education -- Episode 9 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Parth Shah). 10. The Right to Education Act -- Episode 19 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul). 11. Our Unlucky Children (2008) -- Amit Varma. 12. Fund Schooling, Not Schools (2007) -- Amit Varma. 13. A Prize for Evidence-Based Policy -- Karthik Muralidharan. 14. Why Abhijit Banerjee Had to Go Abroad to Achieve Glory -- Amit Varma. 15. Poverty and Famines -- Amartya Sen. 16. India’s Problem is Poverty, Not Inequality -- Amit Varma. 17. On Inequality -- Harry Frankfurt. 18. A Theory of Justice -- John Rawls. 19. Anarchy, State and Utopia -- Robert Nozick. 20. Arguments for Liberty -- Aaron Ross Powell and Grant Babcock. 21. Saving Capitalism From the Capitalists -- Raghuram Rajan. 22. Out-Arnabing Arnab -- Episode 8 of Econ Central. 23. Parkinson's Law -- Cyril Northkote Parkinson. 24. Myths of Official Measurement -- Abhijeet Singh. 25. Centrally Sponsored Government Schemes -- Episode 17 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pranay Kotasthane). 26. The Aggregate Effect of School Choice -- Karthik Muralidharan and Venkatesh Sundararaman. 27. The Private Schooling Phenomenon in India: A Review -- Geeta G Kingdon. 28. Extending access to low-cost private schools through vouchers: an alternative interpretation -- James Tooley. Also, do check out Amit's writing course, The Art of Clear Writing.