Ep. 112: Early Indians

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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 Joseph

Who We Are and How We Got Here -- David Reich

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

Ep. 111: The India-Pakistan Conflict

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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:

Ep. 110: Reporting Venezuela

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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 

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

Ep. 109: Plato (or Why Philosophy Matters)

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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 Goldstein

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

Ep. 108: The Importance of Cities

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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 Hingorani

How cities, not states, can solve the world's biggest problems -- Robert Muggah and Reuben Abraham

Reclaim the Sky  -- Episode 11 of The Seen and the Unseen, on FSI

Why Are Our Cities So Messed Up?  -- Episode 31 of The Seen and the Unseen, on Urban Governance

The Gateway to Our Cities  -- Episode 21 of The Seen and the Unseen, on Slums

The World is Getting Better  -- Episode 101 of The Seen and the Unseen, on Human Progress

Order Without Design  -- Alain Bertaud

Triumph of the City  -- Edward Glaeser

Young Rural Women in India Chase Big-City Dreams -- Ellen Barry

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

Ep. 107: An Economics Ramble

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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 Kaul

Budget 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

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

Ep. 106: Stubborn Attachments

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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 Wilson

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

Ep. 105: Understanding Gandhi. Part 2: Mahatma

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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 obsessions

Also 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

Ep. 104: Understanding Gandhi. Part 1: Mohandas

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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/sZSTU5

You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com

Ep. 103: The Emergency

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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:

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

Ep. 102: The Paradox of Narendra Modi

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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/sZSTU5

You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com

Ep. 101: The Progress of Humanity

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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 continues

Also check out:

Enlightenment Now and The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker.
It is Daft to Worry About Inequality --Amit Varma

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

Ep. 100: The 100th Episode Ramble

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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/sZSTU5

You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com

Ep. 99: The Importance of Rules and Institutions

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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:

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

Ep. 98: The Deccan Before Shivaji

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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 Juggernaut 

The Indianness of Indian Food  -- ep 95 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

Ep. 97: The Evolution of Cricket

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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/sZSTU5

You can check out our website at http://www.ivmpodcasts.com

Also 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

Ep. 96: The Evolution of Everything

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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

Ep. 95: The Indianness of Indian Food

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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

Ep. 94: Rajesh Jain and Dhan Vapasi

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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 website
DeMon, 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 talk on the many changes to our constitution

Ep. 93: America in South Asia

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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.