Ep. 142: Ponzi Schemes

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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:

  1. Real Estate Prices: Episode 30 of The Seen and the Unseen

  2. The Anti-Defection Law: Episode 13 of The Seen and the Unseen

  3. 12 Dream Reforms: Episode 138 of The Seen and the Unseen

  4. Ponzi's Scheme -- Mitchell Zuckoff

  5. Anatomy of a Ponzi Scheme -- Colleen Cross

  6. Irrational Exuberance -- Robert Shiller

  7. Narrative Economics -- Robert Shiller

  8. Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds -- Charles Mackay

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. 141: Being Gay, Loving Books

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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:

  1. So Now You Know -- Vivek Tejuja

  2. Being Gay in India -- Episode 84 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Navin Noronha)

  3. Keeping it Queer

  4. The Matunga Racket -- Amit Varma

  5. Amit Varma's Twitter thread on 'The Lass of Aughrim' and The Dead

  6. Almost Invisible -- Mark Strand

  7. Sputnik Sweetheart -- Haruki Murakami

  8. The Elephant Vanishes -- Haruki Murakami

  9. The Bear Came Over the Mountain -- Alice Munro

  10. The Man Who Loved Children -- Christina Stead

  11. The Notebook -- Agota Kristof

  12. Jhumpa Lahiri on Conversations With Tyler

  13. Paper Menagerie -- Ken Liu

  14. A Poetry Handbook -- Mary Oliver

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. 138: Twelve Dream Reforms

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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:

  1. Population Is Not a Problem, but Our Greatest Strength -- Amit Varma.

  2. Alone in the City -- Amit Varma

  3. Where Are the Jobs? -- Ep 87 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Yazad Jal)

  4. Education in India -- Ep 77 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Amit Chandra)

  5. Urban Governance in India -- Ep 31 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan)

  6. The Bad and Complex Tax -- Ep 74 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan)

  7. GST Revisited -- Ep 28 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul)

  8. Early Indians -- Ep 112 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tony Joseph)

  9. Immigration -- Ep 4 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shikha Dalmia)

  10. Rent Control -- Ep 14 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Alex Tabarrok)

  11. FSI -- Ep 11 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Alex Tabarrok)

  12. Women at Work -- Ep 132 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Namita Bhandare)

  13. IL&FS and the Indian Financial System -- Ep 91 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul & Ashutosh Datar)

  14. The DNA of the NPA -- Ep 32 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul & Kumar Anand)

  15. Demystifying GDP -- Ep 130 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rajeswari Sengupta)

  16. India's Lost Decade -- Ep 116 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra)

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. 137: Indian Society: The Last 30 Years

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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 archives in 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 Varma

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 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. 132: Women at Work

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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:

  1. Namita Bhandare's homepage.

  2. Namita Bhandare in the Hindustan Times.

  3. Why Indian Workplaces Are Losing Women -- Namita Bhandare (The IndiaSpend series)

  4. Namita Bhandare at Sheroes.

  5. Metrics of Empowerment -- Episode 88 of The Seen and the Unseen

  6. The Importance of #MeToo -- Episode 90 of The Seen and the Unseen

  7. An Economist Looks at #MeToo -- Episode 92 of The Seen and the Unseen

  8. Frailty, Thy Name is Public Policy -- Devika Kher

  9. The Girl From Haryana (https://indiauncut.com/the-girl-from-haryana/) -- Amit Varma

  10. Men Must Step Up Now -- Amit Varma

This episode is powered by Storytel: https://www.storytel.com/in/en/
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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. 131: Political Ideology in India

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Political Ideology in India

Description: 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:

  1. Ideology and Identity -- Pradeep K Chhibber and Rahul Verma

  2. Religious Practice and Democracy in India -- Pradeep K Chhibber

  3. Religion and Ideology in Indian Society -- Episode 124 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Suyash Rai)

  4. Imagine No Possessions -- Episode 26 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan)

  5. 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 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. 130: Demystifying GDP

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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:

  1. Rajeswari Sengupta's writings.

  2. GDP – A Brief but Affectionate History -- Diane Coyle

  3. Gross Domestic Problem -- Lorenzo Fioramonti

  4. The Power of a Single Number -- Philipp Lepenies

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 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. 129: Budget. Bollywood. Badmaashi

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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:

  1. The Sholay Redux -- Vivek Kaul

  2. Easynomics: Why high-income tax hurts -- Vivek Kaul

  3. How ₹1.7 trillion has gone missing -- Vivek Kaul

  4. The State of Our Farmers -- Episode 86 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Gunvant Patil)

  5. DeMon, Morality and the Predatory Indian State -- Episode 85 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan)

  6. All Hail Public Choice Theory -- Episode 121 of The Seen and the Unseen

  7. India's Lost Decade -- Episode 116 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra)

  8. Economics in One Lesson -- Henry Hazlitt (free pdf link)

  9. The Law -- Frédéric Bastiat

  10. Marginal Revolution University 

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. 125: The Importance of Finance

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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:

  1. Why I Loved and Left Poker -- Amit Varma, from his poker column, Range Rover.

  2. Zombie Firms and Creative Destruction -- Episode 118 of The Seen and the Unseen.

  3. Futures Markets in Agriculture -- Episode 12 of The Seen and the Unseen.

  4. The Indian Financial Code

  5. Poker and Stock Markets -- Episode 47 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. 119: Modi's Lost Opportunity

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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:

  1. The Great Disappointment -- Salman Soz

  2. India's Lost Decade -- Ep 116 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Puja Mehra)

  3. DeMon, Morality and the Predatory Indian State -- Ep 85 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan)

  4. The Bad and Complex Tax -- ep 74 of The Seen and the Unseen ( w Shruti Rajagopalan)

  5. The Fraud of Indian Education -- ep 77 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Amit Chandra)

  6. The Importance of Cities -- ep 108 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Reuben Abraham & Pritika Hingorani)

  7. The State of Our Farmers -- ep 86 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Gunvant Patil)

  8. Beware of the Useful Idiots -- Amit Varma

  9. A Manifesto for Progress -- Amit Varma

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. 117: What is Libertarianism?

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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:

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. 116: India's Lost Decade

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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:

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. 115: The Intellectual Foundations of Hindutva

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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:

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. 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. 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. 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