Episode 86: The State of Our Farmers

India's agricultural crisis has been caused by the state. Farmer leader Gunvant Patil of the Shetkari Sanghatana joins Amit Varma in episode 86 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain the many ways in which Big Government has created our agricultural crisis. (Note: This episode is in Hindi.)

Also see:
'We Must Save Our Farmers' -- Amit Varma
'Free the Farmers' -- Barun Mitra
'The Crisis in Indian Agriculture' -- Brainstorm discussion on Pragati
'Entry and Exit in Agriculture' -- Episode 1 of The Seen and the Unseen
'The Farmer Rolls the Dice' -- Episode 12 of The Seen and the Unseen
'The Unseen Effects of Farm Loan Waivers' -- Episode 25 of The Seen and the Unseen
Down to Earth -- The collected writings of Sharad Joshi

Episode 85: DeMon, Morality and the Predatory Indian State

Episode 85 of The Seen and the Unseen is about Demonetisation -- and a lot else. First, host Amit Varma launches into an angry monologue about how economic benefits can never justify moral costs. Then he is joined by economist Shruti Rajagopalan, who elaborates on all the things wrong with DeMon. They discuss the predatory Indian state, how Indians are forced into jugaad to cope with it, and that this jugaad might seem to be a good thing, but represents the enormous cost that all of us pay.

Also see:
1. Most of Amit Varma's writing on DeMon, collected in one Twitter thread.
2. 'Narendra Modi Takes a Great Leap Backwards' -- Amit Varma
3. 'The Landscape of Freedom in India' -- Amit Varma
4. 'The Humanitarian Cost Trumps Any Economic Argument' -- Amit Varma
5. 'What the RBI data on demonetization tells us' -- Shruti Rajagopalan
6. 'Demonetisation and Welfare' -- Shruti Rajagopalan and Larry White
7. 'Formalization of the economy is a form of coercion' -- Shruti Rajagopalan
8. Episode 2 of The Seen and the Unseen, on Demonetisation, with Suyash Rai
9. Episode 18 of The Seen and the Unseen, on restaurant regulations, with Madhu Menon

Episode 84: Being Gay in India

What is it like to grow up gay in a deeply homophobic country? Writer and stand-up comedian Navin Noronha joins Amit Varma in ep 84 of The Seen and the Unseen to talk about his experience growing up gay in Bhayandar, and his insights from his podcast, Keeping it Queer.

Also check out
Keeping it Queer -- Navin Noronha's podcast
How I Met My Daddy -- Navin Noronha
The Matunga Racket -- Amit Varma

Episode 82: Swachh Bharat

The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is short-sighted, and does not achieve its purpose. Why? What can we do? Economist Shruti Rajagopalan joins Amit Varma in episode 82 of The Seen and the Unseen to break it all down.

Also read
India needs sewage systems, not free toilets -- Shruti Rajagopalan
That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen -- Frédéric Bastiat
The Use of Knowledge in Society -- Friedrich Hayek
Public Choice: Politics Without Romance -- James Buchanan
Where India Goes -- Diane Coffey and Dean Spears
Why Are Our Cities So Messed Up -- ep 31 of The Seen and the Unseen
How We Messed Up Our Caste Problem -- ep 52 of The Seen and the Unseen

Episode 81: Chinese Foreign Policy

How does China see its place in the world? What are its foreign policy objectives? Should India be worried? China expert Manoj Kewalramani joins Amit Varma in episode 81 of The Seen and the Unseen.

Also check out
Eye on China: Manoj Kewalramani's weekly column in Pragati.
Inside Xi's China: Takshashila's online course, conducted by Manoj.
Understanding Foreign Policy: Episode 63 of The Seen and the Unseen.

Episode 77: Education in India

According to education scholar and activist Amit Chandra, education in India is a fraud committed on the people of this country by the state. He joins Amit Varma in episode 77 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain why.

Also check out:
The Profit Motive in Education: Episode 9 of The Seen and the Unseen
The Right to Screw up Education: Episode 19 of The Seen and the Unseen
Data on School Closures 
Our Unlucky Children -- Amit Varma (Jan 2008)
The Aggregate Effect of School Choice -- Karthik Muralidharan &  Venkatesh Sundararaman
A political economy of education in India: The case of UP -- Geeta Kingdon & Mohd. Muzammil
Teacher Absence in India: A Snapshot

Episode 76: Claiming Your Space

Misogyny is ubiquitous. Women begin life with the odds stacked against them. Aditi Mittal joins Amit Varma in episode 76 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss how hard it was for her to claim her space. Guest appearance: Swati Bakshi.

Also check out
Stand-Up Comedy in India -- Ep 75 of The Seen and the Unseen
'I am a Feminist. You Should Be Too' -- Amit Varma
'Misogyny is the Oldest Indian Tradition' -- Amit Varma

Episode 74: The Bad and Complex Tax

GST was supposed to be a Good and Simple Tax, but has ended up as just the opposite. This is hurting the poor the most. Economist Shruti Rajagopalan joins Amit Varma in episode 74 of The Seen and the Unseen to suggest a way out.

Also check out
Simple Rules for a Complex World -- Shruti Rajagopalan
GST -- Episode 3 of The Seen and the Unseen with Devangshu Datta
GST Revisited -- Episode 28 of The Seen and the Unseen with Vivek Kaul

Episode 71: Data and the Government

The Indian government has a disturbing tendency to cherry-pick data. Vivek Kaul joins Amit Varma in episode 71 of The Seen and the Unseen to catch them with their pants down.

Also read:
'How to cherry-pick data, Arvind Panagariya-style' -- Vivek Kaul
'How to Manage Jobs Data, Modi Govt Style' -- Vivek Kaul
'If Tax Collections Have Improved, why is Govt Trying to Tax Free Services of Banks?' -- Vivek Kaul
'Budget 2018: India's unpaid subsidies time-bomb just keeps ticking away' -- Vivek Kaul
'Beware of the Useful Idiots' -- Amit Varma
The Easy Money Trilogy on Amazon

Episode 70: Online Conversations

The internet was supposed to bring us all together -- but instead, is it driving us apart? Reddit moderator Nikhil X joins Amit Varma in episode 70 of The Seen and the Unseen to discuss the changing shape of online conversations -- and society.

Also read
You're From the Mutton Lobby -- Amit Varma
What We talk About When We Talk About Politics -- Amit Varma
The Future of the Internet -- Episode 65 of The Seen and the Unseen
The Regulators Are Coming -- Episode 68 of The Seen and the Unseen

Episode 69: Immigration and Outsourcing

Donald Trump had two simple answers to everyone who complained about jobs in America. One: Immigrants are taking your jobs. Two: Your jobs are being shipped overseas. Trump was bullshitting. Gaurav Sabnis joins Amit Varma in episode 69 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain why.

Also check out:
Facts Don't Matter. Stories do -- Amit Varma
Immigration: Ep 4 of The Seen and the Unseen
The 8 Myths of Protectionism: Ep 59 of The Seen and the Unseen