Grand Tamasha

First Week of Campaigning and Hasan Minhaj on the Battle for the Soul of India

Episode Summary

First, Milan sits down with Irfan Nooruddin about the first week of campaigning and coalition politics. Then, Milan talks to Indian-American comedian Hasan Minhaj about his hit Netflix show, and hows he views Indian politics from the United States.

Episode Notes

First, Milan sits down with Irfan Nooruddin, the Hamad bin Khalifa Professor of Indian Politics in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and Director of the Georgetown India Initiative. Milan and Irfan discuss the first week of official campaigning—including ticket selection by the major parties, the state of alliances, and the BJP’s claim that coalitions are “a potential recipe for causing irreparable damage to India & Indians.” Irfan, who is also the author of Coalition Politics and Economic Development, tells Milan why Indian voters should not fear coalitions, especially those that involve one of India’s two principal national parties.

Then, Milan chats with Indian-American comedian Hasan Minhaj, star of the hit Netflix show, Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj. In the season finale of Patriot Act, which aired on March 17, Minhaj turned his focus to the Indian general elections. In just half an hour, Minhaj covered topics ranging from Narendra Modi to the Congress Party’s corruption scams to the rising tide of nationalism—all with his trademark satirical humor. Milan speaks with Hasan about what it’s like commenting on Indian politics as a member of the Indian diaspora, why the 2019 election is a battle for the soul of India, and how forwards on a family WhatsApp group convinced him to do a show on Indian politics.