Grand Tamasha

Grand Tamasha
Each week, Milan Vaishnav and his guests from around the world break down the latest developments in Indian politics, economics, foreign policy, society, and culture for a global audience. Grand Tamasha is a co-production of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Hindustan Times.

Vipul Mudgal on India’s Policing Challenge
Jun 9 • 39 min
The Indian police face a reckoning. Milan talks to Vipul Mudgal, the Director of Common Cause, to discuss challenges facing Indian police, their contested role in the COVID pandemic, and a reform blueprint.
Binalakshmi Nepram on the Realities of India’s Oft-Forgotten Northeast
Jun 2 • 42 min
To enlighten us—and to educate us—about the often overlooked Northeast corner of India, social activist and indigenous leader Binalakshmi Nepram joins Milan on the show this week.
Roshan Kishore on India’s flagging economy, the impacts of the lockdown, and the government’s policy response
May 26 • 42 min
COVID-19 Fallout: Migrants, the Economy, and Foreign Policy (Live from Zoom!)
May 19 • 61 min
Special Event: #GrandaTamashaLive
May 18 • 2 min
The gang’s all back together for a special live event, tomorrow, May 19, at 11 am EST / 8:30 pm IST. Join at
Journalist Sopan Deb on Meeting the Immigrant Parents Who Raised Him
May 12 • 34 min
Milan talks with New York Times journalist Sopan Deb—author of the brand-new memoir, Missed Translations: Meeting the Immigrant Parents Who Raised Me.
Former Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian on India’s Economic Response to the COVID-19 crisis
May 5 • 41 min
How should Indian authorities respond to the economic crisis caused by COVID-19?
Shankkar Aiyar on the Proliferation of India’s “Gated Republics”
Apr 28 • 35 min
How has India’s public sector failed, and what does COVID-19 reveal about the Indian state?
India’s Coronavirus Response, Anti-China Sentiment, and the Communalization of COVID-19
Apr 21 • 42 min
We could all use a happy hour.
Amitabh Behar on How Coronavirus Aggravates Inequality in India
Apr 14 • 32 min
Pallavi Raghavan on an Alternative History of India-Pakistan Relations
Apr 7 • 38 min
A historian presents an alternate view of the historical relationship between India and Pakistan.
Aarti Shahani on Her Indian-American Immigrant Story
Mar 31 • 43 min
Milan talks to NPR contributor Aarti Shahani about her family’s journey from India to Morocco to Queens, New York.
Author Madhuri Vijay on Her Award-Winning Book, “The Far Field”
Mar 24 • 30 min
Tanvi Madan on the U.S.-India-China “Fateful Triangle”
Mar 17 • 39 min
How central is China in the U.S.-India relationship?
Jessica Seddon on India’s Air Pollution Crisis
Mar 10 • 34 min
14 of the 15 most polluted cities in the world are in India. What can be done about it?
Trump’s India Trip, Delhi Riots, and India in American Domestic Politics
Mar 3 • 36 min
Milan breaks down the news with Sadanand and Tanvi.
Adam Auerbach and Gabi Kruks-Wisner on How the Poor Navigate the Indian State
Feb 25 • 40 min
If the poor represent a majority of voters in India, why doesn’t this electoral power translate into better quality government services?
Amit Ahuja on the Roots of Dalit Politics
Feb 18 • 38 min
Dalits have mobilized throughout India - but how has that mobilization translated into political empowerment around the country?
Pramit Bhattacharya on the Crisis in India’s Economic Data
Feb 11 • 37 min
How reliable are India’s GDP growth figures?
Jerry Rao on The Past, Present, and Future of Conservatism in India
Feb 4 • 40 min
What’s the intellectual foundation for Indian conservatism?
Republic Day Episode: Madhav Khosla on India’s Founding Moment
Jan 28 • 22 min
What does it mean to be truly Indian?
Supriya Sharma on Citizenship, Protests, and the Indian Media
Jan 21 • 37 min
The implementation of the CAA and the NRC have prompted protests around India. What will become of the civil unrest? And what does the government crackdown mean for civil dissent?
Citizenship Travails, Maharashtra Elections, and Election Meddling
Dec 17, 2019 • 40 min
Milan talks to Sadanand Dhume and Tanvi Madan about the Citizenship Amendment Act, the Maharashtra assembly elections, and Indian influence in UK and U.S. elections
Sushant Singh on India’s Defense Budget
Dec 10, 2019 • 27 min
India lags behind its strategic competitors in defense spending, which might make it impossible to live up to its aspirations of becoming leading power the world scene. How should India address this problem?
Katherine Eban on Fraud in India’s Generic Drugs Industry
Dec 3, 2019 • 31 min
Milan talks to Katherine Eban about her decade-long investigation into the lies, deceit, and outright fraud that runs rampant in the generic drugs industry.
Anit Mukherjee on the ‘Absent Dialogue’ Between Civilians and the Military in India
Nov 26, 2019 • 26 min
Milan and Anit chat about civil-military relations in India, its impact on defense capabilities, and the prospect of reform under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Aatish Taseer on India, Indian Politics, and Citizenship
Nov 19, 2019 • 31 min
Aatish Taseer joins Milan to explain his reaction after learning that the Indian government was revoking his status as an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI).
Vivan Marwaha on the Hopes and Hype of Indian Millennials
Nov 12, 2019 • 35 min
Millennials account for roughly one-third of India’s population. Milan and Vivan discuss the profound impact millennials will have on the future of India.
The Rise of the “Scams Raj”
Nov 5, 2019 • 38 min
Recruiters charge job seekers for expensive trainings in promise of a career that never materializes. Call centers pose as IRS agents to extort gullible Americans. Students cheat their way through exams with the help of professional test takers. Milan…
State Elections, the U.S. Congress on Kashmir, and a Nobel Prize for India
Oct 29, 2019 • 33 min
Milan, Tanvi, and Sadanand tackle the elections in Haryana and Maharashtra, U.S. congressional hearings on Kashmir, and the Nobel Prize in Economics.
Yamini Aiyar on the Hits and Misses of Modi’s Welfare Agenda
Oct 22, 2019 • 36 min
Yamini Aiyar discusses how the Modi government approaches welfare, the role of technology in augmenting state capacity, and the unfinished business of the past.
Shoaib Daniyal on How the BJP Conquered West Bengal
Oct 15, 2019 • 37 min
In 2019 the BJP did the unthinkable, winning 18 seats in West Bengal, and forty percent of the vote — all despite having minimal party organization on the ground. Milan talks to Shoaib Daniyal of about the electoral battle in Bengal.
Ashley J. Tellis on America’s “India Dividend”
Oct 8, 2019 • 24 min
Ashley Tellis explains why the logic of U.S.-India ties is misunderstood by so many and why exactly the United States and India share a strategic convergence when it comes to China.
Deep in the Heart of Texas: Inside “Howdy, Modi!”
Oct 2, 2019 • 54 min
What was it like to attend the Howdy Modi rally?
EAM Jaishankar on India’s Pluralism, Jammu and Kashmir, and Globalization
Sep 30, 2019 • 43 min
External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar talks about the major issues on India’s international and domestic agenda.
“Howdy, Modi,” the Kashmir Clampdown, and the Indian Economy
Sep 24, 2019 • 37 min
This past weekend, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump addressed a crowd of 50,000 Indian-Americans in Texas. Sadanand Dhume and Tanvi Madan join Milan to break down the event dubbed “Howdy, Modi.”
Prashant Jha on Why We Missed the Modi Wave
Sep 17, 2019 • 29 min
Many election analysts, journalists, and political scientists failed to predict the massive mandate that Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed in the 2019 general election. Prashant Jha—who was one of the few who picked up on the pro-Modi wave during the…
Niha Masih on the History and Political Implications of the NRC in Assam
Sep 10, 2019 • 25 min
Nearly 33 million residents of Assam applied to have their names included on the National Registry of Citizens. When the list finally came out in late August, nearly 2 million people discovered that their names were left off the list—calling their…
Salman Soz on what the abrogation of Article 370 means for Jammu and Kashmir—and for India
Sep 3, 2019 • 34 min
We continue our exploration of the events unfolding in Jammu and Kashmir by speaking with Salman Soz, who offers a very different perspective than the one Rahul Pandita shared on last week’s episode.
Rahul Pandita on Kashmir: “You can leave Kashmir but Kashmir never leaves you”
Aug 27, 2019 • 34 min
Milan talks to journalist Rahul Pandita about the situation in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir
Christophe Jaffrelot on the Modi Moment in Indian Politics
Aug 20, 2019 • 33 min
Milan talks with Christophe Jaffrelot about the factors that led to the BJP’s crushing victory in the 2019 general election.
Kashmir, the Indian Economy, and the PM’s Independence Day Speech
Aug 20, 2019 • 40 min
It’s season two! Milan breaks down the news of the summer with Sadanand Dhume and Tanvi Madan.
U.S.-India Trade Woes and Shereen Bhan on Modi’s Economic Agenda
Jun 18, 2019 • 45 min
Are we headed for a U.S.-India trade war? And how will Modi 2.0 handle his promised economic reforms?
The BJP in Power and Ashley J. Tellis on India’s Foreign Policy Future
Jun 11, 2019 • 43 min
What’s next for the BJP? And what foreign policy challenges face the new government?
Modi’s Cabinet and Sajjid Chinoy on the Economic Choices Facing the New Government
Jun 4, 2019 • 39 min
Modi announces his Cabinet picks, and Sajjid Chinoy on the economic choices facing the new government.
The Election Aftermath and Devesh Kapur on the Indian State
May 28, 2019 • 51 min
The election is over - has it changed everything for good? And what will become of Indian secularism
Election Postmortem With Tanvi Madan
May 24, 2019 • 22 min
Milan talks to Tanvi Madan about the BJP’s victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections
The End of the Never-Ending Campaign and Gilles Verniers on Data and Elections
May 21, 2019 • 42 min
What are the states to watch when electoral results come in on May 23? And did this year’s election break new ground?
Notes from the Campaign Trail and Rukmini S. on Journalism and the 2019 Elections
May 14, 2019 • 48 min
What’s happening in the UP and West Bengal? And how good is election reporting in India?
The Economist on Modi and Rahul Verma on Ideology in Indian Politics
May 7, 2019 • 48 min
Do the risks of a Modi-led BJP outweigh the rewards? And how does ideology play into Indian politics?
The Hindi Heartland Votes and Niranjan Rajadhyaksha on the Modi Economy
Apr 30, 2019 • 38 min
Milan talks to Neelanjan Sircar about the epic electoral battle in Uttar Pradesh and whether state elections can help predict the outcome of national elections. Then, Niranjan Rajadhyaksha gives his big picture assessment of Modi’s economy after five…
The Mudslinging Campaign and Barkha Dutt on the “Fear” Election of 2019
Apr 23, 2019 • 46 min
Milan talks to Sadanand Dhume and Tanvi Madan about the BJP’s nomination of Sadhvi Pragya, and then Barkha Dutt about the fake news epidemic in India, national security, and Modi’s economic messaging.
A Conversation with India’s New CEA Krishnamurthy Subramanian
Apr 16, 2019 • 52 min
Milan talks to Krishnamurthy Subramanian about India’s economy and the wave of income support schemes cropping up across the country.
Modi’s Enduring Popularity, Majoritarian Rhetoric, and Snigdha Poonam on Young Voters
Apr 9, 2019 • 33 min
Milan talks to Sadanand Dhume about Modi’s popularity and the BJP’s majoritarian rhetoric, and then Snigdha Poonam about India’s first time voters
Congress Manifesto, Left Politics, and Shashi Tharoor on the Congress Vision in 2019
Apr 2, 2019 • 40 min
Milan talks about the Congress Party’s minimum income support scheme and Modi’s address on Mission Shakti with Roshan Kishore. Then, Milan talks to Shashi Tharoor about the Congress Party’s vision for 2019
First Week of Campaigning and Hasan Minhaj on the Battle for the Soul of India
Mar 26, 2019 • 52 min
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.
Corruption, Southern Politics, and Ruchir Sharma Reflects on 25 Years on the Campaign Trail
Mar 19, 2019 • 41 min
First, Milan talks to Reuben Abraham about how voters think about corruption and alliance politics. Then, he talks to Ruchir Sharma about his 25 years on the campaign trail.
India’s Economic Woes and the Patchy History of Election Polling
Mar 12, 2019 • 36 min
First, Milan Vaishnav sits down with Roshan Kishore to discuss the latest economic figures from India. Then, Milan talks to Neelanjan Sircar about why pollsters have such a hard time forecasting elections in India.
India-Pakistan Tensions and When Foreign Policy Matters for Domestic Politics
Mar 5, 2019 • 36 min
Milan talks about the aftermath of the recent conflict between India and Pakistan, and who is likely to benefit politically now that the domestic spin game has begun.
India’s Strike on Jaish Camp Across the LoC, and Arvind Subramanian on Universal Basic Income
Feb 26, 2019 • 39 min
Milan Vaishnav talks about India’s surprise strikes on Pakistan with Sadanand Dhume and Sukumar Ranganathan, and interviews Arvind Subramanian about a Universal Basic Income for India.
Feb 25, 2019 • 2 min
Grand Tamasha debuts February 27! Here’s a taste of what’s coming up in the next few weeks.