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10 Podcast Episodes About India Everyone Should Listen To

Demonetisation, corruption, food, the Indian accent and so much more to learn here.

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1. "When India’s Cash Disappeared"

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This two-part podcast episode about demonetisation has all the elements to blow your mind away. In these episodes, NPR’s Planet Money features Anil Bokil, the man who pitched demonetisation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Part two takes you across the country and highlights the impact of this move on the public.

2. "The Khan Mutiny"

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This audio documentary published by BBC World Service paves the way for a discussion about Bollywood’s superstars, India’s obsession with the Khans, and the inter-faith tensions that have been swarming the country in recent years. The episode guarantees a feeling of nostalgia, an added love for Hindi films, and a better understanding of India’s past and present — all from the lens of Bollywood.

3. "If Indian Food Is So Uniquely Delicious, Why Isn’t It More Popular?"

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This episode — about the popularity of Indian food in America — first aired on WBEZ two years ago. It explores the reasons behind the existence of a smaller number of Indian restaurants in the US as compared to other ethnic eateries. What are the stereotypes that affect how Indian food is perceived and how does the future look for our favourite palak paneer and butter chicken in the west?

4. "Travel To Mumbai, India – Episode 454"

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Rediscover India, specifically Mumbai, as you listen to an American who moved to the city because she wanted to learn something new every day. This episode will take you to different Mumbai landmarks and help you see India from a foreigner’s eyes.

5. "Profile: Narendra Modi"

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This BBC Profile episode tells the story of Narendra Modi in just 15 minutes. The episode aired before Modi was elected India’s prime minister and offers insight into his life, his persona and his controversial history. It includes conversations with Modi’s brother and his preferred tailor. If you’re looking for an unbiased yet short account of Modi’s life and his political journey before he became the prime minister, this is the episode you need to listen to.

6. "What's So Funny About The Indian Accent?"

FOX

NPR’s Code Switch dedicated this entire episode to the “Indian accent” while also trying to understand if there can really be such a thing in a country with several hundred languages. It helps you reflect on your feelings about people who try to imitate the Indian accent. It also includes interesting discussions with second-generation Indian-Americans, who don’t have an accent, and with two Mumbai-based Indians, who do, according to the host.

7. "Inside The Indian Independence Movement"

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This 15-Minute History episode takes you back to the years when India was close to its independence. The episode talks about key figures in the Indian independence movement including Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and highlights the story behind India’s partition. Bonus: Find out how Pakistan was named.

8. "How An Indian Entrepreneur Learned To Love Paying Bribes"

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This is another episode by NPR’s Planet Money that tells us the story of an Indian businessman, Gagan Singh, and his tryst with bribery. Does corruption get things done? What is it about the Indian society that makes bribery so common and necessary? And why did Singh start enjoying the act of paying bribes, eventually?

9. "New Language Tensions In Modi’s India"

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This episode, broadcasted as part of the The World In Words podcast, revolves around the politics of linguistic identity in India. The 14-minute episode closely looks into the increasing use of English in the country and stresses on the prime minister’s strong advocacy of Hindi, which sometimes concerns people who speak Urdu and other regional languages.

10. "In Mumbai, Uber Must Compete With Vibrant Taxi Roofs"

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This four-minute episode from PRI talks about the vibrancy and beauty of Mumbai taxis, especially their roofs. The episode is more like a short interview with Rachel Lopez, who photographs the many colourful roofs of Mumbai taxis and focuses on everything that makes them special: patterns, hues, history and art.

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