The Morning Wrap: Pakistan Day Reception Leaves Bitter Taste For Govt; LGBT Need 'Psychological Treatment' Says Minister

24/03/2015 9:07 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
A Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights activist watches as he participates in the Rainbow Pride Walk to protest against violence on women and sexual minorities in Kolkata, India, Sunday, July 7, 2013. A landmark court ruling decriminalized homosexuality on July 2, 2009, marking the gradual acceptance of gays in the deeply conservative country. (AP Photo/Bikas Das)

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The Narendra Modi government vacillated before finally sending junior foreign minister V.K. Singh, who was visibly reluctant, to Pakistan's mission here this evening to maintain a longstanding tradition of celebrating Pakistan day. This is seen as an embarrassment to Modi, who used to claim that no talks could be held in the background of violence, and this was compounded on a day his political ally, J&K CM Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, stated that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act would eventually be withdrawn from the state, again a contradiction to the BJP position.

India has offered a "cash reward" to Herve Falciani, the former HSBC Bank employee-turned-whistleblower, in exchange for fresh information on citizens who have stashed away black money in secret overseas bank accounts.

The probe into the death of deceased IAS officer DK Ravi took a new turn with the government referring to Ravi's relationship with a woman officer, which according to its counsel, involved "financial transactions between them" and Ravi "wanting their relationship to be more than a friendship."

The electronic media will be restrained from airing live coverage of the anti-terror operations conducted by the security agencies following the Information & Broadcasting ministry's nod to a Home Ministry advice on the matter.

Finally, chief minister Chandrababu Naidu has zeroed in on Amaravati as the name of the new capital of Andhra Pradesh.

Much like Isro's satellites can be used to remotely monitor weather, traffic and mineral hotspot, India's power ministry has a new centre in Haryana that can remotely monitor power substations across the country, monitor and rectify faults and tackle emergencies in any of them.

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Delhi's minister for women and child development, Sandeep Kumar from the AAP, may have become an internet celebrity of sorts after he said that he starts his day by touching his wife's feet.

Amid reports that Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan's Padma award may be redacted, his wife Kareena Kapoor said that the honour was "bestowed" on him and Saif would be "okay" to give it back.

Former journalist Sharif Rangnkear writes about his troubles in coming to terms with his homosexuality.

Off The Front Page

In a desperate attempt to draw attention to the illegal liquor trade in 'dry' Gujarat, 70-year-old Babu Shankar Patel on Monday threw a pouch of country liquor in the well of the state assembly. He was remanded for his insouciance and booked, ironically, for 'possessing liquor in a dry state.'

India's censor board took on a new aura of secularism after it invited a Hindu priest and a Muslim cleric to watch the upcoming film Dharam Sankat Mein and even incorporated their 'expert' suggestions by deleting scenes that appeared to offend the sensibilities of both religions.

The Sena in Mumbai protested the staging of a fashion show in a museum, saying it defied the "purpose" of a museum and forced the designer to stitch together a grand finale at the last moment in a hotel lobby.

The Bihar government has arrested more than 300 and realised penalty worth Rs 4.16 lakh from those involved in the mass-cheating scandal in the state's schools, after videos of it went viral.

Maharashtra's Health Minister Dr Deepak Sawant, who is from the Shiv Sena, triggered a row saying lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT community) were in need of "psychological treatment and counselling".


Rashid Kidwai says in The Telegraph that Rahul Gandhi seems to be seen at multiple spots across the globe except, where it most matters, visibly helping revive the Congress.

Subir Bhowmick notes in The Telegraph that the close ties China has developed with the military junta in Myanmar since the late 1980s now appear to belong to the past.

Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, in an obituary for Lee Kwan Yeu in The Hindustan Times says that if Modi implements the Singapore-inspired reforms that his predecessors could not, Lee will be able to claim to have been pivotal to the transformation of the world's two largest countries--China and India-- by providing a tangible, viable model for both.

Ajith Balakrishnan notes in The Business Standard that India will soon have to confront the raging battle on in the United States on whether companies who provide internet infrastructure have the right to charge differential rates from users.

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