The Morning Wrap: Can't Charge People With Sedition For Criticising Govt; 86 AAP Members Resign In Amritsar

Our selection of interesting news and opinion from the day's newspapers.

06/09/2016 7:53 AM IST | Updated 06/09/2016 9:35 AM IST
Ramesh Lalwani

The Morning Wrap is HuffPost India's selection of interesting news and opinion from the day's newspapers. Subscribe here to receive it in your inbox each weekday morning.

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HuffPost India spoke to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mei Fong about her first book, One Child. The book is a compelling account of the effect of the brutal family planning policy imposed by the communist government on the population of China for over three decades, until it was phased out in 2015. Chronicling a series of encounters—bizarre, macabre, surreal—Mei brings alive the full horrors faced by a generation of Chinese. Skewed sex ratio, female infanticide, fake birth documents, illegal adoption and trafficking, heavily pregnant women with second child being injected with poison and forced to undergo abortions, thriving businesses in sex dolls, pressure on single male children to become successful doctors, engineers or lawyers, and a generation of elderly people left without anyone to care for them — these are some of the vignettes from the book that is thoroughly researched and narrated with compassion.

Amitabh Kant was appointed CEO of Niti Aayog January this year and now occupies a special place in the Indian establishment. As the country attempts to shake off its socialist hangover and doubles down on the trajectory of rapid economic growth of the post-liberalisation years, he has emerged as something of a Sherpa. If Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the messiah of the 10% GDP growth mantra, Kant is a favoured high priest, spreading the gospel from Mumbai to Davos via Hannover, creating campaigns and buzzwords that believers lap up and even the sceptics admire grudgingly.

Mukesh Ambani's announcement last week that all Jio customers will get unlimited data until the end of 2016 is big news. A lot of content was already available on the Internet for the users to consume but before Jio arrived on the scene, 1 GB of 4G data cost ₹250 on average. According to reports, while normally, Indians used only 758 MB 3G data per month, Jio customers (pre-launch) used up a whopping 26 GB per month. Clearly, Jio is turning consuming multiple GBs of data per month into a habit for its customers. If a user has a 4 GB data pack per month plan and she or he use it all up 5 days before the month ends, they probably wouldn't mind spending ₹50 to get another 1 GB of data.

Main News

Supreme Court on Monday clarified that a person could not be slapped with sedition charges because they raised their voice against the government or its policies. The court maintained that the two essential ingredients required to establish the crime of sedition were that, first, the acts must be intended to have the "effect of subverting the government" by violent means, and second, the acts must be intended to create disorder or disturbance of public peace and order by resort to violence and must incite violence.

86 office-bearers from the Amritsar zone resigned on Monday from AAP's primary membership. All of them claimed that they were suffering from the "dictatorial behaviour" by party observers from outside Punjab.

With six more deaths in the state, the toll in Bihar floods on Monday night went up to 204. The water level of the swollen Ganga continued to recede at many places except at Kahalgaon in Bhagalpur district where the river is flowing above the danger mark. So far, the flood has affected 40 lakh people at 2,189 villages in 12 districts, and over seven lakh people have been relocated from danger zones.

Off The Front Page

In a gruesome incident, a Kanpur woman sneaked in and stole her 17-day-old nephew from a hospital and threw him from the rooftop. Reportedly, the woman conducted such a heinous act because she thought the birth of a baby boy in the family would lower her status, as she herself has three daughters.

Indian-Japanese beauty Priyanka Yoshikawa, who won the Miss Japan title on Monday, was the victim of ugly backlash on social media. Yoshikawa also faced comments about how title should have gone to a "pure" Japanese rather than a "haafu" - the Japanese for "half" (a word used to describe mixed race).

BJP's veteran leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee now holds the record of having the most number of official schemes and institutions named after a leader while they are alive. 91-year-old Vajpayee, who is now confined by ill health, has left behind even Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, who were made such dedications mostly posthumously.


Didi is a politician. The Mother was a nun. Yet in some ways they are sisters under the skin, writes Sandip Roy for HuffPost India. Mamata Banerjee like Mother Teresa spends her life in the same modest home though she obviously has the status now to move somewhere far more comfortable. She springs from the same crowded lanes of Kalighat where Mother Teresa first made her great impact by setting up a home for the dying. She has made her personal simplicity and probity her greatest selling points.

If public sector banks fail, the government loses a fundamental instrument of development, writes Ravi Venkatesan in Mint. "If Mission Indradhanush isn't put on steroids, if the mandate of the Bank Boards Bureau isn't strengthened, if the twin issues of governance and HR aren't addressed decisively and urgently, the most likely scenario is one of atrophy. Public sector banks will lose their best customers at an accelerating rate to private sector competitors. Fin-tech will disrupt more and more of their business leaving these institutions with costly infrastructure and no viable business model. Bad loans will bubble up again. Taxpayers will have to subsidise their existence... Banks are fundamentally unlike other businesses. If HMT or Air India withers or gets wound up, customers don't care; the private sector seamlessly steps in leaving everyone better off especially the taxpayer," he says.

Amid economic disparity among Indian states, a Delhi-based one-size-fits-all policy regime for the entire country is entirely anachronistic, write Praveen Chakravarty and Vivek Dehejia in The Hindu. "Between 1960 and 1990, the economic disparity among India's 12 largest States remained more or less constant. In 1990, the top three states were twice as rich as the bottom three, nearly the same ratio as in 1960. However, in the subsequent years from 1990 to 2015, the disparity between the richest and the poorest state doubled... What this means is that a child born in Maharashtra today is still likely to be four times richer upon becoming an adult than a child born in Bihar today... It is clear that the economic outperformance of some of these states is a function of their politics and policies over decades or the "maturation of democracy", as J Jayalalithaa put it. While it is tempting to attribute explanations for this outperformance, it is very difficult to prove any. At best, it can be attributed to a complex interplay of politics, leadership, policies, human capital, and some luck. Whatever be the reasons, it is quite evident that the priorities of a more prosperous State will be quite different from those that are still very poor," they write.

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