The Morning Wrap is Huffpost India's selection of interesting news and opinion from the day's newspapers.
Main NewsIn an address peppered with Bollywood references and paeans to equal opportunities for all, US President Barack Obama emphasised that India will succeed as long as it is not splintered along religious lines. His words, along with a pointed reference to Article 25 of the Indian Constitution on religious freedom, was widely interpreted as a strong statement on the ongoing debate over fundamentalism and extremism in India. Pakistan has expressed its unhappiness over Obama’s endorsement of a permanent seat for India at the United Nations Security Council and entry into the Nuclear Supplier’s Group. A Republic Day print advertisement by the Information & Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry’s omitted the words "socialist, secular" in an image of the Preamble to the Constitution, triggering a furore and signature campaigns over social-media platforms. Barely 24 hours after he was awarded on Republic Day, Colonel Munindra Nath Rai, Commanding Officer of 42 Rashtriya Rifles, was killed in an encounter with militants at Tral in Pulwama district on Tuesday. Kolkata is about to become the first city in the country to have a free fourth-generation (4G) Wi-fi service. Incidentally, the first ever call on a mobile phone in India too was made from Kolkata in 1995. Tata Motors, India's biggest auto maker by revenue, will launch a 7500-crore rights issue—the largest such by the company and the third biggest in Indian history-- to pay for expansion and to retire debt.
Off The Front Page
Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy and his family have donated 200,000 pounds towards a proposed statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Parliament Square, London. This is a substantial contribution towards the statue’s 750,000 pound cost. Even as PM Modi was busy hosting Obama, Vadodara mayor from Modi’s Gujarat remarked, in a Republic Day address that “Pakistan and America are countries that have created factories producing terrorists.” A Home Ministry official told the Economic Times that yoga guru Baba Ramdev wasn’t in the running for the Padma awards this year. The entire controversy and the guru’s ‘refusal’ was based on unverified media reports. A woman judge in Hooghly, West Bengal has complained to the Calcutta High Court that she’s been threatened with violence by some lawyers, for not participating in a strike. Vice President Hamid Ansari, who was criticised on Twitter for not saluting the flag during the National anthem, clarified that current rules decree only those in service uniform to salute the flag during the anthem and those in plainclothes—such as Ansari--are expected to stand in attention. To stop, as a senior minister in the Maharashtra government described it, “old cows from being mercilessly handed to slaughter-houses,” the state government is set to launch a scheme aimed at protecting such cows by roping in non-governmental organisations. They will be given land and financial support and also support the sale and export of cow urine and cow dung, according to the minister. Facebook and Instagram faced outages for nearly half an hour on Tuesday, though company officials denied reports of a cyber attack. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), on the campaign roll in Delhi, has promised to provide free water to all households in Delhi. This, even as capital’s water provider, Delhi Jal Board (DJB), has been crippled by financial losses for years. Cash-strapped SpiceJet Ltd, the airline that led at least a dozen fire sales in 2014 before landing in financial trouble, has yet again cut fares by more than 50% to stimulate passenger demand. Other airlines are expected to follow suit.