15/07/2016 7:50 AM IST | Updated 18/07/2016 8:28 PM IST

The Morning Wrap: Venkaiah Naidu Reaches Out To Opposition For GST Bill; Ganja Chocolates Making Rounds In Chennai

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

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Sparking off a fresh controversy, VHP leader Sadhvi Prachi announced a reward of ₹50 lakh to anyone who would 'behead' Zakir Naik, the Indian Islamic preacher who has been accused of having inspired two of the perpetrators of the recent massacre in Dhaka. Naik's speeches and sermons are banned in the United Kingdom, Canada , Malaysia, and now Bangladesh, for their inflammatory content.

Wing Commander Pooja Thakur, who led the Guard of Honor during US President Obama's visit in 2015, is now suing the Indian Air Force for denying her a permanent commission. Thakur has alleged that the IAF's decision to deny her a permanent commission is "biased, discriminatory, arbitrary and unreasonable."

Shravan Krishnan, the man who rescued a dog who was flung off a three-story building in Chennai has been a superhero of sorts for sometime now. Every time somebody spots a snake at their home, or an animal gets injured, chances are that a panic-stricken call will go to Krishnan and his animal rescuer friends, who live in different parts of the city. Along with other animal rights activists in Chennai, Shravan is also trying to build a Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre. They are in the process of drafting a proposal addressed to the Tamil Nadu government, seeking a place for the rehabilitation of wild animals.

Main News

The attack on Bastille Day celebrants in the French city of Nice that killed at least 80 people was an act of terrorism, French President Francois Hollande said. Reportedly, the truck that crashed into a crowd of people watching fireworks continued for two kilometres, before the driver was shot dead by police. The truck was also loaded with 'arms and grenades'.

Information minister Venkaiah Naidu reached out to opposition head in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad the goods and services tax (GST) constitutional amendment which is due to be discussed during the monsoon session of Parliament.

Following the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Bruhan Wani, Left-backed organisations, students and several rights groups organised a protest at the College Square in Kolkata. They carried placards that said 'de-militarise Kashmir' and chanted slogans such as, 'Kashmir maange azaadi, Manipur maange azaadi'.

Off The Front Page

Former deputy consul-general of India in New York Devyani Khobragade who was arrested in December 2013, for visa fraud charges, has now been appointed as the private secretary to minister of state for social justice and empowerment Ramdas Athawale.

A woman was allegedly being coerced by her own son to sell her kidney illegally, but was stopped in the nick of time when the Mumbai police received an alert from a social worker. Four people, including the woman's son were arrested and the doctors were stopped from operating.

Huge batch of ganja-laced chocolates has been making rounds of Chennai and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken suo moto cognisance of the reports. Reportedly, a Class IX student was admitted to the ICU after he consumed the sweet.


In a state where the Congress party has been out of power for the last 27 years and is ridden with factionalism and a near total erosion of base, former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit is the proverbial 'consensus' candidate who ticks all the right boxes, bruises the least number of egos and presents an identifiable face with Uttar Pradesh connections, writes , who has represented Kannauj in Parliament, home of the legendary Kanyakubj Brahmins, is a Punjabi Khatri married to Vinod Dikshit, son of late Uma Shankar Dikshit, the former West Bengal and Karnataka Governor and a weighty Brahmin Congress leader from the state. It isn't difficult to see what Kishor is trying to do. Dikshit, who has wasted no time in declaring herself as the bahu of the state, will appeal to Khatris and Brahmins, two key communities in UP politics," he says.

A new set of Fundamental Duties can go a long way towards instilling a reinvigorated sense of civic responsibility among citizens, writes Kurien Joseph in The Hindu. "This can be achieved by adding new duties to the existing list of Fundamental Duties while also laying emphasis on the performance of the existing ones. The significance of Fundamental Duties is not diminished by the fact that there is no punishment prescribed for not following them. Fundamental Duties constitute the conscience of our Constitution; they should be treated as constitutional values that must be propagated by all citizens," he says.

One of the basic lessons of science is that correlation does not necessarily imply causation. This is sometimes obvious because the suggestion is so patently absurd. What possible connection can there be between the name 'Ava' and the price of real estate? Or between Shyamalan's fading touch as a filmmaker and plummeting sales of newspapers? None in either case, of course, writes Dilip D'Souza in Mint. "But there are times when it doesn't seem so absurd — yet it still may not hold... Plenty of folks believe that 'all terrorists are Muslim'. They come to this conclusion after horrific atrocities like we've had in Dhaka, Orlando, Mumbai and Paris. That is, they find a correlation between these acts of terror and the religion of their perpetrators... If we choose only the atrocities committed by Muslims, sure enough: we'll conclude all terrorists are indeed Muslim. But in making such a choice, we ignore the deeds of Northern Ireland's Irish Republican Army, Sri Lanka's Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and Peru's Shining Path, besides names like Wade Michael Page, Maya Kodnani, Dylann Roof and James Holmes. Include them, and the correlation falls apart."

[Correction: A previous version of The Morning Wrap stated that the ganja-laced chocolates are making rounds in Kerala. They are, in fact, being consumed in Chennai. The error is regretted.]

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