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Filmmaker Karan Johar is at the centre of a heated political debate over the release of his romantic drama, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil owing to escalating tensions between India and Pakistan. On Tuesday, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) threatened to vandalise multiplexes if they went ahead with the film's release as it features Pakistani actors Fawad Khan and Imran Abbas. Now, Johar has released a video statement where he has said that given the current environment, he will not work with Pakistani artistes in the future.
Anyone who lays down his life for the country is a martyr, who remembered by society, and no other recognition like a certificate of 'shaheed' from the government is needed, Delhi High Court said on Tuesday. The court's oral observation came during the hearing of a PIL seeking 'martyr' status for paramilitary and police personnel who sacrifice their lives in the line of duty on par with the Army, Navy and Air Force.
While the Modi government is planning to build a museum dedicated to the Hindu epic, the Ramayana, in Ayodhya, the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh has approved the building of a Ramleela Theme Park in red sandstone in the holy city. Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma announced the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Centre's plan to build the Ramayana museum in Ayodhya on Monday, just ahead of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's cabinet approving plans for the theme park. Both parties say that their respective projects are aimed at promoting culture and tourism.
India and Russia have reportedly signed another contract — this time to acquire a second Akula-2 class nuclear-powered attack submarine. According to reports, the long-discussed lease to transfer a multipurpose Project 971 nuclear submarine to India from the Russian Navy was signed in Goa.
Union Finance Ministry on Tuesday proposed four slabs for the goods and services tax (GST) in addition to a cess on sin and luxury goods. The Ministry proposed ministry proposed slabs of 6%, 12%, 18% and 26%, along with a 4% levy on gold. For environmentally sensitive items such as coal, sin goods such as aerated drinks, tobacco and pan masala, and luxury cars and watches, a cess has reportedly been suggested.
While Rahul Gandhi may have created some buzz with his Khat Sabhas in Uttar Pradesh, cousin Varun Gandhi, a BJP MP, is taking up the cause of "debt-ridden farmers" on the digital platform in a big way to route donations for Indian farmers from across the world. His website and app plan to take forward his initiative of raising over ₹18 crores that have already made 3,660 farmers debt-free.
Off The Front Page
Poster for Kahaani 2, a sequel to Kahaani (2012) was released yesterday. It features actress Vidya Balan on a 'wanted' poster that says 'wanted for kidnapping and murder'. Balan is reportedly wearing no makeup in the photo.
Indian-American hotelier Vikram Chatwal has been accused of cruelty towards animals by burning two dogs in the US. He has been charged with criminal mischief, torturing and injuring an animal, reckless endangerment and arson.
We now live in an India where patriotism must be displayed at all costs; an India where your nationalism is, suddenly and inexplicably, everybody else's business, wrote Suprateek Chatterjee for HuffPost India. "This is bigger than just the working relationship between Karan Johar and Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. What has essentially happened here is that one of the most prominent mainstream filmmakers, belonging to the country's biggest film industry (and one of the largest in the world), has felt the need to cave in to bullying. From what? A fear psychosis created by a political party that has never actually won a major election. The possibility that there will be demonstrations and vandalism in theatres on account of his movie. The fear that many viewers, fired up by this pointless brand of Ultra-Nationalism By WhatsApp Forward, will boycott the film," he said.
The Congress's demand that Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologise to the Armed Forces does not fit with the idea of civilian control over the military, says an editorial in Mint. "Samuel Huntington in his classic work, The Soldier And The State, describes two types of civilian control over the military: subjective and objective. Both types aim to minimise the power of the military in relation to civilians. While objective control is about building a professional military and officer corps, subjective control involves 'maximising the power of some particular civilian group or groups'. Objective control does not disproportionately benefit one civilian group/institution over the other; subjective control presupposes some degree of military involvement in politics," it says.
Free competition and access to knowledge have been the default legal norm for many a nation, writes Shamnad Basheer in The Indian Express. "Krishna Kumar, a former NCERT chairman, argues that the Delhi University (DU) copyright decision encourages students to merely photocopy and skirt the more laudable aim of reading full books... If in practice, it does no such thing but simply inspires students to regurgitate, that is not the fault of course packs but of the instructional methodology and uninspiring teachers. Kumar is right to the extent that our educational ecosystem suffers from some of the worst pedagogical woes," he says.
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