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TV channels’ love affair with ‘NaMosteAmerica’ continues, ABP asks if TVs broke in Pakistan

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Prime Time

From `Howdy Modi’ to `NaMosteAmerica’ (India Today), TV news channels’ love affair with the Prime Minister’s US visit continued into Monday and Tuesday morning.

Replays of Modi’s Houston speech – or excerpts from it – filled the airwaves all day. At prime time, there were celebrations of the resounding response to the PM at Houston’s NRG Stadium. “Modi sets Agenda”, observed Republic TV.

CNN News 18 referred to PM Modi’s statement, “Ab ki baar, Trump sarkar” in his speech and the Opposition’s reactions to it.

Aaj Tak: “Did PM Modi perform a diplomatic surgical strike on Pakistan in Houston?” asked Rohit Sardana on `Dangal’. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra gloated over the reception to the PM in the US: “There was a red carpet rolled out for Modi at the airport…. I think Pakistan’s delegation took its own red dormat and used it when Imran landed.”

Political analyst Maeed Ali, from Pakistan, said: “This was simply an election campaign for both the leaders (Modi and Trump)….” He added, “India calls us ‘terroristan’ yet we still don’t address it as ‘lynchistan’.

ABP News: #Pakterrorstate trended on `Sidha Sawal’ as anchor Rubika Liyaquat sarcastically asked Pakistan’s journalist Mona Alam, “How many TVs broke yesterday in Pakistan?” after Modi’s triumphant reception in Houston. Mona replied, “It is soon going to be India’s turn to break TVs.”

BJP’s Nalin Kohli said it was up to Pakistan to decide “whether they want to work to improve the condition of their people or want to run away from the reality.”

RSS ideologue Sanjiv Uniyal, in his signature style, recited a Sanskrit shloka that declared PM Narendra Modi a King: “Nābhisheko nā saṅskārāā, siṃhaṣya kriyate vane” (“nobody declares a lion as the king by doing rituals – by his sheer might, a lion achieves the status of the king).

Alam reminded the panelists that PM Modi is the same person who was denied a visa to the US not many years ago. “India accuses us of terrorism, but even Bajrang Dal is a designated terrorist organisation”, she added.

NDTV 24×7: On “Left, Right and Centre”, anchor Vishnu Som discussed Army Chief Bipin Rawat’s statement that Balakot had been reactivated as a terror hub by Pakistan.

Lt.General (retired) DS Hooda, Northern Army Commander during the ‘surgical strike’ of September 2016, said nobody should be “surprised” by the reported developments in Balakot. “If you recall the first statement by the Pakistan army chief after 5 August (and the revocation of Article 370 in Kashmir), they said they will go to any extent.”

“The key is, how far is Pakistan willing to push the envelope with India?” he added.

He also said that reports of infiltration of 60 terrorists was “very significant. In my time, the annual entry used to be 60”.

Journalist Ajay Shukla said, “… let’s remember that the army chief was talking about Balakot being reactivated — does this mean that Pakistan has not learnt anything after the survival strike?”

Times Now: The channel pursued `exclusive’ satellite images it had obtained which allegedly reveal `ethnic cleansing’ in the Kashmir Valley in the past. This was first discussed by anchor Rahul Shiv Shankar at 8pm and continued on `The NewsHour with Navika Kumar’. “Traces of Kashmiri Hindus wiped. (We have) accessed undeniable satellite evidence. Was Article 370 a cover for the carnage?” Kumar asked.

Political analyst Majid Hyderi said, “The loot and plunder of Kashmiri property is the bitter reality of J&K conflict.’’

“Kashmiri Pandits were not given the right to visit Sharda Peeth. It’s not just about Sharda Peeth, many temples in Kashmir have been vandalised,” declared Kashmiri activist Amit Raina.

Front Page

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address on climate change at the United Nations summit is making headlines today. Mainstream newspapers also report on one more offer by US President Donald Trump for mediation on the Kashmir issue. Also, making it to the front page today is Home Minister Amit Shah proposing a singular, multipurpose ID card.

Modi on climate change: Hindustan Times headline reads, “World not doing enough on climate change: PM,” TOI states, “Time for talk over, now act, Modi tells UN climate meet.” HT quotes Modi saying that the “international community needs to act immediately on climate change as the steps taken so far by countries to overcome this serious challenge are not enough.” Modi “called on countries to join the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure launched by India,” writes HT.

With just a photograph featuring Modi’s address on climate change, The Indian Express highlights events that followed a ‘day after Texas’: “Imran listening, Trump says: Heard a very aggressive statement from India.” The US President said “that he will play the role of an arbitrator on Kashmir only if asked to do so by both India and Pakistan.” The Hindu reserves lower page billing for this news.

Amit Shah on multipurpose card: The Hindu’s lead reports that Home Minister Amit Shah has “suggested one card for all utilities in the future.” He also “announced that the 2021 census exercise will be carried out digitally.”

“Updating the national population register” will happen simultaneously with the census and will help in “fighting crime, plugging subsidy leakages and promoting gender equality,” writes HT. All mainstream newspapers make note of Shah’s proposal.

SC on interference: Express reports “Interference does not augur well: SC on posting of judges”, while TOI highlights “Meddling in judges’ appts has hit justice delivery system: SC.” Express writes how SC has said that the “scope for judicial review in appointments, posting and transfer of judges was “severely limited” and “interference in the system of administration of justice does not augur well for the institution.”

Army chief: “Rawat hints at stronger action as Pakistan revives Balakot camp,” headlines Hindu’s second lead. Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat “indicated that India’s response to the revival of the terrorist camp at Balakot in Pakistan could go beyond air strikes,” writes Hindu. It also brings to light how Rawat has insinuated that “at least 500 persons were waiting to sneak into India.” TOI also reports the same.

Lavasa: Novel Singhal Lavasa, a former banker and wife of Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa, was “served a notice by the Income Tax department over a month ago. The notice pertains to her income tax returns,” reports Express. This news finds space on TOI’s front page as well.

US Media’s `Howdy’ moment: After mainstream newspapers in India dedicated their front pages to Modi-Trump’s hand-in-hand meeting in Houston, US mainstream newspapers were impressed enough to give it prominence.

Houston Chronicle reserves more than half of its front page to feature a photograph of Trump and Modi hand-in-hand, headlining it “Indian community turns out for Modi visit.” For The New York Times too, Modi and Trump holding hands and waving to their supporters at the rally makes for front page coverage. The Wall Street Journal agrees with NYT’s choice of photograph on its front page.

The Washington Post however gives the news just a small box item on Page 1. Headlines on The Financial Times refers to Modi as an “Indian leader” – “Howdy Modi: Trump lauds Indian leader.”

Credit : Arindam Mukherjee | ThePrint


Express: In ‘Eye on revenue’, Express discusses Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s decision to slash corporate tax rates in a bid to “revive business sentiment”. The decision, which “overshadowed” last week’s GST Council meeting in Goa, did not lead to a cut in GST rates keenly sought after by the automobile industry and the FMCG sector, writes the newspaper. Express describes the recent rate cuts by the GST Council as “modest” in terms of its efforts to boost tourism, provide zero tax on jewellery exports and doubling tax on caffeinated beverages. However, GST still needs tweaking given that “system-related issues still persist”, be it a delay in revealing revised returns or “softer enforcement” mechanisms in states, explains Express.

TOI: The newspaper discusses the implications of the ‘Howdy Modi!’ in Houston, and how India may take advantage of Modi-Trump bonhomie that followed. In ‘Diplomatic coup’, TOI says the event helped cement Western diplomatic support of India’s decision to scrap special status for J&K, pushing “Pakistan’s irredentist claims on Kashmir” to the side. This was evident when Trump spoke of protecting people from “radical Islamist terrorism” and Modi mentioned that those behind the 9/11 and 26/11 terror attacks had been “hosted” in Pakistan. However, India and US still have work to do on the “trade front”, especially since not too long ago Trump called India the “tariff king”, notes TOI. The two countries should also cooperate in countering the rise of China, “since neither has the resources to do so alone”, it writes.

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