The Huddle 2020, Day 1: Concluding session | Delicate strings of musical thought

President Ram Nath Kovind at The Huddle on Saturday.  

President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the fourth edition of The HuddleThe Hindu’s annual thought conclave, at the ITC Gardenia in Bengaluru on Saturday. The keynote address will be delivered by the former Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The two-day event will feature 15 sessions and 32 speakers, showcasing some of the best minds from the world of politics, business, academics, sports, entertainment and the arts. The sessions are designed to be interactive, and they take place before an invited audience.

Watch the live coverage here:


Govt. should resume talks with Pakistan, says M.K. Narayanan

India needs to reopen a dialogue with Pakistan, former National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan said on Saturday while also advocating the resumption of political engagement by the Modi government with leaders in Jammu and Kashmir.

Speaking at The Hindu’s thought conclave The Huddle in Bengaluru, Mr. Narayanan said the government is “running out of time diplomatically” to explain its actions on the decision to amend Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, as well as the communication shutdown and mass detentions that have followed.

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The delicate strings of musical thought

The concluding session of day one of The Huddle 2020 began with a song. Two artistes — Anil Srinivasan, pianist and educator, and musician Sikkil Gurucharan — opened their act, aptly titled “Between jazz and Jaunpuri: finding music’s middle ground”, with an interesting medley of poetry and music.

Starting off with a composition by 15th century poet-saint Arunagirinathar’s Nada Bindu Kalapi Namo Namaha, a song in praise of Lord Muruga, and segueing into Ave Maria and a poem on Allah, both by poet and freedom fighter Subramanya Bharathi, Srinivasan and Gurucharan set the context for their session.

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Widening direct tax net should be key priority, say economists

Widening the direct tax base should be a key priority for the government and the biggest fiscal stimulus that could be provided would be to simplify the GST to a single tax rate of 12%, according to economists speaking at a session of The Huddle titled ‘Rebooting the Economy: What needs to be done and how we go about it’.

“The first thing we need to is to converge on a single lower rate,” said Ajit Ranade, Group Executive President & Chief Economist, Aditya Birla Group. “Secondly, we need to expand the net. A large part of the GDP is still not in the GST tax net. Areas like electricity, petroleum... are still not under the GST,” he added.

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Heroes still not okay with ceding screen space to women, says actor Taapsee Pannu

Even though the Hindi film industry is witnessing a surge in the number of women-oriented films, male actors are still not comfortable sharing lesser screen space compared their women leads, said actor Taapsee Pannu on Saturday.

She was speaking at The Huddle 2020 at the session, “Gender Bender: Women in the new age of cinema” and narrated several instances of male actors showing reluctance to play a secondary role in a film. Ms Pannu said a leading actor, in fact, had refused to work with her in a film where he was given 40% screen time. He said he had been advised by people that he should not do this film at “this stage in his career”, the actor quoted him as saying. 

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CAA is creating two pathways of citizenship based on religion, says Yamini Aiyar

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act fundamentally upends the Indian Constitution by creating two very distinct pathways of citizenship on the basis of religion, according to President of the Centre for Policy Research Yamini Aiyar.

The Act fast-tracks citizenship for illegal migrants of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who have come to India until December 31, 2014.

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Farming should be ecologically and economically sustainable: Bhupesh Baghel

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel in conversation with The Hindu's Political Editor Nistula Hebbar at The Huddle 2020 in Bengaluru

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel in conversation with The Hindu's Political Editor Nistula Hebbar at The Huddle 2020 in Bengaluru   | Photo Credit: G.P. Sampath Kumar


People would stick to farming as long as they get remunerative prices for their produce and governance initiatives in Chhattisgarh over the previous year have proved this beyond all doubts, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said on Saturday. Mr. Baghel speaking at The Huddle, on the topic ‘Bettering Rural India: Challenges in the time of climate change’. The session was moderated by Nistula Hebbar, Political Editor of The Hindu.

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‘Truth cannot be eclipsed by blinkers of prejudices,’ says President Ram Nath Kovind at The Hindu’s Huddle

President Ram Nath Kovind at The Huddle on Saturday.

President Ram Nath Kovind at The Huddle on Saturday.  


“Truth exists in absolute form which cannot be eclipsed by blinkers of prejudices. It cannot be a case of ‘your truth’ versus ‘my truth’. Truth has to be one,” President Ram Nath Kovind said on Saturday, while inaugurating the fourth edition of The Huddle organised by The Hindu group of publications.

Paying glowing tributes to The Hindu for “relentlessly aiming to capture the essence of this great country”, Mr. Kovind pointed out that sometimes dogmas and personal prejudices distorted the truth.

“In the 150th year of Gandhiji’s birth, let us ponder this question: Will it not be proper to pursue truth itself as the ideology. Gandhiji has shown us the path by ceaselessly in search of truth…” the President told a packed house at The Huddle.

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President's address

I am happy to be here to attend ‘The Huddle’ organised by The Hindu, a name that connotes not only India’s cultural diversity but also covers a sweep of history which is unparalleled in the world in civilisational context.

The Hindu group of publications has been relentlessly aiming to capture the essence of this great country through its responsible and ethical journalism. I commend them for their insistence on sticking to the five basic principles of journalism – truth-telling, freedom and independence, justice, humaneness and contributing to the social good. I am borrowing here Shri N. Ram’s wonderful description of these principles as ‘Panchsheel’ for The Hindu group of newspapers.

Here is the full text of his inaugural speech.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 2:34:47 PM |

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