Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Scrapbook Jottings-3

September, 1979

Political Imperatives: Dr Rajni Kothari of the Indian Council of Social Sciences Research, addressing a seminar on India’s imperatives : “All our great achievements have so far been in the field of aesthetics, poetry and culture; our biggest failings have possibly been in politics”.

Women’s Movement: An angry young woman wrote to The Statesman that women’s movement should be encouraged, instead of being ridiculed. The paper’s reporter had described a women’s (New Delhi) Boat Club rally as a picnic for women in their Sunday best.

The reporter should have known better. Women everywhere give much thought to dress wherever they show up, a picnic or a protest rally. I read about the predicament of this girl in Paris who had been invited by students planning to burn down the Palais de Justice. She couldn’t decide what to wear for the occasion. So she didn’t go.

Indira Gandhi on poll campaign: Kaithal in Haryana greeted Mrs Indira Gandhi the other day with ‘murdabad’ slogans, but gave her a Rs.1 lakh purse for the party campaign fund. The Statesman called it a ‘mixed reception’. A lucrative ‘mix’, I would say. A hostile reception with a fat purse thrown in is better than empty zindabad slogans.

At the end of her electioneering day in Haryana, protesters wound-up with sore throat caused by slogan shouting. Mrs Gandhi’s party was reportedly richer by Rs.4,66,000, not counting the 65kg of coins she received at a poll rally in Jind where the organizers weighed Mrs Gandhi with one-rupee coins.

Piloo Mody: speaking to a drawing-room group at Friends Colony (New Delhi’s abode of posh people), observed Mr Charan Singh was a prime minister on ‘daily wages’; and Mrs Gandhi, leader of a party of ‘bonded labour’.

T A Pai, rail minister, told a Congress workers meeting in Panaji that politicians were changing parties more often than their shirts.

H N Bahuguna, union finance minister, conceded 'inability’ of the government to deal with the menace of black money. It would not be in a position to take hard decisions to curb black money circulation in view of the coming Lok Sabha Poll. The minister was addressing a conference of chief ministers of the Congress ruled states.

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