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The Election That Never Was

The Election That Never Was G P D BY the time these lines appear in print President Marcos would have so manipulated the counting in the Presidential 'elections' in the Philippines that another term of six years would be a certainty for him. Five years ago Marcos, the President of the unfortunate archacpelago since 1965, organised a referendum confirming enormous powers that he had given himself. The Filipinos in a massive vote, so we were told, had endorsed the accretion to Marcos's power. Nobody was deceived by the show. The only people who took it seriously were President Marcos and his glamorous wife lmelda. In the same year Marcos had a thumping victory in the Presidential poll over an opposition candidate who was no match for him. Soon after the six-year term began in 1981 the troubles of Marcos also began. The constitution had originally provided for a four-year term. Marcos bulldozed the legislature into amending the constitution and making it into a six-year term. This means that Marcos could have continued to be President till well into 1987. The situation started worsening for him much before he had thought or feared it would.

The Chinese Are Coming

November 2, 1985 tionality in regard to domestic economic policies. However, the developing countries, while constantly arguing for enlargement of this window in The Bank (the G-24 report referred to above specifically asks' for giving at least 25 per cent of the Bank's loans in the form of structural adjustment loans) have at the same rime urged reduction of the conditionally attaching to these loans so as to make the assistance much more flexible and thereby improve its usefulness to the borrowing countries. What the US proposal is seeking to do now is exactly the opposite, namely, to tighten the conditionality. What is worse is that in the name of growth the promotion of ideological objectives is being sought, and sought so very blatantly.

Anti-Nuclear Noises

Anti-Nuclear Noises G P D THE Bomb is in the air. There was a seminar in Bombay sometime last month on the nuclear question. There was one in Delhi. From Camper to Anderson everyone has spoken about the Bomb. Rajiv Gandhi has also stated that if Pakistan does in fact go in for a nuclear devise this country will have to take adequate steps to meet the problem. As we are no defence experts ourselves we end up hearing every case and ramain as unenlightened as ever. The question seems to be one of India going nuclear. The arguments we have read or heard nevertheless make an interesting experience.

Sino-US Nuclear Diplomacy

August 10, 1985 space satellites and micro chips, how does a small nation, so utterly dependent on the rest of the world for its living, preserve its personality? For the younger generation, jeans and rock music have been a great leveller. Norway provided the first Secretary General of the United Nations in the person of Trygve Lie; as a proportion of national income, its governmental aid to the developing countries is now the highest among the donor nations. There can be no questioning of its global conscience. But will tomorrow's global political culture permit Norway to stay on as Norway?

The Excommunicator

 anchored to anything that resembles a motivating alternative. What, then, is it that prevents a focusing on key priorities? The brutal truth is that the leaderships of today are only concerned about themselves. Wandering, and meandering, they have forgotten the context in which they function

A Nice, Neat Affair

February 2, 1985 centres of power and patronage. I hope they are not the wrong lessons. We have an appetite for them. We should be moving towards less 'secrecy', not more.

The Fox and the Chicken-house

The Fox and the Chicken-house G P D SOMETIME in 1983 an American political scientist published an article in Asian Survey which began with the following question: Does anyone care to remember how long ago it was that the US chose China as an nlly against the Soviet Union? Well, Petrov would have his answer now. The Soviets do remember. They remember it with a degree of sullen- ness surprising in a people who dominate world politics. They have never forgotten it. After the none- too-successful visit of Reagan to China the proposed visit of Arkhipov has hsen cancelled, No details have been given. There is only a bland announcement that the visit which was to have been the first major visit of a Soviet politician to Beijing in fifteen years has been indefinitely postponed

CHINA- Much Publicised Non-Event

many Muslim leaders stood by Asghar Ali Engineer in his crusade against the tyranny of Syedna, the Bohra chief? Why is there a total absence of refrom movements in other Sunni and Shia sects? Communalism can be fought effectively only if we fight against injustice in every form, it cannot be fought piecemeal. Hindu obscurantists can be defeated only if obscurantist practices among Muslims, along with their just grievances, are fought against.

Whose News Is It Anyway

Whose News Is It Anyway? G P D IT was not very long ago that the grand media conference took place in New Delhi, The media of the nun-aligned, for the non-aligned, by the non-aligned. The West, i e, the imperialists, is forever distorting the rosy picture in the third world. The developing world is a victim of an in-built bias against them. All those news agencies are totally unmindful of what excellent things the various kind and benevolent rulers in the developing world are dishing out to their captive subjects. Oh no, these new agencies must be asked to behave. Since this is not possible, have our own approach to media. Let the developing world get its due share of the news and views. The Akashvani started its own news of the developing world (to be heard at noon time). The north-south news divide was about to be bridged. Down with all those umpteen news agencies of the Western world which publish nothing but lies, distortions, frauds, and what have you! Against this background, some recent coverage of China by our own PTI deserves notice. To begin with, it needs to be stated that the PTI coverage of China is qualitatively no different from what all those blessed news agencies from the despicable West have got to say about the developing world. It is news, albeit of a doubtful variety. There is as much, if not more, of Views', 'prejudice', 'bias', and so on mixed in this news as there would be in, shall we say Reuters or UNI or AFP or AP (and so on) coverage of India's foreign policy. One does not know, however, who is doing the mixing in the PTT. When it comes to the Americans or the British we seem to know, or claim to know, all the origins and sources of the news. As regards the PTI one does not know if it is entirely native wisdom or there is somebody talking a little shrill between the lines. But there it is.

On the Not - Socialist - Oriented

incision) should not be discarded, since this method can be easily performed by nurses or health workers, whereas the laparoscopic method requires greater surgical and medical experience. Several delegates stressed that laparo- scopy as a technique should be taught routinely only to gynaecologists who would also be using conventional methods and were 'familiar with the abdominal cavity'.

The Peace Show

For the elite in this country international affairs are a great show-business. For several months now Indira Gandhi has demonstrated that from games to development in the third world, almost anything, can be transformed into a show business, naturally she herself being at the centre of the business. To be fair to her, she certainly has a remarkable sense of colour and the sarees she chose to wear during the NAM or CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) proved that she is without doubt the best-dressed HOG in the entire world. Add to it her speech-writer's brahmimcal skills with the language, her diction, her carriage and the poise. The dazzing picture of the politics of the undernourished third world is complete. These shows with their customary 'anti-North' veneer satisfy the theorists in the developed world. The theorists around the Moskva viver then see the enormous possibilities of such a well-dressed and articulate leadership. Those around the Rhein or Thames see excellent opportunity in the sub-continent. The Americans have pocketed Pakistan, the World Bank is looking after Bangladesh. It requires some continental finesses to deal with the clever Brahmins in New Delhi and of course her stern, imperial majesty who orders them about. Now it appears that one more show might be around the corner. Two enterprising journalists from New Delhi (could they have been from anywhere else?) who look after Indo- Scandinaviun Friendship have filed Indira 'Gandhi's nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. Seven members of Parliament have supported the nomination.

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