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Disunited Nation

Disunited Nation Nireekshak WHATEVER the state of its health or wealth at any given time, the United Nations has always had a ready champion in the Indian Press. The chorus of praise, though by no means uncritical praise, with which newspapers greeted the 25th anniversary of the UN did not therefore come as a surprise. Even the special supplement that Hitavada and the Lions Club of Nag- pur issued to mark the occasion seemed appropriate and not unusual., though this was probably the only supplement of its kind. To add to the intrinsic importance of the UN jubilee was the Prime Minister's personal visit to New York, Both events were adequately covered.

Exercised about Liberty

A Developing Situation Romesh Thapar PARLIAMENT will soon be in session again

Irrespective of the Majority

Irrespective of the Majority Nireekshak CLIQUES and cabals are known to flourish in the hot-house atmosphere of the capital. Yet even by New Delhi's standards, the total success of a journalist pressure group there, in cornering for itself the entire representation for working journalists (other than editors) on the Press Council, is remarkable. It is a success which has made the second Press Council almost as controversial as the first.

In Mourning

In Mourning Nireekshak IT is quite unusual for Indian newspapers to use black borders, as a sign of mourning, while announcing the death of a foreign statesman or while commenting on his death. Not even ail eminent Indians have been accorded that courtesy by the Press. When Ra- jendra Prasad died, for example, not every newspaper had enclosed the report in black borders and, if I remember right, Zakir Husain's death had not yielded many black-bordered editorials. The only foreigner who had been given this honour in recent times was probably President Kennedy of the United States whose photograph was published within black borders by some newspapers, following his assassination.

Viewing without Mobility

Viewing without Mobility Nireekshak "KERALA" as National Herald said, "makes bold political experiments, and the rest of the country watches with profound interest''. Certainly, the interest that the land of kathakali and kayakalpa evokes in the minds of political observers is unmistakably there. The mid-term poll brought out the best in sub-editors and editorial writers, even though that editorial best may not have been nearly good enough.

Purses and Proprieties

Purses and Proprieties Nireekshak THE monsoon session of Parliament was, according to most of the special correspondents in the capital, drawing to a very tame end when, quite suddenly, Government decided to introduce the Constitution Amendment Bill to abolish the purses and privileges of princes. And did the tail have a sting? It was not only the princes who were stung; some editorial writers and editors too found their blood pressure unaccountably rising, By and large the Press took the decision to introduce the Bill calmly enough

The King Can Do No Wrong

The King Can Do No Wrong Nireekshak SO I was not so wrong in my surmise that no mere decision of the Press Council in the Tribune case would alter Government's approach to public advertisements ! The Press Council's verdict is unambiguous

Sermon Time

Sermon Time Nireekshak ANNIVERSARY sermons are an inescapable feature of Indian life, The Press usually combines its own sermons on such occasions with other trivia in the form of special supplements, fat or thin depending on the volume of advertising, which together produce a sense, if not of either heat or light, at least of sheer weight. It must be conceded, though, that supplements have their uses: revenue for newspapers and raddi-value for readers. Independence Day has, again this year, produced its crop of sermons and supplements. There seems to be an unwritten convention also in existence which says that, while supplements issued on 'national' days like Independence Day and Republic Day should deal with 'serious' topics ("Unemployment Enemy No 1", Hindustan Standard; "Human Values Must Have Priority over Economics in Planning", Deccan Herald), only 'light' fare

Codes and Conscience

Codes and Conscience Nireekshak WHETHER the Press Council's decision, now pending, on Tribune's com- plaints against the Haryana Govern- ment win kelp evolve a uniform code for the placing of Government advertisements paid for from public funds remains to be seen. Tribune's com- plaint if against the State Govern- meat's peremptory stoppage of ad- vertisments to it on the ground, as advanced by the Government, that the advertisement rates charged by the paper were too high. A decision on this complaint can be reasonably expected to cover only the validity or otherwise of the rates charged by Tribune, what rates of advertisement a newspaper may charge in what circumstance, and a State Government's right if any to question the rates so charged or obligation if any to accept them and advertise. That might be of some help.

All in the Game

August 22, 1970 expressed his firm and solid belief in full-fledged democracy to which he felt Panchayat Democracy was no alternative. But the present split in the Congress must cause him worry. So far the financing of the democratic movement was looked after by Suharna Shumsher. Now, after the split, the Koirala group has to find other sources. It is with this objective in view it is rumoured in the Nepalese capital, that Koirala has planned his European trip. Besides addressing young European socialists at a meeting organised by the Socialist International in London, B P Koirala is expected to explore possibilities of collecting funds and other help for launching a struggle in his country from well- wishers of Nepal Koirala's opponents even suggest that if he gets the response he wants he may even try to form a Nepali Congress government-in-exile. But that may be to go too far. With the democrats at home divided, Koirala is far less able than Sihanouk in Cambodia.

So Easily Damaged

So Easily Damaged? Nireekshak CONTROVERSY seems to follow Dinesh Singh. Though with his exit from the Ministry of External Affairs the spotlight has moved away from him slightly and no controversy has yet arisen in relation to his new charge, the Press continues to echo the consequences of his earlier reign in South Block. The latest journalistic reference to the Kalakankar Raja's diplomatic miscalculations was provoked by Madame Binh's somewhat stormy passage

Fighters All

Fighters All Nireekshak FROM the 'tigers' of Vietnam to the 'lion' of Kashmir, and from a Cabinet reshuffle to the birth, growth and decline of the 'grand alliance' much indeed has held the attention of the Press in the three weeks since this column last appeared. While the discovery of the 'tiger cages' of Vietnam caused but a minor flurry, with all the big papers conspicuously ignoring it, almost everyone predictably went to town over the 'grand alliance'.

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