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Areas of Inconvenience

 from his desire to concentrate on the more dispossessed rural proletariat and from the experience till now of the trade union movement under parliamentarian Communist leadership. It is perhaps the dangers or creating an economically far-better-off and favoured working class elite

The Tedium of Politics

The Tedium of Politics Nireekshak POLITICS! Politics! Politics! Had not the monsoon and Khorana's gene intervened, the tedium would have been too much for newspaper readers to hear. First there was the AICC meeting in Delhi

The Wrong Keys

stave off change by mere political manoeuvring and sheer huckstering. Within a given balance of forces this skilful tactic of immobilisme may pay some dividends for some time. But any significant mass movement simply sweeps it aside.

Socialist Heralds

 insurrection in order to force the hands of the Government and society. "But let's give the Government a chance", they said. Political observers, however, wonder whether a Government with a paper- thin majority and an unimaginative Cabinet can work out a policy to tackle the twin problems of unemployment and growth. The Chief Minister, Daroga Prasad Rai, is a worried man. The continuing threat of his Government being toppled has reduced his confidence in the face of his coalition partners who keep hedging their support with conditions, written and unwritten, CRISIS IN SSP On the opposition benches, the Sam- yukta Socialist Party is still going through an internal crisis. Bhola Prasad Singh, a member of the SSP national executive, has raised the caste policy of the party to the realms of ideology. He would not permit his party even to attempt to bring down a government headed by a backward class man, Daroga Prasad Rai, if this makes way for a "Dwija", Ramanand Tewari, the present leader of the legislature SSP. But behind this facade of ideology is the personal pique that Bhola Prasad Singh has towards Rama- nand Tewari because of the prominent part he played in the move for the abolition of the Upper House of which the former is a member.

In High Dudgeon

studies, and yet more studies, and letting its more talkative ministers make remarks about the importance of the problem. BEYOND MERE COMPETENCE It, in the course of the election campaign, the debate does move along such lines, it will be a sign that a new phase has begun in the style of British political life. Such phases tend to go in decades. From 1957, when Macmillan took over from Eden, to 1966, when Harold Wilson consolidated the small majority that he had won in 1964, was the era of what one commentator has called "the competence mandate", when elections were indeed won on the basis of a general assessment of managerial ability, without any very clear delineation of the purposes to which that ability was to be applied. Heath and Wilson are perhaps the last relics of that age, for events since 1966 have constituted one long reminder that politics is about real issues, that management, whether of a party or of an electorate or of an economy, is little more than a trade skill which politicians must possess in order to survive, but which can only be justified in terms of the policy objectives which it serves. The major failures of the Labour administration, which stand apart from the numerous minor promises which one is now constantly reminded have been kept, are not failures of competence. In race relations, immigration, foreign aid, education, employment, the failures have arisen from an absence of clearly defined objectives, so that there has been no test by which competence might be assessed.

Not Cricket

No Respite Romesh Thapar EVENTS are conspiring to keep Indira Gandhi on the hop. The end of an extraordinarily long parliamentary session has not reduced the pressure on her time and energy. And soon, those goodwill tours will absorb or come to represent the few moments of relaxation. To some extent, the Prime Minister must blame herself. Too many decisions are being deferred in the search for total or perfect answers. Delay, it should be remembered, is the fertiliser of anger and frustration.

The Healers

The Healers Nireekshak tried and failed than never to have tried at all". FEW political events have been watched so keenly or reported and analysed so extensively as the Congress split. And no wonder. In the decades before Independence the Congress was India, and for at least two decades after 1947 its political supremacy was unchallenged. A large section of the Indian Press had itself grown out of and with the movement for Independence so much so that, while no organic links existed between the Press and the Congress, sentimental ties remained strong even through controversy and disagreement. When the split came, last year, the Press seemed more shocked than most others. For some newspapers it has meant a parting of the ways with one or the other of the divided factions, while some others continue to nurse secret hopes of a reunion of the two factions. Whether or not these hopes will be realised is more than anyone can say. But the Press continues to take the closest interest in every little detail of Congress politics.

Low Voices

Lenin with Song and Dance IN 1938 on Lenin Day, in a message written in Hindi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said: ". . lor the crores of poor people of the world he [Lenin] has become the star that lights their way towards freedom . . . Lenin was horn in Kussia. But he belongs to the whole world, and we too seek our path in that light. It is but proper that we remember this ..great man and strengthen ourselves with his memory".

Lenin with Profit

Lenin with Profit Nireekshak PANKAJ SHARMA's tragic death, in Bhutan, adds a sombre footnote to an otherwise successful Press coverage of the President's tour of the Himalayan kingdom. It is not often that newspapermen from India have opportunities of observing and reporting on life in the landlocked regions to our north, Sik- kim, particularly, has been something of a closed book for journalists. Few newspapers have shown the enterprise to send their own correspondents to these areas to ferret out information. But the Press alone is not to blame for the singular lack of communication.

Quiet Correspondents

Quiet Correspondents Nireekshak AFTER man's historic first landing on the moon, which was eagerly and extensively reported in the Indian Press, general interest in moonflights had slackened somewhat. And by the time Apollo-13 blasted off from Cape Kennedy, though it was only the third manned flight to the moon, newspapers had already begun to take most of the news out of the front pages. Moon voyages were becoming a routine affair. But Apollo-13 returned to the front pages with a terrific splash when, following a major technical mishap which placed the lives of the three astronauts in clanger, the mission was called off. From the moment of discovery of the technical flaw till the successful splash-down of the maimed vessel in the Pacific, the Apollo-13 story stayed on the front pages.

Mirror, Mirror, Tell Me True...

meet intellectuals is to go to the petrol filling stations. A large number of writers and journalists are reportedly working as petrol station attendants. There are said to be more than 400 former journalists who have been forced to take manual jobs, because of their unwillingness to compromise their intellectual integrity or because they have been victimised. Among the intellectuals who have been jailed arc the famous journalist and chess player Ludek Pachman, and the writer Ota Filip.

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