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From 50 Years Ago: The Hopeful Sixties?

Editorial from Volume XII, No. 1, January 2, 1960. 

The advent of 1960 ends not only a year but a decade; and it ends these periods on a more hopeful note than humanity knew at the close of the previous ten years. The penulti-mate year or two of the 1950’s had an almost nightmarish quality, when the world seemed dangerously poised on the brink of ruin. The two mighty giants of the mid-twentieth century delighted in throwing verbal nucle-arism on each other and threatened, at the slightest provocation, to follow these up with real split-atom action. In Berlin the two Big Powers came again and again on the point of collision – and, happily, held themselves back in the nick of time... But, somehow, the chaotic madness of world affairs suddenly took a hold on itself in the last eighteen months or so; and the har-assed people of the world found time to look, with surprise, at the many little stars of hope which were beginning to rise in the darkness of earlier years. Mr Khrushchev began to smile upon a relieved mankind. Mr Eisenhower began to respond to this smile. The fuse came off from the perennial bomb of Berlin. Latin America began to step out with democratic as-pirations from the ashes of many a dictator-ship. The base of imperialism shook in Africa; and many candles of freedom lit themselves in the blackness of the Dark Continent...the world feels it can see, vaguely but somehow surely, the outlines of hope in the mists of the immediate future. Of the few outstanding tragedies of the decade, as it draws to its close, is the Chinese assault on the spirit and letter of Panchsheel in Asia. We in India begin the new year with the type of misgiving and apprehension which hitherto we had reserved only for the traditional warriors of the Cold War. But these fears too are to a large extent diminished against the back-ground of a generally less hostile world.

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