ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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From 50 Years Ago: How Not to Do It

Editorial from Volume XIV, Nos 51 & 52, December 22, 1962.

It was barely a month ago that the people demonstrated that they were not really sunk in apathy and indifference…The magnificent response of the Indian people to the Chinese aggression lifted a veil from the face of India. “We have had a glimpse of the serene face of India”, that was what Pandit Nehru said then, “strong, yet calm and determined”. It would be idle to pretend that this high pitch of enthusiasm has been maintained, that there has been no falling off from it. There are distressing symptoms that enthusiasm has not been given a proper lead and that lacking a vigorous purposeful direction, it has been visibly ebbing away.

…To take one single example, precaution against possible air-raids is one of the elementary measures of civilian defence. This is a task which would be assiduously taken up by the people if they were trusted and properly guided. Instead of that, in Delhi and Calcutta, digging of trenches for air-raid shelters has been entrusted to contractors and competition for contracts has replaced voluntary labour… Another elementary measure of such precaution is organisation of first-aid. Instead of people in the cities being told in every ward which doctor they should go to, and emergency provision being made for first-aid in schools and other available public buildings…notice (has been) issued to hospitals, already over-crowded and woefully short of beds, to maintain vacant beds for the emergency…

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