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Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, in Bihar on a two-day visit, visited Belchhi, the village where 11 persons including eight Harijans were killed in May. On reaching the impassable stretch of the road between Harnaut and Belchhi, she refused to be argued out of her decision to proceed further. This happened after the jeep hitched to a tractor got stuck in the slush. A composed tusker stood by. She looked at it intently. In less than a minute, the elephant docilely squatted. She lost no time in getting on to its back from the rear. Pratibha Sinha, MP, was helped on to it, as misgivings flushed her face, to accompany Mrs Gandhi.
About 30 leading editors from all over India announced the formation of the Indian Editors Guild. The aims and objects of the guild are to uphold the freedom of the press, to work for the improvement of the professional standards in the print and other media, and to preserve the independence of the editor. An announcement issued by the joint conveners, S. Sahay and Nikhil Chakravarty, says the guild had been set up to provide an opportunity for editors to discuss professional problems such as press freedom, ethics and standards and the rights of readers. Among its sponsors are B.G. Verghese, Ajit Bhattacharjee, Nikhil Chakravarty, Inderjit, K.R. Malkani, Kuldip Nayar, C. Raghavan, S. Sahay, Sham Lal, Kalpana Sharma, Romesh Thapar, V.K. Narasimhan, S. Nihal Singh and S.H. Vatsyayan.
AIR, DD autonomy
An 11-member working group will examine the government’s proposal to convert AIR and Doordarshan into autonomous institutions. Headed by B.G. Verghese, the group will submit its report within three months. working group consists of Verghese (chairman), V.G. Rajadhyaksha, Malcolm Adiseshiah, Chanchal Sarkar, P.L. Deshpande, Umashankar Joshi, and A.G. Noorani among others.