February 27, 1976, Forty Years Ago

It appears that New Delhi wants to play the whole thing in a low key; the elections are close and relations with Washington have been on the mend.

By: Editorial | Published: March 6, 2017 12:30 am

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A spy story

The espionage case in which many Indian officials have been arrested and two Americans expelled from the country has started to resemble the plot from one of Alistaire Maclean’s books. One arrested official of an economic ministry has turned out to be a double agent, working both for the CIA and the KGB, the Soviet espionage set-up. According to reports from Washington, several Indian officials had divulged “nuclear and industrial secrets”. It appears that New Delhi wants to play the whole thing in a low key; the elections are close and relations with Washington have been on the mend.

Quake hits Bucharest

Thousands of people were feared dead after a severe earth quake, which reduced parts of Bucharest and other southern Romanian cities to rubble. The quake, which registered 7.5 on the Richter scale, was felt from Rome to Moscow.

An artist’s protest

Sushila Nayar, former Union health minister, released a statement on the self-immolation of an artist in October in protest against the Emergency. “Shri Prabhakar Sharma, a godly man in his fifties, was an artist and a Sarvodaya worker. He earned lakhs by selling his paintings. But the entire amount was devoted the service of rural areas, rural housing and helping the poor in villages. For his own expenses, he received Rs 75 per month and lived on that… For sometime he was oppressed by draconian laws promulgated during the Emergency. A few days ago, he returned from Bombay to Surgaon, a small village near Vinoba’s ashram in Wardha, where he had lived for some years. At Surgaon he gave away all his wordly posessions… He said he did not wish to live under MISA… Sharma poured kerosene on himself on the night of October 13, when the village had gone to bed, and set fire to himself.”

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