The Pravda, the Soviet communist party mouthpiece, said mounting tensions along the Sino-Soviet border were a consequence of Peking’s “provocative campaign” against national minorities inhabiting the frontier district. While denying the allegation that the Soviets intended to launch “a surprise attack” against China, the Pravda said Maoists needed the idea to cover up their “great power designs in respect of national minorities and at the same time to draw them into anti-Soviet policy”. The commentary spoke of wholesale repression of local cadres and moving in of troops in the national minority districts of Inner Mongolia, Sinkiang and Tibet. It said Peking was pressing ahead with the “Sinoisation” of these areas through forcible assimilation and resettlement of millions from Central Asia and by discouraging the creation of local alphabets.
Debi Prasad Roy Chowdhury, a sculptor of international repute, died in Calcutta. Chowdhury was principal of the Government College of Arts and Crafts, Madras, and chairman of the Lalit Kala Academy. In the last few years of his life, he devoted himself to the composition of 11 images, including one of Gandhi. (The images have since been installed in New Delhi and are collectively referred to as gyarah murti). Among his compositions are the Martyr’s Memorial in Patna and the Triumph of Labour in Madras.
Asia, On Its Own
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi asked all those who care about peace and justice in the world, “more specially the newly free and non-aligned nations of Asia itself,” to speak up against “outside presences and adventures”. She was speaking at a luncheon function for Yugoslavia’s prime minister, Dzemal Bijedic. Later, Bijedic said that Belgrade shared New Delhi’s concern “over unfavourable developments in the Indian Ocean and in the Arab-Persian Gulf”.