Prime Minister Indira Gandhi called on the people on August 15 to stand firm before disruptive forces, which were weakening the nation’s unity. There was a need to rekindle the spirit of sacrifice and striving that characterised the freedom struggle. Speaking after unfurling the national flag at Delhi’s Red Fort to mark the country’s 36th Independence Day, the PM said no progress was possible in the absence of unity and hard work. The task of loosening poverty’s grip, lessening injustice and taking the benefits of independence down to everyone was gigantic. She admitted that despite all efforts, injustice, oppression and corruption continued to exist. But these problems could not be combated by a weak government.
The Israeli government demanded a check of the list of Palestinian guerrillas to leave Beirut, and insisted that it get back a captured air force pilot before the evacuation began, a cabinet statement said. Despite optimistic talk of an imminent agreement, a senior government official said Israel suspected that the PLO was planning to leave several thousand guerrillas in Beirut after it departed.
The Indian Ambassador to Pakistan, K D Sharma, clarified that it was the Pakistan government which had decided not to allow Bharati Shivaji, Indian classical dancer, to give performances in Pakistan on the occasion of India’s Independence Day celebrations.
Film star Amitabh Bachchan’s condition “ though still serious, showed improvement”, according to a medical bulletin issued by the Breach Candy Hospital, where he is undergoing treatment for intestinal injury.