The lead headline read, “State of emergency will continue: Government”. The report discussed a demand of a consultative committee of MPs attached to the home ministry. The panel wanted the Centre to withdraw the state of emergency declared in the wake of the Bangladesh war. CPM leader Jyotirmoy Basu said the government was exploiting the emergency provisions for political purposes. Home Minister K. Brahmananda Reddy refuted Basu and said that the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution had not been abridged. However, he claimed the threat to the country’s security has not ceased and, hence, the emergency could not be lifted. Proclaimed on December 3, 1971, in the wake of “the security of India [being] threatened by external aggression”, it continued till March 21, 1977. The threat to the nation due to internal disturbances was invoked later.
JP in Madras
In an indication of future political realignments, the DMK gave a rousing welcome to Jayaprakash Narayan in Madras. Later, JP told the media that DMK chief and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi said he would try to correct the mistakes made by his government. “JP described his movement as a guarantee against a vicious circle of all-round grievances not getting rectified, leading to frustration and sporadic violence, and consequent authoritarian rule and dictatorship on the pretext that democracy is not functioning and of overcoming violence,” the report said. An accompanying report mentioned a meeting between JP and senior Congress (O) leader K. Kamaraj.
Water crisis in TN
The photograph of the day was of women waiting at a public tap in Madras with empty pots. Tamil Nadu was facing a water crisis and a report discussed the state’s move to explore an artificial rain-making project with Canadian expertise.