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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

August 16, 1981, Forty Years Ago: PM’s Warning

Speaking on the 54th anniversary of Independence, Mrs Gandhi asserted that the people asked for stern measures against anti-social elements but when such measures were introduced, some others came out protesting against them.

By: Editorial |
August 16, 2021 3:30:57 am
This is the front page of Indian Express on August 16, 1981.

The Prime Minister has warned that measures would be taken to curb anti-social and anti-national practices like hoarding, profiteering and black marketing. Speaking on the 54th anniversary of Independence, Mrs Gandhi asserted that the people asked for stern measures against anti-social elements but when such measures were introduced, some others came out protesting against them. Nevertheless, the government was determined to deal strictly with anti-social elements. “We have a good harvest at the moment,” Mrs Gandhi said and went on to pose the question, why there should be food imports. Imports had been ordered to counteract the moves of those who were planning to hoard stocks to jack up prices.

Monsoon Session

Despite the Opposition having failed to chalk up a strategy, the Monsoon Session of Parliament beginning on August 16 is bound to be a stormy one. Its numerical superiority notwithstanding, the ruling party seems to be in for a tough time, especially because of the government’s failure on the price front. In the absence of a joint opposition programme, however, it’s tough to predict what issues will dominate the session.

Assam Bandh

There was a partial to near complete response in Assam to the 24-hour bandh called by the AASU and the AAGSP on August 15, which passed off peacefully. Barring stray clashes between Congress (I) workers and agitators in Upper Assam, a few incidents of picketing where the police intervened and an explosion at a railway track in Maligaon near Guwahati, no untoward incident was reported. About 50 people have been taken into custody.

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