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Forty Years Ago, December 8, 1980: Farmers Strike

Two palanquins carrying photographs of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, B R Ambedkar and Jyotiba Phule were at the forefront of the procession.

By: Editorial | December 8, 2020 2:30:12 am
Forty Years Ago, December 8, 1980: Farmers StrikeThis is the front page of the Indian Express, from forty years ago.

About 15,000 farmers set out from Jalgaon to Nagpur on a 365 kilometre march organised by Opposition parties. At the head of the mammoth procession was the leader of the Opposition in Maharashtra, Sharad Pawar, the Janata Party leader RA Patil, the PWP leader N D Patil. Two palanquins carrying photographs of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, B R Ambedkar and Jyotiba Phule were at the forefront of the procession. The leaders have finalised a charter of demands. These include a built-in system on the lines of the cost of living index to decide the support price for farm produce. They charter of demands also includes weekly offs and increased wages for farm labour.

Assam Strike

Normal life came to a grinding halt and communication services were paralysed in Assam as a 24-hour non cooperation protest got under way against the installation of a new ministry led by Anwara Taimur. Transmission on the Guwahati station of the All India Radio was disrupted. Most parts of the state, except Cachar district, was affected by the strike. For the first time, the All Assam Students Union and the Assam Gana Sangram Parishad did not exempt the essential services except the police and health workers.

Deng’s Warning

The Chinese leader Deng Xiaopeng has reportedly warned US authorities through Japanese foreign minister Masayoshi Ito that if the Ronald Reagan administration upgrades its ties with Taiwan, China may try to improve its relations with the Soviet Union. The angry Chinese statement followed a statement by Reagan adviser Ray Cline that China was “diplomatically uncivilised” and it should declare a policy of non-belligerence towards China.

Intelsat Launched

The world’s largest communication satellite, Intelsat, was launched from Cape Canaveral from Florida in the US. It will be able to handle 12,000 telephone calls and two TV channels simultaneously — twice the capacity of any previous satellite.

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