India called upon the super powers to not disturb peace and stability of the Indian subcontinent. “We are vitally concerned at the security and integrity of the countries of the region,” President Sanjiva Reddy said in New Delhi. “If others take a hand in it out of a desire to establish their own pattern of global strategy and thereby make our efforts for peace and stability in our region more difficult, we shall lose no time in safeguarding our interests,” Reddy added. The president said this in a speech delivered at the banquet he hosted in honour of the visiting French president, Valery Giscard d’Estaing.
Mother, Bharat Ratna
Nobel Peace Prize winner Mother Teresa, widely acknowledged as a living saint, was conferred with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award. Mother Teresa is among the four persons honoured on the occasion of Republic Day. The 69-year-old nun, who says “duty is joy”, was awarded the Nobel for 1979.
President Sanjiva Reddy called for the creation of harmony in the country and for building ‘‘bridges of understanding” to enlist the cooperation of various shades of opinion. In his Republic Day broadcast, the President said the new government had been voted in to power with a massive mandate. “Let us wish them well in their efforts to come to grips with the many challenging tasks ahead,” he said.
Ayatollah Khomeini left his hospital bed to cast his ballot and spur his countrymen to the polls for the election of the first president of their new Islamic Republic. An estimated 22 million Iranians were eligible to vote for the president, who will be little more than a ceremonial head of state unless Khomeini dies.
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