Prime Minister Indira Gandhi ruled out any changes in the parliamentary system of government and said that the Opposition was spreading unnecessary rumours in this respect. But she observed that the present system had got entangled in red tapism and was embroiled in several other problems. The question, according to the prime minister, was how to make the present system more efficient. Mrs Gandhi said that no minister in her government had ever said that she would be made president for life and such rumours were only part of the Opposition’s propaganda. She also said it was dangerous for the country to have a weak Opposition. A weak Opposition tends to support irresponsible elements, she said. The Opposition at the current juncture, she contended, had nothing to say and was therefore blowing up out of proportion any issue at hand.
The Assam Cut-off
The Assam situation may see a breakthrough if the student leaders piloting the agitation agree to 1967 as the cut-off year to detect foreigners. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi has reportedly indicated that if the student leaders agree to a cut-off date between 1961 and 1971, she will send her secretary Krishnaswamy Rao Sahib to Gauhati for further talks regarding the foreign nationals issue.
Film Festival Opens
The eighth international film festival got off to a simple but impressive start with Minister of Information and Broadcasting Vasant Sathe lighting a brass lamp presented by Kannada actress Rekha Rao at a star-studded ceremony at the Vigyan Bhawan. Besides the distinguished bunch of internationally reputed film makers who form the Indian jury, a strong contingent from Bombay’s celluloid world lent glamour to the inauguration. Film artists from Bombay, present on the occasion, included Raj Kapoor, Sanjeev Kumar, Shashi Kapoor, Rekha and Amitabh Bachchan along with film makers Yash Chopra, O P Ralhan and A V Arya.