August 12, 1977, Forty Years Ago: Lyricist Dead
Shyamlal Prasad, a freedom fighter and composer of the famous song, Jhanda uncha rahe hamara, which inspired Indians during the Independence movement, died in Kanpur after prolonged illness. He was 86.
Coke vs India
The Coca-Cola company reaffirmed that it would not agree to the Indian government’s conditions for continuing to trade in India. The conditions were for the Coca-Cola to pass on its technical know-how and for India to have a 60 per cent controlling interest in the soft-drink company’s Indian subsidiary. The government said if the company was unable to comply with its conditions, it would have to cease its activities in India. The company said that the government’s conditions for continued operation in India could not be agreed to because of the “company’s insistence that it continually supervises the manufacturing of Coca-Cola through a local quality control unit to insure the unvarying quality of its beverage”. The company pointed out that the 22 bottling factories concerned controlled by Indian interest.
PM Expands Ministry
Morarji Desai expanded his council of ministers by inducting 24 ministers of state. Prominent among them are Chand Ram and Sher Singh from Haryana, S.C. Aggarwal from Rajasthan, Renuka Devi Barkataki from Assam, Arif Beg from Madhya Pradesh, Samarendra Kundu from Orissa, Abha Maiti from West Bengal, Jnaneswar Mishra, Sheo Narain and Bhanu Pratap Singh from Uttar Pradesh and Jagdamba Prasad Yadav from Bihar. The ministry has two women and four Muslims, with Sikander Bakht as Cabinet minister for housing and public works. The 44-member ministry is smaller in size than envisaged in the Administrative Reforms Commission, which says that the government should not have more than 10 per cent of the strength of the Lok Sabha as members, which now has 542 MPs.