August 16, 1978, Forty Years Ago: PM at Red Fort
PM at Red Fort
Prime Minister Morarji Desai said the Janata Party was sure to grow stronger in years to come. He ridiculed the charge made by some critics that the Janata Party had become weak in recent months. “Those who say so are themselves doing their best to weaken the party but they would fail,” he said. Unfurling the national flag on the ramparts of Red Fort to mark the anniversary of the country’s independence, Desai said the Janata Party had been able to fulfill some of the major promises it had made to the people last year. The PM surveyed the national scene and covered important issues like prices, the Dalit problem, the law and order situation and India’s ties with foreign countries. The Press and the judiciary had been freed and the freedom of these two institutions would help preserve the freedom of the citizens, he said. He believed that the freedom restored to the people after the Emergency would stay. But for this, they would have to become fearless and strong.
Mission to embassy
Diplomatic missions in New Delhi received a note from the Royal Bhutan mission that henceforth it should be addressed as the Royal Bhutan Embassy. That South Block approved the symbolic change in nomenclature is seen as further evidence of India’s commitment to an independent, sovereign Bhutan. The Bhutanese Ambassador in New Delhi is already accredited to neighbouring Bangladesh. The renaming of the mission follows from recent manifestations of the landlocked, mountain kingdom striving to acquire a distinct personality the comity of nations.
Curfew in Solapur
A seven-hour curfew has been imposed in Solapur, Maharashtra, following a clash between Dalit Panthers and another section of people, in which at least two persons were injured. The police burst teargas shells to quell the clash. Widespread incidents of stone-throwing and arson were also reported.
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