Forty Years Ago: April 11, 1979
East In The Dark
Power generation in West Bengal and Bihar has slumped to a record low, crippling industry, business and domestic life. Major industries in West Bengal were closed until next week. Smaller units had very restricted power supply. Bihar too plunged into virtual darkness, creating an unprecedented drinking water crisis. Calcutta and its neighbourhood had long spells of power shedding affecting normal life, including water supply and hospital services. Cinema houses suspended matinee shows. Shops pulled down their shutters before dusk. Office workers and housewives suffered an ordeal with the heat touching 105 degree Fahrenheit.
A former US Ambassador to India, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, has said that the American government gave money to the Congress party twice for elections, once to Mrs Gandhi herself. In his book, A Dangerous Peace, published in the US recently, Moynihan has disclosed that after Mrs Gandhi’s speeches in 1974 about the danger of subversion by the CIA, he ordered an inquiry into America’s doings in India in the past 25 years. “I was satisfied we had been up to very little,” Moynihan has written. “We had twice, but only twice, interfered in Indian politics to the extent of providing money to a political party. Both times this was done in the face of a prospective communist victory in a state election, once in Kerala and once in West Bengal. Both times the money was given to the Congress party which had asked for it. Once it was given to Mrs Gandhi herself, who was then a party official.”
Jayaprakash Narayan, stated to be still “quite weak”, today withstood well yet another five-hour dialysis. He was given a bottle of blood transfusion during his 10th dialysis after he was flown to Bombay on March 19. His secretary, T Abraham, said in the evening that JP was running slight temperature and feeling exhausted.