Forty Years Ago: November 13, 1978
Chairman of the Minorities Commission Justice M R A Ansari is thinking of resigning following differences with the government on the role and functions of the commission in the developing communal situation. Ansari has sought an appointment with the prime minister to point out to him that during the last few weeks the Minorities Commission could not do whatever it wanted to study some of the recent communal riots, including the incidents in Aligarh. Ansari said that he would seek from the PM a categorical assurance that the Minorities Commission will be allowed to function independently and if such an assurance was not given, “I think I will resign from the post”. The first chairman of the Commission, Minoo Masani, also resigned somewhat dissatisfied with the status and autonomy of the body.
Prez rule in Pondy
The Union Territory of Pondicherry has been placed under President’s rule following political instability there. The AIADMK ministry headed by S Ramaswamy has been dismissed and the Assembly dissolved.
Indira in London
Indira Gandhi said her current visit to the UK is not aimed at embarrassing the Janata government. Speaking to newsmen at Heathrow Airport, Mrs Gandhi said, “This is a personal visit undertaken at the response to invitations from friends here and I have no intentions of embarrassing the Janata government. Indeed there is no need to embarrass them because their actions are looking after that.” As she alighted from the Air India Boeing, Mrs Gandhi was received by the Indian Deputy High Commissioner, Allan Nazareth, officials of the Indian Overseas Congress and representatives of other bodies co-operating with this organisation for arranging the trip.
Defence Minister Jagjivan Ram said his telephonic talk with the Congress (I) President Indira Gandhi after her victory in the Chikmagalur by-election was not political.