Forty Years Ago: November 19, 1978
The dispute between the Akali Dal and the Union government over the Nirankari issue has been resolved. The two Akali representatives in the Desai ministry, Surjit Singh Barnala, minister of agriculture and irrigation, and Dhanna Singh Gulshan, minister of state for education and social welfare, have withdrawn their resignations. After day-long parleys between Akali and Janata leaders, Biju Patnaik, Union steel minister, read out a statement to the press: “After detailed discussions with Akali leaders, the government has decided to generally withdraw cases in connection with the incidents of November 4, 5 and 6 In Delhi”. The statement said the government had asked Sikh organisations to send their “specific objections to passages in Nirankari book and after receiving such objections the government will get them examined to remove the objections”.
As reports spoke about communal tension reviving in Aligarh, Prime Minister Morarji Desai advised Janata Party President Chandra Shekhar to visit the UP town immediately. A three-member delegation of the Aligarh Muslim University’s relief and rehabilitation committee, which apprised Desai of the situation in Aligarh, told this to the media. A memorandum submitted by the delegation referred to the failure of the Provincial Armed Constabulary to restore confidence among the people because of its “partisan and inhuman role” during the riots.
Gavaskar on song
Half an hour of brilliant batsmanship by Sunil Gavaskar and Mohinder Amarnath graced the penultimate day’s play in the third Test between India and Pakistan at Karachi. It helped India almost wipe out their deficit on the first innings, and at close they were 131 for two wickets in their second . Gavaskar, who scored a century in the first innings, was not out on 67 while Amarnath was bowled by Imran Khan for 53.