Prime Minister Indira Gandhi said India had overcome the period of darkness and emerged stronger but the people must maintain discipline and courage to withstand external pressures and take the country ahead. She declared that while the dark period was over, the nation needed unity, self-confidence and discipline to march ahead and also to safeguard the hard-won freedom. “If we are united no country can attack us or pressurise us,” she said, while addressing a public meeting at Bhadohi, near Varanasi.
Gujarat Govt Falls
Vassanji Thakrar, a Jana Sangh MLA who had turned independent and caused the fall of the Janata Front government in Gujarat, joined the Congress. Gujarat Pradesh Congress chief Hitendra Desai said many Congress (O) and Jana Sangh workers were joining the Congress voluntarily. The Janata Front ministry led by CM Babubhai Patel had resigned on Friday after losing a vote in the assembly.
PM’s Moscow Visit
INDIRA Gandhi’s long-awaited visit to the Soviet Union was expected to take place in summer, a report said. This was one reason why I.K. Gujral, ambassador-designate to the USSR, was requested to join his post without delay. Working out the PM’s itinerary would be one of his immediate jobs. The Soviet Union was pressing for the return call by the PM for some time now. After Brezhnev’s visit in late-1973, India’s foreign ministers, Swaran Singh and Y.B. Chavan, had gone to Moscow, but not the PM. She had accepted Brezhnev’s invitation.
The lead photograph on the front page was that of self-exiled dissident Soviet writer, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who participated in a debate in Paris, which followed the screening of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, based on his life in Soviet labour camps.