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11.4 JÂ«K 6,1975 1 * - ' W75 g vidtr GÂ«*c*teJiÂ«u Mrs. Gandhi Promises Change for India BY Myra* L NEW DELHI. India - With leading opponents in jail and her control over the country solidified at least for the time being. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is promising a social, political and economic traasformatiofi of tradition-ridden India. Although the government itself initially acknowledged pockets of resistance to Mrs. Gandhi's June 26 proclamation of a national emergency, the country is reported to be generally peaceful, but tense. Censorship of news remains in force, both domestically and on dispatches sent abroad. THE IMPRESSION is that for the moment at least Indians have accepted their fate, as the Hindu and Moslem religions teach them to do. Now Mrs. Gandhi plans to take advantage of her authoritarian powers to establish a new society, according to persons close to her. "We have all the powers," said Dev Kanta Borooah, president of the governing Congress party. "If we don't use these in the interest of the people, history will blame us." The main purpose given for Mrs. Gandhi's emergency declaration and the arrests of thousands of political opponents was to crush a threatened civil disobedience campaign against her after a court ruling that she was illegally elected. Non-Communist opposition parties wanted the prime minister to resign even though she had appealed her conviction of violating election laws during her 1971 campaign for her seat in Parliament. A Supreme Court judge ruled after the conviction that Mrs. Gandhi could remain in office but could not vote in Parliament. The opinion of well-informed sources in New Delhi is that if Mrs. Gandhi had been acquitted of the charges, she would not have declared the emergency since there would have been no opposition movement for her resignation. But they add that she evidently had been toying with the idea of a basic change in India's governing style for some time. Highly placed sources say Mrs. Gandhi had become convinced that the country's free-wheeling parliamentary democracy had not worked and had to be overhauled if poverty was to be reduced. "We were becoming more and more a soft society and on that basis, either in Parliament or state legislatures or in administration, we were not prepared to take those hard decisions which are neces- sary," said Finance Minister Chidambaram Subramaniam. Â· * Â· IN THE DECADE she has led India, Mrs. Gandhi has taken manv hard deci- Outlook sions -- nationalizing banks, splitting her party to get rid of conservative elements, abolishing the institution of maharajas, invading East Pakistan to create independent Bangladesh, detonating a nuclear test device, orbiting a satellite. ONE ECONOMIC factor in Mrs Can dni's favor at the moment is that food- grains are readily available, thanks to a good spring Harvest and to the imports. Private food dealers also have begun to release stocks they were hoarding in the hope of creating an artificial shortage. In the week since Mrs. Gandhi declared the emergency and promised stern action against persons guilty of economic crimes, food prices have dropped by at 'least 10 per eeat. But these developments did little to alleviate the impoverished conditions of India's masses, of whom eight of 10 live in villages. By the government's own statistics, nearly half the population of 600 million live below a poverty line of $5 a month. That's the amount considered essential for surviving with minimum housing, food and clothing. "Most people want bread first, liberty second, and they will accept the emergency if their economic conditions improve," said a leading editor who has been a critic of Mrs. Gandhi. Mrs. Gandhi's problem is how to improve the economy when the world is in the throes of a serious recession that has hurt India. The hike in oil prices raised Indians import bill for petroleum products f rom-$400 million to $1.5 billion a year. Severe drought in many parts of the country forced the government to purchase abroad more than $1 billion worth of foodgrains in 1974. Â· With exports dropping at the same time, India had a trade deficit of nearly $1.5 billion for its financial year ending March 31. To help overcome the problem of eroding hard currency serves, the government will need an increase in development loans and grants from Western countries, including the United States. Mrs. Gandhi made an overture to the United States last week, saying publicly for the first time in months that her government seriously wants to improve ties with Washington. India's closest ally, the Soviet Union, has been unable to give India hard currency aid in the past, preferring barter-type loans. Final reduction on all patio and outdoor furniture in stock!! Â·'V 1 " . ' Â· " . ' Â· .?.Â·*?.Â·'?Â·Â· ^ Â· '^ : -\ . 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