Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on August 13, 1972 · Page 132
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 132

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 13, 1972
Page 132
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"other home." During his long stays in prison, Nehru sent letters to Indira-- tos only child--often confiding to her his deepest hopes for India's future. It wasn't long before Indira, too, joined in the "freedom struggle," nor was it long before she emerged as one of its young leaders, and was tossed, along with her father, into that "other home." This close working relationship with her father continued even after India won its Independence in 1947 and Nehru became its first Prime Minister. Nehru's wife having died, he asked Indira--who by then had married a childhood friend and was a mother --to move, along with her family, into the Prime Minister's residence and to serve as his official hostess. Indira thought about it, argued about it--with her husband Feroze (he died in 1960)-and then agreed. Thus, for the next 17 years she was constant witness to the comings and goings of world leaders (she has met, for example, all the American Presidents since Truman); and she was constant "ear" to her father, who continued to discuss with her his problems and plans. Not surprisingly, by the time he died, Indira knew as much about politics and leadership as anyone in India. And just two years later, she got a chance to prove it when she was elected Prime Minister. 'US. was source of inspiration' Today, at the pinnacle of her power, Mrs. Gandhi is attempting to finish the job that her father barely started --namely, that of bringing a peaceful, democratic revolution to poverty-wracked India. To do this, she obviously · needs all the help she can get, and what has been disappointing is that the U.S. has not come down firmly on India's side. As Mrs. Gandhi expressed it, somewhat philosophically: "For many of us who were in the freedom struggle in India, the U.S. was a source of inspiration. The speeches and sayings of Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln--we looked to these with great admiration. But look what has happened: the U.S. has taken to supporting regimes that are alienated from their own people--in Pakistan, in Vietnam, throughout the world. In fact, if we look at this recent history, we must ask whether America, with all its talk of democracy, is really supporting democracy anywhere. "Yet, even though I say this, it is also true that there has been friendship America's leaders talk about how they have gone into Vietnam to defend and develop the Vietnamese, it just sounds like an old version of 'the white man's burden' to us. Therefore, what we in India say is that it would be better for American troops to get out of Asia al- SSS'Sr. ·? f- » ; 3 «? ?ap §»«? ^§ ; |M i!f^f fe ^ fe , V,v; jv 1-t -r vj, fjij: .^ ri* g!^ fejlg i'i-* ^.rv^r.. _ , ',:'... '.-"··. ' -f ·, :·**-. i-i-i: ·^.t??- *r.' t 1 Warning: The Surgeon General Has Determined Thai Cigarette Smoking Is Dangerous to Your Health. KING: 19 mg'taf". 1.4 mg. nicotine. SUPER KING: 20 mg."nr". 1.5 mg. nicotine, w. per ajanme. FTC Repon APR.72 to Mrs. Gandhi's government). But, as one American official pointed out, "she is hardly going to come begging for it. And besides, as much as Mrs. Gandhi would like our assistance, she knows that in the end it is up to India to solve its problems mostly by itself." And- staggering problems they are. For India today is a terribly poor country (per capita annual income is less than $100), and there is barely ·"· enough ;food to go around. Moreover, the population is increasing by some 13 million per year--which means that, at the present rate of growth, by the year 2000 there will be a billion mouths to feed. And, how does one change this trend--how does one modernize agriculture and cut down the birthrate--when most of the people are tradition-bound and uneducated (70 percent are illiterate)? Legacy of colonial rule in the past. As I've said, the American people have always shown a sympathy and understanding for us. But what is .also necessary is for America's present leaders to understand the problems of our area. For instance, you simply cannot overlook the spirit of nationalism in Asia. Almost all our countries have only recently won their independence: so, when we hear together. On the other hand, if America genuinely wants to help us, and be friends with us--we welcome it." The kind of "help" Mrs. Gandhi is referring to, quite obviously is American dollars. And no doubt, one of the first steps the U.S. must take to patch up relations with India is to resume--if not increase--our foreign aid to them (since December we have cut off aid "Obviously it will take some time to completely conquer these problems," explains Mrs. Gandhi. "Centuries of British colonial rule left us in a state of terrible stagnation, and we have had only a few years to get over it. But the point is, we are getting over it We have a sense of self- confidence that we never had before, and already we have begun to make important inroads into these problems." No doubt, the most crucial inroad made in recent years is what Indians call the "green revolution." By introducing into some regions the newly developed varieties of wheat and rice (which increase yields some 200-300 percent), and by applying large amounts of fertilizer, India has in just five years become self-sufficient in these vital foods-which means, incidentally, that India's leaders no longer have to go pleading, as they did in 1966, to the wealthy countries to rescue their people from starvation. "And now what we have to do is spread our 'revolution' to all regions, and all farms in the country," says J. Katarya, an agricultural technician in north India. "You see, once we convince farmers that fertilizer won't--as some of them say--rob the soil of its strength, and once we get them to see continued

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