Friday, Feb 15, 2002
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This Day That Age
A Rashtrapati Bhavan announcement, on the evening of the 13th, said that Major-General Himmatsinhji and Mr. K. Santanam had been appointed to be Lieutenant-Governors, the former for Himachal Pradesh and the latter for Vindhya Pradesh. They were to hold office for three years, drawing a salary of Rs. 3,500 and an allowance, in addition, of Rs. 500 per month. Major-General Himmatsinhji was born in 1897, educated in India and England, joined the Indian Army and saw service in World War I and World War II. After a distinguished Army career, he joined the Diplomatic Service. He became a member of the Central Legislative Assembly in 1946 and was later a member of the Constituent Assembly. He acted as one of the Whips of the Congress Party and was appointed Deputy Minister of Defence in 1950. The General Elections saw him returned unopposed to the House of the People from Halar in Saurashtra. Mr. Kasturiranga Santanam was born in 1895. After a distinguished educational career, he enrolled as an advocate in the Madras High Court. Joining the Non-Cooperation Movement in 1920, he was imprisoned several times. He was a well-known worker in Gandhiji's Constructive Programme of Khadi and Village Industries. Turning journalist later, Mr. Santanam also authored a number of books in English and Tamizh. A member of the Indian Legislative Assembly from 1937 to 1942, he was a member of the Constituent Assembly from 1946 and was appointed Minister of State for Railways and Transport in 1948. He stood as a Congress candidate for the House of the People from Mayuram in Tanjore district, but lost to a Communist rival.
Mr. V. Parthasarathy said in a letter to the Editor: "Recently I happened to visit a local cinema theatre. During the show, a foreign newsreel was screened, covering the recent General Elections in India. I was surprised to see in the newsreel a scene of actual polling filmed for exhibition. An old woman was shown dropping her ballot paper into a box bearing a familiar party symbol. I wonder how such filming could have been be done, especially when there is so much talk of secrecy of ballot. If the old woman had told her own people for whom she had voted, then she would have been on the wrong side of the law!''
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