Kashmir’s special status
The Prime Minister told the Lok Sabha on November 27 that the process of “gradual erosion” of Article 370 of the Constitution relating to Jammu and Kashmir was going on and fresh steps were being taken in the next month or two in that direction. Mr. Nehru, who was intervening to reply to questions in the Lok Sabha, said, “We do not want to take the initiative in this matter of completely putting an end to Article 370. The initiative should come from the State Government and the people of Kashmir.” The Prime Minister declared that there was no doubt that Kashmir was “fully integrated” with the Indian Union. The fact that there might be some special matters pertaining to the State did not come in the way of integration at all.
Mr. M.C. Chagla, Minister of Education, defended in the Lok Sabha on November 27 the Madras Government’s right to decide on the erection of a statue of Swami Vivekananda at the Vivekananda Rock in the sea off Cape Comorin. He was replying to questions addressed to him for the first time after he assumed office. Mr. P.R. Chakravarti and several others wanted to know whether the Madras Government was within its rights in refusing permission to the Vivekananda Centenary Celebrations Committee to erect the Swamiji’s statue on a rock where he was said to have meditated.
The World Bank study team on coal transport has recommended the immediate purchase of 4,000 box wagons and 100 diesel locomotives to supplement the railway’s programme of rolling stock procurement during the Third Plan. The team which came to India this summer is yet to complete its final report. The study has as its objective the recommendation of measures to put coal transport on a sound footing. In an interim report submitted to the Government, the team has observed that even if the actual traffic demand at the end of the Third Plan should fall below the estimates by ten per cent because of failures to meet targets in production or for other reasons, the planned increase in rolling stock would not equal the increase in estimated tonne kilometres.