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The Indian Republic in Transition

(From an editorial)

There has been, during the past year, a realistic discussion of the problem of the Indian Republic and a keen desire to assess our domestic and foreign policies. The public are not content to take our political system for granted. The passions aroused over the formation of linguistic States, the discovery of factions behind local politics, the pressure on our borders by hostile neighbours — have all provoked pessimistic comment about the future of the Republic. It has even been argued that India is scarcely a nation in the Western sense and that in the linguistic States that now exist, the historical memory of the past glories are far more potent than the weak image of the Constitution and the Republic. Such critics do not take into account the traditional national memories that still remain in the peninsula — the image of the Mauryan Empire of Asoka whose symbols we now use and which left us the heritage of ahimsa and a good neighbour policy, the Empire of the Guptas which still grips the imagination of those who care about greatness in poetry, drama and sculpture, the Moghul Empire which dazzled the world of the Western Renaissance and left us the memory of Akbar, the just king. A democratic Republic is characterised by a dispersal of power and like other large countries, India is a federation in which power is shared between the Centre and the States. The rough and tumble of State politics and the rivalries of the States for the favours of Centre have caused many to turn up their noses in disgust. Yet the system has worked well and the States have shown initiative and dynamism in the competition for development. We have succeeded in large measure, where, for example, our neighbour Pakistan failed in working the democratic system.

Talking dog

A circus has offered 500 sterling for Trudi, a “talking dog”. Trudi, a two-year-old black poodle, can say “I want one” clearly in a high-pitched voice. But Trudi's proud owners, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Wall, are reluctant to part with her, says a London message.


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