|E D I T O R I A L
P A G E
Tuesday,July 27, 1999
to J & K
PM silence opponents of JD merger?
National Convention, Allahabad
Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has done to the Congress in Jammu and Kashmir now what his daughter did a week ago. In Ms Mehbooba Sayeed's case, the resignation from the Legislature Congress Party appeared to be an inspired act. However, no one was in doubt about what her father would do and when. By his latest Aya Ram Gaya Ram act, the Mufti has put yet another blot of inconsistency of purpose on his career. The reasons for his political separation are the same as they were when he left Rajiv Gandhi to join the V.P. Singh bandwagon: The party he belonged to was not secular enough. It did not have a progressive plan for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. It did not like to talk to secessionists and militants. The Abdullah family perpetuated its dynastic rule in the northern State. No one, except him, had a clear vision of a peaceful Kashmir and prosperous Jammu and Ladakh regions.... He, to himself, symbolised the deliverance from evil for the people. The Mufti has decided to set up a new party which will have two objectives. One, it would try to throw away "the Farooq Abdullah yoke". Two, it would initiate the process of "conciliation with terrorists which would ultimately lead to some form of dialogue with Pakistan." Human imagination cannot run more berserk in the present situation. Dr Farooq Abdullah's feet are firm politically, and the Union Government of the day trusts him as Chief Minister!
Let us travel back in time a little. The Mufti opposed the Number One family of Kashmir tooth and nail. He was one of the few Congress leaders who were keen to take on Sheikh Abdullah during his days of glory. Subsequently, he had a running feud with Dr Farooq Abdullah whose ministries were dismissed in 1984 and 1990. In 1977, Sheikh Abdullah's government was sacked. The Mufti took considerable credit for it. The second-rung state leader nurtured the ambition of becoming the Chief Minister of the state, but did not indulge in much vocalisation while shifting his loyalty. The late Rajiv Gandhi knew him from close quarters. Mr V. P. Singh trusted him in a qualified manner and his latent suspicions came true when the man with one eye on Anantnag and the other eye on the Chief Minister's gaddi joined the Congress again, finding all conceivable political faults with Mr V.P. Singh's ideology and practice. The Mufti said the Congress would fill the political vacuum created by Dr Abdullah.
He trained his daughter Mehbooba in the tricks of the political trade and conveniently forgot the fact that he had undermined the interests of the state by freeing four hardcore militants in order to get his kidnapped daughter Rubaiyya released. Many observers saw the act as a booster by the then Home Minister to the already burgeoning militancy. There are few takers for the advice of the Mufti that the Union Government should open an Oslo-type dialogue with the Hurriyat members and other militants who, as Pakistani agents, are undermining the sovereignty of India and killing Indians. There is little sense in his illustrations: The Congress talked to Lal Denga in Mizoram and Phizo in Nagaland before going in for an accord in Assam.
The nature of terrorism
in Jammu and Kashmir is different and the Mufti cannot be
relied upon to act like Syed Mir Qasim, who became a
bridge between Sheikh Abdullah and Indira Gandhi. Enmity
breeds enmity. Distrust begets distrust. Tentative tricks
do not always work because of the element of opportunism
in them. The Congress finds a more reliable functionary
in Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad than in all these Muftis put
together. Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee knows the
reality as thoroughly as Mrs Sonia Gandhi does. The
Congress depends on Mr Azad as a link between Dr
Abdullah's National Conference and what is left of the
Congress in the region. The Mufti has rocked the boat of
the Congress with a view to destabilising the ship of the
National Conference when Jammu and Kashmir is facing the
Pakistani aggression. History will judge him harshly.
Beyond Kargil effect
THIS time last year Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh met his US counterpart Madeleine Albright at the Manila conference of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). She reserved her coldest stare for him and was all frowns. That was the Pokhran effect. This year at Singapore at the same conference she is all smiles and purring with admiration. This is the Kargil effect. Last year India under what the Americans love to describe as the government of the Hindu nationalist party, seemed to be a nuclear bully, breaking the four-decade old ban on entry into the exclusive nuclear club. That warranted, or so the West thought, continuous and noisy tut-tuting. This year the refusal to cross the Line of Control and repeated assurance of resuming the Lahore process have projected this country as a peaceable one. Accordingly admonition has matured into suppressed admiration. Kargil has partly washed the sins of Pokhran. And it shows in the changed perception and policy of the West, the USA in the main.
So Kargil is the key to understanding the new-found friendliness of the USA. It was a trouble spot (a localised danger spot too) for India. India solved the problem without threatening to or actually widening the scope of the conflict. It was the old menace of cross-border terrorism but in a more concentrated and vicious form. For the USA Kargil sent out several frightening signals. It was evident that Pakistan could resort to training, arming and exporting Islamic terrorists under the guise of Taliban-inspired Mujahideen, ostensibly to fight for freedom but in effect to serve the armys undemocratic interests. In all this drug money plays a role and that is a nightmare proposition for Washington. Come to think of it, the USA has several friends who could be ideal candidates for a Taliban-type attack and Pakistan or Afghanistan can always provide the safe rear.
So the USA is genuinely
keen on blocking and interdicting the road from Kargil to
any of the Central Asian Republics or West Asian
non-republics. Indian interest runs parallel to this and
warrants support. Two, Pakistan has played out its
geostrategic role for the Americans and India has great
potential as an active member of the proposed
community of democracies, whatever it may
mean. This too has helped the USA to reassess its old
stand. What all this seems to signify is that while
Kargil has provided the immediate provocation for
shifting of the gear, there are other indications to
suggest that the US policy change is real and here to
stay. So far India has shown matching willingness to
re-examine its past stand and introduce suitable
corrections. But it will not be easy. In the days to
come. Opposition parties will relapse into old postures
and castigate the government for nudging uncomfortably
close to the USA. That should be resisted. In these days
of globalisation striking an ultra individualistic path
is not prudent, even if it were possible.
INDIA-BORN US ASTROPHYSICIST
The recent X-ray observatory launched into space by the USA has been named Chandra after the India-born American astrophysicist. This is a befitting tribute by the USA to a man who did much to invigorate American astronomy.
Chandrasekhar, popularly called Chandra, came to the USA in 1937 as a scientific refugee from Europe, after spending his seven most creative years at Cambridge University. He was the first person to apply the theory of special relativity to astronomy. He showed that there is an upper limit to the mass of a white dwarf. (This limit is now known as the Chandrasekhar Limit.) What happens if the white dwarf mass is higher than the Chandrasekhar Limit? In what must rank as the understatement of the century, Chandrasekhar declared: One is left speculating on other possibilities.
The other possibilities, of course, are the neutron star and the black hole, whose properties the Chandra observatory would study.
The course of astronomical history would have been different if Chandrasekhars work, mathematically rigorous as it was, had received immediate recognition. But at that time it met with ridicule at the hands of the most influential astronomer of the day, Sir Arthur Eddington, who declared with a haughtiness one associates with a viceroy rather than scientists: I think there should be a law of nature to prevent a star from behaving in this absurd way.
Sir Arthur was blinded by his self-righteousness, the rest of Europe by the glare of his personality. For four long frustrating years, Chandrasekhar tried to enlist support from among the physicists and astronomers but to no avail.
Sir Arthurs hostility delayed the development of the subject by a generation. The discovery of quasars in 1963 and of radio pulsars in 1967 proved that relativistic astrophysics was not merely a mathematical artifact but also had the sanction of direct observation. Chandrasekhar could have got the Nobel Prize anytime after 1967 but not before this. (He got it 16 years later, in 1983). It was, however, not till 1974 that a medal awarded to Chandrasekhar referred to his white dwarf work.
Sir Arthurs academic hostility robbed Chandrasekhar of his innocence. He moved to the USA (Out there we dont believe in Eddington), resolving not to hanker after recognition but to let his work speak for itself. Henceforth mathematics would be his ally and time his judge.
As if to provide a physical basis to his resolve, Chandrasekhar bade goodbye to his first love, stellar structure. He would take on a new subject, write a definitive treatise on it and move on. Significantly, while his first work was the first word on the subject, his subsequent works have tended to be the last word. Even without the white dwarf work, Chandrasekhar would have been an outstanding astrophysicist, but he would not have won the Nobel Prize.
A few years ago, during one of his visits to Bangalore, I asked Chandrasekhar what was more satisfying, saying the first word or the last. His answer was rather long and involved. He first educated me who had first used the terms first word and last word. He then analysed the works of French and other painters. Regrettably, his efforts to raise my aesthetic sensibilities failed. All I learnt was that I was not getting a reply to my question.
It was indeed a bold step for Chicago University and the Yerkes Observatory to hire Chandrasekhar, who was the first non-white member of the faculty. He more than repaid the consideration shown to him. His outsidedness was put to good use when he edited the Astrophysical Journal for 19 strenuous years, and turned it into a world-class publication. He was, however, never offered the presidentship of the American Astronomical Society.
In 1966, he was given the National Medal of Science by the American President. It was the first time that the medal went to an astronomer. The citation made specific reference to Chandrasekhars contribution to the training of manpower.
He had an extraordinarily retentive memory. In August, 1949, he wrote to a friend: I recall replying to your letter of June 6, 1937. In 1992, I had an occasion to discuss with him an incident that had taken place in 1927: how at an international conference in Cuoms, Italy, D.M. Bose turned up much to the chagrin of the organisers who had wished to see S.N. Bose instead. Chandrasekhar heard the story from his friend, K.S. Kushnan, who in turn had heard it from the aggrieved Bose. Chandrasekhar recalled the details in his 1992 letter, closing it with a finality: My recollection of the story is quite distinct and I am sure it reproduces exactly what Krishnan told me. Chandrasekhar began his white dwarf work when he was still a student at Presidency College, Chennai. Could India have retained him?
Chandrasekhars tiff with Eddington had its effect on his fortunes in British India. From 1935 till 1944, Chandrasekhar remained in the doghouse. His rehabilitation came in 1944 with his election as a fellow of the Royal Society (where Eddington was one of his sponsors). After that he received a number of offers. First, there was this invitation from his overbearing uncle, C.V. Raman, to join the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, an offer Chandrasekhar could not have accepted. He could have joined Banaras Hindu University, where the Vice-Chancellor, S. Radhakrishnan, was keen to appoint him.
Why is it that any of these initiatives failed to produce results? Two years ago. I had the opportunity, with Mrs Lalita Chandrasekhars permission, to go through some (but not all) of the Chandrasekhar Papers deposited at the Chicago university. (The visit to Chicago, in turn, was made possible by a Fulbright grant). My own impressionistic answer is as follows.
There was a difference of perception between Chandrasekhar on the one hand and his family and advisers back home on the other. Left to himself, he would have accepted Homi Bhabhas offer to come to Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai. His father and advisers, however, wished to see him as the Director of the Kodaikanal Observatory, a well-known astronomical centre in South India. Chandrasekhar, however, did not have any intention of accepting an administrative post, and wanted a university-like setting.
In his authorised biography by K.C. Wale, Chandrasekhar confirms this: Left to myself I would have been tempted by Bhabhas offer to a greater extent than I was. But I was advised against it by several people.
His acceptance of American citizenship in 1953 put paid to all questions of returning. He would gladly have accepted a part-of-year professorship, but none came his way. Finally, on his retirement, there was again this possibility of returning home, but efforts remained half-hearted and ceased after a while.
What course would Indian science and education have taken if Chandrasekhar had returned? No doubt, he would have trained a large number of researchers, who in course of time would have occupied important positions in the Indian academy. Would Chandrasekhars total commitment to science have become the guiding principle for his students also? Would his conscientious negation of administrative and executive powers been emulated? In his own words, one is left speculating on the possibilities. As it turned out, in his native land, Chandrasekhar became an icon, a showboy, even a tool, but never a teacher or guide or a role model.
Chandrasekhar was a citizen of the world. He was an American by residence, European by training, but an Indian not only by birth but also by affiliations. In probably an unguarded moment, he wrote in a personal letter (1979): You say that it never rains it pours. For me it seems to be always barren.
Maharashtra: the troubles for Sena
THE Shiv Sena, which has very reluctantly agreed to the holding of simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the State Assembly, could be fighting a battle it has already lost. Its record in office for the last 52 months has been dismal and ridden with scandals and corruption charges.
If the BJP has convinced it that the going would be good since it hopes to cash in on the Kargil factor in the next elections the Shiv Sena has little to gain out of it.
Besides, the BJP has little enthusiasm to let the Shiv Sena emerge as the Big Brother in Maharashtra after the next elections. The alliance has been an uneasy one and tiresome for the BJP leadership. Forty independent, MLAs who had propped up the government all along are also a disgruntled lot, facing as they are an uncertain future.
The only achievement of the Shiv Sena-BJP government has been that the state has been free of communal riots, but not communal tension. It was the Sena that created a rumpus over Dilip Kumars support to Geeta Mehtas film Fire and staged a naked dance in front of his house. It was again the Sena that insisted on Dilip Kumar returning his Pakistani award, Nishaan-e-Imtiaz in protest against the aggression in Kargil. The BJP assiduously kept out of both the ugly demonstrations.
The Sena will find it difficult to account for the fact that it has not been able to fulfil any of its selection manifesto promises. Its promise of providing the common mans staple diet, zunka-bhakar at Re 1 a plate was recently scrapped after a very shaky start. It failed to spread the developmental process to rural Maharashtra and to Vidarbha and Marathwada, the underdeveloped regions of the state. It let down the slumdwellers whom it had promised free tenements. No new industries have come up during its tenure.
Several skeletons are likely to tumble out of the Sena cupboard as the election campaign picks up steam.
If the Chief Minister, Mr Narayan Tatu Rane, had any mentionable talent or experience to administer a progressive state like Maharashtra, one might have condoned some of his transgressions of the law and civilised behaviour. Mr Ranes only qualification for the job is that he is totally devoted and loyal to his leader, Shiv Sena Pramukh Bal Thackeray.
His first task was to bring in as Chief Secretary a man who was censured by the Bombay High Court for irregularities committed by him when he was the Municipal Commissioner of Pune over a decade ago. The strictures are still on record.
Law-abiding and peace-loving citizens have lamented the total breakdown of law and order under the Shiv Sena-BJP government in Maharashtra. Extortions, murders, rapes, robbery, hold-ups and corruption on an unprecedented scale are the order of the day.
No Shiv Sena minister, except the Minister for Culture and Protocol, Mr Pramod Navalkar, has escaped the charges and allegations of corruption or wrong-doing. In comparison, the BJP ministers are seen to be more transparent, efficient and committed to their work. The BJP was thus insistent that elections to the state Assembly, due next March, be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha poll.
The Sena resisted the proposal but was ultimately persuaded to fall in line. It also agreed to the BJP suggestion that whichever party gets more seats in the Assembly after the elections will get the Chief Ministership. The Sena will contest 171 of the 288 seats, while the BJP will contest 117, as they did in 1995. For the Lok Sabha the BJP will contest 26 and the Sena 22 seats.
The bargain does not take into account the future of the 40 independent MLAs who had supported the government. Most of them were Congress rebels and have nowhere to go now. Many of them have approached the Nationalist Congress Party.
The Shiv Sena is not certain that it will emerge as the major partner, while the BJP hopes to do even better than last time, thanks to the image of the party after the achievements of the Vajpayee government. The Shiv Sena cannot claim any credit for it, while it will take a lot of effort to live down the disgrace some of its ministers have acquired.
Its latest effort to browbeat the minorities into voting for its candidates has also misfired. The targeting of veteran actor Dilip Kumar to demonstrate his patriotism by returning the Pakistani award, Nishaan-e-Imtiaz, was to send a distinct message to the Muslims to be on the right side.
Dilip Kumar had learnt his lessons of humanism from close association with V.K.Krishna Menon, Rajni Patel and his own intellectual interactions with a vast array of talented men who had laced Indian (and primarily Hindi) cinema on the world map. They all stood for humanism, world brotherhood, peace and the broader values of life. These are concepts alien to the Shiv Sena.
The BJP, as a mature political party realises that it cannot terrorise the minorities into voting it to power again. It knows it can deal with the minorities after it has consolidated its administrative hold over the country. It still needs the support of the Shiv Sena and will continue to tolerate its tantrums and irrational behaviour.
Will PM silence opponents of
FACTION fights, splits, war for the symbol and office and then reunification all this birth and death syndrome is not new to the Janata parivar. Like the avatars, it has been an endless process which often serves a political purpose at a point of time. Only the personalities and content of controversies change. Therefore, few shed tears over the latest split of the Janata Dal or the decision of Sharad Yadav, Rambilas Paswan and J.H. Patel to join the Hindutva camp. The first two had fought the last Lok Sabha election with the Samata Partys support. Now it has been formalised.
It is also widely known that Sharad Yadav, once a protege of the anti-RSS firebrand Raj Narain, had tried his best for a last-minute seat sharing arrangements with Laloo Prasad Yadav. Dispute over two seats not Madhepura had made him take the plunge.
While the new split will help the two Bihar leaders, J.H. Patels plight is really pathetic. The Karnataka BJP has bluntly snubbed him.
For the first time after 1998, the BJP, which had gone in for its fairly successful strategy of establishing parliamentary majority through cooption and adoption, finds it an extremely bitter pill to swallow. A month back, the other component of the BJPs alliance strategy simultaneously accommodating two congenital enemies also collapsed in Haryana.
For the first time, again, admission of a political group has led to intense conflict between the BJPs own state unit and the central leadership as well as between Atal Behari Vajpayee and others in the ruling party. This is because in many states, the BJP alliance has reached saturation point. Any more addition in such states would lead to a clash of interests as the existing constituents will have to vie with each other for the shrinking political space. This has been a common side-effect of the coalition experiments wherever they have been tried out.
The cooption of the fragile JD unit under Paswan and Sharad Yadav in Bihar did not cause any schism because of the recent desertions from the BJP and Samata to the Laloo camp. Also as opposition, the Samata-BJP combine still lacks the necessary support at the ground level.
Thus the most visible signs of a clash of interests come from Karnataka, where each player is covertly trying to push his agenda. Ramakrishna Hegde, who thought himself as Prime Minister stuff, was so far content with being an ordinary minister under Vajpayee. If the BJP-Lok Shakti combine gets a majority in the ensuing assembly election, it will be too much for a senior leader like Hegde to let to the Chief Ministership as well. Hegde has calculated that if a substantial chunk of the JD merges into his party, he will have a bigger claim for more assembly and Lok Sabha seats. This will enable him stake his claim for Chief Ministership after pushing J.H. Patel to the Centre, if the BJP happens to get a majority.
The Karnataka BJP leaders fear that if more unwelcome elements with doubtful claims of ground support are allowed in, it will upset all calculations in ticket distribution. Disappointed aspirants will turn rebels. Moreover, all BJP factions in Karnataka are united in frustrating Hegdes cunning moves to wrest a domineering role for his party by way of bringing more of his old friends into the alliance. Understandably, BJP leaders also feel upset at the prospect of having to defend a Chief Minister whose performance the party has been exposing throughout.
In any case, the local BJP leaders cannot tolerate J.H. Patels style of functioning and his habit of loose talk. Now the Congress is going to be the biggest beneficiary of the popular disenchantment with Patels performance. It has already gained from the desertion from the state Janata Dal B.S. Yadiyurappa, the BJP aspirant for Chief Ministership, has openly warned the BJP leaders at Delhi that he would snap ties with the Lok Shakti if it brought in the JD leaders. The People of Karnataka are fed up with the JD government. It is a discredited government, he had asserted. Neither Hegde nor George Fernandes had consulted the local BJP leaders about the merger which made them more suspicious. The state leaders had expressed their resentment during their meeting with Vajpayee.
Second, the Fernandes-Hegde moves on the eve of the elections reveal two facts lack of coordination among the top BJP leadership and Atal Behari Vajpayees determination to assert his own personal agenda. Even as the Karnataka BJP leaders have been crying hoarse, Vajpayee has been keeping in touch with the Fernandes-Hegde duo and J.H. Patel on the merger. At one stage, the PMO had blandly denied Patels revelation that he had a long telephonic discussion on the dialogue with Vajpayee. But the next day, the two had met again on the issue. This sort of prevarication leads to the conclusion that Vajpayee has been pressing a different line independent of the state BJP and the central leaders. Significantly, the only condition put forth by the Fernandes-Hegde due has been that the new converts should accept Vajpayees Prime Ministership.
Unlike the apparent encouragements from Vajpayee to the reunification of the Janata parivar, other central BJP leaders had carefully refrained from making any public comments on the JD merger, at least till now. Even L.K. Advani had given a contradictory version on the Janata merger, indicating the lack of discussion even among the senior leaders. As for BJP President Kushabhau Thakre, few in the party seem to bother about him. Despite all protests from colleagues, it looks fairly certain that the party will be eventually forced to follow Vajpayees dictates on the whole episode. It will soon be officially accepted as a fait accompli.
Whatever may be official explanation, this marks another stride in the personalisation of the BJPs organisational management. The epicentre of decision making in BJP has already moved away from the Ashoka Road headquarters to the PMO. Even on political and organisational matters, the BJP has a tradition of fighting Congress authoritarianism which had peaked during the Emergency. But now the same party has been caught in the trapping of the same kind of Prime Ministerial authoritarianism. At the Bangalore national executive of the BJP, Vajpayee had bluntly told the assembled party leaders that it was the Cabinet headed by him, and not the party, that would decide government policies. He curtly rejected the party chiefs proposal for a coordination panel to vet crucial policy issues.
Now Vajpayee seems to have usurped all the powers to decide even on such political or organisational issues as alliances, without any resistance from others in the party. Possibly, the message is that such concentration of authority in one individual is indispensable for the survival of centrist alliance. Every regional party is built on the superiority of the top boss. By masterminding the JD merger, Vajpayee also seek to further consolidate his own position within the BJP. Admission of more secular elements into the NDA will mean lesser hold of the RSS and BJP hardliners.
Third, by the same token, consolidation of the JD elements within the BJP alliance is expected to hasten the process of what Samata leader Digvijay Singh describes its secularisation. Samata and Lok Shakti leaders claim that it was they who had forced the BJP to drop its Hindu supremacist policies like Article 370, common civil code and Ayodhya temple. Formation of a proper apex body like the NDA with Fernandes at its head and the insistence of those like Karunanidhi that the DMK was not supporting the BJP but the NDA are pointers to the diminishing BJP hegemony. The unified Janata parivar group will give a fillip to local compulsions of the Telugu Desam Party, Mamata Banerjee, etc to put the BJPs Hindutva programmes under wraps.
Keeping aside the Vajpayee agenda, there seems to be some genuine fears among BJP leaders about the divisive propensities of what is described the Janata socialists. Their very presence as a group in an organisation creates an atmosphere of dissension and disintegration. So far, the Janata elements of the BJP alliance remained scattered in different state parties. Their consolidation into a single group is feared to infect the entire alliance. Despite Hegdes assurances to put off the parivars merger until after the election, those outside the PMs favoured circle fear the worst from Janata parivar leaders like George Fernandes. Now a loyal trishul socialist, he has the ability to rise to the occasion. He had proved it in 1979 when he presented the best defence of Morarji Desai in the Lok Sabha but made an about-turn literally overnight. Of late, Fernandes has been quietly cultivating the non-Hindutva components of the NDA for greater coordination. It is naive to ignore this confluence of interests within the NDA.
Those who draw satisfaction from the BJPs softening of the Hindutva agenda miss the fact that the party has tremendous built-in ability to shift from one strategy to another. The Jana Sangh could smoothly change over to SVD politics right after the frenzy days of its anti-cow slaughter agitation. The VHP sadhus after arousing the pro-Hindutva wave early this decade, have stopped giving any more marg darshan. But they can still be recharged any day and the BJP can once again return to the Hindutva mode if another bout of it helps its expansion.
Even this week, party
spokesman Venkaiah Naidu warned at Hyderabad: If
the BJP is given a clear majority of its own, it will
show what it was capable of. With the BJPs
own tally in the next Lok Sabha not likely to go up, this
situation may not arise immediately. On this depends the
utility of the Vajpayee model for the BJP.
The National Convention, Allahabad
Dr Annie Besant, General Secretary, National Convention, has issued a statement announcing that the National Convention has made much progress at Allahabad. Three preliminary meetings have been held for informal discussion and arranging the order of business.
Everyone present took the pledge outlining the essentials of the constitution for establishing in India Dominion Rule or Swaraj, thus placing her in the position of a free nation within the Commonwealth.
There are Liberals,
National Home Rulers, Swarajists and Independents bound
by one common pledge. Later, Cousins, a delegate of the
Indian Womens Association, was co-opted. Sir Tej
Bahadur Sapru was elected President, Rt. Honble
V.S. Srinivas Sastri, Vice-President, and Dr Annie
Besant, General Secretary.
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