ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Calcutta Diary

October 16, 1982 CIRCUS and bread. Circus has overriding priority, bread has none, How else does one explain the extraordinary shenanigans, drought and floods notwithstanding, over the Asian Games? When the elections to the Lok Sabha were held in 1980, and the new government was constituted, the mandate surely was not for the Asian Games. It would not seem so from the way things are proceeding. Forget the outrage of colour television sets and the satellites; monstrosities of a much graver order, by their dozens, are being perpetrated every day. Schools have been asked to reschedule their annual examinations. Colleges and universities have been admonished to suspend their lectures and resume later. The pattern of allocation of cement and steel has been readjusted drastically. Water pipelines are being re-aligned in the nation's capital, and a fair segment of the resident population are in danger of being starved of water next month. The lieutenant-governor of Delhi has been shuffled : a number of other heads too have rolled. Contractors and confidence tricksters are holding the nation's capital to ransom. And Parliament's winter session, which traditionally begins in late November, has been brought forward by more than six weeks. The nation's lawmakers are being shown their place; they will meet when they are ordered to meet and they will be sent packing by the first week of November. Circus must have precedence over law-making; Parliament will be dismissed before the atheletes begin to assemble in New Delhi. Members of Parliament are not to be trusted; with so many foreigners around, parliamentarians could begin to behwe like crass exhibitionists, which could lower the dignity of the nation. Why take the risk, send Parliament home before the fun and games begin, whatever the conventions that might be flouted thereby.

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