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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 8, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 6-THE LETHBRIDQE HERALD Monday, April t, 1974 Army a source of Indian stability By RAM SUNDAR CP Correspoatort BOMBAY (CP) The army in India has beccme a major source of national stability. The manner in which army troops recently restored order in the western state of Gujarat after several-weeks of rioting was widely praised. Moving in at the request of the provincial LETHANOiBERONiMMwii IROISE LEITHEN N 13Q CHAN6RILLA DRY ADEN iw SHETLAND CHARM N 110 DOUBLE DOUBLE N 110 FOUR SEASONS EMU TWEED N 189 CREPE CRYLORN.1.Z5 RADIANT SPUN HH. 100 SALVATQRE TWEED RH 135 Special 30% Tntt week only at the OFF CAROUSEL KNITTING SHOP Centre Village Mall Phono 328-4143 authorities, the troops imposed a round-the-clock curfew and put an end to attacks on government offices, burning of buses and other public property and the looting of food stores. Nearly 40 people had died in the rioting. Most of them were victims of police firing. The Gujarat disturbances were perhaps the worst since independence 27 years ago. The situation in Gujarat might have become chaotic but for the army intervention. The provincial police were clearly unable to stop the rioting. But opposition parties criticized the induction of the military. They said the army should not be "dragged into the political arena." The fact, however, is that the army is being increasingly called upon to keep order in sensitive areas. And it has always succeeded in doing so. Respected There is a genera! feeling that the military has no axe to grind, unlike the provincial police, who are often regarded as an instrument of local ruling politicians. The federal government of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is believed to be reluctant to permit the use of the army to intervene in civil disturbances. The federal government is anxious to preserve the national character of the army. Drawn from many linguistic regions and religions, it has often been described as "a symbol of Indian unity." Involvement in provincial situations, it is argued, may harm this cherished role. Secondly, -New Delhi wants to ensure that the army comes into the picture only when national security is threatened. Thirdly, the government is said to share the fears of responsible statesmen that the successful deployment of the army during disturbances may erode the prestige of the civil authorities in the eyes of the people. As one legislator put it: "It will not be good for our democracy if the man in the street begins to associate the army with internal stability." Some opposition politicians are beginning to appreciate that political extremism of the type witnessed in Gujarat makes army intervention inevitable. In a private discussion a Socialist legislator said: "It will be fatal for democratic institutions in India if the people start feeling that the civil au- thority is effective only if it is backed by military guns." PRE-EASTER ONE WEEK ONLY POLYESTER KNITS For T-shirts, skirts, and blouses in stripes, patterns, plains. A large selection. PRE-EASTER SPECIAL............. OFF Tabto of Assorted FABRICS PUKE BAKER'S FABRIC CENTRE Centre Village Mall Phone 328-4536 Open Thursday and Friday til-9 p.m.[ Off to warmer climes The Canadian scientific ship Baffin has spent most of her time to date in the ice and cold of the Arctic. However, the Baffin, with nine Canadian and two Guyanese hydrographers aboard, will be sailing off Guyana, at the northern tip of South America, between now and the end of March. RENAISSANCE IMPORTS A complete New Easter Selection! PICTURES PLAQUES NOW ON DISPLAY Wedding and Anniversary Suggestions Souvenir Ideas POTTERY CRYSTAL CHINA RENAISSANCE IMPORTS Centre Village Mall Phone 328-8412 ;