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Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019

From the archives of the Hindustan Times: November 20

Important and interesting stories from HT chronicles.

chronicles Updated: Nov 21, 2019 15:35 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi

New Sanjay plan for a stronger Youth Congress (1976)

Jawaharnagar- Mr. Sanjay Gandhi gave to the Indian Youth Congress here today (November 19) a time-bound three-point programme to make the organisation strong and capable of changing the face of the nation.

Inaugurating the first-ever national convention of the IYC amid cheers from thousands of delegates, Mr. Gandhi asked youth not to look to others for help but stand on their own and work for the uplift of the poor and the downtrodden with all the strength at their command.

In a brief speech as chief guest at the two-day convention, he said the Youth Congress had achieved rapid progress in a short time not by talking but by doing hard work. So long as it continued to do so, it would march ahead stronger and stronger.

Mr. Gandhi reiterated that the IYC would forge ahead and serve the poor and the down-trodden millions in India.

He made it clear that the IYC stands for only one country and that is India.

Tracing the growing strength of the party, he said within a year the IYC succeeded in holding a massive conference at Jawaharnagar.

He said this had shown the big strides the youth wing had made since the Chandigarh session. It had been working fast and in a disciplined manner.

Mr. Gandhi said the delegates had come to the conference without the Government’s help, but they should not complain because those who seek others’ help are always under others’ influence. “If one worked on his own one always forged ahead,” he added.

He told the Youth Congress workers to go ahead with the task of building the nation.

Samachar adds: The three-point programme includes setting up of elected committees of the Youth Congress in each of the 6,000 odd blocks and nominated committees in all the villages within a year, organisation of at least one ‘Shramdan’ camp in each State in the next three months and creating cells to promote physical training activities and sports from, block level onwards.

Biggest Asiad opens amid colour, music (1982)


New Delhi- On a cloudy winter afternoon with a mild sun, this ancient city sprang to life to the strains of music and dance as President Zail singh formally declared open the Asian Games amidst thunderous applause from 75,000 spectators at the ultra modern Nehru Stadium here today (November 19).

Seldom have Indian crowds witnessed such a magnificent show as the solemn and colourful opening ceremony

The ninth Asiad has brought to this city about 5,000 participants from 33 nations to vie for supremacy in 21 disciplines in the spirit of “friendship and fraternity forever”. For 15 days from tomorrow it is going to be high voltage drama replete with thrills and excitement as the fate of each gold medal is decided.

The spectacular opening ceremony that can be compared with the best in international competitions is the fulfilment of a dream and fruition of a two year old ceaseless labour. For all those who worked round the clock during the past few months, the agony is over and the ecstatic moments have begun.

For sheer spectacle the 90 minute ceremonial function was unsurpassed with everything going with clock like precision the fanfare, the trumpets, the releasing of 5,000 multi-coloured balloons and 2,000 white pigeons symbol of peace, a three gun salute, the driving in of president Zail Singh in his huge limousine escorted by his beautifully attired mounted guards all added luster to the greatest show of Asia.

The pomp and show and the colourful pageantry was at once a cameraman’s delight in keeping with the day’s events was the enchanting Games hymn: “All Swagatham shubh mangalam” composed by Narendra Sharma and directed by Pandit Ravi Shankar. The English session of the hymn whose theme is unity in diversity was read out by Amitabh Bachchan who was present in the VIP box.

World’s envy, India’s pride (1994)


Suncity, South Africa- India’s Aishwarya Rai is the Miss World 1994.

Miss India II, the Bombay based model won the coveted crown pushing past representatives from 80-odd countries.

Aishwarya also won the Miss Photogenic award at a glittering ceremony here tonight (November 19) doing India proud a second time, with Sushmita Sen bagging the Miss Universe crown early this year.

The 21-year-old Rai, an architect by profession, had been the first runner-up in the Miss India contest where Sushmita barely managed to steal the crown.

To a question in the final round as to what qualities should a Miss World embody, Aishwarya said that like all other Miss Worlds she too would like to cross the manmade barriers of status, stature and wealth and relate to the world as a real person.

To a thunderous applause she said the purpose behind beauty was spreading the message of compassion and love and she would strive towards this goal sincerely.

The Indian beauty gets a cash award of £50,000 (75,000 US dollars) and other precious gifts including a Mazda car all amounting to half a million US dollars.

Miss South Africa was the first runner-up and a close third was Miss Venezuela.

Aishwarya, who left legions of her fans sullen when the Miss India title eluded her, was determined to put the earlier disappointment behind and put her best foot forward for the Miss World contest.

In a recent interview, she had stated that apart from the systematically rigorous preparations, the most important consideration on her mind was to learn to be calm and keep her equanimity, and maintain it through the contest.