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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

From the archives of the Hindustan Times: November 6

Important and interesting stories from HT Archives.

chronicles Updated: Nov 06, 2019 19:14 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi

I.N.A. trial opens in Red Fort (1945)

New Delhi- A trial unprecedented in British Indian history, whose significance was heightened by the fact that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru donned after about 25 years his barrister’s gown and white band as a defence counsel, opened today (November 5) in a large room on the second floor of a barrack in the historic Red Fort of Delhi.

During the proceedings, which lasted five and a half hours, the prosecution charged the three I.N.A. officers, Captains Shah Nawaz and Sahgal and Lt Dhillon, with waging war against the King and causing murder and abetment of murder of five sepoys who were caught deserting the I.N.A. The original charge of their being members of an anti British movement was not pressed.

The prosecution produced documents showing that the three officers were in the Indian army, that while prisoners of war they joined the Indian national army and as its officers waged war against the king by invading India and that they ordered execution of five sepoys.

One Lieutenant Nag, a former member of the I.N.A., who deposed as having been an unwilling member of the liberation forces, was the first witness who gave evidence about the formation of the I.N.A. and its activities. His readiness to answer affirmatively prosecution counsel’s questions made the Judge Advocate, on Mr Bhulabhai Desai’s intervention, to impress on him the necessity of stating only what he knew from personal knowledge and not what was “common knowledge.”

Mr. Bhulabhai Desai’s plea for adjournment to give the defence time to prepare their case was entertained by the Court Martial and the adjournment is expected to take place after Lt. Nag’s evidence concludes. Whether the adjournment will be for three weeks, as requested by Mr Desai, or for a shorter period has not yet been decided by the court.

Sixty Pressmen and 140 visitors went through the ordeal of queuing up at the foot of the narrow wooden staircase which would not hold two abreast. When they had shown the cards and signed a register (their cards having been examined thrice before en route) they entered the court room and filled it to capacity.

Approach of superior might deprecated (1956)


New Delhi- Mr. Nehru made a moving call today (November 5) to the delegates to the ninth session of U.N.E.S.C.O. to “pay heed to the collapse of conscience and morals” in the world where Panch Shila had become “mere words without meaning to some countries who claim the right of deciding problems by superior might.”

“Speaking with great feeling at the opening session, the Prime Minister referred to “the dread tramp of armed men and the thunder of bombs” and drew the attention of the delegates to events in Egypt and Hungary.

“Human dignity and freedom have been outraged there and old colonial methods have been revived.”

Mr. Nehru spoke in deliberate measured tones to declare that it appeared that great countries thought that the only reality was force and violence, and fine phrases were merely the apparatus of diplomacy.

Calling for admission of China to U.N.E.S.C.O., the Prime Minister declared that the organization would not be able to function adequately if one-fourth of the human race was kept out of it. He expressed the hope that U.N.E.S.C.0 would turn its attention to the needs of underdeveloped countries.

The one-month session was inaugurated by Mr J. Z. Muniz, retiring President of U.N.E.S.C.O., who declared that the organization must condemn the principle of aggression and affirm at “this sad hour in world’s history” its belief in the moral values of mankind.

Making a direct reference to events in the Suez area, Maulana Azad, who leads the Indian delegation, said the Anglo-French action had left the impression that even today the safeguarding of international peace and future of mankind was considered to be less important than the achievement of narrow national or commercial objectives. It seemed inconceivable that the two countries should have behaved as if the U.N. and the Security Council did not exist.

Pope arrival sparks no fireworks (1999)


New Delhi- The changed protocol did not allow an elaborate welcome ceremony at the airport and, in the 13 years that passed since he last landed in Delhi, Pope John Paul II had aged enough to lean on a walking stick as he slowly walked down from the special Alitalia aircraft this evening (November 5).

The temporal head of the Holy See and the supreme spiritual leader of one billion Catholics worldwide arrived at the Delhi airport without so much as a whimper of the protests that have marred the long period of preparations for his visit.

The Pope’s quiet arrival at the Palam technical area proved to be an anticlimax for all those who were expecting fireworks at the airport. There were no frenzied protestors demanding apologies, no placards and banners announcing arbitrary bans on conversions. The elaborate security arrangements ensured that no miscreant entered the seven kilometre area from the airport to the Vatican embassy where the Pontiff would be staying during his three-daylong visit.

The Archbishop of Delhi Reverend Alan de Lastic led the group of priests in black to welcome the Pope. The chairman of the organising committee of the Pope’s visit to India Dr Dominic Emmanuel received other members of the Pope’s entourage while Sister Dolores represented the religious sisters with Delhi laity leader A. C. Michael representing the Catholic men and women of the city.

The Minister of State for External Affairs Ajit Panja extended the state’s welcome to the Pontiff while a posse of policemen held the cameramen and other media personnel at bay. A gleaming black limousine waited at the tarmac while the Pontiff was being greeted by scores of bishops from the across the country.

Unlike the last time when the Pope had quickly bent and kissed the ground minutes after he landed in India, he merely stood glancing reverently at the soil while the cameras flashed around him. The Pope had last come to Delhi in February, 1986 and had been welcomed at the airport by the President and the Prime Minister. Elaborate speeches were made at that time both by the Heads of Indian State and by the Pontiff.