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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Let's celebrate a New India 

Dear Friends, Here is a personal experience, as well as a moment of national pride, which I want to share with you. Hope you find it worth the time you put in reading it : "In the middle of 1965 India-Pakistan war, US govt - then a close friend of Pakistan - threatened India with stopping food-aid (remember "PL-480"?).

For a food deficient India this threat was serious and humiliating. So much so that in the middle of war, Prime Minister (Late) Lal Bahadur Shastri (Greatest PM of India) went to Ram Leela Grounds in Delhi and appealed to each Indian to observe one-meal-fast every week to answer the American threat.
As a school boy, I joined those millions who responded to Shastri ji's call. I continued the fast even when the war was over and India became self sufficient in food. Hurt deep by the national humiliation suffered at the hands of the US govt, I had vowed to stop my weekly fast only when India starts giving aid to USA.

It took just 40 years. Last week THE day arrived. When Indian ambassador in Washington DC handed over a cheque of US$ 50 million to the US govt, two plane loads of food, medical aid and other relief materials were waiting to fly to the USA. Time to break the fast? With no bad feeling about the USA, and good wishes for the Katrina victims, this humble Indian feels proud of the distance India has covered in 40 years. Let's celebrate a New India!"

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