India: A Particular Hunger

"I pledge to surrender my rice ration for the people of Kerala. I also pledge not to eat or serve rice until the food situation there is normal." That was Indira Gandhi's way of showing her sympathy last week for the plight of South India's most populous state.

The words were admirable enough, but they would not fill bellies, as rioting students made vocally clear. Through out Kerala, gangs attacked government offices, blockaded roads, cut telephone wires, overturned buses, and fought with police. At several places students even ripped up rails and crossties, thus delaying the trains that were carrying emergency...