INDIA: Water for the Punjab

Two hundred thousand men and women in brightly colored turbans and saris, standing in the 100° sun, cheered Prime Minister Nehru one day last week as he pressed a button and sent tons of water roaring through a new canal toward the parched deserts of India's thirsty East Punjab. Along the 238-mile, tile-lined concrete canal, devout Hindus burned camphor. Tears ran down the wrinkled cheeks of old peasants who, in past years, had seen their children and their cattle perish in drought.

Nehru (whose name means canal) was opening the first link in the Bhakra-Nangal Canal System, part of an...

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