INDIA: Steel-Stemmed Lotus

In India nearly every political discussion sooner or later ends in the same question: Who will take over when 68-year-old Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru passes from the scene? Last week Indians got a strong hint on how Nehru himself proposes to answer the question. To replace hapless T. T. Krishnamachari, forced out of office by a scandal over government misuse of insurance funds (TIME, March 3), Nehru chose as his Finance Minister 62-year-old Morarji Desai, who was Minister of Commerce and Industry.

Desai is a paradoxical figure whom most Westerners—and not a few...

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