INDIA: An Austere 25th Birthday

NEW DELHI had planned to put on a dazzling show for this week's 25th anniversary of India's independence from Britain. Lights were to be strung along the domes and arches of the massive red and beige sandstone government buildings in the capital; batteries of floodlights would bathe the buildings in India's national colors of orange, white and green. Then, shortly before the workmen were finished, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi frugally ordered the lights kept to a minimum. With inflation and the specter of another disastrous drought uppermost in many Indians' minds, the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!