INDIA: Indira's Walking Tour

"Tell me, what is distressing you?"

Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, dressed in a crisp sari, stood in the scorching early summer heat on the north Indian plain and asked that question dozens of times in Hillaur, a small village in her parliamentary constituency of Rae Bareli. The country around her told the answer: acre after acre of sere, treeless, wind-whipped fields, most of which are worked by harijans (untouchables) who sharecrop but do not own the land. Long miles of highway are untarred. Few people can afford the 300 rupees ($33) needed to wire their homes for minimum lighting provided by...

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