INDIA: Rebels' Rally

Indira turns a rift into a chasm

When Jimmy Carter visited New Delhi on New Year's Day, India's most celebrated political leader was conspicuously absent from the receiving line of dignitaries. In a characteristically flamboyant maneuver to steal the presidential show, Indira Gandhi appeared across town to harangue 5,000 people assembled under a vast, multicolored tent. Ostensibly, the meeting was a convention of India's Congress Party. In fact, it was a gathering of party rebels reinforced by a motley crew of men hired to provide applause for the discredited former Prime Minister.

Dressed in a blazing red sari, Mrs. Gandhi sat...

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