India: Where Death Looked Down

Down through the ages, pestilence and poverty have made death an all too frequent visitor to Calcutta. Last week politics was the cause. For two days, rival political and labor factions rioted in Calcutta with spears, swords, clubs and daggers. By the time order was restored by local police, stiffened by 1,000 special officers, 34 lay dead.

The disorders had been building up for 13 months. In early 1969, a shaky coalition government took power in West Bengal, the most turbulent of India's 17 states and the one in which Calcutta lies. Since...

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