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The rise and fall of the Madras Press Club MY LOVE FOR AGRICULTURE The years of consolidation, second bomb, and hope Power progress Rise and fall of PVN... The green years Takeover tycoons... The rise, fall and rise of India Cements Music, music everywhere… Hanuman jumps in auto, electronic technologies Kurien visits Erode... Salem steel waiting for its sheen Mrs Gandhi storms back, MGR unshaken in his fortress This foray into economic journalism... He took public sector to commanding heights... When cooperatives pushed out private dairies... The white trigger at Erode Remembering SV How Chennai missed the bus? (rail!) Birth of IE When fertilizer production shifted to North and West... Editorially reinforced and redesigned The sea change When Eicher bites the Bullet... The unreal estate Green Jubilee for agricultural research Where a co-operative paid bonus; helped eradicate caste bias... When feedstock change worked havoc... Travails and thrills... The slippery story of crude From the very beginning When comes such another! Hand composing to desk top publishing… A culture of R&D... Budgets through the years… Major storms during the explosive years
 
Mrs Gandhi storms back, MGR unshaken in his fortress

Teething troubles, if any, had been overcome and IE was ensconced in its own office and worked on its own machinery,  all set to expand its horizon. But the country was not in the best of conditions. The years 1978-83, in fact, proved to be tumultuous for national and regional politics and industry alike, highlighted by the disappointing failure of the Janata experiment and the consequent return of Indira Gandhi to power. 

Not everything of course was black.Ms Gandhi introduced colour television to coincide with the staging of the prestigious Asiad in New Delhi. The tumultuous five years had one assured result: every issue of IE had absorbing commentary and analysis of the enveloping developments in politics and industry. Cartoons added welcome spice.  The period under review, among others, included a special focus on steel plants and the celebration of Lakshmi Mills’ 1001st loom with a report on how they transitioned to produce automatic looms. There was also an issue devoted to the Press in Madras. Of this later.

 

Fall of the Janata government...

An article in the December 1979 issue mentions 1979 as the “bad old year” for Indian politics. The period 1977-79, with the Janata Party at the helm, promised much. Prime Minister Morarji Desai, spoke of bringing together strong economic and financial policies. Nevertheless, owing to the absence of strong ideological unity to support political and economic initiatives, the Morarji Desai government resigned without daring to face a vote of confidence in the Lok Sabha. The Charan Singh government that followed proved worse, barely managing to limp through three weeks. The Lok Dal group failed to face parliament, which was ultimately dissolved. 

Plunging into a period of political uncertainty, the nation witnessed elections in January 1980. It resulted in a landslide victory for the Indira Gandhi-led Congress party. What was surprising was not the victory by itself, but the winning margin in almost every state. This was a clear expression of the popular revulsion at the bungling ineptitude of the Janata and its splinter, the Lok Dal. The Janata party, which was but a coalition, was composed of disparate groups and the members never worked as a team, demonstrating shocking incapacity for action. Sanjay Gandhi’s unexpected death in a tragic accident when the plane he was piloting crashed in Delhi proved more than just a personal tragedy. An ‘adviser’ on whom the mother tended to lean heavily, his death was a shattering blow to Mrs Gandhi. It was known that many of her government’s decisions were based on his advice. 

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IE, the business magazine from south was launched in 1968 and pioneered business journalism in south. Through the 45 years IE has been focusing on well-presented and well-researched articles. When giants in the industry stumbled to keep pace with the digital revolution, IE stayed affixed embracing technology.
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