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From the archives of the Hindustan Times: November 4

By Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HT Correspondent,

Important and interesting stories from HT chronicles.


Truman elected U.S. President (1948)

New York: Mr. Harry S. Truman was today (November 3) re-elected President of the United States of America for four years in one of the most sensational upsets in American history. His 46-year-old Republican opponent, Mr Thomas Dewey, Governor of New York, conceded his surprise victory in this photo finish election at 4-15 p.m., G.M.T., (9-45 p.m., I.S.T.)- after the world had been kept waiting for nearly 12 hours.

Sixty-four-year-old Democrat, Mr Truman, the “hopeless chance,” also swept his party to power in both Houses of Congress in one of the closest election races in U.S. history.

Mr. Dewey said Mr. Truman was sure to win an Electoral College majority.

From New York Mr. Dewey sent a congratulatory telegram to Mr Truman at Kansas City. The telegram said: “My heartiest congratulations to you on your election and every good wish for a successful administration and urge an Americans to unite behind you in support of every effort to keep our nation strong and free and establish peace in the world.”

Voting figures had run neck to neck through some 15 hours of counting before Mr. Dewey finally conceded.

When Mr. Dewey conceded, Mr. Truman was leading in 28 States, carrying between them 304 electoral votes. Required to win are 266 electoral votes.

Mr. Dewey was leading in 16 States with 189 electoral votes. The last Republican hope that Mr. Dewey might nose out the President in the electoral vote, even though he was trailing well behind in popular voting, apparently faded with the late California returns, which put Mr. Truman ahead in that State.

The political prophets were completely confounded by the final out-come of the keen contest, though Mr. Truman himself had complete confidence in the result.

Congress results were still not final, but latest returns indicated this line-up.

Kashmir University inaugurated (1948)

Srinagar- Jammu and Kashmir University was formally inaugurated today (November 3) by Dr Zakir Hussain, Principal, Jamia Millia, Delhi.

Maulana Azad, who was to have inaugurated was unavoidably absent.

Speeches on the occasion were made by Sheikh Abdullah, Prime Minister of the State, Dr Tara Chand, Education Secretary to the Government of India, Dr V. K. R. V. Rao of Delhi University, Mr. Gopala Reddi, Finance Minister, Madras, and Lt.-Gen. Cariappa, G.O.C.-in-C.. Western Command. A report of Sheikh Abdullah’s speech appeared in yesterday’s Hindustan Times.

Messages were sent by H.E. Mr Rajagopalachari, Governor-General of India, the Governors of the U.P. and Orissa, the Vice-Chancellors of various Indian universities - and other Indian leaders.

Dr Zakir Hussain in his address said “Today a new adversity is being born in free Kashmir. This university should be a seat of learning which will correctly interpret cultural and intellectual aspects of democracy. Democracy is a means to an end and that end is a good life-a harmonious and proportionate life”.

“You are starting late. This is good in a way. You can avoid others’ mistakes. A seat of learning often becomes a seat of privilege, which is fatal to the true spirit of democracy. You have, therefore, to build this university on a new democratic basis which will take the height of learning to the hamlets of far-flung cultivators. You must also remember that the seat of higher learning reflects the life of the people. The people of Kashmir will, by purity of their aims and ideals, provide the light setting for this new seat of learning.” Paying a tribute to Sheikh Abdullah he said: “Luckily you have a man among you who is the symbol not only of what is upright in India today but the new type of Indian-hood which is to be.”

Solemn farewell at Shantivana (1984)

New Delhi- A grieving nation today (November 3) bade farewell to Mrs. Indira Gandhi, whose mortal remains were consigned to the flames near Shantivana on the bank of the Yamuna amid shouts of “Indira Gandhi Amar Rahe” from a multitude of mourners.

The neatly-stacked sandalwood funeral pyre was lit by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi as Army buglers sounded the Last Post and priests of all religious faiths chanted hymns from the scriptures and the crowd, which included 60 foreign dignitaries, threw rose petals and incense sticks on the red sari draped body of the departed leader as flames enveloped her.

The total nation-wide and international involvement seen in the representative character of the congregation had grown out of the departed leader’s energetic tours of the country and foreign lands, her advocacy of world peace and non-alignment and her rapport with the people at the grassroots level like Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.

The largely silent crowd that had gathered at Shantivana where Jawaharlal Nehru was cremated 20 years ago made it evident that for them it was a personal bereavement. They were witness to Indira Priyadarshni, history’s child, pass into history.

Mrs. Gandhi’s frail body was smothered with love, rose petals and chrysanthemums. As people threw “samagri” into the pyre, the priests chanted: “Death is inevitable. However much we may rage against the dying of the light, we shall go into that good night. Death is the only certain fact of life; but the soul is immortal, that which no weapon can destroy nor fire burn. From mortality to immortality you transcend.”

There stood her son, Rajiv Gandhi who performed the last rites, on one side of the platform from where the flames, aided by ghee, honey and incense leapt skyward. He was inconsolate but a picture of courage and fortitude. His wife Sonia and their two children Priyanka and Rahul stood by sobbing as they threw sandalwood sticks into the fire.

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