Other Scenes

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Fifth Estate # 68, December 12-25, 1968

NEW DELHI, India—The ascension to the throne of Richard Nixon has not been greeted with enthusiasm in India. Most of the papers think he is a drag—”the winning candidate who took the greatest care not to commit himself—others that he is a menace. A literary and political mag called Shankar’s Weekly calls him “the obedient robot of the American conservative establishment” and says his election has put the American clock back by twenty years. Bombay’s flashy weekly Blitz goes further and attributes Nixon’s election to “the notorious J. Edgar Hoover… the master-brain behind the two Kennedy executions.” This factor, says Blitz, “added to his own unseemly record on which the FBI is bound to have complete files, will make the new President a convenient tool in the hands of the Police Chief and the State-within-a-State he commands.”

Meanwhile, the Jackie Kennedy-Onassis affair is still coming in for comment. In what it claims as an “inside story,” Delhi’s weekly tabloid Indian Observer asks, “Could not Onassis’ romance with the First Lady be connected with President Kennedy’s assassination?” The paper which heads it piece PRESIDENT’S WIFE TO SMUGGLER’S WIFE, maintains that Jackie fell in love with the Greek millionaire while Kennedy was still alive, and refers to a secret visit to the fat fascist’s bedroom in November 1963. “Next morning when Jacqueline was in lavish praise for Aristotle, Princess Radziwill described it as love at first sight…but it was more than that for Aristotle. He was caught by the all-consuming desire to possess this voluptuous lady who combined in her person, beauty, sex appeal, intelligence, wit and fame.” Onassis is described by the Observer as “King of the smugglers and the greatest sea pirate of modern times. The heads of state of many countries are said to be his lackeys. The gambling dens in the Riviera, the brothels in Naples, Paris and Athens, the gold smuggling racket in the middle East, the white slave trade in Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Libya—all flourish on finances provided by him and his agents.”

Students heckled the Maharishi at Lucknow University last week asking him if he was a CIA agent and why he couldn’t do his transcendental meditation “without an air-conditioned room”…

A dairy in Delhi, frustrated by discovering that telegrams sometimes take three days to reach their plant in Etah, 124 miles away, is to inaugurate a pigeon-mail service. The birds will cost $3 each can cover the trip in 11 hours…

Within the last few days two different husbands in different parts of India have staked—and lost—their wives in gambling sessions…

“Wanted suitable match for well-educated Khatri virgin, owning property in Delhi. Early decent marriage. Box — etc. (typical of the two pages of classified ads for husbands and wives in the weekly columns of the Hindustan Times. In India most marriages are still “arranged by parents.”)

About 1,000 girls and 300 pimps were estimated to be “carrying on the trade under the garb of dancers” in Delhi’s redlight district according to a newspaper survey in November…

Editorial in the Indian Express criticizes the Japanese magazine Asia Scene for its preoccupation with the subject of “what will happen to its economy if peace comes?” The article, says the Indian Express, “does not concern itself with such silly things as the number of Vietnamese who have been killed. That presumably is not the concern of Japanese businessmen…

We must applaud this basic honesty.”

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