INTRODUCTION: In India, a crowd containing an estimated two million people gathered in New Delhi on Monday (16 February) for a rally staged by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
AV Crowds around India Gate Memorial in New Delhi.
SV People in cars and on foot heading for rally. (2 SHOTS)
AV Crowds covering Boat Club lawns.
SV Crowd carrying banners and flags walking along.
SV PAN Billboard picture of Mrs Indira Gandhi, and police on duty.
SV Mrs Gandhi arriving by car, stepping out, waving to crowd.
GV ZOOM INTO SV Crowd.
SV Mrs Gandhi with officials, waving to crowd from rostrum.
GV Crowd chanting.
GV ZOOM INTO SV Mrs Gandhi addressing crowd. (2 SHOTS)
GV Crowd milling around and applauding.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: In India, a crowd containing an estimated two million people gathered in New Delhi on Monday (16 February) for a rally staged by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. It was assembled to answer critics who claimed her government was losing the farmers' support. Mrs Gandhi had called the rally after opposition-backed protest in recent months by farmers in western and southern India for higher support prices for their crops.
SYNOPSIS: The rally was considered one of the largest-ever in the capital, and critics said that the reported one hundred million rupees (12 million dollars) it cost was a waste of money.
People poured from all over India in hired trains and fleets of trucks and buses. They were housed in twenty-seven tent camps in and around the city. Some demonstrators told newsmen their rail tickets, food and accommodation had been paid for by the government.
They converged on the Boat Club and National Stadium area in the centre of the city.
More than fifteen thousand police, including reinforcements from several neighbouring states, were on duty to control the crowds and traffic.
Mrs Gandhi arrived to cheering crowds waving congress flags and banners. Many in the crowd were not dressed of Pugree and dhoti, which suggested to observers that the throng contained a lot of industrial workers.
Shouts of "Long Live Indira" rose up from the crowd.
Mrs Gandhi had said the event was not a rally of her ruling Congress (I) Party. In her address, she promised the farmers "We sill not rest in peace. Even if we have to sacrifice our lives, we will solve your problems". Mrs Gandhi said her government had done much to improve the farmers's lot, but the country was suffering difficult times.
Farm leaders have blamed what they call anti-rural policies for the privation in the countryside, where at least seventy-five million live below the poverty line.