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by user Nonnka

Went diving into the Time magazine archives and found this treasure, datelined December 12,1955. Best enjoyed shoeless with a vodka lassi:

Starvation, squalor, teeming restlessness and ill-concealed resentment haunt the alleys and byways of refugee-swollen Calcutta, India's biggest (pop. circa 7,000,000) and most turbulent city. There last week, in greater numbers than ever, hysterically cheering Indians turned out to greet the touring missionaries of Muscovite good will, bulletheaded Communist Party Chief Nikita Khrushchev and his straight man, Soviet Premier Bulganin. Streets along the line of entry were scrubbed and decorated with triumphal arches; the city's swarming sacred cows had been driven into back alleys, and red flags fluttered on every side.

For hours before the Russians arrived, a crowd estimated at more than 2,000,000 jammed the center of the city. Only a comparative handful were within viewing distance when at last Khrushchev, Bulganin and their host, West Bengal Chief Minister Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, showed up in an open Mercedes-Benz. At the intersection of two of Calcutta's big streets, the Russians waved their straw hats, and Khrushchev cried out in their own language: "Hindi Russi bhai bhai!" (Indians, Russians, brothers, brothers!). Instantly the crowd burst forward, shattering police lines and bamboo barricades to swarm over the car. Some clutched Bulganin's coat. Others seized Khrushchev's hands and arms. As the Indians piled their weight upon the Mercedes, it broke down. With police aid, the visitors pulled themselves clear of the clustering crowd and fought their way to a nearby police van. Behind them, the happy mob pulled the Mercedes apart. Safe at last from their frantic fans, the Russians sped on in the paddywagon to reach an official reception at Government House one hour late.

 

This post first appeated on NonnaBlog





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