Page 12 of 12

Inder Kumar Gujral is the new Prime Minister of India. Like thirteen of his predecessors, his ascendancy has raised new hopes. He had come to our studio earlier, before the May 1996 general elections. Reacting to the Bharatiya Janata Party's claim of building a temple where the Babri mosque was demolished on the 6th of December 1992, Gujral was categorical about his vision of the country's future.

I.K. Gujral: "Every Indian political party today has to look at contemporary India. The tragedy is that they are wanting to make a modern and strong India and settling the medieval issues now. What happened in Babar's time."

Inder Kumar Gujral is the person who will be unfurling the tricolour from here on the 15th of August to mark the completion of half a century of independence. There will be celebrations galore, including a midnight session of Parliament. And tears would be shed for the plight of the third of the country's population who still live below the poverty line. And as one moves ahead, the question remains: have we learnt the lessons of a long past or are we repeating our mistakes? Thank you for being with us on this special 400th episode of India Talks.