The Congress party hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his remarks on the 1975 Emergency. Senior Congress leader and national spokesperson, Tom Vadakkan, citing the recent CBI raids on NDTV owners, said, “Yes, we have not forgotten Emergency, but there is an undeclared emergency in the country. The fact is that there is a muzzling of the media and the raids on media which can only be listed as an undeclared emergency.”
Vadakkan also alleged that the internal and external security of the nation was in a state of jeopardy, which the Prime Minister failed to address. “The Prime Minister raised various issues in his ‘ Mann Ki Baat‘, but I wish issues of internal security also would have been raised. Internal security in this country is under jeopardy, why? This broad shoulder government said they will put it in order. This is for the first time that internal and outer security are running parallel simply for reason when there is firing and incursion is coming in from Pakistan and terrorist and separatist are actively engaged inside the country,” he said.
On the situation in Kashmir, Vadakkan said that the separatists are growing disdainful, further digressing from the mainstream and opting for terrorism. “The so-called separatists have grown up to be terrorists in the valley. We have a situation where counterfeit currency is being printed and the case of lynching mobs and romeo squads are emerging. What are they?”, Vadakkan was quoted as saying.
Addressing the nation through his monthly radio broadcast ‘Man ki Baat’ on Sunday, PM Modi reminded the people about the ‘horrors’ of Emergency imposed by the former Congress government under the leadership of Indira Gandhi in 1975.
“The Emergency will be remembered for the way in which people of India came together and safeguarded democratic values. Democracy is not only a system, but also our ethos as-‘Eternal vigilance is the life of liberty’. We need to remember the things which harm democracy and move forward in a positive direction,” PM Modi said.
He further remarked, “Those who love democracy can never forget the dark night of June 25, 1975, when the entire nation turned into a prison, all voices of dissent were muzzled, where senior leaders like Jayaprakash Narayan were imprisoned. Not even the judiciary was spared from the shadow of authoritarianism.”
The Prime Minister also asked the students of journalism and political activists to remind themselves of the ‘dark phase’. “Newspapers were rendered ineffective, students of journalism and political activities must continuously remind themselves of this dark phase. They must work towards creating awareness about democracy. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was also imprisoned during this period. When he completed one year in prison, he wrote a poem describing his feelings,” he said.