Pranab Mukherjee quotes Indira Gandhi on birth centenary: ‘Oppsition’s duty to oppose, expose, depose’

Mukherjee did not dwell at length on Emergency, but pointed out that Indira did not pass the buck and accepted full responsibility for the defeat in 1977.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:November 20, 2016 2:01 am
Indira gandhi, Pranab Mukherjee, Indira Gandhi birthday, Indira Gandhi life, Indira Gandhi news, Congress, Congress news, India news Congress president Sonia Gandhi and senior party leaders at the Indira Gandhi centennial lecture by President Pranab Mukherjee, in New Delhi on Saturday. (Express Photo by Renuka Puri)

Delivering a lecture on Indira Gandhi at a function organised by Congress to mark the beginning of the former PM’s birth centenary year, President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday seemed to be sending a message or two to the grand old party. He said Indira Gandhi will always remain in the “heart of the people of India” and continue to be the “ideal” with whom all future PMs will be compared.

Mukherjee did not dwell at length on Emergency, but pointed out that Indira did not pass the buck and accepted full responsibility for the defeat in 1977.

On the dais were Congress president Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi and former PM Manmohan Singh — and in the audience the entire Congress leadership.

Mukherjee said Congress leaders had then argued that people had punished the party for the Emergency and had wanted it to offer constructive cooperation to the ruling party.

“Indiraji, however, believed that the electoral defeat does not change the role of the opposition. It is the opposition’s duty to oppose, expose and, if possible, depose,” he said. Mukherjee said Indira was of the view that if Congress remained “apologetic for what has happened in the past”, it would not be able to inspire the people and party workers and highlight sufferings of Dalits and minorities because of “policies” of the then government. “And history has proved who was correct,” he added.

Speaking on the back-to-back Presidential elections in 1967 and 1969 — Indira was pitted against her own party in the latter — he wondered whether N Sanjeeva Reddy’s nomination in 1969 by her own party was an attempt to curtail powers of the PM.

“…Why did Sanjeeva Reddy, a relatively young man, only four years older than Indiraji, who had been Chief Minister twice, president of the Congress party and minister in the Union government decide to opt for the Presidential office, with hardly any executive powers? Was Sanjeeva Reddy’s nomination an effort to curtail the powers of the Prime Minister? Did Indiraji’s rivals want to use the Constitutional Office of the President to provoke a confrontation between the President and the Prime Minister?”

“Perhaps Indiraji opposed Sanjeeva Reddy’s candidature because she saw through this game… Indiraji felt strongly that in a parliamentary democracy like that of India the role of Prime Minister should be paramount,” he said.

Mother, mentor, friend’

Congress president Sonia Gandhi called Indira Gandhi her “mother, mentor and friend” from whom she imbibed her earliest political lessons. “Her sacrifice in preserving a united, diverse, egalitarian India will be remembered. All the more so at a time when, in the quest for shortcuts to greatness, we find leaders willing to undermine the very foundations of our national character,” she said.

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  1. P
    Prateik
    Nov 20, 2016 at 2:54 am
    There should not be opposition to Shri Modi
    Reply
    1. V
      Vns
      Nov 20, 2016 at 3:06 am
      Family dramas of solt;br/gt;Many s Bahu we have seen already. Sonia need not enact one for us. We know when the Bahu talks good about her MIL she is plotting some evil plan against her.
      Reply
      1. B
        Bhagavath B S
        Nov 20, 2016 at 3:47 am
        RULING PARTIES DUTY IS TO EXPOSE AND EXPOSE THE SCAMMERS,MAFIAS,BLACK MARKETERS,LOOTERS OF THE COUNTRY, ANTI NATIONALS, AND DISPOSE THEM AND PUT IT JAIL.
        Reply
        1. I
          Indian
          Nov 20, 2016 at 12:52 am
          Remember 1984 Sikh genocide victims on this day too. Indra become pure evil for Sikhs she totally ruined the punjab for decades.
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          1. A
            A.Sen
            Nov 20, 2016 at 6:00 am
            Recently the world never saw a greater leader than Mrs. Indira hi. She fragmented stan while supporters of stan both the USA and China watched impotently. She blasted an advanced nuclear weapon in 1974 and the world watched in dismay. As a believer in democracy she stepped down when she lost the elections. She was no follower and maintained India's independence and kept the Jews happy but did not let them in. Mr. Modi can learn much from her. Most attacks today on her are coming from outside our borders also via the Indian plants since during her leadership foreigners could not interfere. But note Congress Party is gone if they do not field an educated, honest, intelligent, nationalistic and experienced purely Indian leader now
            Reply
            1. K
              krishnanada kini
              Nov 19, 2016 at 10:10 pm
              Mukherjee should not have made a such a politically sensitive speech containing adverse references to Syndicate of 1969 and Janatha Party of 1979 as he has occupied Highest non political office of the country. Had he forgotten the dubious role he pla immediately after ination of his beloved leader? Mukherjee was Short on loyalty and long on opportunistic speech!
              Reply
              1. A
                Ashok Mazumdar
                Nov 20, 2016 at 1:48 am
                Zoomla being used by even Pranab Mukherjii : ... pose, ... pose,.... pose. Like Modi !
                Reply
                1. M
                  mathimathi
                  Nov 20, 2016 at 8:15 am
                  It is a universal shame to compare illiterate Narendra Damodarlol Modi (fake Alexander invaded bihar ;) with these iron ladies bangladesh independence Indira hi israel golda meir UK falkland islands achievements margaret thatcher .
                  Reply
                  1. H
                    Hari
                    Nov 19, 2016 at 9:09 pm
                    Indira said it well but she neither opposed nor exposed but deposed Morarji Desai and Janata Party government through foul means! Now, the Congress may not be The Opposition but it presupposes that people would tolerate its attempts to impose itself on the government!
                    Reply
                    1. R
                      RAJIBABA
                      Nov 21, 2016 at 1:33 pm
                      INDIRA THE GUNGI GUDIA, RESPONSIBLE FOR INDIAN EMERGENCY OF 1975 THE DARKEST PERIOD OF INDIAN DEMOCRACY, JUST LIKE HITLER DID IN GERMANY
                      Reply
                      1. R
                        rajan luthra
                        Nov 20, 2016 at 12:27 am
                        Is Pranab giving subtle message to opposition to expose and depose the buck ping dispensation?
                        Reply
                        1. R
                          rajan luthra
                          Nov 20, 2016 at 1:54 am
                          Punjab has been ruined by Badalsand BJP much more.
                          Reply
                          1. R
                            Raman Govindan
                            Nov 20, 2016 at 5:46 am
                            indira hi schmed and not the other leaders!lt;br/gt;if I am right congress parliamentary party nominated Sanjeeva Reddy, as the party's candidate for the president's election with a 4/2 majority. Indira did not like it! VVGiri was not in the picture initially! To call those leaders like Kamaraj, Sanjeeva Reddy, Nijalingappa, Moraji Desai as belonging to syndicate was preposterous! they were not coteries or yes masters like other leaders who supported Indira hi! they had established their name displa their leadership capability, sklls and vision in no uncertain manner in the state where they were CMs. Kamaraj had made a path breaking or epoch making scheme of free schooling and free lunch to the students of govt. run school in Tamilnadu way back before 1957! It pays dividends now also! Sanjeeva Reddy made efforts to make AP a granary of South. Nijaingappa made initial efforts to make Bangalore what it is now! Moraji Desai encouraged the native enterprising Gujarathis to develop its industry and business ! Lal Bahadur Sasttry wanted to make Hindi sole official language of India from 1965! he introduced a legislation towards it in parliament! it was opposed by majority of Tamils. The situation exists even now. Kamaraj was was defeated in the next general election, by the anti Hindi sentiments of Tamil people and not by his poor administration, lack of vision, corruption or schming to capture power at center! he did not oppose Hindi with the same gusto or ferocity of the DMK and others and he was neutral on the subject. he was defeated in 1967 election for that reason ! his defeat, caused by Lal Bahadur Sastry was exploited by Indira! the coteries named the set of very good experience top leaders as syndicate to serve their interest and be close to Indira hi! she was regarded as the only national leader by the coteries and the others were discarded as regional satraps. she did not go through the majority. and opposed Sanjeeva Reddy even though he was party's nominee! she had an atude of a dictator that " 10 nays and one aye and the motion is carried forward."lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;even before 1962, India slid with respect to China at national level with Nehru's ideology and vision. it was confirmed by the defeat in border clash with China!lt;br/gt;and still the the dynasty took the baton and continued with it! China now has 4-5 times the GDP nominal and more than twice the GDP PPP of India ! The coteries of dynasty of all hues, have no explanation for it! China now is very generous to our immediate neighbors with its trillion dollar cash chest and they seek pound of flesh even for normal civil foreign relation! lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;if only Nehru had taken a leaf from Kamaraj, and introduced free education in Bihar and UP, the country would not have suffered the sort of ignominy when compared to China's growth! I will give 3 out of 10 or less marks to Nehru and his dynasty and 8 out of 10 to Kamaraj for raising the level of their people with all their their limited resources and influe
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                            1. V
                              Vedic_Citizen
                              Nov 20, 2016 at 12:48 am
                              She was a dictator like Kim-Jong-Un
                              Reply
                              1. S
                                siriyaar
                                Nov 20, 2016 at 3:41 am
                                Pranb mukerjee even after become president have to read sonia script very unfortunate for him.
                                Reply
                                1. P
                                  P M
                                  Nov 20, 2016 at 4:00 am
                                  BJP had failed in this duty as well my friend ; fully squarely and putting others for its failure ... before you write Mr Bhagavath do some research and write ..otherwise you will give company to uneducated lampoons
                                  Reply
                                  1. V
                                    Vns
                                    Nov 20, 2016 at 3:08 am
                                    Maneka hi should throw some light on the fights of Sonia with her MIL and discredit this bar maid.
                                    Reply
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