Forces that can crush democracy are stronger…I don’t have the confidence it (Emergency) cannot happen again: BJP leader LK Advani

Civil society raised hopes only to disappoint...(it’s) the judiciary (that) is more responsible than the others, says BJP veteran L K Advani.

Written by Vandita Mishra | Agra/new Delhi | Updated: June 25, 2015 9:43 am
LK Advani, Advani emergency, LK Advani emergency, advani modi, advani interview, indian express, LK Advani BJP, Indira Gandhi, Emergency anniversary, india news L K Advani at his residence in New Delhi on Wednesday. (express Photo by: Tashi Tobgyal)

Ahead of the 40th anniversary of the imposition of the Emergency on June 25, L K Advani, senior BJP leader, its founding father and now a member of its Margdarshak Mandal, has struck a note of caution.

Also Read: I do not say the political leadership is not mature, but kamiyon ke karan, vishwas nahin hota: L K Advani

India’s political system is still to come to terms with the Emergency and a similar suspension of civil liberties could not be ruled out in the future, he said in an interview to The Indian Express. “At the present point of time, the forces that can crush democracy, notwithstanding the constitutional and legal safeguards, are stronger,” he said.

In the years since the Emergency in 1975-77, “I don’t think anything has been done that gives me the assurance that civil liberties will not be suspended or destroyed again. Not at all,” said Advani. “Of course, no one can do it easily… But that it cannot happen again — I will not say that. It could be that fundamental liberties are curtailed again.”

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In response to a question on what, specifically, is missing, that makes India today vulnerable to the Emergency-like situation, he said: “I do not see any sign in our polity that assures me, any outstanding aspect of leadership. A commitment to democracy and to all other aspects related to democracy is lacking.”

And: “Today, I do not say that the political leadership is not mature. But kamiyon ke karan, vishwas nahin hota (I don’t have faith because of its weaknesses). I don’t have the confidence that it (Emergency) cannot happen again.”

L K Advani, emergency,  imposition of Emergency,  indira gandhi emergency, india emergency imposition,  Emergency anniversary,  advani Emergency fight, Emergency imposition, L K Advani interview, interview Advani, india news Senior BJP leader LK Advani at his home in New Delhi (Express photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

Recalling the Emergency as a crime perpetrated by Indira Gandhi and her government that has still to be fully acknowledged and owned up to, Advani said that it happened despite the constitutional safeguards that were in place. “There aren’t enough safeguards in India in 2015,” he said.

It is possible, said Advani, that the Emergency could save India from another Emergency — “… as it happened in Germany, where Hitler’s rule appears to have inoculated the system against Hitlerian tendencies and because of which today’s Germany is more particular about democratic norms than even perhaps the British.” And then, “The aftermath of the Emergency having been an election in which the party that imposed the Emergency lost very badly, would always be a deterrent for future rulers who think of repeating what was done in the 1970s.”

L K Advani, emergency,  imposition of Emergency,  indira gandhi emergency, india emergency imposition,  Emergency anniversary,  advani Emergency fight, Emergency imposition, L K Advani interview, interview Advani, india news L K Advani at his residence in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Source: Express photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

But of the countervailing forces against authoritarianism, the media “is more independent today”, said Advani, “but does it have a real commitment to democracy and civil liberties — I don’t know. It is something that must be put to the test”. And civil society raised hopes, most recently during the Anna mobilisation against corruption, only to disappoint, he said.

“Of the various institutions that are to be held responsible for a well functioning democracy in India today, the judiciary is more responsible than the others,” said Advani.

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  1. S
    Jun 18, 2015 at 11:46 pm
    Advani ko kya senilty ka rog laga ya. Wo revenge lena chahte hai modi ji se. Modi ji must crush him to dust. He is behaving like a pagal budda.perhaps bought frm congress. Remember advani came frm stan...he loves power not india. He is truly sincere to his armans
  2. S
    Jun 18, 2015 at 11:36 pm
    Mr advani is misguided by his deepseated desire to become pm which did not materalise and become of his age and learn to respect the current age of modi. It is time for him to retire and stay away from politics. In india he is safe in old age home will he be in stan.
    1. B
      Jun 18, 2015 at 11:04 am
      But what did Advani do when he was Deputy PM to put additional checks and balance in the system? He is just an old man, can not come to terms with the fact that one of his Prodigies has got the position that he tried all his life. Sad for any Advani sympathisers, now with every word he speaks he is missing many admirers of his.
      1. C
        Jun 18, 2015 at 3:20 pm
        He is talking about media hyaenas, CONgress, Left & urban naxals like AAP. These forces are not allowing to work democracy.
        1. N
          Jun 19, 2015 at 9:49 am
          Stop speeding rumors.speaking truth is not your habit due to your affiliation with a so called cultural organization
          1. P
            Jun 18, 2015 at 12:17 pm
            A senile old man venting his frustration and eagerly lapped up by the media. This guy was the villain according to the media when he had led the Rath Yatra. But now they rush to him for sound bytes as they know he will be ranting against Modi. This guy is not even of any importance in his own party. Why would anyone want to interview him? Today some madman opened fired and killled nine people in a church in the USA. I hope our media and all our one way seculars wont blame Modi for that. And in other news the police have caught the man who raped the nun in WB. He is a Bangladeshi. And to think the media and the one way seculars had made such a hue and cry about atrocity on the minorities that time witbout ascertaining the facts. Really strange to see that people can tolerate a foreigner ruling them by proxy without any accountability but they dont even want to give a democratically elected PM a chance.
            1. T
              Jun 18, 2015 at 11:26 am
              Chaiwala has not tweeted ever since Lalit Modi is news maker.
              1. T
                Jun 18, 2015 at 10:06 am
                Police hai. Judiciary in shambles. we Indians deserve this because we have yet not learnt the power of our votes. Of course when Advani had his chance he blew it . Let him first come clear whether he is involved in Babri Masjid demolition
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