On the 42nd anniversary of the 1975 Emergency, Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasised on the need for “eternal vigilance” to preserve democracy. Remembering the 21-month period of emergency imposed by former prime minister Indra Gandhi, PM Modi said: “Democracy is not only a system. It is our culture… Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”
Addressing the nation through his monthly radio programme Mann ki Baat, he said: “Such a black night which cannot be forgotten by any lover of democracy. No Indian can forget that. The Emergency will be remembered for the way in which people of India came together and safeguarded the democratic values. Those were dark days that no supporters of democracy can forget. In a manner, the country was detained and the Opposition was totally suppressed.”
On 25 June 1975, Indira Gandhi got the proclamation of Emergency signed by then President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmad, invoking the Maintenance of Internal Security Act. It happened against the backdrop of the Allahabad High Court’s judgment on 12 June 1975 that found Gandhi guilty of electoral malpractices.
Narendra Modi, who is on a two-day visit to the US, also highlighted the achievements of International Yoga Day celebrated on June 21. He mentioned the benefits of yoga was to create a health-conscious society. The prime minister congratulated Indian badminton player Srikanth Kidambi for his accomplishments in the Australian Open Super Series.
During his US visit, Narendra Modi will discuss issues ranging from H1B visas, Paris climate Agreement, to Make in India with President Donald Trump.