The editorial in Organiser, Reminding the real Emergency, “revisits” the “most horrific phase in democracy of Bharat on its anniversary”. “Many politicians and some media persons,” it says, have recently “hurled allegation of ‘creating Emergency like situation’ against the present dispensation”. However, it is “necessary to remind the real horrors of Emergency” to those who “may not be able to connect with the draconian period”.
The editorial details the instances under which the-then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared the Emergency following her conviction by the Allahabad High Court “in a case related to electoral malpractices”. “More than eight democratically elected State governments led by non-Congress parties were toppled on a single day,” it notes, pointing that “strict censorship was imposed on the Press and any form of protest” was curbed through “financial restrictions or brutal force”. “Several foreign correspondents were removed and accreditation of more than 40 reporters was withdrawn,” it notes, adding that “even social and patriotic organisations like the RSS was banned and thousands of swayamsevaks were arrested”. “If this was the real Emergency, then what is it that we are experiencing today?” the editorial asks, contending that any comparison of the present situation with the Emergency is flawed.
Old and new in science
An article in Organiser lists the achievements of ancient science in India. It cites a 2016 UNESCO conference where Manjul Bhargava, a mathematician at Princeton University, demonstrated “how the ancient Sanskrit poets, artists and Hindustani classical musicians discovered many mathematical theorems for the first time in history”. Ancient Indian seers “were not engaged in knowledge production as we characterise it today”, but adhered to “dharmik and spiritual practices” as they made “significant discoveries in all forms of gyan and vigyan”. “However, any manifestations of pride in the ancient glories of the Bharat turn Marxists and proclaimed secularists against it,” it says.
It is because “since the ancient period is only Hindu, Vedic, and Sanatani in its origin and character, consenting to their mastery in different walks of life would be a threat to future-oriented ideologies”. It counters a recent “attack against the Hindu past” by Meera Nanda in her book, Science in Saffron: Skeptical Essays on History of Science. Scholars who are “against the concept of nationalism and national culture have started arguing that knowledge and other forms of cultural, economic, and social features were not isolated and peculiar in civilisations”. “The process of circulation (of ideas) in an integrated global history cannot brush aside the question of ‘origin’,” the article contends.
Shaming the media
The editorial in Panchjanya comments on the recent developments in Indian media, including the raids on NDTV, Lalu Prasad’s alleged threat to a journalist, and the audacity of an absconding businessman who told reporters in London, “Keep dreaming about lakhs of pounds”. These three incidents have shamed the media, and ironically the accused are those who, until recently, held a prominent place in the media. It is no surprise that people are now asking difficult questions of the media, it says, arguing that giving headline space to wrong people eventually led to the situation.
Taking note of a recent news report, the editorial says many in the media sat on the tapes of Lalu Prasad conversing with Shahabuddin until they were released recently. Vijay Mallya was deep in debt, but media took cognisance of his omissions only when “he fled the country” after the BJP came to power. It means that while the cases have surfaced now, the stains are fairly old. The editorial praises the BJP government that has been running a campaign “against black money and corruption”. The noises made by “prominent persons” must be seen through the mirror of financial irregularities. People like Mallya know that their days are over, and they will now be made accountable.