January 24, 1978, Forty Years Ago: Indira’s Apology

Addressing a large public meeting in Yavatmal (Maharashtra), Mrs Gandhi said even if others, who were responsible for the mistakes and excesses were not willing to own up, she would own the responsibility for those mistakes as well.

By: Editorials | Updated: January 24, 2018 12:47:34 am
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Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi publicly apologised for all the mistakes and excesses committed during the Emergency and declared that she was taking “the entire responsibility for the same”. Addressing a large public meeting in Yavatmal (Maharashtra), Mrs Gandhi said even if others, who were responsible for the mistakes and excesses were not willing to own up, she would own the responsibility for those mistakes as well. She, however, asked the audience to recall the situation in the country when the Emergency was declared, and said things were in a chaotic condition all around. If things were allowed to continue, the situation that had developed in Bangladesh would have been repeated in India.

Grave Situation

Mrs Gandhi said the situation just before the imposition of Emergency was very grave, and the very survival of the nation was threatened. The agitations of different political parties were then being taken to the streets and there was a clear confrontation with the elected government. Describing the Emergency as a dose of medicine to cure the disease, she said no doubt it was not palatable. “We followed the democratic principles in conducting the elections. People were annoyed with us for the mistakes committed. We accepted their verdict.” she said.

Netaji In Parliament

In what was a dream come true for Samar Guha, MP, and several other admirers of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, a colour portrait of the revolutionary was inaugurated in the Central Hall of Parliament by the president, N. Sanjiva Reddy. Reddy made a particular reference to Guha’s efforts for over 10 years and to his conviction that Netaji is still
alive. “I wish I could believe he is alive. Wish he could come amongst us even for one day to inspire us,” the president said at an impressive ceremony in the glittering Central Hall.

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