Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Exactly 45 years ago, Emergency had been imposed on the country. I bow to the people who struggled and suffered to protect India’s democracy. The nation will never forget their sacrifice.”
Attached to the tweet was a video message containing visuals of the Emergency, in which Modi said, “When Emergency was imposed in the country, opposition to it was not limited to politics or politicians. …There was anger among general public. It was the yearning of a lost democracy. …And this was not because the Constitution had given a system that gave birth to democracy. …But India can be proud of the fact that democracy has been part of our culture and legacy…
“If ever there was an occasion in the world where people kept aside their interests and rights and voted only for the idea of democracy, it was the elections of 1977,” he said.
In a statement released on twitter, BJP president J P Nadda said, “In 1975, on this day, for political self interest, those opposed to the government were put behind bars after declaration of Emergency. People’s fundamental rights were snatched away and newspaper offices were locked. On this anniversary of Congress-imposed Emergency, I bow to all those patriots who despite suffering great injustice and torture did not kneel down to those who murdered democracy…”
The official Twitter handle of the party also posted a 2018 blog on the Emergency written by the late Arun Jaitley.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Amit Shah took potshots at the Congress based on reports of bickering during a recent meeting of its top leaders.
“On this day, 45 years ago, one family’s greed for power led to the imposition of the Emergency. Overnight the nation was turned into a prison. The press, courts, free speech…all were trampled over. Atrocities were committed on the poor and downtrodden. Due to efforts of lakhs of people, the Emergency was lifted. Democracy was restored in India but it remained absent in the Congress. The interests of one family prevailed over party interests and national interests. This sorry state of affairs thrives in today’s Congress too!” Shah said in a tweet.
Referring to media reports of a recent Congress Working Committee meeting where leaders differed on how to attack Modi politically, Shah said, “As one of India’s opposition parties, Congress needs to ask itself: Why does the Emergency mindset remain? Why are leaders who don’t belong to 1 dynasty unable to speak up?…
“During the recent CWC meet, senior members and younger members raised a few issues. But, they were shouted down. A party spokesperson was unceremoniously sacked. The sad truth is- leaders are feeling suffocated in Congress,” Shah wrote
Reacting to Shah, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted, “And so spoke those, who occupied present positions by forcibly retiring & humiliating every patriarch & colleague who built them. And the list is long…. Sh. L.K.Advani, Sh. M.M.Joshi, Sh. Keshubhai Patel, Sh. Kalraj Mishra, Smt. Sushma Swaraj, Sh. Haren Pandya, Sh. Sanjay Joshi.”
Second freedom struggle: Venkaiah on Emergency
New Delhi: Calling the fight against Emergency “the second freedom struggle”, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu recalled his days as a campaigner and “underground courier” at that time.
In a Facebook post, he contrasted the situation with the Covid-19 lockdown, saying, “It was exactly 3 months back that we volunteered to confine ourselves to homes to ward off the looming threat of coronavirus. We preferred to mask ourselves and restrict our movements for the good of all… This legitimate confinement is a sharp contrast to the one that the nation was subjected to this day 45 years back…”
He urged the people of the country “to uphold the dignity of life founded on the individual freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, based on the learning from that dark era”. —ENS
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