During his Mann Ki Baat programme on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi dubbed the 1975 emergency period as a black day for the country and expressed his delight over the fact that the people in India have always given importance to democracy.
“Very often ‘Mann Ki Baat’ is criticised, but this is possible because we are in a democracy. Do you remember June 25-26, 1975…it was the darkest night for democracy. Democracy is our strength and we will have to always make our democratic fabric stronger,” said Modi in the 21st edition of his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme.
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Stating that though the people were enjoying complete democracy now, Prime Minister Modi said there was a time in 1975 when the freedom of the people were curbed and 1,000 of political activists and student leaders were imprisoned without any reason.
He said that the democracy, which empowers every citizen, had been suppressed on this day in 1975.
“The morning of June 26, 1975, was such a black night when Emergency was imposed on the country. All rights of the citizens were taken away. The country was turned into a prison. Along with Jaiprakash Narain, lakhs of people and thousands of politicians were sent to jails,” he recalled.
The Prime Minister said it is the strength of the countrymen that they have lived this democracy.
“When the newspaper offices are sealed and radio speaks only voice, people on the other hand make you realise the power of democratic forces. This is a big strength for any nation,” he said in apparent reference to the Emergency days.
He said there should be an attitude that people continue to realise their strengths.
“I keep saying that democracy does not mean that you vote and give contract of five years for running the country. Voting is a crucial part of democracy, but there are several other aspects too. The biggest aspect is people’s participation — the pulse of the people, the thinking of the people. The more governments associate with the people, the more is the country strengthened,” he said.
“It is the gulf between the people and the governments which is the cause of our ailments. It has been my endeavour always to take the country forward through people’s participation,” he said.
(With Inputs From PTI)