‘Emergency one of India’s darkest periods,’ says PM Modihttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/lets-do-everything-to-further-strengthen-democratic-ideals-says-pm-modi-on-emergency/

‘Emergency one of India’s darkest periods,’ says PM Modi

On the occasion of 40th anniversary of the emergency in India, PM Modi said, 'a vibrant liberal democracy is the key to progress.'

Narendra Modi, Narendra Modi Twitter, Modi twitter, Emergency, Emergency in India, Modi Emergency, Emergency anniversary, 40th emergency anniversary, LK Advani, Advani emergency
On the 40th anniversary of the Emergency in India, PM Narendra Modi exhorted the nation to do everything possible to further strengthen democratic ideals

Marking the 40th anniversary of the Emergency, considered one of the most controversial periods in India’s history, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today tweeted that a ‘vibrant liberal democracy is the key to progress.’ He exhorted the nation to do ‘everything possible to further strengthen our democratic ideals & ethos.’

In multiple tweets, PM Modi hailed all the people who resisted the Emergency and ‘immersed themselves in the movement’ spurred by the call of Jayaprakash Narayan, a valiant Janata Party leader.

“Emergency was a great opportunity to work with a wide spectrum of leaders & organisations fighting for the same goal- return of democracy,” PM Modi tweeted.

For a period of 21 months between 1975 and 1977, then prime minister and Congress leader Indira Gandhi had imposed a ‘state of emergency’, which gave her the right to rule by decree. The period, that was condemned by liberal activists and anti-Congress forces alike, saw thousands of people being jailed without a trial and censorship of the press. In the elections following the Emergency, the Congress party faced a massive defeat with both Indira and her son Sanjay Gandhi losing from their respective constituencies.

Read: Full coverage of Emergency

PM Modi’s remarks on the controversial Emergency comes days after an interview that senior BJP leader LK Advani gave to the Indian Express in which he did not rule out a comeback of an emergency.

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“At the present point of time, the forces that can crush democracy, notwithstanding the constitutional and legal safeguards, are stronger,” he said in the interview.

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In the years since the Emergency in 1975-77, “I don’t think anything has been done that gives me the assurance that civil liberties will not be suspended or destroyed again. Not at all,” said Advani. “Of course, no one can do it easily… But that it cannot happen again — I will not say that. It could be that fundamental liberties are curtailed again.”

Advani’s remarks to this paper created a furore propelling the opposition to hit out against the government. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was one of the first opposition leaders to claim that Advani’s remarks were completely true.