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Wednesday, August 04, 2021

On 46th anniversary of Emergency, PM Narendra Modi remembers ‘dark days’

PM Narendra Modi said Congress had trampled over India's democratic ethos during Emergency, and said Indians must pledge to do everything possible to strengthen democratic spirit and live up to the values enshrined in the Constitution.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: June 25, 2021 11:58:45 am
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi addresses the nation from the Doordarshan studio during Emergency in August 1975. (Express Archive)

On the 46th anniversary of Emergency, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday said the “dark days” between 1975 and 1977 can never be forgotten, and recalled how India witnessed a “systematic destruction of institutions”.

Hitting out at Congress, the prime minister said that the grand old party had trampled over India’s democratic ethos during Emergency, and added that Indians must pledge to do everything possible to strengthen democratic spirit.

He also remembered “the greats” who resisted Emergency and protected democracy.

“The #DarkDaysOfEmergency can never be forgotten. The period from 1975 to 1977 witnessed a systematic destruction of institutions. Let us pledge to do everything possible to strengthen India’s democratic spirit, and live up to the values enshrined in our Constitution,” PM Modi tweeted.

Linking to a post shared by the BJP on Instagram on the “unbelievable phase in India’s democracy”, PM Modi said, “This is how Congress trampled over our democratic ethos. We remember all those greats who resisted the Emergency and protected Indian democracy.”

In its post, the BJP recalled everything that was banned during Emergency, such as movies on Chandrasekhar Azad and Bhagat Singh, songs by Kishore Kumar, quotes of Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore, and protests.

Other leaders, including Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president J P Nadda, also targeted the Congress on the occasion.

Shah said the Congress “murdered” democracy on this day in 1975 for its lust and arrogance of power, and called it a dark chapter in India’s democracy. Nadda remembered those who had opposed Emergency.

The period of Emergency was imposed by prime minister Indira Gandhi for 21 months between 1975 and 1977 on account of “imminent security threats” to the country. During the period, the constitutional rights of citizens were suspended and several curbs imposed.

The Emergency was lifted in 1977 and Lok Sabha elections were held in which the Congress was handed a crushing defeat, its first ever since the country’s Independence in 1947, by the combined opposition of Janata Party.

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