Modi recollects dark Emergency days, calls for strong democratic spirit

Modi recollects 'dark' Emergency days, calls for strong 'democratic spirit'

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday (June 25) that the “dark days”  between 1975 and 1977 can never be forgotten. He was speaking at the 46th anniversary of Emergency, imposed by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Modi tweeted on Friday, calling all countrymen to take a pledge to strengthen India’s ‘democratic spirit’ and ‘live up to the values enshrined’ in the Constitution.

What did the PM say 

Narendra Modi said that India witnessed ‘a systematic destruction of its institutions’ during the Emergency. “This is how Congress trampled over our democratic ethos. We remember all those greats who resisted the Emergency and protected Indian democracy,” he said.

Modi also shared a link to a post on Emergency, originally put on Instagram by the BJP. The post, which is captioned “Can you believe what all things were banned by the Congress during Emergency?”, has 7 cards, which has photos of Kishore Kumar’s songs, quotes of Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi, movies of Chandrasekhar Azad and Bhagat Singh, besides those of protests. The last card had a text which read, “Come let us pledge together that those who did this to our nation never have the power to do this again.”

Other senior BJP leaders like Amit Shah and JP Nadda also hit out at the Congress for imposing Emergency on the country and paid tributes to those who fought against it.

Also read: Did India learn anything from the horrors of the Emergency? Nope

Why was the Emergency imposed and its implications

The Emergency was imposed in 1975 by the then Prime Minister late Indira Gandhi on account of ‘imminent security threat’ to India, which lasted for around 21 months till 1977. Actually, the Allahabad High Court had found Gandhi guilty of electoral malpractices and debarred her from holding any electoral post for six years in June, 1975. A massive political unrest against Gandhi was also in play during that period.

During the Emergency, fundamental rights and civil liberties of people were suspended and heavy curbs were imposed on opposition leaders as well as the media. Gandhi called off the Emergency in 1977 to conduct Lok Sabha elections, where the Congress was defeated for the first time since independence. The opposition, headed by Janata Party, came to power.

Also read: Emergency a ‘mistake,’ but don’t compare it to ‘Modi’s India:’ Rahul

BJP targets Congress 

This is not the first time the BJP has hit out at the Congress for making the country suffer the pains of Emergency. Even after former Congress leader Rahul Gandhi called the Emergency ‘a mistake’, the BJP has been blaming the Congress and Indira Gandhi for their dictatorial stand, especially for curbing free speech and dissent.

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