To recall horrors of Emergency, BJP to observe 'Save Democracy Day' in J&K

Emergency, which is regarded as the darkest period in the history of the country, was imposed by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25, 1975.

To recall horrors of Emergency, BJP to observe 'Save Democracy Day' in J&K

JAMMU: The Jammu and Kashmir unit of BJP observe 'Save Democracy Day' on Tuesday on the horrors of the Emergency - the darkest period in the history of the country – imposed by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

BJP national general secretary Anil Jain will address a programme in this connection at the party office in Jammu.

According to BJP state secretary Sanjay Baru, former deputy chief minister Kavinder Gupta would preside over the meeting to recall and denounce the dark days of emergency imposed by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. 

On Monday – June 25 -  on the 43rd anniversary of Emergency, the BJP top brass flayed the Congress with Prime Minister Narendra Modi describing it as a "direct attack on our Constitutional ideals" and his Cabinet colleague Arun Jaitley likening erstwhile Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to Hitler. 

BJP president Amit Shah said the Congress had "murdered" democracy for its political interests merely to remain in power as it reduced the Supreme Court to a mute spectator, made Parliament passive and silenced the media. "It was a black day in the Indian democracy," Shah said. 

Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi also wrote in a blog that the Emergency, which was imposed in 1975, was the "biggest blot" on the Indian democracy and said a chapter on it should be included in the textbooks to educate younger generations about the "atrocities" committed during the period.

Modi mentioned about the Emergency as he posted on Twitter two posts written by Jaitley on it.

"Shri Arun Jaitley writes about the dark days of the Emergency, the trampling of personal liberties, excesses committed and how the Emergency was a direct attack on our Constitutional ideals," the Prime Minister tweeted.

PM Modi is scheduled to address a BJP event in Mumbai on Tuesday in which he is expected to express gratitude towards those who fought against the Emergency and dwell upon conserving the democratic values.

Jaitley came out with the second instalment of his posts on the Emergency on Monday.

Drawing a parallel between German dictator Adolf Hitler and Indira Gandhi, Jaitley said both turned democracy into a dictatorship and wondered if Gandhi's decision was inspired by Nazi Germany.

Jaitley said unlike Hitler, Gandhi went a step ahead by endeavouring to transform India into a "dynastic democracy."

In his Facebook post, the minister wondered if the script of Emergency, which was imposed more than 4 decades ago on June 25, 1975, was inspired by what had happened in Nazi Germany in 1933.

"Both Hitler and Mrs Gandhi never abrogated the Constitution. They used a republican Constitution to transform democracy into a dictatorship," Jaitley wrote in the second part of his write up, sub-titled 'The Tyranny of Emergency.' 

He said there were quite a few things which Hitler did not do, but Gandhi did. 

"Hitler had announced a 25-point economic programme. Mrs Gandhi had announced (one with) 20 points. To cover up the gap, Sanjay (Gandhi) announced his 5-point economic and social programme. Dissent became a sin and sycophancy the rule," Jaitley said. 

Hitler continued to maintain that his actions were within the four corners of the Constitution, Jaitley said, adding "Mrs Gandhi imposed the Emergency under Article 352, suspended fundamental rights under Article 359 and claimed that disorder was planned by the opposition in the country." 

Like Hitler, Gandhi arrested most opposition members of Parliament, and therefore procured, through their absence, a two-third majority of members present and voting and enabling the passage of several obnoxious provisions through Constitution amendments, Jaitley said. 

A Nazi leader proclaimed that Germany had only one authority and that was the authority of "Fuehrer" (Hitler), Jaitley said, adding that AICC president Devakanta Barooah similarly proclaimed 'Indira is India and India is Indira'. 

In his tweets, Shah also paid tributes to those who fought against the Emergency and said countless numbers of people were put behind bars as they suffered atrocities for over 21 months.

In a blog titled 'The 1975 Emergency - A dirty deceit against democracy', posted on his Facebook page, Naqvi said people of the country fought for democratic values, constitutional rights and succeeded in protecting democracy and the Constitution by removing the Congress from power.

A chapter on the Emergency should be included in textbooks, as there is a need to tell the people, especially the younger generation, about the "atrocities and torture committed" during the period which witnessed "destruction of the soul of the democracy and the Constitution", Naqvi wrote. 

Meanwhile, the Congress hit back at the BJP, saying the situation today was worse than the Emergency.

Referring the Facebook posts by Union Minister Arun Jaitley, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, "The situation in the country is this, only because of these blogs. We hope he recovers soon so that he stops writing blogs and starts working."

"Even after 43 years, they (the BJP) are singing the same tune. They forget to say this that Indiraji respecting the democracy, had lifted Emergency and had conducted elections.

"We lost that election, people taught us a lesson. Indiraji and Congress accepted the mandate of the people. Janata Party formed the government," he added.

Surjewala also noted that after having seen the performance of the Janata government, people voted them out of power and the Indira Gandhi-led Congress came back to power.

"The then Congress President Indiraji (Gandhi) and Sonia Gandhi as party president, both have publicly said several times that excesses during Emergency were wrong. They condemned it. We have the courage to accept it that if there was any mistake anywhere..."

(With PTI inputs)