New Delhi: The result of the 1977 general elections were "the biggest guarantee" that democracy would survive in India and ensured that no government would ever "dare" to misuse emergency powers, said BJP veteran LK Advani.
"That is a very good lesson that we learnt," said Advani at a launch of a book on the Emergency by veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar. "Emergency Retold" was released by journalist-turned-MP HK Dua here on Thursday.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said that he believed three sections were affected by the emergency most - "one, the political activists belong to the opposition, second the media and the third the judiciary".
"And the reason principally was that ordinarily nobody is willing to go to jail, no one..." he said.
Advani said he would have "expected members of parliament to have been more active after they have been fighting their lives and therefore it is the failure mainly of the political activists who should have stood up more firmly for democracy and values".
He said he agreed with Nayar that after 1947, there was a "progressive decline in values, progressive decline in ethical conduct and ethics" but in the end it was the people who rallied to save democracy.
"...This (the decline) affects all section of society but at the same time the 1977 election results were certainly a big hope for democracy, that the common man in the street who may compromise with ethics in many many fields but when... he sees representatives compromising with ethics he becomes so angry that he can...
"....Defeat of Mrs (Indira) Gandhi was not an ordinary effect, I would say the 1977 election are the biggest guarantee that in India as a rule, democracy will survive and furthermore that no government hereafter would dare abuse the emergency as it was done in 1975," he said.