LK Advani hits out at Congress



New Delhi: BJP leader LK Advani on Wednesday attacked the Congress saying the Indira Gandhi government "stole the freedom" of people by announcing Lok Sabha polls on this day 35 years ago, but could not "destroy" their hope.

In his latest blog posting, he said for all lovers of democracy in India, January 18 cannot be forgotten.

"It marked the beginning of the end of the darkest chapter in the history of Indian democracy. On this day in 1977, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi decided to hold the Lok Sabha elections which were due to be held in 1976, but which by virtue of the Emergency, had been deferred," he said.

Quoting from his book "A Prisoner's Scrap-book", Advani said just before leaving jail he was handed a heap of letters, mostly Christmas and new year cards, not delivered to him earlier.

He said on one of the cards, the sender had written that 'they can steal your freedom but can't take your hope.' "Yes, they stole the freedom of 600 millions, but they just could not destroy their hope," he said.

"In the elections held in March, 1977, the people of India asserted themselves, and restored Democracy, which had come under eclipse for nineteen months," he wrote.

In his blog, Advani also praised a book 'Encyclopedia of Hinduism' saying the 11-volume proved that Hinduism is deeply and widely interpretative.

He said the inspiration for the book came about following a Sahasra Shivalinga Abhishekam at the Hindu-Jain Temple in Pittsburgh, USA in 1987 and the India Heritage Research Foundation was formed to execute the idea.

PTI