New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday, which marks 44 years since Emergency was declared in India, took to Twitter to highlight how it was one of the darkest chapters in the history of the country.
Indira Gandhi had declared Emergency on June 25 of 1975, primarily citing civil and political unrest at the time as the reasons. A number of opposition leaders, as well as activists, were jailed and there was a clampdown on the media. While there are a few who continue to justify it, most others still see it as a blemish on Indian democracy. "The declaration of Emergency on June 25, 1975 and the incidents that followed, mark as one of the darkest chapters in India’s history," tweeted Rajnath. "On this day, we the people of India should always remember the importance of upholding the integrity our institutions and the Constitution."
The declaration of Emergency on June 25, 1975 and the incidents that followed, mark as one of the darkest chapters in India’s history.
On this day, we the people of India should always remember the importance of upholding the integrity our institutions and the Constitution.
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) June 25, 2019
The imposition of Emergency in the country eventually resulted in Congress losing power for the first time in the history of independent India and a number of smaller political parties under the banner of Janata Party forming the government. (Also read: The story of 1977 Lok Sabha election)
The Emergency continues to be a key matter of debate in contemporary Indian politics with the several leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) time and again accusing Congress of atrocities committed during the 19 months it was in effect. Prime Minister Narendra Modi too has said in the past that the 'Emergency was a dark period during which every institution was subverted and an atmosphere of fear was created.' (Watch his speech here)
PM Modi has also attacked the Gandhi family over the Emergency, in the past. "The greed of staying in power was such that democracy was sacrificed. Political leaders who were widely respected were put behind bars. It was all done so that one family - the Gandhi family - could benefit." (Full report here)