New Delhi: On this day in 1975, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had clamped a nation-wide emergency, which is said to be one of the darkest days of Indian democracy. Now 41 years later, the BJP-led NDA government wants to highlight the excesses during the Emergency with nationwide rallies.
According to the Hindustan Times, the NDA ministers will attend rallies across the country on Sunday to highlight the alleged excesses during the Emergency.
Citing government sources, the report said that around 50 out of 63 ministers were assigned different towns and cities where they will hold meetings and rallies themed ‘Save Democracy’.
The report said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already issued a direction in this regard at a Cabinet meeting held this week.
The 21-month Emergency period (June 25, 1975 and March 1977) is dubbed as the “biggest blow” to Indian democracy when fundamental rights were suspended, opposition leaders were jailed and press freedom were curbed.
Home minister Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu, and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu are among the Cabinet ministers who will attend the rallies.
In Delhi, BJP president Amit Shah will attend a function.
The report said that the rallies are an “apparent counter to the Congress’ ‘Save Democracy’ march last month to protest the government’s alleged attempt to muzzle the opposition”.
It comes as the Congress is geared up to celebrate the birth anniversary of Indira Gandhi, the only woman Prime Minister of India till date.
Quoting a senior BJP leader, the report said that “the campaign was aimed at connecting with the people and telling them about the events leading to the imposition of Emergency on June 25 and what followed in its aftermath”.
“A whole generation has come up since then, who has taken democracy for granted. People ought to be told that the democracy they are enjoying is hard-earned and they need to zealously guard it,” he added.