dark chapter of emergency history


It is going to be 48 years since the Emergency imposed by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25, 1975, but the dark memories of those dark days are still fresh in the mind. On June 5, 1975, after Indira Gandhi’s election to the Lok Sabha from Rae Bareilly was canceled by the Allahabad High Court, instead of resigning from the post of Prime Minister, she imposed emergency in the country, put the entire opposition in jail, complete censorship on the press implemented and made the whole country an open jail.

During that time the government had put a lock on the tongue of the people. Whoever spoke against the emergency or the government, was put in jail and other atrocities were done on them. The government jailed all the prominent opposition leaders including Atal Bihari Vajpayee, LK Advani, Chaudhary Charan Singh, Prakash Singh Badal etc. as well as famous journalists including Kuldeep Nayyar, Ramnath Goenka, Lala Jagatnarayan, Shyam Khosla etc. in this case. And tortured them. In order to please the Gandhi family, people in various Congress-ruled states were brutally tortured, forcibly sterilized, houses were demolished, thousands of people lost their jobs and many people even died due to atrocities. . I myself was electrocuted by the Chandigarh police from electric wires and at one point it seemed that life might not be saved, but by the grace of God I was able to survive.

But today in this regard, I cannot live without praising the then Congress Chief Minister of Punjab, Giani Zail Singh, who did not allow atrocities in Punjab to the extent that they were happening in other states and the environment in Punjab was better than other states. . Whereas in Haryana and Himachal the opposition leaders were tortured heavily.

On the question of who had advised Indira Gandhi to impose emergency, two names were in discussion in those days, one was late Siddharth Shankar Ray and the other was Chaudhary Bansilal. Many years later, when I asked Chaudhary Bansilal about this, he said that Siddhartha Shankar Ray had given this advice to Mrs. Gandhi, not him. Today all these three great personalities have left the world, so the reality of this has also become a part of history.

In those days there were no mobiles, WhatsApp etc. and the only means of getting news was BBC News. It is surprising that when Indira Gandhi moved towards dictatorship, good people kept their mouth shut. Many intellectuals even supported this dictatorship by calling it “discipline festival”. The intellectual society of that time did not raise its voice against the Emergency. Some people even supported the Emergency by signing with their blood. The general class of the society was ahead in the performance of its duty, but the intellectual class was lagging behind. In one of his articles, LK Advani had written that just as great warriors like Bhishma, Drona, Kripacharya who remained silent at the time of Draupadi’s disrobing were equally guilty of that sin, in the same way the leaders who silently watched the spectacle during emergency were guilty of that crime. I was equally guilty.

The legal basis on which the Allahabad High Court had quashed the election of Indira Gandhi was very strong. And with that law in place, there was no possibility of Indira Gandhi getting any relief from the Supreme Court. But Mrs. Gandhi changed that law by calling a session of Parliament, so the Supreme Court had to restore Indira Gandhi’s membership because of that changed law.

In fact, due to the massive defeat in the 1977 Lok Sabha elections and the then caretaker President V.D. Mrs. Gandhi had withdrawn the emergency only on Jatti’s request. Today is the day for the whole country to take a vow that no dictator can think of imposing emergency in future. And even if someone thinks so, the whole country should rally against him like a rock.

Even today my mind trembles remembering that day, but the people of India have so much strength and India’s democracy is so strong that it can come out of any big crisis. Today it is necessary that the whole country condemns this dark period with one voice. It is a matter of great sadness that the political heirs of Mrs. Gandhi have not apologized to the country even once for those atrocities.

your lips are free to speak
Your tongue is still yours.
May those dark days never return again.
May the dark chapter of emergency never come again.
(The author is a former MP)
, Satya Pal Jain

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