Prime Minister Narendra Modi clarified that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was not observing ‘Black Day’ to criticise the Congress Party, but to create awareness among the youth of the Emergency period.
“We are not observing black day (Emergency) just to criticize the Congress, we want to make the youth of today aware of what happened. Youth today do not have an idea of what happened during Emergency, and hence do not know how living without freedom can be,” he said while addressing a BJP event here on Tuesday.
However, Prime Minister Modi alleged that the Congress has always spread a ‘fear of the unknown’.
“The country never thought that just for lust for power and servility to one family, India would be made into one big jail. Every person lived in fear. Constitution was misused. They never imagined that corruption charge could be framed against them in court and they would have to seek bail. So now they are trying to scare the judiciary by bringing impeachment motion. Their mentality now is the same as it was during Emergency,” he said
Prime Minister Modi, in a veiled attack on the Congress, also claimed that those who have no internal democracy cannot be expected to follow the ideals of the same.
“The people who trampled upon the constitution, jailed the country’s democracy, are today spreading fear that Modi will interfere in the constitution,” he added.
Prime Minister Modi lauded veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar and legendary singer Kishore Kumar for their perseverance at the time of the Emergency and concluded with the slogan ‘Long Live Democracy’ (Loktantra Amar Rahe).
June 25 marks the day when Indira Gandhi had declared a state of Emergency in the country for a 21-month period from 1975 to 1977.
Officially issued by President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed under Article 352 of the Constitution due of the prevailing “internal disturbance”, the Emergency was in effect from June 25, 1975, until its withdrawal on March 21, 1977.
The order vested upon the Prime Minister the authority to rule by decree, allowing elections to be suspended and civil liberties to be curbed.
The final decision to impose an emergency was proposed by Indira Gandhi, agreed upon by the president of India, and thereafter ratified by the cabinet and the parliament (from July to August 1975), based on the rationale that there were imminent internal and external threats to the Indian state.
The Emergency is considered to be one of the most controversial periods of independent India’s history.