When detainees under Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) during Emergency in 1975, in the last week of June were marking the anniversary of their arrest during that black period in democracy of the country, Rajasthan government formally shelved the pension scheme for them, initiated by the previous BJP government.
In a Cabinet meeting in third week of June, Gehlot government, quietly decided not to move further to implement the scheme and accordingly district collectors were sent the instructions not to proceed in the matter .
This is third major scheme, which has invited the wrath of Congress government.. The only problem with these schemes was that they were started by previous BJP government. Soon after coming to power in December the Congress government shelved a women empowerment scheme called Bhamashah Mahila Shashastikaran Yojana. Then there was move to disband all women of the Rani Hadi Battalion in the police. Thanks to the women social activist groups, under whose pressure, government agreed to continue the scheme.
According to official sources the reason for shelving the pension scheme was that since most of the MISA detainees themselves are not showing keen interest in availing the benefits under the scheme, there is no point to carry it.
But the real reason behind shelving of the scheme was that since it carries the stigma of Emergency during the Congress rule at the Centre at that time, continuation of this pension scheme by the Congress government would be politically wrong. Congress rule at the Center was responsible for imposing Emergency in the country
During the emergency a total of 543 people, mostly leaders of Opposition and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh were detained under MISA and Defense of India Rule (DIR).
Last year, Vasundhara Raje led BJP government in Rajasthan announced a scheme to give pension to the surviving MISA detainees. Initially this scheme was applicable for MISA detainees, but later people detained in DIR were also included on the suggestion of some party leaders.
At that time a list of such people were drawn and the number of surviving detainees was found around 270. Under the scheme, each of the MISA and DIR detainee was to get a monthly pension of Rs. 6,000 and medical allowance of Rs. 600.
Many surviving detainees, mostly RSS, BJP and socialist leaders declined to take the pension. Ramkishore Parikh, than a senior RSS functionaries, said, “We did not go to jail for pension but to fight against the oppression of the Congress government during Emergency”.
In the month of August last year, a convention of these detainees was held in the State capital and matter was discussed at length. Though many opposed to receive the pension benefits, finally it was left to the individual to avail it or not. Some of them did apply for the pension but with the announcement of Assembly election their cases could not be decided owing to code of conduct
Om Saini, who actively participated in total revolution movement of Jainarayan and was in jail for 18 months , says his conscious doesn’t allow him take this pension as he along with other went to jail for a cause.
Informally it was decided in January, when Congress returned to power, to shelve the scheme, but owing to enforcement of code of conduct due to Lok Sabha elections, the formal decision in the matter was delayed .
Few month back, Kaushal Kishore Jain, a spokesman of the MISA detainees body, had filed a petition in Rajasthan High Court, against the move of shelving of the scheme,At that time, government informed the court, no decision has been taken in this matter so far.