The people’s fight against Emergency was only to restore and save the Democracy. Lakhs of people suffered inhuman atrocities, thousands suffered lifetime loss in diverse forms while many made the supreme sacrifice. After the Freedom Movement, it was the biggest public fight, which was fought collectively by the people. Therefore, it is necessary that the new generation is apprised of it so that it could know how sinister attempts were made by a political party to kill Democracy and how the people collectively foiled the game plans of the autocratic regime.
This was the general feeling of the people assembled at New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) Convention Centre in New Delhi on June 26 under the banner of Loktantra Senani Sangh, an organisation of the people who fought against Emergency. They unanimously passed a resolution demanding the government to teach the concept of Democracy to the students in schools and colleges. “Emergency was a dark phase in the history of Independent India and a criminal act against the country for personal hunger of power. Those who pushed the nation in that dark phase should apologise to the nation. The Central government and also the State governments should include the history of that struggle in curriculum. Apart from it, the life and struggle of Jaiprakash Narayan should be taught to the new generation to strengthen the feeling for Democracy,” the resolution said.
In another resolution, the Sangh expressed gratitude to the governments of eight states—Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Haryana and Punjab—for honouring the soldiers of Democracy. It appealed to the Central government and also the other State governments to prepare a list of the ‘Soldiers of Democracy’ and felicitate them. It will strengthen the democratic spirit in the country.
Addressing the gathering of more than 1,000 ‘Loktantra Senanis’ drawn from about 16 states, Union Minister of Chemical and Fertilizers Shri Anantha Kumar assured that the Government of India would initiate for preparing a list of those who fought against Emergency. He also favoured the demand for including the sacrifices of people for Democracy so that new generation could know about that struggle.
Union Minister of Social Justice Shri Thavarchand Gehlot said the fight against Emergency was indeed a public fight. BJP vice president Shri Prabhat Jha stressed the need to compile the history of Emergency in detail. He said it is the responsibility of the governments to honour the soldiers of democracy. Shri Rajendra Alekar, Minister of Panchayat and Forest in Government of Goa stressed the need to felicitate the women of the families also who suffered different types of inhuman atrocities while remaining outside jails.
Shri Kailash Soni, president of the Loktantra Senani Sangh, said if the people of the country breathe in free air today it is because of the struggle and sacrifices of lakhs of people. Otherwise, the Congress had made all arrangements to impose dictatorship in the country and how long it would have continued nobody knows. Instead of tendering an apology to the nation, the former Congress Government got the report of Shah Commission vanished so that the new generations of the country could never know the atrocities perpetuated by them during the Emergency.
BJP general secretary organisation Shri Ramlal supported the demands of the Loktantra Senani Sangh and said those who fought for restoration of Democracy should be honoured. Former Union Minister Shri Satyanarayan Jatia, MP Shri Meghraj Jain, MP Shri Fagan Singh Kulaste, former MP Shri Jayantibhai Barot and Shri Krishna Gopal Vyas also addressed the conference.
Similar other functions were also held in Delhi on June 25. Delhi unit of Bharatiya Janata Party felicitated a large number of people who fought against Emergency. Like in different parts of the country, functions were held throughout Kerala also. Those who participated in the agitations in those days, their family members and also the youth in good number participated in the programmes.
Addressing a gathering in Thiruvananthapuram, senior BJP leader Dr Subramanian Swamy alleged that Smt Sonia Gandhi had conspired to impose Emergency in the country during the UPA days also. ‘Alibi’ was ‘Hindu terrorism’, the term coined by Kabil Sibal and P Chidambaram. Their scheme for military coup turned futile due to the then chief of army staff General VK Singh. Samjhauta Express incident and Ishrat Jehan encounter cases were fabricated pieces of dry straws and efforts were made to use them for the sinister designs. The RSS machinery defeated the Emergency regime by kicking off the powerful propaganda both at home and abroad. Smt Indira Gandhi came to gauge the power of RSS only when she lost the elections in 1977. It was the people of North India, always branded as illiterate, who saved the democracy in 1977.
RSS Akhil Bharatiya Sah Prachar Pramukh Shri J Nandakumar said Emergency was the brain child of the leftists. Their aim was to finish the RSS off. They were always with Congress in the endeavour to kill the RSS. The ban on RSS post Gandhi assassination is an example. BJP MLA Shri O Rajagopal, BJP president Shri Kummanam Rajasekharan, K Raman Pillai and Vaikkom Gopakumar, former Sangh Pracharak and the living martyr of Emergency, also addressed the gathering. Dr Swamy felicitated Shri Gopakumar. In Kochi, Janathipathya Samrakshana Samgamam (Get Together to Protect Democracy) was organised by Janathipathya Samrakshana Samithi on June 26. The victims of Emergency and the leaders who organised the underground activities of RSS and Lok Sangharsh Samithi during the Emergency were felicitated. Many victims participated in the programme despite their worst physical conditions caused by inhuman police torture of the Emergency days.
In Kozhikkode, the programme was inaugurated by senior BJP leader Advocate PS Sreedharan Pillai who said the victims of Emergency and those who participated in the agitations against Emergency deserve pensions and it should be implemented soon. Similar programmes were organised in all districts.
(With inputs from T Satisan in Kerala)