Emergency a ‘sin’ of Congress: PM

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 27 Jun 2018 08:28:14



Constitution was misused and Cong’s ‘mad devotion’ to Gandhi family turned India into jail during Emergency, says Modi

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday unleashed a stinging attack on the Congress party, saying its “mad devotion” to the Gandhi family had turned the country into a jail during the Emergency, and 43 years later the party’s psyche of sycophancy had still not changed.

Speaking at a BJP event to mark the imposition of Emergency by Indira Gandhi on June 25, 1975, Modi dubbed the 21-month period — a black spot on Indian democracy when hundreds of Opposition leaders were jailed — as a “sin of the party”.

“We would never have imagined that in the lust for power and the mad devotion to a family, those who talk big things about democracy and the Constitution had turned the country into a jail for selfish personal interests of that family. Big leaders were put behind bars,” Modi said.

“When a notice was served to the ‘family’, such was the arrogance, such was the ego, that even the Chief Justice of India was not spared. There was an impeachment motion against him in Parliament,” Modi said, referring to Congress’ effort to bring an impeachment motion against CJI Dipak Misra.

The Constitution was misused “for one family” while imposing the Emergency, Modi said.
“An atmosphere of fear prevailed then. We will rarely find another example of how the Constitution was misused as a tool for a family,” he said in a fierce attack to counter Opposition accusations that India was under “undeclared Emergency” under the BJP rule.

He said the Congress was “spreading illusionary fears” about the Constitution being tampered with, and Dalits and minorities being in danger. “The Congress can never improve. For promotion of self interest, they destroyed their own party,” he said.

Whenever the Congress party and “this family” senses loss of power, it starts “crying” that the country is passing through a crisis and that only it can save the country, he said, without naming the Gandhis.
Modi said there was no difference in the “psyche” of the Congress during Emergency and now.

Modi’s fusillade came a day after Union Minister Arun Jaitley compared Indira Gandhi, who was prime minister until her assassination in October 1984, with Hitler, as other BJP leaders also attacked the Congress for the excesses committed more than four decades ago.

During the Emergency, Indira Gandhi suspended civil liberties, jailed opposition leaders, muzzled the media and was accused of manipulating the judiciary as well as other democratic institutions. She lifted the Emergency in 1977 and called elections, in which she was soundly defeated.
A coalition comprising Gandhi’s opponents, including the BJP’s precursor, formed the Government in 1977, but it collapsed two years later, and the Congress returned to power in 1980. Modi also listed many of the restrictions during the Emergency.

“When (iconic Bollywood singer) Kishore Kumar ji refused to sing for them (Congress) during Emergency, his songs were not allowed to be played on the radio,” he said, adding that media persons were banned from writing anything against the then Government.
“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty,” Modi said, adding his Government was committed to safeguarding the Constitution and protecting democracy.

The effort to impeach Chief Justice Dipak Misra recently was made to “scare the judiciary” after charges were framed against “them”, he said, referring to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Indira Gandhi’s grandson, in the ‘National Herald’ case.

Modi pointed out that the Congress blamed electronic voting machines (EVMs) and the functioning of the Election Commission after it was reduced to 44 seats from 400 in Lok Sabha. Yet, the party did not question EVMs
after the recent Karnataka elections where the Congress supported the JD(S) to form a Government, he said.
Modi hailed late Ramnath Goenka of the Indian Express, Kuldip Nayar and the Statesman newspaper for “standing up” against the Emergency.

“Many of them were not our supporters either. Nayar is critical of us. But they fought for democracy, we salute them,” he added.

On the triple talaq issue, Modi said, “We raised voice against triple talaq. Why? Because the Constitution gives equal rights to all the sisters of India. But they (Congress) are more concerned about vote bank than democracy and the Constitution.”