PM recalls Emergency, lauds the manner people fought for civil liberties

PM recalls Emergency, lauds the manner people fought for civil liberties


PM recalls Emergency, lauds the manner people fought for civil liberties


New Delhi:  Under constant attack for trying to run the administration single-handed, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today recalled the Emergency clamped on the people of the country in 1975 by the Congress regime as the "darkest day" in Independent India's history. In his monthly 'Mann-Ki-Baat' radio address through All India Radio, Mr Modi said the struggle against authoritarian dispensation by a galaxy of opposition leaders, including Jaiprakash Narayan and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, will be remembered for the way people united to safeguard democratic values and civil liberties. “The Emergency will be remembered for the way in which people of India came together and safeguarded the democratic values," he said. "No Indian, no patriot can ever forget the 1975 Emergency. June 25 was the dark night in the history of India and its democracy as the whole nation had turned into a prison and the press freedom was also curtailed," said Mr Modi, who has had quite a love-hate relationship with the fourth estate. "The present-day students of journalism and the champions of democracy have been endeavouring towards raising awareness about that dark period, by constant reminders, and should continue to do so," the Prime Minister said while reading out a Hindi poem penned by Mr Vajpayee on Emergency. The poem comprising words - "Sharad Chandni udas..." when translated would read - "The scorching summer month, The sad winter moonlight, The sobbing monsoon, An emptiness pervading within". "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. One needs to be constantly alert about our democracy," Mr Modi said, adding that is why "we must also keep remembering the events that inflicted harm upon our democracy". "1975 – 25th June – it was a dark night that no devotee of democracy can ever forget. No Indian can ever forget. The country had virtually become a prison. The voice of the opposition had been smothered. Several prominent leaders, including Jaiprakash Narayan, had been jailed. The judicial system too could not escape the sinister shadows of the Emergency. The press was completely muffled," he said. He also greeted people on the occasion of Eid and Jagannath Rath Yatra. The Prime Minister said festivals were a source of inspiration to the people to do something good and constructive. In fact, the country's diversity was its uniqueness and strength. On this occasion, he also mentioned the venture of a Muslim-dominated village in Bijnore district of Uttar Pradesh where people pooled their money during the month of Ramzaan to construct toilets. Mr Modi also appreciated that the villagers "returned" the Government's financial help of Rs 17 lakh saying the amount could be spent on other facilities lacking in village.

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