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  India   All India  26 Jun 2017  PM recalls 1975 ‘black night’, Congress hits back

PM recalls 1975 ‘black night’, Congress hits back

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jun 26, 2017, 1:57 am IST
Updated : Jun 26, 2017, 1:57 am IST

Congress says India is facing an ‘undeclared’ emergency under rule of BJP govt.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Photo: AP)
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Photo: AP)

New Delhi: Taking a dig at the Opposition Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday remembered the Emergency imposed on June 25-26 in 1975, saying “such a black night” cannot be forgotten, and underlined the need for eternal vigilance to preserve democracy.

In his monthly radio programme “Mann ki Baat”, the PM recalled that democracy lovers had fought a huge battle against the Emergency imposed by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and said this pro-democracy “heritage” must be strengthened. He said it was essential to remember the incidents that caused harm to democracy and move ahead towards the positives of democracy. “Democracy is not only a system. It is our culture. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty,” he said.

The Prime Minister also recalled the imposition of Emergency on June 25, 1975, and said it was “such a black night which cannot be forgotten by any lover of democracy. No Indian can forget that”.

Referring to Emergency-era restrictions, with opposing voices curbed, he said: “Along with Jayaprakash Narayan, many prominent leaders were jailed. Even the judiciary didn’t remain unaffected by the shadow of the Emergency. The media was completely rendered useless.”

Hitting back at Mr Modi over his Emergency remark, the Congress said he should remember the country was facing an “undeclared Emergency” under BJP rule. It, however, acknowledged that the Emergency, imposed in 1975, “was a mistake” and said lessons were learnt. “The Prime Minister talks of remembering the Emergency. Yes, we remember the Emergency. But we also ask him to remember we are facing an undeclared emergency,” AICC spokesman Tom Vadakkan alleged. History may repeat itself if the Prime Minister failed to learn from the past, he warned.

“We accept that the Emergency was a mistake. We have learned from it. But while reminding us of those mistakes, please learn to correct yourself. If you do not learn from history, you are bound to repeat it. The country is witnessing just that,” he said.

“The Group of Ministers has been reduced to ‘just a name’ under Modi rule. It is not the Union Cabinet but the Prime Minister’s Office which takes decisions,” Mr Vadakkan claimed.

Tags: narendra modi, mann ki baat, indira gandhi, emergency
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi