Emergency Anniversary: Modi Praises Rebels, Mamata Slams BJP Rule
On 25 June, 1975 then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared an ‘Emergency’ under the Constitution across the country. This year marks its 44th anniversary and many leaders took to Twitter to pen down their thoughts about the nineteen months that followed the declaration of Emergency.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he “salutes all those greats who fiercely and fearlessly resisted the Emergency.”
“India’s democratic ethos successfully prevailed over an authoritarian mindset,” he added.
Home Minister Amit Shah shared a newspaper clipping from 25 June 1975 and said, “ It was on this day in 1975 that democracy of the country was killed only for political interests.”
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said 25 June 1975 and the incidents that followed mark one of the darkest chapters in India’s history.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, however, adopted a different approach. In her tweet, she attacked the BJP government and said, “For the last five years, the country went through a ‘Super Emergency’”.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also took to Twitter but seem to have miscalculated the year when Emergency was declared.
“This very day 34 years ago India witnessed one of the biggest assault on its democracy with the imposition of emergency by the then Prime Minister. Let us resolve never to allow repetition of subversion of the Constitution of this great democracy,” he wrote.
CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury also tweeted about the Emergency as an attack on democracy.
So did BJP MP Gautam Gambhir, who said we must “remind ourselves of and reiterate our commitment to the spirit of democracy, liberty, equality & freedom which India was built on.”
Journalist Arfa Khanum Sherwani drew parallels with the past and the present and talked about attacks on journalists, undermining of the Constitution as well as threats to the credibility of democratic institutions, saying, “This is not 1975 but 2019.”
YouTuber Akash Banerjee replied saying there are a few things that are not debatable in India these days. “One of them is that Indira Gandhi's emergency saw a far more vigorous opposition than we see today. The opposition at best is on life support right now,” he wrote.
Political commentator Sonam Mahajan argued that the ruling government isn’t responsible for the collapse of Opposition. “The opposition has collapsed because of lack of leadership, vision and sincerity on their part,” she tweeted.
Also Read : The 1975 Emergency Retold in 180 Seconds
Another Twitter user said Indira Gandhi could have taken lessons from the current government. “If there's one thing Indira Gandhi could have learnt from today's 'New India', it's that the best way to declare an Emergency is to not 'declare' it,” he tweeted.
While columnist Minhaz Merchant described Emergency as “India’s tryst with fascism”,
Congress worker Rachit Seth had a more pithy take on all the comments about the 1975 Emergency, tweeting that “India has moved on, but the BJP is stuck with it.”