The anti CAA protests have reached new heights as the protestors now raise slogans against the PM and also rant about democracy in danger!Congress also has made remarks on ‘democracy’ and ‘constitution’.But, these people have conveniently forgotten the fact that the democracy was in real danger during the reign of Indira Gandhi!
Neither Congress nor these anti nationals know anything about the severity of the situation if the democracy would actually be in danger!
Democracy is not hampered when a rule or law is passed which actually benefits the country in one way or the other! It is hampered when the people of the country are deprived of food and shelter and mainly when the basic rights of every citizen is snatched from them!
Well, this is what happened during the rule of Indira Gandhi!
Let us take a look at the history!
How it all began?
June 25, 1975, A dark conspiracy was being hatched to murder democracy as the slogans demanding the resignation of Prime Minister was raised!While the whole country slept, lights burned at the bungalow, where Indira Gandhi’s gang comprising Sanjay Gandhi, Siddhart Shankar Ray, Bansilal, Dhawan etc was planning to end democracy in India!
Well, there were many factors which had contributed in bringing Indira to this brink such as movement of Gujarat and the defeat of the Congress, growing discontent among the people and their impatience and the political comeback of Jai Prakash Narayan!
Anyway, Indira actually never had faith in democracy!
In 1950, she said that, “If there were no opposition party, it would be easier to strengthen the nation and remove poverty and illiteracy”
In an interview to the New York Times in 1975, she said “While implementing far-reaching programs, many countries have given up democratic system. This is necessary because the foundation for the growth of nation will have to be laid. If such foundation is not laid there will be no progress” (Indian Express,14 Feb,1975)
Mrs Gandhi’s strategy, perfected by practice was to first fully prepare and then strike! She started laying the foundations of dictatorship as soon as she took charge as the PM.Indira Gandhi had complete control of her party! She began taking decisions without consulting the members of the party! All the Congress leaders of the previous period lost their shine.
She weeded out of the party all those who could possibly challenge her supremacy and the Congress had become her personal party. She refused to answer to the questions of the opposition party and devalued the parliament.It is an accepted tradition of democracy that on important matters the govt consults even the opposition. But Indira Gandhi put an end to all such consultations as she was heading towards a one-party and one-person regime.
When the press began writing against the corruption and the atrocities of the government,Indira got a law passed to limit the pages, price and advertisements of newspapers but the court struck it down as unconstitutional.
In the midst of all this, on June 12,1975, Justice Jagmohan Lal Sinha of the Allahabad High court gave his historic verdict in the Election petition by Raj Narain, who was defeated by Indira Gandhi, that was heard for four years. The verdict said that Mrs Gandhi was proved to have indulged in corrupt practices in her Election campaign and her election to the Lok Sabha was invalid and she was debarred from contesting any elections for 6 years.
As a result, The opposition had asked her to resign because of her atrocities!
Well, then on June 20,1975 Congress held a big rally where she cleared that she would not resign and said service to the people was the tradition of her family and she would not stop till her last breath!
The opposition also held a big meeting on June 25, 1975.
Thus, the battles lines were drawn on this day! On one side the opposition was determined to save democracy at all costs whereas on the other side were the dark forces out to destroy it.
But Indira Gandhi was in no mood to fight the battle, she wanted to demolish the parliament, the judiciary and the Press at one fell stroke.So at the dark hour of midnight she invoked the demon of Internal Emergency, from which foul invocation also sprang many pursuant evils like censorship, constitution amendments and disinformation.
All of these conspired to demolish the opposition and transform the democracy into dictatorship.
Source:Excerpts from the book People versus Emergency: A Saga of struggle,Author, P G Sahasrabuddhe, Manik Chandra Vajpayee, Publisher, Suruchi Prakashan, Page number, 47-80