Democracy, the government of the people, by the people, and for the people was completely shamed during the dark phase of Emergency. The government that is chosen for the betterment of the people had turned their life to hell. The entire nation turned into a prison, all voices of dissent were muzzled. The horror of a government having the power to take away one’s liberty and freedom, and not sparing any section of society, be it political, economic, media, students, communities, or even the judiciary was prevailing everywhere. What could be more ugly than this?
The darker the Emergency phase for the nation, the darkest was the inhumane happenings of that phase. Some of the gruesome happenings that didn’t come to limelight, went under the carpet but tortured people to the aspect that one would be ashamed of. You will be shocked to know about one such happening during that phase for which people were persuaded, threatened and coerced.
It was no longer a question of whether it would happen. The question was when it would happen and how bad it would be. Sanjay Gandhi, a cruel and arrogant politician under his mother Indira Gandhi was the executor of this heinous crime.
Under the guise of the government reforms in order to do birth control Sanjay Gandhi did the heinous crime of “Sterilisation”. He launched the programme of forced “vasectomies” and “tubectomies”- It means that all the people(men &women) were forced to go under treatments that would have barred them from growing their family.
Let me narrate you a story to reflect this
The old man stood in front of the table and wept. The table was set in the car park, and the people getting out of their cars stopped to see what is happening. Why was the old emaciated man in the white khes weeping? He was old and thin and it was obvious that he was having a fever. A crowd was gathering around the table. The man sitting on the chair opposite was getting angry. “Go home if you don’t have the paper or sign this form. We will give you money, and many more things. You will not have to pay anything. Just press your thumb here”.
The senior doctor drove into the car park as 9 o’clock siren sounded its first wail. He stopped the car and came out. He thought there was something familiar about the old man. He had seen him around in the hospital somewhere in recent days. He called the man over. “What is the matter, friend, what’s up?”
The old man broke down completely. “Doctor Saab, help me. These people will not let me stand in the queue, they say I cannot get medicine for my fever. They want me to sign the paper for nasbandi [sterilization] operation. I don’t need nasbandi. I need medicine for my fever. But they say I need the nasbandi first.” I am a widower and I am too old. I have a fever. I need medicines.”But they are not listening to me. Then the doctor shouted, “Stop bothering this man, you rascals”. Go motivate someone else, pick someone from your family if you must”. “Greedy bums,”
The old man who was sick and had come for medicine was being forced for vasectomy. From his painful situation we can estimate what people went underway during that time.How brutally they have forced,tortured and killed people.Not only this old man a large number of people were forced to do Vasectomy, all the free medical facilities were suspended until one went under the knives. Even the unmarried were not spared.
The order was passed from Raj Nivas. In future, free medical facilities would be available to only those who had acted on the national programme to limit families. The rest would have to pay. The proof of a sterilization would be the certificate issued at the clinic and the proof that a person did not come in the “eligible” category would be the ration card with the name of two children or more. Those who fail to produce the ration cards will be deemed to have more than two children and will be liable to all charges.
The sterilizations had been mainly done in a massive way around Delhi and suburbs. Even the women were not spared. The government officials, especially from the health department were asked to fill a daily quota of vasectomy. Those who would refuse had the fear of losing their jobs.
The sterilizations were performed in assembly-line fashion, in great haste, and in unhygienic conditions. There was no “follow-up care” offered whatsoever. Many men and women died from subsequent infections. Some 1,800 families filed wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of deceased relatives, but the actual death toll was much higher.
An astonishing 8.3 million Indians were sterilised in just a year, which was “15 times the number of people sterilised by the Nazis”, according to science journalist Mara Hvistendahl. Two thousand men died from botched operations. Even Sanjay Gandhi crossed the Hitler campaign in Germany.
Whatsoever, either for birth control or population control this heinous act has no justification. Where was freedom of expression then which liberals complain now? Forcing the people, killing the people is not at all justified way to carry out any drive. Government who work for the people must safeguard people and devise schemes in favour of them that should ease their life. It should not be one that disturbs and takes away their lives. It was just a heinous crime under the guise of birth control that had been adopted by Sanjay Gandhi just to establish his dominance in a political arena.