Former deputy prime minister LK Advani feels that Emergency could not be ruled out in India in the future. Speaking to a newspaper, the 87-year-old BJP patriarch said the forces that can crush democracy, notwithstanding the constitutional and legal safeguards, are stronger.
Leaders like Arvind Kejriwal and Nitish Kumar, both of whom are having post-election and pre-election tussles with the BJP, supported Advani's take. [Kejriwal supports Advani's remark on Emergency]
All these three leaders have taken shelter under the term 'Emergency', a more political than constitutional, ever since the Indira Gandhi government had imposed one in June 1975, mainly because they have a common enemy in Narendra Modi. But while it is understandable that Kejriwal and Nitish Kumar would endorse Advani's opinion for it gives them an opportunity to show Modi as a leader who believes in centralisation, it is disappointing to see the BJP patriarch make such illogical remarks today. [Advani on Emergency: Opposition says fears valid]
What are "forces that can crush democracy"? Indian democracy is more robust than ever today
What did Advani mean by "forces that can crush democracy are stronger"? Advani, a member of BJP's Margadarshak Mandal, had himself tasted the bitter pill of Emergency knows very well that it was not caused by any threat from outside or bottom but from the ruling establishment at the Centre. It was clearly a ruthless political strategy to remain in power.
Emergency is a 'political' term today which politicians use to create panic
Constitutionally, Emergency can be imposed in India if there is an external aggression, a constitutional breakdown or any financial instability. Has Advani perceived any threat on these grounds? If he has, then why isn't he backing the Modi government and instead is busy pressing a panic button in the public?
Contrary to what Advani has said, the Indian democracy is more robust than ever today. Yes, there is complete chaos but it is this chaos which is ultimately the strength of the largest democracy of the world.
In 1975, the reality was completely different from what it is today
In 1975, it was a single party ruled country with a top leadership that had believed in personalised rule. It was a time when the economy was dependent on the state and the media was not as limelight-centric. Most things that unfolded in India in those days were determined by the 'political'.
Today, none of those realities exist in India and what we see as a chaos actually speaks about the growing forces of decentralisation. Even a remote plan for executing a centralised rule in the form of a '75-like Emergency is just not possible today. What is possible is the rise of a steep administrative challenge and that is something India's state machinery has to deal with under a strong central leadership. Why is Mr Advani diverting the attention?
Perfect words from Advani for Kejriwals and Nitish Kumars
But the Kejriwals and Nitish Kumars are clever enough to make out of it what they wanted. They used Advani's remark to prepare their respective stages to take on Narendra Modi, for a high-profile opponent like him is very urgent for their survival today for there is not much on the governance front to convince their voters.