New Delhi, Jun 27: Claiming that the Centre's style of functioning has brought back the memories of Emergency, members of civil society have raised concern over "centralisation of power" under the Narendra Modi government.
Addressing a meeting organised here on Thursday to mark the imposition of Emergency by the then Indira Gandhi government in 1975, speakers from media and various NGOs claimed that the economic policies of the government were an attack on the rights of farmers and workers.
"The attack on citizen's rights, particularly those of peasants and workers, by present Modi government brings back memories of Emergency," former Justice Rajindar Sachar said.
Ish Mishra, convener of NGO Janhastakshep, expressed fears over alleged concentration and centralisation of power by PMO under Modi.
Mishra termed the government's land and labour reforms as "anti-labour and anti-peasants".
Referring to de-recognition of Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle, a group of student, by IIT-Madras recently, he said it was an attack on rights to expression.
The IIT-Madras had lifted ban on the group earlier this month. During her address, senior journalist Seema Mustafa made comparison of present situation under the "macho militaristic Prime Minister" with pre-emergency days.
She also spoke about how all decisions of various ministries are being controlled by PMO in "Indira-Sanjay Gandhi style".
Veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar, on his part, appealed to scribes and intellectuals to take on the present situation and urged them to challenge politics based on religion and caste.
Supreme Court lawyer Ashok Panda expressed concerns over the government's alleged attempt to scuttle and control judiciary by setting up National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) for "self-preservation as was done by Indira Gandhi during the emergency".
"Many a commentators and political leaders are seeing the danger of Emergency from Modi Government's drive. Undoubtedly, the developments are in that direction.
"We should expose the offensive of Modi government and mobilise the people against this. We should particularly support and invigorate the struggle for civil liberties and democratic rights, particularly rights of struggling people.
"We should vigorously oppose the attacks on religious minorities and minority nationalities which are being targeted by Modi Government," a resolution issued by the NGOs stated.
The meeting was organised jointly by NGOs like Janhastakshep, Delhi Peoples' Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Citizens for Democracy (CFD) and Champa Foundation at Gandhi Peace Foundation here.