New Delhi, Jun 25: On the 43rd anniversary of Emergency, top BJP leaders flayed the Congress with Prime Minister Narendra Modi describing it as a "direct attack on our Constitutional ideals" and his Cabinet colleague Arun Jaitley likening erstwhile Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to Hitler.
BJP president Amit Shah said the Congress had "murdered" democracy for its political interests merely to remain in power as it reduced the Supreme Court to a mute spectator, made Parliament passive and silenced the media. "It was a black day in Indian democracy," Shah said.
Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi wrote in a blog that the Emergency, which was imposed in 1975, was the "biggest blot" on the Indian democracy and said a chapter on it should be included in the textbooks to educate younger generations about the "atrocities" committed during the period.
Modi mentioned about to the Emergency as he posted on Twitter two posts written by Jaitley on it. "Shri Arun Jaitley writes about the dark days of the Emergency, the trampling of personal liberties, excesses committed and how the Emergency was a direct attack on our Constitutional ideals," the Prime Minister tweeted.
He is scheduled to address a BJP event in Mumbai tomorrow in which he is expected to express gratitude towards those who fought against the Emergency and dwell upon conserving the democratic values. Jaitley today came out with the second installment of his posts on the Emergency .
Drawing a parallel between German dictator Adolf Hitler and Indira Gandhi, Jaitley today said both turned democracy into dictatorship and wondered if Gandhi's decision was inspired by the Nazi Germany. Jaitley said unlike Hitler, Gandhi went a step ahead by endeavouring to transform India into a "dynastic democracy."
In his Facebook post, the minister wondered if the script of Emergency, which was imposed more than 4 decades ago on June 25, 1975, was inspired by what had happened in Nazi Germany in 1933. "Both Hitler and Mrs Gandhi never abrogated the Constitution. They used a republican Constitution to transform democracy into dictatorship," Jaitley wrote in the second part of his write up, sub-titled 'The Tyranny of Emergency.' He said there were quite a few things which Hitler did not do, but Gandhi did. "She prohibited the publication of Parliamentary proceeding in the media... Unlike Hitler, Mrs Gandhi went ahead to transform India into a 'dynastic democracy'," he said.
"The press censorship laws imposed in India and in Germany were almost similar. You had effectively a one party system in play," he said. As regards the economic programme, the minister drew a similarity between the agenda of Hitler and Gandhi. "Hitler had announced a 25-point economic programme. Mrs Gandhi had announced (one with) 20 points. To cover up the gap, Sanjay (Gandhi) announced his 5-point economic and social programme. Dissent became a sin and sycophancy the rule," Jaitley said.
Hitler continued to maintain that his actions were within the four corners of the Constitution, Jaitley said, adding "Mrs Gandhi imposed the Emergency under Article 352, suspended fundamental rights under Article 359 and claimed that disorder was planned by the opposition in the country."
Like Hitler, Gandhi arrested most opposition members of Parliament, and therefore procured, through their absence, a two-third majority of members present and voting and enabling the passage of several obnoxious provisions through Constitution amendments, Jaitley said. A Nazi leader proclaimed that Germany had only one authority and that was the authority of "Fuehrer" (Hitler), Jaitley said, adding that AICC president Devakanta Barooah similarly proclaimed “Indira is India and India is Indira”.
In his tweets, Shah also paid tributes to those who fought against the Emergency and said countless numbers of people were put behind bars as they suffered atrocities for over 21 months. In a blog titled 'The 1975 Emergency -- A dirty deceit against democracy', posted on his Facebook page, Naqvi said people of the country fought for democratic values, constitutional rights and succeeded in protecting democracy and the Constitution by removing the Congress from power. "But the question still arises that whether the Congress has overcome that 'feudal mindset and dictatorial culture' or not?" he wrote.
On a day that marks 43 years since the Emergency was imposed, Naqvi said it was the "biggest blot on Indian democracy" with hundreds of people "killed and oppressed in jail". He said "the government terrorism, anarchy and cruelty" was at its peak, democratic and Constitutional rights of the people were violated, political opponents and social activists jailed and sedition charges levelled against political-social activists, students and journalists.
A chapter on the Emergency should be included in textbooks, as there is a need to tell the people, especially the younger generation, about the "atrocities and torture committed" during the period which witnessed "destruction of the soul of the democracy and the Constitution", Naqvi wrote. A majority of the country's population, especially the youth, do not know that the Emergency was imposed by the Congress to protect their "power and throne," Naqvi said.