- "The Dark Days of Emergency can never be forgotten," PM Modi tweeted
- "This is how Congress trampled over our democratic ethos," PM said
- In 1975, on this day, Indira Gandhi had imposed the Emergency
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a stinging attack on the Congress today over the 1975 Emergency saying the 21-month period "witnessed a systematic destruction of institutions".
"The Dark Days of Emergency can never be forgotten. The period from 1975 to 1977 witnessed a systematic destruction of institutions. Let us pledge to do everything possible to strengthen India's democratic spirit, and live up to the values enshrined in our Constitution," the Prime Minister tweeted and followed it up with another.
"This is how Congress trampled over our democratic ethos. We remember all those greats who resisted the Emergency and protected Indian democracy," he added and shared a link to an Instagram post by the BJP listing various things that were apparently banned during the Emergency.
The #DarkDaysOfEmergency can never be forgotten. The period from 1975 to 1977 witnessed a systematic destruction of institutions.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 25, 2021
Let us pledge to do everything possible to strengthen India's democratic spirit, and live up to the values enshrined in our Constitution.
The photographs that began with a graphic saying: "The Emergency by Indira Gandhi in 1975. An unbelievable phase in India's democracy." It was followed by six photographs asking one question: "Can you believe this was banned?" The photos featured legendary singer Kishore Kumar's songs, movies on revolutionaries Chandrashekhar Azad and Bhagat Singh, Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi's quotes and protests.
The last photo read: "Come let us pledge together that those who did this to our nation never have to the power to do this again."
46 years ago, on this day, then prime minister Indira Gandhi had imposed the Emergency days after the Allahabad High Court found her guilty of electoral malpractices and disbarred her as a parliamentarian for six years. Constitutional rights and civil liberties were suspended, the media was severely restricted, and many opposition leaders were jailed during the period that lasted till 1977.
The BJP often marks the anniversary of the Emergency as a "Black Day" and routinely attacks the Congress on the controversial years, especially when faced with similar accusations of stifling freedom of speech and the right to dissent.
Indira Gandhi's grandson and former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi in March called the Emergency a "mistake" and termed what happened in that period as "wrong".
"I think that was a mistake. Absolutely, that was a mistake. And my grandmother said as much. (But) the Congress at no point attempted to capture India's institutional framework... frankly, it does not even have that capability," he had said.
The BJP had dismissed Mr Gandhi's comments as "laughable".