Union environment and forests minister Prakash Javadekar on Sunday said that one of the reasons India was moving towards ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’ (Congress-free India) was because the Congress party has not apologised till date for imposing the Emergency in 1975 and committing other excesses during its previous regimes.
Javadekar was speaking at a function ‘41 years after the Emergency’ organised at the BJP office in the city under the banner of Loktantra Senani Sangh. BJP observes the day Emergency was imposed as a black day to emphasise that such an event should not recur in the Indian democracy.
In Madhya Pradesh 3,232 people had been jailed during the emergency period, said BJP leader and Loktantra Senani Sangh president Tapan Bhowmick. The 21-month emergency period had come into effect on June 25, 1975.
Sharing his experiences of his jail days during emergency, Javadekar recalled how he had to seek permission from the home ministry for his heart operation, how people were tortured, how the events unfolded across the country and what led to imposition of Emergency. “People were protesting against rampant corruption and price rise. Fearing they might lose power, Congress imposed Emergency, which is the darkest period of our democracy”.
The Union minister said the BJP observes this day so that there is no repetition of any similar event in future by any ruling party. “Somebody has said that those who forget history are condemned to repeat it”, he added.
Javadekar said it was because of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and other groups that Emergency could be ended and India could again enjoy its freedom. “After freedom from British, it was the second freedom for India”, he added.
In his address, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan shared his experiences of his jail time in Bhopal central jail during the Emergency when he was just 16 years old. “People were tortured and families were destroyed. Thousands of people were jailed, and many of them died in jail as they couldn’t get proper treatment when they fell ill”, said the CM.
Saying that since knew how people fought and suffered during the Emergency and how people were jailed under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (Misa), Chouhan said his government decided to provide such people (Misabandhi) a monthly pension of Rs 25000. “I want to tell people that our government doesn’t forget those people who fight for the democracy, integrity and freedom of our country”, he added.