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Emergency is history, cannot be suppressed, says vice-president Venkaiah Naidu

Knowledge about the Emergency, vice-president M Venkaiah Naidu said, would also help prevent the term being bandied about recklessly.

india Updated: Jun 25, 2018 22:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
Emergency,Venkaiah Naidu,Vice-president
Vice-president M Venkaiah Naidu. (PTI photo)

Vice-president M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday said that the “darkest hour of democracy, that was the Emergency imposed 43 years ago, should be included in school curriculum so that youngsters learn to value the democratic freedoms they enjoy.

He was speaking at the release of the Hindi, Kannada, Telugu and Gujarati versions of the Book ‘Emergency: Indian Democracy’s Darkest Hour’, written by Prasar Bharati chairperson A Surya Prakash.

Knowledge about the Emergency, Naidu said, would also help prevent the term being bandied about recklessly.

“Emergency means dictatorship and the worst abuse of executive power. Talking vaguely about the Emergency would not help young India understand it’s impact and reach. I thought a detailed account would make them understand and appreciate better the extent and sweep of the perversion that guided the state apparatus during those dark 21 months,” said Naidu.

Referring to when even he was jailed, Naidu said no institution including the Supreme Court was left untouched during the Emergency period.

Institutions became “a mute party to placing some individuals above the law” he said.

Naidu also said intolerant citizens violating the freedoms of fellow citizens have no right to be ‘Indians’ as it goes against the core values and ethos of the county. Adding that no sensible government would dare to resort to Emergency after the resounding pro-democracy verdict of the people in 1977, Naidu said that now, the threat to individual freedoms is from “misguided citizens”.

“We need to guard against intolerance on the part of certain misguided citizens. We have been occasionally witnessing some such words and deeds of intolerance by some citizens in the name of so called cow protection, Love Jihad, eating habits, watching films, etc. Such incidents lead us to the point that individual freedoms can be in full play only when every citizen respects such freedoms of fellow citizens,” he said.

First Published: Jun 25, 2018 22:23 IST