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An RSS-affiliated organisation, Loktantra Senani Sangh, today demanded “freedom fighter” status to those who were jailed during the Emergency imposed by the Indira Gandhi government in 1975.
The organisation also demanded inclusion of chapters on the Emergency in school and college curriculum.
It passed a resolution with both these demands at a programme organised here today to mark the anniversary of the Emergency.
The programme was attended by Governors of Gujarat and Karnataka, OP Kohli and Vajubhai Vala, respectively, along with Gujarat Ministers Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, Vijay Rupani and several prominent BJP leaders.
As per the resolution, one of the demand is, “Inclusion of subject on the Emergency in curriculum in political science, history and journalism, along with research on the topic for PhD students”.
The other demand as per the resolution is, “All those who were jailed under MISA (Maintenance of Internal Security Act) and DIR (Defence of India Act) due to the Emergency should be given the status of a freedom fighter and be provided all those facilities that are given to the freedom fighters with immediate effect”.
Vala remembered his days behind bars during the Emergency.
“The BJP’s base today is because of the bravery shown by those who fought against MISA and the Emergency and were jailed due to that,” Vala said.
“Whether we get freedom fighter status or not, matters little for us. What matters is that this will raise awareness about (the) Emergency in society…If August 15, 1947 was a golden day for independence, then June 25, 1975 was a black day which showed how low one can get to stay in power,” he said.
Kohli also came out in support of the demands.
“It is important to include the subject of the Emergency in school and college curriculum because the matter (issue) is now two generations old and few in the new generation know about it. We need to acquaint new generation with the fact as to how the Emergency was a way to suppress freedom and democratic values and how over a lakh people were jailed for the cause of freedom and democracy,” he said.