New Delhi: On Sunday (June 25), Prime Minister Narendra Modi reminded people about the horrors of the emergency imposed by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in the month of June, 1975, and asked people to rededicate themselves towards the goal of strengthening democracy.
Delivering his 33rd ‘ Mann ki Baat’ radio address to the nation, Prime Minister Modi reminded the people that today was the 42nd anniversary of the declaration of emergency across the country. He reminded people of the horror of a government having the power to take away one’s liberty and freedom, and not sparing any section of society, be it political, economic, media, students, communities, or even the judiciary. He used today’s address to recall and recite a poem written by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee when he was in jail.
“The Emergency will be remembered for the way in which people of India came together and safeguarded democratic values. Democracy is not only a system, but also our ethos as-‘Eternal vigilance is the life of liberty’. We need to remember the things which harm democracy and move forward in a positive direction. Those who love democracy can never forget the dark night of June 25, 1975, when the entire nation turned into a prison, all voices of dissent were muzzled, where senior leaders like Jayaprakash Narayan were imprisoned. Not even the judiciary was spared from the shadow of authoritarianism,” Modi said.
“Newspapers were rendered ineffective, students of journalism and political activities must continuously remind themselves of this dark phase. They must work towards creating awareness about democracy. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was also imprisoned during this period. When he completed one year in prison, he wrote a poem describing his feelings,” Modi said.
Appreciating the love for democracy, Prime Minister Modi described the state of mind during those turbulent times.
“People fought a fierce battle to defend our democracy and when people got a chance through elections, they showed how deeply ingrained democracy is in our roots? This deep rooted loved for democracy is our priceless heritage which we should preserve and strengthen. Every Indian is holding his head high today because of this democratic way of life,” Modi added. (ANI)