Attempts were made to crush democracy during Emergency: PM Modi

Despite several attempts, thousands of arrests and atrocities on millions, the faith of Indians in democracy could not be shaken, he asserted.

Despite several attempts, thousands of arrests and atrocities on millions, the faith of Indians in democracy could not be shaken, he asserted.

Targeting the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that attempts were made to “crush democracy” during the Emergency imposed in 1975, and asserted that it is difficult to find another example in the world where people defeated a “dictatorial mindset” through democratic means.

In his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio broadcast, Modi also lauded India’s feats in the space sector and cited creation of “In-Space” which is promoting opportunities in the space sector for the private sector.

Speaking about the Emergency a day after its 47th anniversary, he noted that all rights, including the right to life and personal liberty, were snatched away and controls were imposed on all institutions, including judiciary and media.

Emergency was announced in the country on June 25, 1975 when Indira Gandhi was the prime minister, and was lifted on March 21, 1977.

“During the Emergency, all rights were snatched away. Among these rights was the right to life and personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. At that time, attempts were made to crush democracy in India, the country’s courts, every constitutional institution, press, everything was brought under control,” Modi said without naming the Congress.

He said censorship was so stringent that nothing could be published without approval.

“I remember when famous singer Kishore Kumar ji refused to praise the government, he was banned, he was not allowed on radio,” the prime minister said.

Despite several attempts, thousands of arrests and atrocities on millions, the faith of Indians in democracy could not be shaken, he asserted.

“The democratic values ingrained in us since centuries, the spirit of democracy that flows in our veins, ultimately triumphed,” Modi said.

Through democratic means, people of India got rid of the Emergency and restored democracy, he said.

“It is difficult to find an example like this in the world of defeating the dictatorial mindset through democratic means,” Modi said.

“I was fortunate to be a witness as well as a participant in the struggle of our countrymen during the Emergency. Today, when the country is celebrating 75 years of its Independence, we must not forget the dark period of Emergency. Future generations also must not forget it,” he said.

Speaking about the ongoing work related to the space sector, the prime minister said the number of start-ups is now over a hundred.

“All these start-ups are working on ideas which were either not thought about earlier or were considered impossible for the private sector,” he said noting that firms like Agnikul and Skyroot are developing launch vehicles that will take small payloads into space. He also cited other examples.

Many of these students working on new ideas are from small towns of the country, he noted.

Praising sportspersons for their recent achievements, he said Chopra made the country proud by winning the gold in Kuortane Games in conditions when the weather there was also inclement.

“This zest is the hallmark of today’s youth. From start-ups to the sports world, the youth of India are making new records. In the recently held Khelo India Youth Games too, our players set many records. You would love to know that a total of 12 records were broken in these games – not only that, 11 records have been registered in the names of female players,” Modi said.

Another special feature of Khelo India Youth Games has been the emergence of many talents who are from very ordinary families. “These players have struggled a lot in their lives to reach this stage of success. In their success, their family and parents too, have had a big role to play,” he said.

Father of Srinagar’s Adil Altaf, who won gold in 70 km cycling, does tailoring and has left no stone unturned to fulfil his son’s dreams while another L Dhanush’s father is a carpenter in Chennai, he noted while giving some other examples as well.

The prime minister also hailed “waste to wealth” efforts to clean the Chitte Lui river in Aizwal and remove rubbish from the sea coast of Puducherry.

“If our environment is clean, our mountains and rivers, our seas remain clean; our health also gets better. You must keep writing to me about such efforts,” he said.

He also stressed on the need for water conservation, noting the monsoon’s arrival across the country.

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