educating dr manmohan singh
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Educating Dr. Manmohan SinghWhat is L.K. Advanis contribution to our national life?
-Dr. Manmohan Singh, when releasing Congress Party Manifesto on 24 March 2009
An online volunteer recounts the horrifying, yet true story of the darkest days of Indian democracy that every Indian should know and take lessons from!
Emergency: Democracy Imprisoned
LK Advani was one of the leading fighters for the countrys freedom when the Emergency threatened our very existenceDr. Manmohan Singh, when releasing Congress Party Manifesto on 24 March 2009, asked:What is L.K. Advanis contribution to our national life?Dr. Singh conveniently forgot Indias traumatic experience of the Emergency Rule (June 1975 till March 1977), when L.K. Advani, along with many other stalwarts of the Opposition courageously fought for the restoration of democracy.
The incumbent Congress Government headed by Indira Gandhi sent Advani, along with tens of thousands of pre-democracy activists to jail for 19 months.
Dr. Singh does not consider this a worthy contribution to our national life. Not surprising since he didnt utter a word of protest against the Emergency then or later.Freedom and hope dont go hand in hand. They can steal your freedom, but cant take away your hope. - Laurie Hendricks, Amsterdam (one of the many international messages sent to L.K. Advani while in prison)Advani revisits Bangalore Central Jail where he had spent 19 months during Emergency (2000)
Why is there a need for this today?Emergency took away our most prized possession: FREEDOM
Without Freedom, a Nation is stripped of its honourA lot of blood and tears were shed before we earned our Freedom However, it was lost in 1975 during EmergencyThousands, including the stalwarts from the Opposition, were put behind barsNo recourse for appeal to courtsNewspapers became stenographers to GovernmentFoundations of judiciary were hacked
Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it. - George Santayana
The Emergency lasted for almost 2 years the darkest days in the history of Free IndiaFreedom of the human personality, freedom of the mind and freedom of the spirit has become the passion of my life and I shall not see it compromised for bread, for security, for prosperity, for the glory of the state or for anything else. - Jayaprakash Narayan
The Allahabad High Court ruling triggered a chain of events that converted the worlds largest democracy to the second largest dictatorshipI have decided to declare an Emergency. The President has agreed. I will inform the Cabinet tomorrow. - Indira Gandhi (on the night Emergency was imposed)Political UnrestCongress practiced electoral fraud to win 1971 electionsJayaprakash Narayans agitation in Bihar for change in provincial governmentCongress defeated in Gujarat by Janata PartyAllahabad ConvictionCase filed against Indira Gandhi for election fraud and misuse of state machineryAllahabad High Court finds PM guilty on the charge of misuse for election campaignDeclares her election null and void; unseated from her Lok Sabha seatHuge protests all over the country by students, trade-unions against the PMPersistent efforts received praise worldwideDeclaration of EmergencyPresident Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed declared a state of Emergency upon the advice of PM on the midnight of 26 June 1975The Cabinet did not even meet to pass the resolution before Emergency was declaredFamous cartoon by Abu Abraham showing Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed (the then President of India), signing the proclamation of Emergency from his bathtub
Invoking Article 352, PM granted herself extraordinary powers and launched a massive crackdown on civil liberties and political opposition.Justice HR Khanna (Supreme Court) - If a person jailed during the Emergency is shot down by those in authority for personal reasons, do you mean to suggest that his associates have no judicial remedy?Attorney General I do not feel happy saying this, but legally, Lordship, that is precisely the position.
Freedom of Press was curtailed as never before, even worse than during the British RajIs it an accident that nowhere in the (new) Code of Conduct (for the Press) does the word freedom appear?- V.K. Narasimhan, Chief Editor, The Indian Express (during Emergency)
There were serious charges against the Government, under Prime Minister Indira GandhiAbuse and torture of detainees and political prisonersMisuse of public and private media institutionsArbitrary destruction of the slum and low-income housingComplete disregard for Indian ConstitutionPrisoners were segregated on the basis of religion
No distinction made between political prisoners and criminals
Wanton detention of innocent people34,988 persons were detained under MISA
75,818 were arrested under Defense of India Rules (DIR)
Forced vasectomyThousands of men forced to undergo vasectomy
Abusive and forcible treatment of poor people
Slum and low-income housing in Turkmen Gate and Jama Masjid area destroyed
Hundreds of relatively prosperous families reduced to the status of impoverished and needy
AIR and Doordarshan used as tools for propaganda
Indian Press subjected to censorship which was worse than during the British Raj
Almost all parts of Constitution including the Preamble was changed
Aimed at substituting a democratic form of government by an authoritarian form of government
As borne out by the records of the Government and the depositions of several responsible Government servants, dishonesty and falsehood became almost a way of official life during the Emergency - Shah Commission (appointed to inquire into all the excesses committed during Emergency)
However, there were heroes who fought a determined battle against all odds and championed the cause of democracyIf India ever finds its way back to the freedom and democracy, someone will surely erect a monument to Justice H.R. Khanna - New York Times, 1976Jayaprakash NarayanCalled for Indira Gandhi to resign after Allahabad HC rulingInspired millions to fight against the EmergencyChampioned the coalition of Opposition parties against CongressJustice Hans Raj KhannaStood up against the might of a muffling Indian state during EmergencyAdjudged : Parliament cannot take away the basic rights of an individual Adjudged : Parliament cannot change the basic structure of ConstitutionMahommedali Currim ChaglaFought case for Emergency detenus against the Indian governmentArgued against detention of Opposition leaders under MISAStood resolute despite of failing health and having quit legal practice
And ultimately, it was the people of India that came out triumphantJanata Party voted to power; Congress trouncedPM forced to announce elections because of increasing isolationElections announced on 23rd January, 1977; held in MarchJayaprakash Narayan declares formation of Janata PartyMembers of Janata Party Jana Sangh (pre-curser of BJP, Congress (O), Socialist Party and Lok DalJanata Party wins a clear majority of 295 seats in a House of 542 seats; Indira Gandhi loses her own LS seatLK Advani restores freedom of Press as I&B MinisterMorarji Desai sworn in as new PM; L.K. Advani gets Information and Broadcasting portfolio; A.B. Vajpayee becomes External Affairs MinisterAdvanis First task: Presented a White paper on misuse of media during EmergencyEnsured all restrictions and controls imposed during Emergency were removedRestored freedom of Press an integral part of a true democracy
If the Emergency was the darkest period in Indias post-Independence history, the righteous struggle following it was undoubtedly the brightest - L.K. AdvaniLK Advani undertaking oath of office as I&B minister in 1977Jayaprakash Narayan administering an oath of unity and service to Nation to all Janata Party MPs at Rajghat
Shri LK Advani was one of the leading fighters against Emergency which threatened the basic ideals of Justice, Liberty and Peace that our country is built uponIf this is not contribution to National life, then what is?Authored 5 underground essays in prison
Smuggled out of prison by anti-Emergency fightersCirculated across the country in anti-Emergency campaignsStrong defiance of censorship imposed by GovernmentInspired thousands to join protest against EmergencyFull text: http://www.lkadvani.in/eng/content/blogcategory/96/422/
Spent 19 months in prison during anti-Emergency struggle
Challenged the Government in Karnataka High CourtReceived mass support from people all over India
Restored Freedom of Press as I&B Minister
Withdrew all directives issued for Press censorshipRepealed the Prevention of Publication of Objectionable Material ActRestored the Parliamentary Proceedings ActFor the first time, allowed all national and state-level political parties to broadcast their election campaigns with equal timeI see in Advaniji a multitude of roles ..as an erudite journalist with Organiser, .. as a crusader for democracy and fellow-prisoner during the Emergency.. , as one who assisted me in forging the NDA; and as my able deputy in steering the ship of nation for six years. - Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Dear fellow citizens!The country looks up to you again Perform your duty Think and Vote! - by An Indian