Educating Dr Manmohan Singh


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Educating Dr Manmohan Singh

‘What is L.K. Advani’s contribution to our national life?’

-Dr. Manmohan Singh, when releasing Congress Party Manifesto on 24 March 2009

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Educating Dr Manmohan Singh

  1. 1. Educating Dr. Manmohan Singh ‘ What is L.K. Advani’s contribution to our national life?’ -Dr. Manmohan Singh, when releasing Congress Party Manifesto on 24 March 2009
  2. 2. 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
  3. 3. LK Advani was one of the leading fighters for the country’s freedom when the Emergency threatened our very existence Dr. Manmohan Singh, when releasing Congress Party Manifesto on 24 March 2009, asked: ‘ What is L.K. Advani’s contribution to our national life?’ <ul><ul><li>Dr. Singh conveniently forgot India’s 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. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The incumbent Congress Government headed by Indira Gandhi sent Advani, along with tens of thousands of pre-democracy activists to jail for 19 months. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dr. Singh does not consider this a worthy contribution to our national life. Not surprising since he didn’t utter a word of protest against the Emergency – then or later. </li></ul></ul>“ Freedom and hope don’t go hand in hand. They can steal your freedom, but can’t 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)
  4. 4. Why is there a need for this today? Emergency took away our most prized possession: FREEDOM <ul><li>Without Freedom, a Nation is stripped of its honour </li></ul><ul><li>A lot of blood and tears were shed before we earned our Freedom </li></ul><ul><li>However, it was lost in 1975 during Emergency </li></ul><ul><li>Thousands, including the stalwarts from the Opposition, were put behind bars </li></ul><ul><li>No recourse for appeal to courts </li></ul><ul><li>Newspapers became stenographers to Government </li></ul><ul><li>Foundations of judiciary were hacked </li></ul>“ Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” - George Santayana Wide-spread ignorance about facts related to Emergency <ul><li>No mention of post-Independence era in our history books </li></ul><ul><li>A large section of our country still ignorant about Emergency </li></ul><ul><li>Congress party, that enforced Emergency, is still at the helm </li></ul><ul><li>Politicians like Smt. Indira Gandhi that enforced Emergency, are still eulogized </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Emergency lasted for almost 2 years – the darkest days in the history of Free India “ Freedom 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
  6. 6. The Allahabad High Court ruling triggered a chain of events that converted the world’s largest democracy to the second largest dictatorship “ I 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 Unrest <ul><li>Congress practiced electoral fraud to win 1971 elections </li></ul><ul><li>Jayaprakash Narayan’s agitation in Bihar for change in provincial government </li></ul><ul><li>Congress defeated in Gujarat by Janata Party </li></ul>Allahabad Conviction <ul><li>Case filed against Indira Gandhi for election fraud and misuse of state machinery </li></ul><ul><li>Allahabad High Court finds PM guilty on the charge of misuse for election campaign </li></ul><ul><li>Declares her election null and void; unseated from her Lok Sabha seat </li></ul><ul><li>Huge protests all over the country by students, trade-unions against the PM </li></ul><ul><li>Persistent efforts received praise worldwide </li></ul>Declaration of Emergency <ul><li>President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed declared a state of Emergency upon the advice of PM on the midnight of 26 June 1975 </li></ul><ul><li>The Cabinet did not even meet to pass the resolution before Emergency was declared </li></ul>Famous cartoon by Abu Abraham showing Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed (the then President of India), signing the proclamation of Emergency from his bathtub
  7. 7. 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.” Thousands of protestors and strike leaders were arrested <ul><li>Notable politicians arrested </li></ul><ul><li>Jayaprakash Narayan - L.K. Advani </li></ul><ul><li>Morarji Desai - Chandrasekhar </li></ul><ul><li>A.B. Vajpayee -Ramkrishna Hegde </li></ul><ul><li>LK Advani authored 5 underground essays while in prison used by people campaigning against Emergency </li></ul><ul><li>Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and many other organizations were banned </li></ul>Complete mockery of the Indian Constitution and civil liberties <ul><li>Suspension of Fundamental Rights </li></ul><ul><li>Article 14 – Right to Equality before Law </li></ul><ul><li>Article 21 – Right to Life and Personal Liberty </li></ul><ul><li>Article 22 – Protection against Arrest and Detention in certain cases </li></ul><ul><li>Gain of extraordinary power </li></ul><ul><li>39 th Amendment – Made proclamation of Emergency non-justiciable </li></ul><ul><li>40 th Amendment – Courts prevented from hearing against President, PM, Speaker </li></ul><ul><li>41 st Amendment – Conferred immunity to PM against criminal proceedings in just about every conceivable case </li></ul><ul><li>42 nd Amendment – Authorised President to amend Constitution for 2 years </li></ul><ul><li>– Abolished the need for quorum in Parliament (2/3 could make laws for India!) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Freedom of Press was curtailed as never before, even worse than during the British Raj “ Is 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) Press was abused and misused to meet PM’s objective <ul><li>Atrocities committed on Press </li></ul><ul><li>- 253 journalists were arrested (110 - MISA, 110 - DIR, and 33 – other laws) </li></ul><ul><li>Entry into India was banned for 26 foreign journalists (including Mark Tully) </li></ul><ul><li>Govt. disaccredited 51 journalists and expelled 7 of them </li></ul><ul><li>Strict censorship imposed </li></ul><ul><li>Govt. officer appointed as censor for every newspaper/news agency </li></ul><ul><li>Incompetent censors indiscriminately censored anything remotely ‘politically incorrect’ </li></ul><ul><li>New code of conduct prepared and foisted upon Press </li></ul><ul><li>Crime even to publish any information about who was in detention and where </li></ul><ul><li>Media used for propaganda and brainwashing public </li></ul><ul><li>All India Radio and the entire mass media used for propaganda </li></ul><ul><li>People made to believe that liberty, civil-rights, press freedom, judicial independence were ‘elitist’ concepts </li></ul><ul><li>National Herald (Congress party’s own daily newspaper) eulogised one-party system in countries like Tanzania </li></ul>
  9. 9. There were serious charges against the Government, under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi Abuse and torture of detainees and political prisoners Misuse of public and private media institutions Arbitrary destruction of the slum and low-income housing Complete disregard for Indian Constitution <ul><ul><li>Prisoners were segregated on the basis of religion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No distinction made between political prisoners and criminals </li></ul></ul>Wanton detention of innocent people <ul><ul><li>34,988 persons were detained under MISA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>75,818 were arrested under Defense of India Rules (DIR) </li></ul></ul>Forced vasectomy <ul><ul><li>Thousands of men forced to undergo vasectomy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Abusive and forcible treatment of poor people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Slum and low-income housing in Turkmen Gate and Jama Masjid area destroyed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hundreds of relatively prosperous families reduced to the status of impoverished and needy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AIR and Doordarshan used as tools for propaganda </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Indian Press subjected to censorship which was worse than during the British Raj </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Almost all parts of Constitution including the Preamble was changed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aimed at substituting a democratic form of government by an authoritarian form of government </li></ul></ul>“ 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)
  10. 10. However, there were heroes who fought a determined battle against all odds and championed the cause of democracy “ If 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, 1976 Jayaprakash Narayan <ul><li>Called for Indira Gandhi to resign after Allahabad HC ruling </li></ul><ul><li>Inspired millions to fight against the Emergency </li></ul><ul><li>Championed the coalition of Opposition parties against Congress </li></ul>Justice Hans Raj Khanna <ul><li>Stood up against the might of a muffling Indian state during Emergency </li></ul><ul><li>Adjudged : Parliament cannot take away the basic rights of an individual </li></ul><ul><li>Adjudged : Parliament cannot change the basic structure of Constitution </li></ul>Mahommedali Currim Chagla <ul><li>Fought case for Emergency detenus against the Indian government </li></ul><ul><li>Argued against detention of Opposition leaders under MISA </li></ul><ul><li>Stood resolute despite of failing health and having quit legal practice </li></ul>
  11. 11. … And ultimately, it was the people of India that came out triumphant Janata Party voted to power; Congress trounced <ul><li>PM forced to announce elections because of increasing isolation </li></ul><ul><li>Elections announced on 23 rd January, 1977; held in March </li></ul><ul><li>Jayaprakash Narayan declares formation of Janata Party </li></ul><ul><li>Members of Janata Party – Jana Sangh (pre-curser of BJP, Congress (O), Socialist Party and Lok Dal </li></ul><ul><li>Janata Party wins a clear majority of 295 seats in a House of 542 seats; Indira Gandhi loses her own LS seat </li></ul>LK Advani restores freedom of Press as I&B Minister <ul><li>Morarji Desai sworn in as new PM; L.K. Advani gets Information and Broadcasting portfolio; A.B. Vajpayee becomes External Affairs Minister </li></ul><ul><li>Advani’s First task: Presented a White paper on misuse of media during Emergency </li></ul><ul><li>Ensured all restrictions and controls imposed during Emergency were removed </li></ul><ul><li>Restored freedom of Press – an integral part of a true democracy </li></ul>“ If the Emergency was the darkest period in India’s post-Independence history, the righteous struggle following it was undoubtedly the brightest” - L.K. Advani LK Advani undertaking oath of office as I&B minister in 1977 Jayaprakash Narayan administering an oath of unity and service to Nation to all Janata Party MPs at Rajghat
  12. 12. 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 upon If this is not contribution to National life, then what is? <ul><li>Authored 5 underground essays in prison </li></ul><ul><li>Smuggled out of prison by anti-Emergency fighters </li></ul><ul><li>Circulated across the country in anti-Emergency campaigns </li></ul><ul><li>Strong defiance of censorship imposed by Government </li></ul><ul><li>Inspired thousands to join protest against Emergency </li></ul><ul><li>Full text: </li></ul><ul><li>Spent 19 months in prison during anti-Emergency struggle </li></ul><ul><li>Challenged the Government in Karnataka High Court </li></ul><ul><li>Received mass support from people all over India </li></ul><ul><li>Restored Freedom of Press as I&B Minister </li></ul><ul><li>Withdrew all directives issued for Press censorship </li></ul><ul><li>Repealed the Prevention of Publication of Objectionable Material Act </li></ul><ul><li>Restored the Parliamentary Proceedings Act </li></ul><ul><li>For the first time, allowed all national and state-level political parties to broadcast their election campaigns with equal time </li></ul>“ I see in Advaniji a multitude of roles 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
  13. 13. Dear fellow citizens! The country looks up to you again… Perform your duty… Think and Vote! - by An Indian