April 24, 2024

Emergency dark period in India's history, supporters of democracy tortured: PM

TAP | Updated: June 18, 2023

NEW DELHI, Jun 18: Describing the Emergency a "dark period" in India's history, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said those who supported democracy at that time were tortured and a glance at such crimes endangering the country's freedom would make it easier for the young generation to understand the meaning and significance of democracy.

            In his monthly 'Mann Ki Baat' radio broadcast, Modi said India is the mother of democracy and "we consider our democratic ideals as paramount and our Constitution supreme".

            "Therefore, we can never forget June 25th. This is the very day when Emergency was imposed on our country. It was a dark period in the history of India," the prime minister said.

            "Lakhs of people opposed the emergency with full might. The supporters of democracy were tortured so much during that time, that even today thinking about it, makes us shudder," he said. 

            Noting that many books have been written on these atrocities and punishments meted out by the police and administration, Modi said he had also written a book named "Sangharsh Mein Gujarat" at that time.

            "A few days ago, I came across another book written on the Emergency   "Torture of Political Prisoners in India". This book, published during the Emergency, describes how, at that time, the government was treating the guardians of democracy most cruelly," he said, adding that there are many case studies in this book.

            "I wish that, today, when we are celebrating the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, we must also take a glance at such crimes which endanger the freedom of the country. This will make it easier for today's young generation to understand the meaning and significance of democracy," the prime minister said.

            Emergency was imposed in 1975 by the then Congress government led by prime minister Indira Gandhi.

            Modi also said that he was holding his 'Mann ki Baat' radio broadcast on June 18 instead of the last Sunday of the month as he will be travelling to the United States next week.

            He said during his visit, he will get an opportunity to participate in the International Yoga Day programme at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

            "I appeal to all of you to adopt Yoga in your life and make it part of your daily routine," he said.

            In his broadcast, the prime minister also remembered Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and said along with his bravery, there is a lot to learn from his governance and management skills.

            "In particular, the work done by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj regarding water management and navy, they raise the glory of Indian history even today. The sea forts built by him stand proudly in the middle of the sea even after so many centuries. The beginning of this month itself marks the completion of 350 years of the coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj," he said.

            Noting that this occasion is being celebrated as a big festival, Modi said grand programmes related to it were organised in Raigad Fort in Maharashtra.

            "I remember, many years ago in 2014, I had the good fortune to go to Raigad and pay obeisance to that holy land. It is the duty of all of us to know about the management skills of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on this occasion, learn from him. This will instill in us a sense of pride in our heritage, and will also inspire us to perform our duties in the future," he said. 

            Giving the analogy of how a tiny squirrel from the Ramayana came forward to help build the Ram Setu, Modi said when the intention is noble and there is honesty in the effort, no goal remains insurmountable.

            "Today, India too, with a noble intention, is facing a huge challenge. The challenge is TB or tuberculosis. India has resolved to create a TB-free India by 2025. The goal is certainly a lofty one. There was a time when after coming to know about TB, family members used to turn away, but today TB patients are being helped by making them family members," he said.

            He pointed out that in order to eliminate tuberculosis from the root, 'Ni-kshay Mitras' have taken the lead.

            It is due to this participation that today more than 10 lakh TB patients in the country have been adopted, he said, adding that this is a noble deed on the part of  close to 85,000 Ni-kshay Mitras.

            Modi also went on to name some Ni-kshay Mitras, and lauded their efforts.

            He also said that it is in the nature of Indians to be always ready to welcome new ideas.

            "We love our things and also imbibe new things. An example of this is - Japan's technique Miyawaki; if the soil at some place has not been fertile, then the Miyawaki technique is a very good way to make that area green again," Modi said.

            Miyawaki forests spread rapidly and become biodiversity spots in two to three decades, he said.

            Modi pointed out that this is now spreading very fast in different parts of India too.           He cited examples of many people adopting this technique successfully.

            In his remarks, Modi also noted that nowadays there is a lot of discussion about Jammu and Kashmir, sometimes due to rising tourism and at times due to the "spectacular events of G-20".

            "Some time ago, I had told you in Mann Ki Baat how 'Nadru' of Kashmir are being relished outside the country as well. Now the people of Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir have done a wonderful job," he said.

            Farming has been going on in Baramulla for a long time, but here there was a shortage of milk and the people of Baramulla took this challenge as an opportunity, he said.

            A large number of people started dairy farming there, he said.

            Citing other examples, Modi said the entire Baramulla is turning into the symbol of a new white revolution.    

            During the last two-and-a-half to three years, more than 500 dairy units have come up here, he pointed out.

            Concluding the broadcast, Modi urged the people to take care if their health during this rainy season.

            Have a balanced diet and stay healthy, he told the people adding that they should certainly do Yoga.

            "Now summer vacations are about to end in many schools. I would also tell the children not to keep their homework pending for the last day. Finish your work and be at ease," the prime minister added. PTI

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