Recalling the “dark period” of Emergency on its 48th anniversary, the senior RSS functionary said that by misusing the provisions of the Constitution, our own people suppressed the voice of the common people and invididuals like Jayaprakash Narayan.
On June 25, 1975, the Indira Gandhi-led Congress government imposed Emergency, which lasted for the next 21 months, during which fundamental rights of the people were provisionally suspended and curbs were put on the press.
An emotional Hosable said that “oppressing and banning” the RSS was a clear priority for the then government.
“In any country with democracy, no attempt at oppression or stifling voices can succeed … Why did they impose an Emergency? It is imposed when the country faces a threat. Misusing the Constitution when a person or party is unsafe and unstable should never happen in a democracy,” he said.
The RSS leader said that though it may difficult to recall such a dark period in history, it is equally important to remember each and every incident that took place during the Emergency and the struggle against it.
“Many a time it feels – why remember that cruelty? Sangh‘s third Sarsanghchalak, Balasaheb Deoras had made an important statement after the Emergency. In his public address, he said, ‘Forgive and Forget’. But the acute atrocity that occurred during the black chapter of the country’s history, is recorded in pages of history,” Hosabale said.
He recalled how there was “widespread barbarism” during the period. “…that police-administration in the country can do something like that, was experienced during Emergency,” Hosabale said.
He reminisced that there were three important events that took place in the month of June which resulted in the imposition of Emergency in 1975.
“By June 1, the movement under the leadership of JP had become nationwide, it had reached the peak of extreme intensity. Second – In the elections held in Gujarat, Indira’s Congress failed miserably, she was defeated. On June 12, Justice Jagmohan Lal Sinha, a judge of the Allahabad High Court, nullified Indira Gandhi‘s Lok Sabha election victory from Rae Bareli. Indira ji was defeated on all the three fronts,” he said.
The RSS leader recalled how the period of Emergency was misused to run make the programme of sterilization successful and control the population.
“It will always be a black spot in the pages of the history,” he said.
Hosabale said that since Sangh was working against the imposition of Emergency, there were efforts by the then govenrment to suppress it.
He recalled how RSS workers at the time were targeted, put in jail and suspended from government services.
However, he said that in any country where there is democracy, no attempt to suppress or crush the voice of the people can be successful in the long run.
“In a democratic system, the voice of the people must always remain strong and should remain strong. Why was the struggle against Emergency successful? Because the awakening of individuals and the organizational leadership gave proper guidance to the people at that time. In that movement, especially the one led by students and youth, there was a movement for a change across the country,” he said.