Emergency ‘dark period’, democracy has to be strengthened, says Modi

India can hardly afford to forget hard lessons learnt

Mumbai.

The 1975-77 Emergency was a ‘dark period’ in India’s national life. As a nation, India can hardly afford to forget hard lessons learnt during that period. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday called for making democracy stronger.

Democracy could be strengthened by “writing, debating, deliberating, and questioning” its vital aspects. The Emergency lasted till March 21, 1977. The Congress led by Indira Gandhi was voted out of power in the elections that were held soon after.

The theme for this year’s meeting is “Mobilizing Finance for Infrastructure: Innovation and Collaboration.” Leaders from varied organisations and levels of government will be sharing ideas and experiences for creating a sustainable future through sound infrastructure investment, an official statement said.

Modi was in Mumbai today to inaugurate the third annual meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia and beyond.

Addressing the AIIB’s third annual meeting, he said that India remembers the Emergency as a dark period during which every institution was subverted and an atmosphere of fear was created. Not only people but also ideas and artistic freedom were held hostage to power politics,” he tweeted.

Modi hailed the spirit of those citizens who firmly opposed the Emergency that came into force on June 25, 1975, leading to suspension of the fundamental rights.

“I salute the courage of all those great women and men who steadfastly resisted the Emergency, which was imposed 43 years ago. Their struggles ensured people power prevailed over authoritarianism and the stifling of civil liberties,” he added.

He called for working towards making Indian democracy stronger.

“Let us always work to make our democratic ethos stronger. Writing, debating, deliberating, questioning are vital aspects of our democracy which we are proud of. No force can ever trample the basic tenets of our Constitution,” he added.

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