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Indira paid heavily for Emergency: Pranab

Indira paid heavily for Emergency: Pranab
Highlights

The 1975 Emergency was perhaps an \"avoidable event\" and Congress and Indira Gandhi had to pay a heavy price for this \"misadventure\" as suspension of fundamental rights and political activity, large-scale arrests and press censorship adversely affected people, says President Pranab Mukherjee.

New Delhi: The 1975 Emergency was perhaps an "avoidable event" and Congress and Indira Gandhi had to pay a heavy price for this "misadventure" as suspension of fundamental rights and political activity, large-scale arrests and press censorship adversely affected people, says President Pranab Mukherjee.

  • Prez calls it ‘misadventure’ and ‘avoidable’
  • Indira not aware of Constitutional provisions
  • He also notes good points of Emergency
  • His book calls JP movement ‘directionless’

A junior minister under Gandhi in those turbulent times, Mukherjee however, is also unsparing of the opposition then under the leadership of the late Jayaprakash Narayan, JP, whose movement appeared to him to be "directionless".

Pranab Mukherjee was a junior minister in Indira Gandhi’s cabinet

He penned his thoughts in his book "The Dramatic Decade: the Indira Gandhi Years" that has been released. He discloses that Indira Gandhi was not aware of the Constitutional provisions allowing for declaration of Emergency that was imposed in 1975 and it was Siddartha Shankar Ray who led her into the decision.

Mukherjee, who celebrated his 79th birthday on Thursday, in his book covers various events including liberation of Bangladesh, JP's offensive, the defeat in the 1977 elections, split in Congress and return to power in 1980 and after. He says there was no doubt that Emergency brought discipline in public life, a growing economy, controlled inflation, but "it was perhaps an avoidable event.”

“Suspension of fundamental rights and political activity, large-scale arrests of political leaders, press censorship etc were some instances of Emergency adversely affecting the interests of the people. Congress and Indira had to pay a heavy price for this misadventure," he says.

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