Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said that emergency was an important part of independent India and those who raised voice against it and struggled hard during this period should always be remembered. In order to pay respect and honour the immense contribution made by the persons who were jailed during emergency, the State Government has organised Loktantra Prahari Samman function.He was speaking at Loktantra Prahari Samman function organised at Shimla, today. He said that generally people have a tendency to forget the past, especially hard times, but emergency period should never be forgotten as it had taught several lessons. He said that emergency was an important part of our history and the youth and future generation should also get acquainted with it.Jai Ram Thakur said that in the year 2019, Himachal Pradesh Government had decided to start Loktantra Prahari Samman Yojna to honour the persons who were put behind bars during emergency. He said that on 20th March, 2021, the State Government passed the Himachal Pradesh Loktantra Prahari Bill 2021 in HP Vidhan Sabha. He said that with this now people of the state who were jailed during emergency would get honorarium. He said that emergency was imposed at midnight on 25th June, 1975, which remained in force upto 21st March, 1977 for 21 months. He said that every person was performing their respective job and circumstances were normal and law and order situation was also under control, so there was no such need of imposing emergency. He said that nobody had ever thought of it, which was a tough and difficult phase of Independent India.
Chief Minister said that Indira Gandhi contested Lok Sabha election from Rae Bareilly and won with huge margin, which was challenged in High Court. Allahabad High Court found Indira Gandhi guilty of electoral malpractices and declared the election verdict in the Rae Bareilly constituency null and void, and barred Gandhi from holding elected office for six years. He said that Indira Gandhi was not willing to give up power thus imposed emergency.Jai Ram Thakur said that during emergency the government had deprived the common people of their fundamental rights and nobody could raise their voice against government.Large number of leaders and people including many innocents were jailed without any valid reason. He said that censorship was imposed on newspapers and other media.He said that it has been 45 years to this incident. He said that this year the State has also completed its 50 years of Statehood on 25th January, 2021 and to mark the Golden Jubilee of the Statehood, the State Government has decided to organise 51 events in the State. He said that the main objective of organising these functions is to make the younger generation aware about the developmental journey of Himachal Pradesh during last 50 years. He said the State has made immense progress and development in various sectors.On this occasion, out of 81 Loktantra Prahari about 66 Loktantra Prahari were honoured by Chief Minister.Urban Development Minister and Chairman Loktantra Samiti Suresh Bhardwaj said that emergency is a black chapter in the history of Democracy. He highlighted many incidents of Emergency and detailed about the contributions made by various persons and organisations.Member of Loktantra Prahari Samiti Praveen Sharma welcomed the Chief Guest and other dignitaries on the occasion. He also shared his experiences of emergency and hard time faced during jail.Secretary, Rashtriya Gaurav Samiti Subhash Gupt also spoke on the occasion and shared his experiences during emergency.A documentary on emergency was also screened on the occasion.Education Minister Govind Singh Thakur, Former Speaker HP Vidhan Sabha Radha Raman Shastri, Former Minister Mahender Nath Sofat, Member of Loktantra Prahari Samiti Susheel Minocha, National General Secretary Rashtriya Sikh Sangat Avinash Rai Jaiswal, Additional Chief Secretary J. C. Sharma, Secretary GAD Devesh Kumar, Director Information and Public Relations Harbans Singh Brascon and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.