Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that when the country is celebrating 75 years of its independence it should never forget that dreadful period of emergency.
Addressing the 90th episode of his monthly radio address 'Mann Ki Baat', the Prime Minister said, "Today, when the country is celebrating 75 years of its independence, Amrit Mahotsav, we should never forget that dreadful period of emergency.
The generations to come should also not forget. The Amrit Mahotsav not only encompasses the victory saga of freedom from hundreds of years of slavery, but also the journey of 75 years after independence. We move forward, learning from every important stage of history."
The Prime Minister asked the youth in the age group of 24-25 years if they knew that when their parents were young, their right to life was snatched away from them? "You must be thinking how could this have happened?
This is just impossible! But my young friends, this has happened once in our country. This took place years ago in 1975. It was the month of June when an emergency was imposed. In that, all the rights were taken away from the citizens of the country," he said.
The Prime Minister noted that one amongst those rights was the 'Right to Life and Personal Liberty' provided to all Indians under Article 21 of the Constitution.
"At that time an attempt was made to crush the democracy of India. The country's courts, every constitutional institution, the press, were put under control. The condition of censorship was such that nothing could be printed without approval," the Prime Minister said.
Talking about the ban imposed on famous singer Kishore Kumar after he refused to toe the government line, the Prime Minister said, "His entry on the radio was stopped. But even after many attempts, thousands of arrests, and atrocities on lakhs of people, the faith of the people of India in democracy did not shake at all."
"For us, the people of India, the sanskars of democracy which we have been carrying on for centuries, the democratic spirit which is in our veins, finally won.
The people of India got rid of the emergency and re-established democracy in a democratic way. It is difficult to find such an example of defeating a dictatorial mindset, a dictatorial tendency in a democratic way, in the whole world.
During the Emergency, I had the good fortune to have been a witness; to be a partner in the struggle of the countrymen - as a soldier of democracy," he said.