Shri Modi blogs on the 38th anniversary of the Emergency

Published By : Admin | June 26, 2013 | 18:01 IST
Share
 
Comments

Remembering Emergency 1975 - The Victory of People's Power!

 

Dear Friends,

It was on this day, 38 years ago that the Indian republic faced one of its toughest test in recent history. At midnight on 25th June 1975 the Emergency was imposed thus beginning one of India’s darkest periods when a political class full of arrogance and intoxicated with power preferred to destroy the nation’s democratic fabric rather than resign when their continuing in office became untenable. 

Personally, I have several memories associated with the Emergency. At that time I was a 25-year-old youngster who had recently started working for the RSS but what I witnessed during those dark days remains forever engraved in my memory. Who can forget the manner in which personal freedom was brutally trampled over? Who can forget the blatant misuse of MISA to target political opponents? Can one forget the lockouts on media houses? How can we not remember the determined struggle of lakhs of people across the nation for 19 long months? Overcoming grave personal risk, so many people devoted themselves to the restoration of democracy.

For youngsters like me, the Emergency gave a wonderful opportunity to work with a wide spectrum of leaders and organisations that were fighting for the same goal. It enabled us to work beyond institutions we had been brought up with. From stalwarts of our family, Atal ji, Advani ji, late Shri Dattopant Thengadi, Late Shri Nanaji Deshmukh to socialists like Shri George Fernandes to Congressmen like Shri Ravindra Varma, who worked closely with Morarjibhai Desai and were unhappy with the Emergency, we got inspired by leaders who belonged to different schools of thought. I was fortunate to have learnt a lot from people such as former Vice Chancellor of Gujarat Vidyapeeth Shri Dhirubhai Desai, the humanist Shri CT Daru and former Chief Ministers of Gujarat Shri Babubhai Jashbhai Patel and Shri Chimanbhai Patel and prominent Muslim leader late Shri Habib-ur-Rehman. The struggle and determination of Late Shri Morarjibhai Desai, who steadfastly resisted the authoritarianism of the Congress and even left the party, comes to the mind.

It was as if a vibrant confluence of thoughts and ideologies had taken place for a larger good. Rising over differences of caste, creed, community or religion we were working with our common objective- to uphold the democratic ethos of the country. In December 1975, we worked for a very important meeting of all Opposition MPs in Gandhinagar. This meeting was also attended by Independent MPs late Shri Purushottam Mavalankar, Shri Umashankar Joshi and Shri Krishan Kant.

Organisations, parties and individuals that may not have seen each other eye to eye ideologically now closed ranks for the sake of the nation. For instance, the BMS worked together with Left labour unions for the common cause. We got to work closely with student unions of different parties. These student unions may have been fighting politically in colleges and universities but when it came to preserving democracy for the nation, they were all together. People and organisations were working with the same RSS, which was considered by many as political untouchable in the preceding years. It was as if the spirit of the 1974 Navnirman Movement in Gujarat and the JP Movement in Bihar was coming alive on the national stage!

Apart from leaders and various political organisations, the Emergency gave me the chance to engage with non-government social organisations, who were also deeply concerned with what was happening in the nation. Working with several Gandhians and people of Sarvodaya Movement was extremely enriching., it was at the residence of Gandhian Shri Prabhudas Patwari that I got the opportunity to meet Shri George Fernandes on a July evening in 1975. I vividly recall a bearded George Sahib coming in a yellow fiat, adorning his trademark non-ironed kurta, covering his head in a green cloth. I had the opportunity of making him meet with Shri Nanaji Deshmukh. These were two men who could make the then Prime Minister tremble with fear.

When I look back at the Emergency, I cannot but salute the far sightedness of the people of India who rejected authoritarian politics in the very first opportunity in 1977. This despite a heavily censored, biased and one sided print media and radio. Electronic media was in its pre-infant stages and there was no social media. Infact, I wonder if there was social media during that time, would the Prime Minister have imposed the Emergency at all? Or would it even have lasted for the while it did?

I am sharing my book ‘Aapatkal Me Gujarat’ in which I have shared in detail my memories of the Emergency. I would like to draw your attention to Page 200 in my book where I wrote this on how different political organizations came together developing a better understanding of each other:


“The gap between different political organizations largely had to do with intentional and accidental differences resulting from rejection of each other’s causes. The mindset of “if you are not with us, you are against us” had also contributed to this gap. But events had created an opportunity for every one of these Organizations to rise above their political differences and to develop a deeper understanding of each other.”

Many of my young friends would not have been born during those days. I specially urge them to have a look at the book to get a broader understanding of the historical context and what is now remembered as a great victory of people’s power.

 

 

 

 Narendra Modi

 

  Read : Apatkalme Gujarat

  Also Read in Gujarati :Sangharshma Gujarat

Share your ideas and suggestions for Mann Ki Baat now!
PM invites participation for ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha 2022'
Explore More
Kashi Vishwanath Dham is a symbol of the Sanatan culture of India: PM Modi

Popular Speeches

Kashi Vishwanath Dham is a symbol of the Sanatan culture of India: PM Modi
30 years of Ekta Yatra: A walk down memory lane when PM Modi unfurled India’s tricolour flag at Lal Chowk in Srinagar

Media Coverage

30 years of Ekta Yatra: A walk down memory lane when PM Modi unfurled India’s tricolour flag at Lal Chowk in Srinagar
...

Nm on the go

Always be the first to hear from the PM. Get the App Now!
...
India’s 100 crore-and-counting Covid vaccine doses show what people’s participation can achieve
October 22, 2021
Share
 
Comments

India completed vaccination of 100 crore doses on October 21 in about nine months since starting vaccination. The journey from anxiety in early 2020 to assurance has happened, and India has emerged stronger, thanks to the world's largest vaccination drive.

It has been a truly Herculean, bhagirath effort involving multiple sections of society. For any effort to attain and sustain speed and scale, trust of all stakeholders is crucial. One reason for a successful campaign was the trust that people developed in the vaccine and the process followed, despite various efforts to create mistrust and panic. There are some who only trust foreign brands. However, when it came to something as crucial as the Covid-19 vaccine, Indians unanimously trusted

'Made in India' vaccines. This is a significant paradigm shift.

All for One, and One for All

India's vaccine drive is an example of what India can achieve if the citizens and the government come together with a common goal in the spirit of people's participation, or jan bhagidari. Initially, many doubted the capabilities of 130 crore Indians. Some said India would take 3-4 years, while others doubted people coming forward to get vaccinated. There were those who said there will be gross mismanagement and chaos, while others doubted India's ability to manage supply chains.But just like the 2020 national lockdown - janta curfew - and subsequent lockdowns, the people showed how spectacular the results can be if made trusted partners.

When everyone takes ownership, nothing is impossible. There was a lot of pressure from different interest groups to give preferential treatment to them in vaccination. But GoI ensured that there is no VIP culture in the vaccination drive.

In early 2020, it was clear to us that this pandemic will have to be eventually fought with the help of vaccines. We started preparing early. We constituted expert groups and started preparing a roadmap right from April 2020. Till today, only a handful of countries have developed their own vaccines. More than 180 countries are dependent on an extremely limited pool of producers, and dozens of nations are still waiting for the supply of vaccines.

Imagine if India did not have its own vaccine. How would India have secured enough vaccines for such a large population? How many years would that have taken? It is here that credit should be given to Indian scientists and entrepreneurs for rising to the occasion. It is due to their talent and hard work that India is truly aatmanirbhar when it comes to vaccines. Our vaccine manufacturers, by scaling up to meet the demands of such a large population, have shown that they are second to none.

GoI has been an accelerator and enabler of progress. It partnered with vaccine-makers right from day one, and gave them support in the form of institutional assistance, scientific research, funding, as well as accelerated regulatory processes. All ministries came together to facilitate and remove any bottlenecks as a result of the 'whole of government' approach.

In a country of the scale of India, it is not enough to just produce. Focus has to be on last-mile delivery and seamless logistics. To understand the challenges involved, imagine the journey taken by one vial of vaccines. From a plant in Pune or Hyderabad, the vial is sent to a hub in any of the states, from where it is transported to the district hub. From there, it reaches a vaccination centre. This entails the deployment of thousands of trips taken by flights and trains. During this entire journey, the temperature has to be maintained in a particular range that is centrally monitored.

We are the Nation

For this, over 1 lakh cold-chain equipments were utilised. States were given advance notice of the delivery schedule of the vaccines so that they could plan their drives better and vaccines reached them on the pre-decided days. This has been an unprecedented effort in the history of independent India.

All these efforts were complemented by a robust tech platform in CoWIN. It ensured that the vaccine drive was equitable, scalable, trackable and transparent. This ensured that there was no scope for favouritism or jumping the queue. It also ensured that a poor worker could take first dose in his village and the second dose of the same vaccine in the city where he works, after the required time interval. In addition to a real-time dashboard to boost transparency, the QR (quick response)-coded certificates ensured verifiability. There are hardly any examples of such efforts not only in India but also the world.

In my 2015 Independence Day address, I had said that our country is moving ahead because of 'Team India', and this 'Team India' is a big team of our 130 crore people. People's participation is the biggest strength of democracy. If we run the country through the participation of 130 crore Indians, our country will be moving ahead 130 crore steps every moment. Our vaccination drive has yet again showed the power of this 'Team India'. India's success in its vaccination drive has also demonstrated to the whole world that 'democracy can deliver'.

The success achieved in the world's largest vaccination drive should further spur our youth, our innovators and all levels of government to set new benchmarks of public service delivery that will be a model not only for our country, but also for the world.