Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that the dark days marked by the Emergency "can never be forgotten" as he reminded the Congress party of its sins. He also pledged to strengthen India's democratic spirit and live up to the values enshrined in the Constitution.
"The #DarkDaysOfEmergency can never be forgotten. The period from 1975 to 1977 witnessed systematic destruction of institutions. Let us pledge to do everything possible to strengthen India’s democratic spirit, and live up to the values enshrined in our Constitution," the Prime Minister said in a Twitter post on the occasion of the 46th anniversary of the Emergency.
"This is how Congress trampled over our democratic ethos. We remember all those greats who resisted the Emergency and protected Indian democracy," he said in another tweet.
Emergency in India was imposed on June 25, 1975 when Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister. The order was officially issued by President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed under Article 352 of the Constitution because of the prevailing 'internal disturbance'. The Emergency was in effect from June 25, 1975, until it's withdrawal on March 21, 1977.
The order allowed elections to be cancelled and civil liberties to be suspended. Most of Indira's political opponents were imprisoned and the press was also censored. Several other human rights violations were also reported. The 21-month period is one of the most controversial periods of independent India's history.
Other senior BJP leaders also hit out at the Congress with Home Minister Amit Shah saying the Congress "murdered" democracy on this day in 1975 for its lust and arrogance of power. Emergency was imposed to trample on voices that were raised against a family, he said, calling it a dark chapter in India's democracy.
BJP president J P Nadda paid tributes to those who fought against Emergency while suffering numerous atrocities.
After Emergency was lifted and Lok Sabha elections were held, the Congress was handed a crushing defeat, its first ever since the country's Independence in 1947, by the combined opposition of Janata Party.