Home Opinions 'Once a person was in jail, he didn't face much problem there': How leftist academics whitewash the Emergency

‘Once a person was in jail, he didn’t face much problem there’: How leftist academics whitewash the Emergency

What kind of intelligentsia do we have when a man who has been President of Delhi People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) says that the government throwing dissenters in jail for years “wasn’t that bad”?

Today is exactly 44 years since Indira Gandhi declared the Emergency on June 25, 1975. Yesterday, in the Rajya Sabha, Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad made a passionate appeal to bring back the “Old India.”

Untitled.png

Coincidence?

- Ad - - article resumes -

I think I now understand what he really meant to say.

Growing up in India, I was only vaguely even aware that there had been an Emergency. My history textbook never mentioned it and my civics book danced around the topic, like a grown-up trying to explain to a five-year-old where babies come from. Somewhere out there, I had heard the refrain about trains running on time.

That the Indian public had been reduced to such destitution by the Gandhi Dynasty rule that train timings could be used as an argument against democracy is not something that was generally commented upon.

Incidentally, one of the schools I went to was named “Jawahar Vidya Mandir.” No matter where you grow up in India and what are your circumstances, you cannot escape the brand name which is plastered on everything.

It is only years later when I picked up a copy of Advaniji’s autobiography, My Country My Life, that I actually read about the Emergency. No right to due process. Imprisonment without trial. And no “Habeas Corpus,” i.e., the government can make people disappear and even in court you cannot ask where they are.

But the scary history of the Emergency has all but disappeared. From our public consciousness, from our textbooks, from our national discourse. How did this become possible?

Here is an example of the sort of thing I am talking about.

Untitled.png

See? Two-Three months in jail wasn’t that bad! And in fact, once in jail, it was not much of a problem at all. Because they weren’t being tortured (this claim is false anyway).

That’s “Professor DL Sheth,” supposedly eminent political scientist, Honorary Senior Fellow and former director of CSDS, speaking to Scroll in a 2015 interview.

Untitled.png

What kind of intelligentsia do we have when a man who has been President of Delhi People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) says that the government throwing dissenters in jail for years “wasn’t that bad”?

Nothing personal against this one guy. Just giving you an idea of the “swamp” that our so-called intelligentsia has become. This is their intellectual quality and credibility.

I suppose, however, that Kanhaiya Kumar spending a couple of days in jail was the most glorious act of political resistance in the history of the world. Incidentally, Kanhaiya belongs to the CPI, which actually supported the Emergency.

But why should facts matter? Especially when they’ve made sure nobody knows about it?

That’s how the emergency was whitewashed out of public consciousness. How badly was it whitewashed, you ask?

Let me show you. The Shah Commission was set up in 1977 to probe the excesses of the Emergency. As per this TOI report, one of the findings of the Commission was that a young officer, posted as secretary to the Lt. Governor of Delhi, had used his powers in a “callous and authoritarian manner” with little regard for public good or welfare.

Untitled.png

Untitled.png

That man was Navin Chawla. He eventually rose to become Chief Election Commissioner of India. Of the world’s largest democracy. That was 2009, just ten years ago.

I suppose some “eminent” political scientist could easily explain it this way: Having an officer who was accused of being “callous and authoritarian” during Emergency as Chief Election Commissioner of the world’s largest democracy wasn’t that bad. 

If you don’t even know what there is to fear, then you have nothing to fear. Indira is India. India is Indira. Rejoice!

Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.


Big Story

BJP leader P K Krishnadas had alleged that the campus was an SFI stronghold and that the principal was denying the ABVP members the right to carry out their organisation's work.

2019 World Cup Is Here!

Catch the latest on Cricket World Cup as it unfolds, special coverage by Opindia

Proud to be a brand - Made in India?
Now, Advertise on Opindia

Here are 15 famous quotes from Harsha Bhogle during his commentary stint

The famous Indian commentator, Harsha Bhogle, born on July 19 in Hyderabad is celebrating his 58th birthday today.
Couple forced out of village; husband pressurised to accept wife’s religion

Hindu boy’s family forced out of village for marrying Muslim girl, police advices boy to convert as villagers threaten to kill

Newlywed Hindu boy and Muslim girl approach SSP for protection as villagers threaten to kill them and local police ask the boy to convert

Mangaluru villagers caught Mohammad Ansari raping a calf, police arrests villagers for ‘hurting religious beliefs’

In the Kunjathbail village in Mangaluru, Mohammad Ansari was caught red-handed by the villagers while he was raping a calf.

Mangalore: Mohammad Ansari rapes a cow by tying its limbs, villagers catch him in the act, arrested

The villagers also made Ansari touch cow’s feet and ask for forgiveness for raping her. However, when Ansari approached the calf, the animal freaked out and started running.

Revisiting Sainbari, a blot on Indian Democracy: When Communists made a mother eat rice with her dead sons’ blood

The Sainbari incident remains the most horrific instance of political violence in the country.
Delhi Police bust Taliban controlled drug cartel that used jute bags to smuggle heroin worth 5000 crores

Delhi police bust Taliban controlled heroin racket, Afghan-Pakistani cartel worth 5000 crores discovered

Delhi police's special cell has busted a sophisticated Afghan-Pakistani heroin cartel that used heroin-soaked jute bags carrying spices and dry fruits to smuggle the drug into India.

Abusive actor Ajaz Khan arrested by Mumbai Police for instigating violence through social media

Mumbai Police arrests small-time actor Ajaz Khan after he mocked the police on TikTok
Salma Ansari's temple plan receives AMU's objection

AMU administration’s jolt to Mrs Ansari’s secularism pitch, says no to temple plan inside ‘Chacha Nehru Madarsa’

Salma Ansari, the wife of former vice president Hamid Ansari, had announced recently that she will have a temple built inside the 'Chacha Nehru Madarsa' that she runs in AMU campus.

Serial abuser Ajaz Khan, who was arrested for inciting communal tensions, sent to judicial custody for 14 days

Ajaz Khan was arrested by the Mumbai Police Crime Branch for uploading provoking videos promoting enmity between different communities on his social media pages
Islamic extremism

Two youths, Shekhar and Basant forced to chant religious slogans by a mob that showed them Tabrez Ansari’s video, stabbed when refused

As Shekhar and Basant refused to raise religious slogans, the angry men reportedly stabbed them with knives.
Subscribe to Day's Top Stories
- Advertisment -

Latest articles

Connect with us

173,688FansLike
159,664FollowersFollow
74,898SubscribersSubscribe
Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post