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Om Birla starts his new term as Speaker by condemning the ‘Tanashahi’ of former PM Indira Gandhi for imposing Emergency in 1975

The Lok Sabha speaker slammed the erstwhile Congress government headed by former PM Indira Gandhi for imposing dictatorship on India. He also highlighted the excesses which were committed during the Emergency period.

On Wednesday (June 26), Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla came down heavily on the Congress party after assuming his charge upon being re-elected to the post. He condemned the ‘dictatorial’ proclamation of Emergency that was announced by the previous Congress government led by then PM Indira Gandhi in 1975. He described it as the black chapter in India’s history. He also asked the House to observe 2 minutes of silence to mourn the ‘murder of democracy’, a day after the country entered the 50th year of Emergency that started in June 1975.  

Addressing the Lok Sabha, Om Birla said, “This house condemns the Emergency that was imposed in 1975 in the strongest terms. We also laud the determination of all those who staunchly opposed the Emergency, struggled, and performed the duty of safeguarding India’s democracy. 25th June 1975 will always be remembered as a black chapter in Indian history. On that day, then PM Indira Gandhi imposed an Emergency in the country and made a major blow to the constitution drafted by Dr BR Ambedkar.” 

The Lok Sabha speaker slammed the erstwhile Congress-led government for imposing dictatorship on India. He also highlighted the excesses which were committed during the Emergency period.

He added, “Throughout the world, India is the mother of democracy. In India, discussions deliberations, and democratic setup have always been supported, encouraged, and safeguarded. ‘Tanashahi’ (dictatorship) was imposed on such a country by Indira Gandhi and India’s democratic ethos was trampled upon and freedom of expression was strangulated. Citizens rights were snatched from them. It was an era when opposition leaders were incarcerated and the entire country was turned into a Jail cell. The then-dictatorial government introduced numerous restrictions on media and the judiciary’s independence was curtailed. That period of Emergency was a dark phase of injustice in our history.” 

At a time when the Congress party steered by Gandhi scion Rahul is claiming to be championing the cause of democracy and safeguarding the Constitution, Speaker Om Birla cited how the previous Congress government had made major assaults on the Constitution and brought sweeping amendments.  

He further stated, “During that time, the Congress government made several such decisions that trampled the essence of our constitution. They amended the Maintenance of Internal Security Act so that the judiciary could not give justice to leaders jailed under the MISA act. To stop the media from publishing the truth, several laws were brought, and brought the 39th to 42nd amendment to the Constitution to centralise power in one person’s hand, exercise control over the judiciary, basic doctrines of the Constitution could be finished and citizens’ rights were repressed. “    

He added, “Not only this, then PM Indira Gandhi talked about committed bureaucracy and committed judiciary which is an example of her undemocratic style of functioning. With it, the Emergency brought several social challenges and dictatorial tendencies that wrecked the poor and Dalits. People were forced to undergo sterilisation by the Congress government. This house expresses sympathies to all those people.” 

The 1975-1977 period was a black phase that makes us remember democratic structure, principles, and judicial independence. As we are entering the 50th year of Emergency, Lok Sabha reiterates its commitment to the maintenance, protection, and safeguard of DR. BR Ambedkar drafted Constitution. We are committed to ensuring the rule of law and decentralisation of power. We praise all the people for their faith in the democratic setup and struggle. Because of the Emergency ended and the democratic setup was re-established, the Lok Sabha speaker noted.      

Om Birla asserted, “Our young generation should know about the black phase of democracy. During the dark phase of the Emergency, scores of people lost their lives at the hands of Congress’ dictatorial government. We (the house) will observe 2 minutes of silence in their honour.”  

Notably, the Lok Sabha speaker made these remarks after PM Modi introduced ministers to the LS. Following his scathing remarks condemning the Emergency, the Lok Sabha then adjourned the house till tomorrow. 

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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