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Let us identify and confront 'Undeclared Emergency'!

Press Note on Anti-Emergency Day with two Resolutions

Gautam Thaker

General Secretary

PUCL Gujarat

A period of 43 years has elapsed since 'Emergency' was clamped on 25th June 1975. A meeting under theauspicesofPUCL(Gujarat)and MSD was convened under the chairmanship of senior journalist, Prakash N. Shah. In this meeting two resolutions namely “On 43rd Year of Emergency, black night has become even gloomier! People should remain awake to defend democratic values and constitutional rights” and “Freedom of Expression” were unanimously passed.

While addressing this meeting, former Chief Minister, Sureshchandra Mehata informed that present rulers are cleverer than Indira Gandhi. The latter had clamped emergency on the basis of articles of the constitution whereas the present rulers, instead of subsisting on the path of constitution, are trying to survive in power not by constitution but by taking recourse to other routes. Presently, a distinctly different game plan is being played. All the structures of our constitution are sought to be intangibly squeezed and sucked. Co-workers or the colleagues as well as subordinates are cowed down and confined under the charge or control, by threats and trepidation. Presently, the Govt. is capable to create a scenario, as suits its will and pleasure. When needed, it gives free hand to those indulging into violence. In the names of 'Cow Slaughter' and 'Love Jehaad' anybody, at any time could be killed. To-day, the economy has gained supremacy over the people. Govt. is encashing full benefit of that. It seems that people of India has become weak or lethargic. It appears as though elections could be won by using nexus of four elements like money, muscles, Madira, (liquor) and media.

Dr. Rohit Shukla had expressed the view that to-day's reference is of entirely different type. We should not lose sight of our aim or the object in our statement by linking the old emergency with the 'Undeclared Emergency'. In the guise of so-called development, people are being befooled. On the one hand the Govt. is projecting or portraying dreams of 'bullet train' and presenting rosy or grand picture of Delhi – Mumbai corridor and on the other hand, irregularities and corruption have become rampant. While the issues of education and health have degenerated into monstrosity, it is essential to keep a watch on the serious situation, in place of blaming that Indira Gandhi had “done this or done that”.

While moving the resolution, Gautam Thaker, General Secretary of PUCL and Dwarika Nath Rath, Convener of MSD, apprising about the current situation, asserted that politics of hatred is being resorted to and differences of class, creed and race are being created. Because of all this, there is a great discontent or distress among the people.

In the Resolution presented by Lalubha Chauhan and Minakshi Joshi, emphasis was laid on Freedom of Expression. Increasing danger to the mass media and journalists has become a matter of concern. Prakash N. Shah, Chairman of PUCL and a senior journalist, who presided over the meeting, had told that while talking about “Nationalism”, the ruling party is talking about discovery of a 'Peace Town' like Lavasa. Those boasting about Congress-free or Congress- less India, have become Congress- laden. Even to-day we are fighting for Self-Rule (Swaraaj). We shall have to be awake, by constant confrontation and without being dismayed, for retaining our freedom. We should persist in our fight for 'self-rule' (Swaraaj).

Resolution No. 1

On the 43rd year of Emergency, it has become even more darker today people should remain awake to defend democratic values and constitutional rights!

For the first time, an assault was made on democratic system of the country on 25th June 1975. When hardly a period of 25 years had elapsed since India became republic, considered as the largest democracy there were violations of human rights, liberty, freedom of speech, freedom of expression was strangulated and press censorship was effected. As a matter of fact while the Govt. had adopted erroneous and unrealistic economic policy, it ultimately resulted into severe shortages of articles and inflation. Even attacks were made on the judiciary. Because of all these reasons, and due to anti-corruption agitation launched across the country, the then Govt. brandished 'armament of emergency' and detained and imprisoned political leaders, including innocent citizens. 

Awakened people of the State could not tolerate infringement of civil liberties, attack on fundamental rights and freedom of thoughts, speech and press. Against that under the leadership of Jay Prakash Narayan there arose a whirlwind throughout the country. This challenge and resistance became the golden page in the country's history. In the year 1977, people secured second freedom also.

Today in the year 2018 'Undeclared Emergency' has been clamped all throughout the country as a shadow of that emergency. Rights of the citizens are being snatched away under the guise of “Patriotism and cultural nationality”. Everywhere, freedom of speech, writing and expression are being banned. Vacuum has been created on the economic front because of Demonetization and imposition of GST. Systematic efforts are being made to harass the activists who are struggling for defending, preserving and promoting the human rights. Any voice of dissent is being repressed in the name of treason or sedition. Arbitrary, anti- people, dictatorial approach is distressful to the pro-democratic people.

Even after passage of 70 years, our democracy appears to be smothered and strangulated. Gobbling canvassing though social media, attacks on print, audio- visual media – “Godi Media” is a matter of deep concern. In this situation, there is a strong need on the part of concerned citizens to get united together by overlooking their class, creed and racial differences to defend liberty, self-esteem, democratic values and constitutional rights.

There is a dire need to impart education of democracy to our illiterate masses, awakening and uniting them in a non-partisan way. 

Resolution proposed by Gautam Thaker, PUCL; Resolution seconded by Dwarika Nath Rath, MSD


Resolution No. 2 Freedom of Expression

While a period of 43 years has elapsed since internal emergency wasclampedintheyear1975inour country, a meeting held at Ahmedabad by the PUCL, MSD and other N.G.Os, Activists, intellectuals and the concerned citizens had realized that perils against freedom of expression and especially against mass media, media persons – journalists etc. are increasing. Last year, we witnessed vindictive actions against NDTV channel, threats posed to Ravish Kumar, murder of journalist Su. Shri Gauri Lankesh right at her Bangalore based residence and in that especially murders of fearless and impartial editor of “Rising Kashmir” together with two of his defence personnel recently on 14th June in the broad day light and atmosphere of fear and terror prevailing in the country everywhere are the stark examples. This meeting strongly condemns the incidents of killings and attacks.

Any society, country, civilization or comity aiming to achieve progress shall have need for understanding, co-operation and co-existence. It is very much essential to know and evaluate controversy, dialogue or the realism. We ought to prepare ground for our liberty, resourcefulness and progress such that we may also accept co- existence others and get appropriate opportunities for their survival and happiness, and if the media persons, journalists create ground realities then only intellectuals can formulate reformative and pro-progressive remedies and can achieve success in surmounting undesirable tendencies, merely self-interest driven approaches and in their appropriate transformation.

This meeting appeals to the political authorities – rulers to take immediate, effective and impartial steps and to forestall the deteriorating situation.

Resolution proposed by Lalubha Chauhan, MSD; Resolution seconded by Meenakshi Joshi, All India Mahila Sanskrit Sangathan.

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