There are two ways of rehashing the emergency. My way and the Thapar way. I do not know to whom Mr. Thapar owed allegiance at the time of imposing emergency. But I was a staunch supporter of not only Indira Gandhi but the imposition of a stricter law on Indians, who were straying from their chosen path of duty and relying more on the rights granted by the Constitution. I was a living example too like many others. Attending office at 11'0 clock and leaving at 4 PM was order of the day. Corruption was rampant everywhere. In Hyderabad, the bus conductors were just collecting money and were not issuing tickets. Once, I had a tiff with one of them who apologized later. But, it percolated from top to bottom.
But, reason for Indira imposing emergency was not this. Her love for the nation was peripheral. Her knowledge of poverty and the poor was minimal, if she had any. She was looking through the eyes of a few selfish advisers, a clerk-turned, hero being one of them. There was no chance for her to know India's poor or poverty. She was born with a silver spoon. This came out as people like Dr.Swamy and Narendra Modi defied the emergency and covertly spread the message as what was happening in her family and how the nation was being looted in the name of emergency. It was not her brutal majority that dictated her whims, as Mr. Thapar or Mr. Advani make us believe. Dictatorship for selfish ends was ingrained in her and in her successors from the family.
So, in 1977 a loosely knit coalition swept to power in view of the emergency excesses, as they were nomenclatured. It was not a coalition of parties interested in establishing a clean, democratic government in India that can help the poor. But, it was a coalition of ambitious regional leaders, caste leaders, religious leaders etc., that came together each having an eye on the PM post. JP was not a hardcore politician ambitious to occupy any position of power. He was a selfless individual who wanted to fight out the draconian rule of Indira through her stooges. (We can just recall the combination of Kejriwal and his mentor). The government was formed after a lot of pulls and pressures. And what did they do? They started to go after Indira for her excesses. Shah Commission was that decided the next election. Indira was cunning like Sonia. She did not know people's poverty but she knew their pulse. So in the Parliament she played her role perfectly, as a woman being haunted by ambitious men who overthrew her. only to fight among themselves for power. "See! what I did to you? I stopped paying ransom to princes. I brought banks to your doorstep. I fought Bangladesh war. In comparison, are excesses of emergency were worse crimes, for which, I was not personally responsible?" She started singing melancholic songs as if she were back stabbed. (Many on Social Media ask the question," Why was not Sonia arrested? Nor Vadra? Nor this or that? If a leader, soon after coming to power, is seen as pursuing vendetta politics, instead of governing, the sympathy shifts to the victim. So Modi is playing cards close to his chest. It should be understood that any intelligence gathering, collating, coming to a definite conclusion that enough evidence is gathered and taking action takes time. This is part of Chanakya Rajaneeti. If Modi touched Sonia, by this time she would have toured India, instead of spending time abroad. Congress knows their time is over. So, they are provoking Modi establishment to take action against their Senior leaders so that they again can go back to people with sympathy to a woman. The Indira way. Modi knows pulse of people better than any living Congressman and more so, he knows poverty. RWs should better wait and see what happens. I drifted as I had to answer a long pending question, "Why not?")
So, by 1980, she gained back her popularity. Again she was given brutal majority. But she did not misuse it. So the argument of Thapar that a Constitutional provision clubbed with brutal majority does makes dictators, fails test. Dictators are dictators by blood. Modi is not. He won Gujarat elections thrice despite the calumny spread by columnists. Most popular need never be the most dangerous, Mr. Thapar! Gandhi was the most popular of all times. You are the most popular columnist, by any standards. Do you think Gandhi and you are dangerous? You argument fails test again. Till 1980, Indira was not leader by her own capability. She was led by many advisers who were foxy, selfish and money and power mongering. The few saner advises did not go to her head.
If you remember Nagarwala case, you remember that she was not her own but led by a coterie. Modi is a self made man. Even though, you did not name him in your column, your thought process is obvious. Modi worked from the ranks. He worked as a poor tea supplier. He worked as a pracharak. He worked as BJP states in-charge. He worked as CM of a state and won four elections. He withstood slander and calumny. He was called "Maut Ka Saudagar" He was called a snooper. What not? He was accused of false encounters. All failed. Now the accusers are facing the heat.
If you read Mr. Kuldip Nayar's "Between The Lines" you would have known how Indira was made. A shy, behind -the- father girl was catapulted to the position by five people infamously known as Syndicate. The meeting was held in Karnataka. The reason was each one wanted to be PM, post Sastry Jee era but collectively they thought they could rule by proxy if a parrot in cage was installed as PM. But before they could blink their eyes, other ambitious advisers joined her coterie. The rest is history. Sonia repeated this experiment by installing another parrot, this time an ageing one a non-political one, who knew only bending and crawling and this time she had her way. Loss to the nation is almost irreparable, but for a light at the end of tunnel, Modi. So, do not deceive yourself and readers Mr.Columnist! by comparing Modi and Indira. One is lion, the other parrot. Indians just did not cave in, Mr. Thapar! Hardcore supporters like me opposed emergency. We did our job silently. I do not know about you, as people say when Media was asked to bend they just crawled. We conducted secret meetings at undisclosed places, where one national leader too attended clandestinely.
The reason they voted her back to power was the sympathy factor she could generate as a woman and people thought a government with one leader and with full majority is better than a coalition of wily foxes who fought like street dogs. You must note that one of them is already convicted for eating animal food money.
So, Mr. Columnist! Do not try to instill fear among people that Modi with brute majority would impose emergency. It is not needed for him. Reasons are 1) he is drawn from the poor 2) he is drawn from cadres 3) he already served people for more than four decades 4)he was successful as CM 5) he has no personal ambition 6) there is not a single corruption charge against him) 7) he was not imposed by any one, inspite of mounting opposition he waded his way through 8) he has no coterie, takes decisions on his own but follows advice (R.Rajan is still RBI Governor) 9) he has no proxy rulers behind him.
Be assured! There will be no emergency in India in future. If at all, there may be an emergency in Congress Party and many might be throttled out of their positions soon. We are hearing M.L. Fotedar and Dhavan are back. Let Congressmen be wary and look after better work or join Skill India or Swatch Bharat campaign.