The Congress Party on Sunday hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for talking about the 1975 Emergency in his 'Mann Ki Baat' programme, saying that the NDA-led Government at the Centre has imposed an 'undeclared emergency' on the country.
Citing the CBI raids on NDTV owners Prannoy Roy and wife over alleged 'bank fraud' and the deteriorating situation in Jammu and Kashmir as examples, Congress leader Tom Vadakkan said, "Yes, we have not forgotten Emergency, but there is an undeclared emergency in the country. The fact is that there is a muzzling of the media and the raids on media which can only be listed as undeclared emergency."
Vadakkan further said the Prime Minister failed to raise issues of internal and external security, which he alleged, is in jeopardy.
"The Prime Minister raised various issues in his ' Mann Ki Baat', but I wish issues of internal security also would have been raised. Internal security in this country is under jeopardy, why? This broad shoulder government said they will put it in order. This is for the first time that internal and outer security are running parallel simply for reason when there is firing and incursion is coming in from Pakistan and terrorist and separatist are actively engaged inside the country," he said.
He claimed that the separatists are increasingly growing disdainful over the present state of affairs in Jammu and Kashmir, and are opting for terrorism.
"The so called separatists have grown up to be terrorists in the valley. We have situation where counterfeit currency is being printed and the case of lynching mobs and romeo squads are emerging. What are they?"
The Congress' strong rebuttal came after Prime Minister Modi reminded people about the 'horrors' of Emergency imposed by former prime minister Indira Gandhi on June 1975, and asked people to rededicate themselves towards the goal of strengthening democracy.
He said the former government took away people's liberty and freedom, and did not spare any section of society, be it political, economic, media, students, communities, or even the judiciary.
"The Emergency will be remembered for the way in which people of India came together and safeguarded democratic values. Democracy is not only a system, but also our ethos as-'Eternal vigilance is the life of liberty'. We need to remember the things which harm democracy and move forward in a positive direction," Prime Minister Modi said.
"Those who love democracy can never forget the dark night of June 25, 1975, when the entire nation turned into a prison, all voices of dissent were muzzled, where senior leaders like Jayaprakash Narayan were imprisoned. Not even the judiciary was spared from the shadow of authoritarianism," he added.
He asked the students of journalism and political activists to remind themselves of the 'dark phase'.
"Newspapers were rendered ineffective, students of journalism and political activities must continuously remind themselves of this dark phase. They must work towards creating awareness about democracy. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was also imprisoned during this period. When he completed one year in prison, he wrote a poem describing his feelings," the Prime Minister said.