Political leaders marked the 44th anniversary of the Emergency by putting out messages saluting the heroics of those who opposed and agitated against Emergency on 25 June 1975. Freedom of the press became a mythical concept during the years of the Emergency as newspapers and magazines were subjected to censorship in the hands of the government. Blank spaces appeared in columns of newspapers that were supposed to carry content criticizing the government and its policies. In the backdrop of the Emergency, the press was banned from writing or expressing displeasure against the ruling government and the authoritarian regime that prevailed then.
On the 44th year of the National Emergency, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter and posted a message, saluting all those who had fought and resisted the Emergency. In a sharp attack at the then former PM Indira Gandhi government, PM Modi hailed India's democracy that had prevailed over an "authoritarian mindset".
Home Minister Amit Shah also took to Twitter to salute those who had fought and resisted the Emergency. He said that many people were killed for political gains during the Emergency and the rights of the citizens were snatched away including the freedom of the press. He saluted the millions of patriotic Indians who fought to restore democracy in the country.
"It was on this day in 1975 that democracy of the country was killed only for our own political interests. Their fundamental rights were taken away from the countrymen, the newspapers were locked. Millions of patriots corrected many tortures to restore democracy. I salute all those fighters," the Home Minister wrote in his tweet.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also posted a tweet on the occasion. However, in a veiled attack at the PM Modi-led government, she said that India had seen "super Emergency" for the past five years, asking people to "take lessons from history and must fight to safeguard the democratic institutions in the country".
The state of Emergency was imposed across the country by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi which carried forward for over a period of 19-month from 1975 to 1977. Officially issued by President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed under Article 352 of the Constitution because of the prevailing "internal disturbance", the Emergency was in effect from 26 June 1975 until its withdrawal on 21 March 1977.