Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut has issued a stunning attack at the Narendra Modi-led NDA government (of which the Sena is a part) over the events of the last week when the 43rd anniversary of Emergency being imposed was observed as a 'black day'.
Coming to the defence of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Raut, writing in his party's mouthpiece Saamna, said:
"Nobody else performed so well in this country as (late) Indira Gandhi did. Her one decision of Emergency cannot wash away her contribution. It is a treason to reject the contribution of Pandit Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Rajendra Prasad, Dr Ambedkar, Netaji Bose and Veer Savarkar."
He suggested that Emergency needs to be forgotten and considered a practical decision taken by a government and said that if a 'black day' was required to be observed to mark it, then the same would have to be done over Demonetisation, which created 'economic anarchy'.
"Every government has had to take some practical decision as the situation demands. Who will decide what is wrong and right? Emergency should be forgotten."
"If the day when the Emergency was proclaimed by Indira Gandhi is to be called 'Black Day', then there were many such 'black days' under the Central government. The day demonetisation was announced should also be called 'Black Day', as it created the economic anarchy."
He hit out at persons who may not have been clued in to the situation during the Emergency protesting against it now, writing:
"Those who were not even born or weren't even toddlers are today talking against Emergency and late Indira Gandhi. I am not a supporter or opponent of emergency.
Even late Balasaheb Thackeray had supported the Emergency saying 'if is makes the country more disciplined, then emergency is needed'. Despite that the printing press run by Thackeray was sealed during the emergency. It is a kind of sacrifice but Thackeray never sought credit for it or demanded pension."
He went on to say that Indira Gandhi was pro-democracy:
"However, she was pro-democracy and hence she faced the elections after a couple of years and witnessed defeat. However, people re-elected her. If the day of her political defeat is to be celebrated as 'Vijay Diwas', then should her re-election be taken as 'black day'?"
Finally, he opined that the government should talk about development and not about Emergency:
"This is a sign of the weak mind. The government should talk about development and not about the Emergency which was proclaimed in 1975."
A number of BJP leaders had held briefings on June 25 and 26 to protest against the Emergency's imposition. The Prime Minister had addressed an event in Mumbai where he remembered what Emergency was like and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu suggested that Emergency should be taught in schools to make students aware.