NEW DELHI: In the first edition of his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat' after Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that the resistance against the national emergency in the 1970s was not limited to the political arena or politicians but even general public felt something was 'snatched' from them.
"When Emergency was imposed, resistance against it was not limited to the political arena or politicians; the movement was not curtailed to the confines of prison cells. There was an outrage in the conscience of one and all," Prime Minister Modi said.
"In normal life, one realizes the importance of democratic rights when someone snatches them. During Emergency, every citizen felt that something that belonged to them has been snatched away. If what was snatched had never been enjoyed by that person, ever, it had to eventually precipitate into a painful inner agony," he added.
He went on to add, "Perhaps, nowhere else in the world had citizens voted, without bothering about other rights and requirements, just for the sake of saving democracy. And the country witnessed one such election in 1977."
This was not the first time when the Prime Minister talked about the Emergency period.
On June 25, Prime Minister Modi, he made a veiled attack on late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi for imposing emergency in the 1970s and said that the soul of the country was crushed just because they wanted to remain in power.
"Today is June 25. On the night of June 25, the soul of the country was crushed. In India, democracy does not come into existence from the pages of the Constitution; it has been our soul for decades. That soul was crushed just because they wanted to remain in power," he had said while replying to the discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address in Lok Sabha.
June 25 marked the day when then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had declared a state of Emergency in the country from 1975 to 1977. The for a 21-month period saw media censorship, restrictions on civil rights and forced mass sterilisation of men.