MUMBAI: Terming the 1975 Emergency an outdated issue, which needs to be permanently "buried", Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut targeted the Centre saying that the prevailing situation in the country is such that one can say the Emergency period was better.
In his weekly column 'Rokhthok' published in the party mouthpiece 'Saamana', Raut who is the executive editor of the daily, questioned Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's move of expressing regret over the Emergency imposed by his grandmother and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
"People of India punished Indira Gandhi for her decision to impose Emergency. They taught her a lesson, but later forgave her by bringing her back to power. Emergency is an outdated issue. Why rake it up again and again? The issued should be permanently buried," he said.
Raut described Rahul Gandhi as a straightforward and simple person, who casually spoke about the past incident.
"His comments triggered a debate on the issue once again. The 1975 Emergency was imposed under unprecedented circumstances. The present generation in politics and media have no inkling about the past and were not at all affected. The prevailing situation in the country is such that one can say that the 1975 Emergency was better," he said.
Raut said the recent Income Tax department raids on filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, actress Tapsee Pannu came when they spoke against the government's policies.
He added that the Washington Post (an American newspaper) has raised question marks over the "undeclared Emergency" under the Modi government as it talked about the arrest of climate activist Disha Ravi on sedition charges.
"Political control over media houses, political strategies to win elections and break the opposition, defying constitutional norms - all these things are just the same even now as what happened in 1975. Indira Gandhi's place has been taken by Narendra Modi," he wrote.
The Sena MP added that Indira Gandhi had expressed regret over the excesses committed during that period and promised that there will be no Emergency in future.
"She was firm that the step had to be taken against the prevailing backdrop where provocation was done in an attempt to create anarchy. She was of the view that Emergency was imposed because democracy was derailed," Raut said.