New Delhi, June 27, 2024: “Those who claim to safeguard the Constitution and parade it around have no right to touch it after what they did with the Constitution in 1975,” said Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Union Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, as he graced the conclave titled “Reflecting on India’s Dark Days,” organised by the Centre for Narendra Modi Studies (NaMo Kendra- CNMS) in collaboration with Mahamana Malaviya Mission and Pragya Sansthan at the India International Center, New Delhi, to commemorate the 49th anniversary of the Emergency.

Union Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan graces Conclave on 49 Anniversary Emergency

In his address, Chouhan highlighted the resilience of Indian democracy and the valuable lessons learned from this dark chapter in history. “Dictatorship runs in Congress’ DNA. They wanted autocracy. Three judges were demoted and one judge was promoted to pass their (Congress’) rulings. The elections were cancelled and Indira Gandhi ji won through the misuse of government and the administration,” Chouhan said.

While Sharing his personal experiences, he added, “During the Emergency, I was also arrested and sent to jail and beaten with sticks. I was only 17 years old at that time. I was beaten ruthlessly while in custody, and I still feel the effects of that torture. The physical and emotional scars from that period remain with me to this day.” He also recounted a deeply personal loss, saying, “One of the most painful memories for me is that when my grandmother died, she couldn’t see me because I was imprisoned during the Emergency.”

The conclave began with a tribute to Jayaprakash Narayan, followed by inaugural remarks from Professor Jasim Mohammad, Chairman of the Centre for Narendra Modi Studies who emphasized the necessity of educating the youth about the Emergency and its long-term effects on the nation. Professor Jasim Mohammad informed that the Centre for Narendra Modi Studies will continue to organize conferences, workshops, seminars, and symposiums on the theme “Dark Emergency” throughout 2024-2025 in schools, colleges, and universities.

Guest of Honour Jatinder Kumar from the USA, who played a significant role abroad in conveying the plight of the Indian people to world leaders during the Emergency, delivered an impactful address. “During the Emergency, RSS members worked tirelessly to highlight the trauma and suffering faced by the people of India, informed other country leaders about the atrocities being committed by the Indira Gandhi Government,” he said. Jatinder Kumar emphasized, “RSS is the organization that saved democracy in India. They fought relentlessly for democratic values and stood firmly against the Emergency,”.

Shri Ram Bahadur Rai, in his presidential address, stated, “Imposing the Emergency was a murder of democracy and it was completely unnecessary. The actions taken during that period were unjustifiable.” He urged people to pursue legal action against the Indira Gandhi family for their actions during that dark period, stating, “In today’s times, people should file cases against the Indira Gandhi family in the Supreme Court for what they did during the Emergency period.”

Rambahadur Rai also recalled his personal experience, noting that when he was arrested, newspapers were restricted in prisons. He stated, “We informed our families about this, and when a dedicated worker Narendra Modi heard about the restriction of newspapers, he personally ensured that all newspapers were sent to us in prison, which kept us informed about the outside world during that challenging period.”

The conclave also featured a presentation of books and mementos to the esteemed guests, acknowledging their valuable contributions to the discourse on the Emergency.

Other distinguished guests of honour at the conclave including Prof. Raj Kumar Bhatia, former President of ABVP in 1975, who shared his experiences of student activism during the Emergency, emphasizing the role of youth in defending democracy, and Rajendra Agrawal, former Member of Parliament, who spoke about the need for collective memory and education on historical events like the Emergency to prevent the repetition of such dark times and to strengthen democratic institutions.