Emergency, one of India's darkest periods when nation had turned into a jail: PM Modi

Emergency, one of India's darkest periods when nation had turned into a jail: PM Modi

On the eve of 40th anniversary of imposition of Emergency, the government had on Wednesday decided to set up a national memorial for Jayaprakash Narayan in his birthplace in Bihar.

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New Delhi: Describing Emergency as one of India's "darkest periods", Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday attacked the Congress for trampling over Indian democracy, saying the nation was bound with chains and turned into a jail 40 years back due to "lust for power".

A day after Union Cabinet chaired by him decided to set up a national memorial for socialist icon Jayaprakash Narayan in his birthplace in Bihar, the Prime Minister said that the memorial will always be an inspiration to democracy-loving citizens of the country.

"Nobody can forget June 25-26 in the history of India. 40 years back, the country was bound with chains of Emergency and turned into a jail for the lust for power. "Lakhs of patriots nursing the dream of 'Sampoorna Kranti' under the leadership of JP were jailed. Newspaper offices were locked and the radio aired only what the government then wanted," Modi said without naming then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Utilising the 40th anniversary of Emergency to target the the then Indira Gandhi-led Congress goernment, Modi also said a vibrant liberal democracy is the key to progress and that everything should be done to strengthen democratic ideals and ethos. "We mark 40 years of one of India's darkest periods - the Emergency, when the then political leadership trampled over our democracy," he tweeted.


He was speaking at the launch of Smart Cities Mission, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation and Housing for All Mission in New Delhi.

Holding that people have gathered today to take a vow to move forward together, the Prime Minister said, "We want to persevere those dreams so that every citizen prospers under that democratic system."


Expressing happiness over the Cabinet's decision to set up a memorial for Jayaprakash Narayan, he said that the memorial will always be an inspiration and guiding light for democracy lovers and citizens of this country.

He said that the government wants to constantly try and find out how can the schemes of development be carried out with the cooperation and participation of people. Inaugurating a two-day conference, he reached out to the "urban India" as he announced the government's plans for a better city life. BJP chief Amit Shah is expected to speak on the issue of Emergency in the evening in a programme in New Delhi.

On the eve of 40th anniversary of imposition of Emergency, the government had on Wednesday decided to set up a national memorial for Jayaprakash Narayan in his birthplace in Bihar where Assembly polls are likely this September-October.

Announcing a number of decisions of the government to honour JP, who had speareaded the fight against Emergency imposed by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1975, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had on Wednesday recalled how democratic institutions were "muzzled" during Emergency as he lauded the contribution of the socialist leader in uniting the country against the "black chapter" of Indian history.

Pitching for a "bottom-up model" of city develpment, Modi said that a model for such development should not be thrust from the top.

"It should be bottom up. A smart city means a city which is two steps ahead of the basic necessities of a resident," he said.

"Now private property developers decide a city's growth. But often roads and drainage are not built when they lead the development. The city's residents and leadership should decide how a city should grow," the Prime Minister said.

Modi said, "This scheme would ensure that the city's leadership takes charge of the development. Otherwise there remains a mismatch...our development should not create a conflict between our cities and the villages."

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