New Delhi, June 26 (IANS) Fourty-four years ago, when the Emergency was imposed on the country, a group of 40 prominent writers and literary figures, including renowned Dr Harivansh Rai Bachchan, father of Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachan, issued a statement endorsing “proclamation of emergency to curb anti-national and reactionary forces”, according to the archives of the Press Information Bureau.
The statement endorsed the promulgation of Emergency to counter forces endangering the unity and freedom of the country.
“We the writers of the various languages of India welcome and strongly endorse the timely promulgation of Emergency by the Prime Minister to curb anti-national and reactionary forcesa. We assure her of our whole-hearted support in her struggle to complete the unfinished tasks of our freedom movement.”
The Emergency was imposed by then the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The statement was made on June 29, 1975.
Bachchan was the leading signatory on the statement followed by other writers.
“We are sure that appropriate steps will be taken to make the mass media effective instruments of informing people and involving them in the reconstruction of a new socialist, secular and democratic India”, said the statement.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a speech in the Lok Sabha referred to the Emergency has a dark spot in India’s history. Replying to the motion of thanks to the President’s address in the Lok Sabha, Modi also slammed the Congress for imposing Emergency on this day 44 years back and said the period saw how institutions like the judiciary were insulted and people were jailed by the Indira Gandhi government at will.
Many senior BJP leaders in Parliament also referred to the Emergency as the darkest period in India’s democracy.
During the Emergency, civil liberties were scrapped and elections were also suspended.