Panaji, May 10: The Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi was different from the “undeclared emergency” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which is a slow poison injected into the body politic of India, former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha said on Wednesday.
Addressing a public meeting in Panaji, Sinha also slammed sudden re-naming of the national capital’s Akbar Road to Maharana Pratap Road by unknown persons, claiming that lumpen elements were being promoted by the Modi government.
“Indira Gandhi announced Emergency overnight and all opponents were imprisoned… In today’s Emergency, there is an atmosphere of fear. It has come unannounced. It did not happen suddenly, therefore we have not realised it. It is a slow poison which is being injected into the body politic of this country,” Sinha said.
He was accompanied at the function by former Union Minister and BJP rebel Shatrughan Sinha as well as Aam Aadmi Party’s Goa Convenor Elvis Gomes.
“The second difference is that Indira Gandhi’s Emergency was a political decision. It was a political step to save her chair. But today’s Emergency has a huge element of communalism,” he said.
Citing the example of a “small thing called a mobile phone”, he said: “You get messages, I get them too. People send messages like they are crazy and through this, a social division is being created in this country. We are becoming enemies of each other. And that day is not far when we will pick up weapons and kill each other.”
Sinha urged the audience to speak up and fight to protect secularism in India.
The former Minister said the country was witnessing large-scale agrarian distress and severe job losses, which he said were not the indicators of a galloping economy, which the Modi government had claimed to have achieved.
“In a fastest growing economy, you do not see farmer distress and unemployment and huge NPAs.”
Referring to the unofficial “renaming” of Delhi’s Akbar Road to Maharana Pratap Road, Sinha said the writ of the lumpen elements was writ large on the current dispensation.
“Who has renamed it? Has it been done by authorised people? Lumpen people will go anywhere and rewrite anything. The Rajasthan government has said that Maharana Pratap, for whom we have great regard, defeated the Moghul army at Haldighati battlefield. If he defeated then why did he run to hills and spent years eating grass rotis?” Sinha said.
“Akbar Road will be changed, Aurangzeb Road will be changed. These little things will come together one day and become a whirlwind. That is the fear and apprehension of people like us,” he added.