India’s democratic ethos prevailed over the internal Emergency imposed in the country in 1975, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his monthly radio broadcast, praising those who resisted the attempt at dictatorship.
“The democratic values ingrained in us since centuries, the spirit of democracy that flows in our veins, ultimately triumphed through the democratic process. People of India got rid of the Emergency and restored democracy,” Modi said in the 90th edition of Mann ki Baat. “There is no other example in the world to such victory over dictatorship through the democratic process. I was fortunate to be a witness as well as a participant in the struggle of our countrymen during the Emergency.”
People did not lose their faith in democracy despite the draconian measures during the Emergency, the Prime Minister said. The country’s courts, every constitutional institution and even the free press was brought under state control, and censorship was so stringent that nothing could be published without approval, he said.
He remembered the public opposition of legendary singer Kishore Kumar to the Emergency. “I remember when famous singer Kishore Kumar refused to praise the government, he was banned,” he said. “He was not allowed on radio.”
Modi exhorted citizens not to forget the dark days of the Emergency. “Today, when the country is celebrating 75 years of Independence, we must not forget the dark period of Emergency. The future generations also must not forget it,” he said. “Amrit Mahotsav not only tells us stories of Independence from foreign rule, but also tells us the journey of 75 years of Independence. We move ahead only by learning from every important juncture in our history.”
Today, India’s youth are ready to touch the sky, the Prime Minister said, highlighting the big strides made by Indians in the space sector.
“During one’s childhood, stories of the moon and stars in the sky attracted everyone. For the youth, touching the sky is synonymous with making dreams come true. Today, when our India is touching the sky of success in so many fields, how can the skies, or space, remain untouched by it!” he said. “In the past few years, many big feats related to the space sector have been accomplished in our country.”
Emphasising the role of the pilgrimages in Indian culture, he said these journeys create opportunities to serve the poor. India has always moved ahead by accepting new ideas and new changes. “Our cultural mobility and travels have contributed a lot to this. That is why our sages and saints had entrusted us with spiritual responsibilities like pilgrimage. All of us go on varied pilgrimages,” he said.
“Even today, when people go on these yatras, so many opportunities are created for the poor. From religious rituals to lodging arrangements, these yatras directly give us an opportunity to serve the poor and are equally beneficial to them,” Modi said. “The country, too, is now making many efforts to increase facilities for devotees in their spiritual journeys.”
Source- Hindustan Times.