Sunday, December 05, 2021

Forty Years Ago, March 2, 1977: Opposition Rally

The country’s form of government was at stake — whether it would be a democracy or dictatorship.

Written by Editorial |
March 2, 2017 12:25:21 am

Addressing a mammoth rally at the Boat Club, Jagjivan Ram, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Vijayalakshmi Pandit reminded an attentive audience that the issue in the coming election was not merely bringing in a set of rulers. The country’s form of government was at stake — whether it would be a democracy or dictatorship. Ram said at the time of independence the country’s leaders decided that the people, rather than feudal lords, would rule the country. And there would be democracy and not dictatorship. However, the PM had tried to corner more power than was legitimately due to her. Vijayalakshmi Pandit said the principles for which the Congress party had existed all these years had been thrown to the winds. Mahatma Gandhi and others responsible for Independence had fought for freedom and a democratic set-up, where there was an elected ruling party and another elected opposition party. The opposition had been elected by the people, yet they are being branded traitors.

Sanjay Ignored

Sanjay Gandhi and his wife, Maneka, had their biggest surprise when there was nobody to receive them at the Amousi airport. There was no transport to take them to his Amethi constituency. Sanjay refused to use the official car offered to him. They had arrived in the morning from Delhi on their way to Amethi.

Giri Speaks Out

Former President V.V. Giri said the “Emergency should not have been introduced at all. The legislation available before the Emergency was quite enough to deal with any difficult situation”. “Emergency has created a fear complex in the minds of the citizens,” he said. Freedoms of speech, thought and action have been throttled, going against the very spirit that the founding fathers of our Constitution intended, Giri said in an interview to Publication Syndicate, a news-feature agency.

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