The BJP patriarch LK Advani said that the forces that can ‘crush democracy’ were stronger now.
In an interview with Indian Express, the veteran BJP leader said, ” “I don’t think anything has been done that gives me the assurance that civil liberties will not be suspended or destroyed again. Not at all. Of course, no one can do it easily… But that it cannot happen again — I will not say that. It could be that fundamental liberties are curtailed again.”
India will be marking 40th anniversary of the emergency on June 25.
Explaining why he felt so pessimistic about the political environment of India, Advani said, ” “I do not see any sign in our polity that assures me, any outstanding aspect of leadership. A commitment to democracy and to all other aspects related to democracy is lacking. Today, I do not say that the political leadership is not mature. But kamiyon ke karan, vishwas nahin hota (I don’t have faith because of its weaknesses). I don’t have the confidence that it (Emergency) cannot happen again.”
On June 25 1975, the former prime minister Indira Gandhi had imposed emergency which was withdrawn on March 21, 1977. The civil liberties were curbed in general and Gandhi was accused of harassing her political rivals throughout his period. Many opposition party leaders were jailed while others had to spend their time being underground to avoid the government’s crackdown on their activities.