Former BJP leader and finance minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, Yashwant Sinha, on Tuesday called the prevalent atmosphere in the country ‘far worse’ than the period of Emergency, imposed by Indira Gandhi between 1975 and 1977.
Speaking to NDTV, the former Union Finance Minister contended that the Emergency imposed by the then Congress government is too far back in history now to be made an issue and to capitalise on by Modi-led BJP government for the upcoming elections.
“Emergency as imposed and then lifted in this country some 43 years ago, the modern generation does not have any recollection of emergency. It is history for them,” said the former Bharatiya Janata Party leader.
“And more importantly, (then Prime Minister) Indira Gandhi was personally punished for imposing emergency in this country when she lost the 1977 election so badly. You can’t revive that (debate on it) today… It is part of our history now,” said Sinha.
He said though the leaders of the opposition parties are not put behind bars now as they had been during the 21-month long Emergency period, what prevails now in the country is far worse, quoted The New Minute.
“While nobody has been put behind bars as in 1975, there is still an all pervasive atmosphere of fear, people are scared, people are scared to talk. Even cabinet ministers are not spared. The situation is far worse than it was in the declared Emergency of Indira Gandhi,” he said.
Sinha said that the undeclared ‘communal’ emergency by the Modi-led BJP government today was far worse than the then Indira Gandhi’s ‘political’ emergency.
Sinha went on to condemn the recent trolling of Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and called it as an example of the poisonous communal atmosphere of today.
Even media, Sinha said, is in “direct line of fire” under the current government as a consequence of which “many senior honest journalists have lost their jobs.”
“Today the situation is very bad. Media is giving a totally misleading picture… (It’s) completely subdued and made to toe the line,” he said.