The decision of the BJP today characterizes Rahul Gandhi’s remarks on the 1975-77 emergency and his claim that “institutions were not at the time weakened,” as they were today, as “laughable.” The leader from Congress “would take a long time to comprehend the RSS,” said Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of India.
Mr. Javadekar said at a press conference that “Rahul Gandhi has said that during the Emergency institutions were not weakened. His comments are laughable. At the time, the government suppressed all organizations. MPs and MLAs were arrested. Almost all parties were banned. Newspapers were also shut down”.
More Statements By Rahul And Opponents:
“It will take Rahul Gandhi a lot of time to understand the RSS. RSS is the biggest school of patriotism in the world,” Union Minister said. He was actually referring to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh which is the ideological mentor of the BJP.
The webinar was organized by Cornell University where Rahul Gandhi made the statements. He stated that the Emergency imposed on him by his grandmother, late former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, was a “mistake.” He further said that whatever incident happened at that time, were just “wrong”.
The BJP, whose leaders were imprisoned during the emergency at that time, is routinely attacking Congress in the controversial years. This includes particularly the light of similar charges of suppressing freedom of speech and the right to dissent.
There was a “fundamental difference,” according to Mr. Rahul Gandhi, between what was happening at that time and what was taking place now, which he said were the RSS filling its people with institutions.
“I think that was a mistake. Absolutely, that was a mistake. And my grandmother (Mrs. Gandhi) said as much. (But) the Congress at no point attempted to capture India’s institutional framework… frankly, it does not even have that capability,” Mr. Gandhi said in a conversation with economist Kaushik Basu.
“Our (the Congress’) design does not allow us (to do),” he stressed.
“So, even if we defeat the BJP in the election, we are not going to get rid of their people in the institutional structure,” Rahul added.
“Modern democracies function because there is institutional balance… Institutions operate independently. That independence is being attacked in India (by) one big institution called RSS… being systematically done…would not say democracy is eroding, would say it is being strangled.” he further added.