IT WAS on the 25th of June 1975, 40 years ago, that the Congress government of Indira Gandhi declared internal emergency, turning the whole country into a jail and seizing even the limited democratic rights the people had. This autocratic move was a drastic step taken to suppress the growing people’s resistance to her government’s socio-economic-political policies as reflected in the people’s upsurges first in Gujarat followed by the more massive one in Bihar. By the time the court verdict declared her election null and void, her regime had become so much alienated that she resorted to the draconian move of declaring the emergency. But though a section of the ruling classes and the middle class supported her autocratic steps including censorship of the media, people’s resentment intensified so much that the Congress was unseated from central power for the first time in the history of independent India in the elections held immediately after the Emergency. At a time when the 40th anniversary of the resistance against Emergency is being observed by democratic forces, the country is in the middle of worsening autocratization moves under the ultra-right Modi regime. To stem the growing resentment and resulting resistance against the speeding up of the imperialist globalization/neo-liberal policies, which are impoverishing the masses, even existing rights are being rapidly snatched away. More and more draconian measures are being imposed. In the name of suppressing the ‘Maoists’ and ‘extremists’, new black laws are being promulgated and state terror intensified, with deployment of armed forces to more areas. In the name of destroying the extremist camps across the border, ‘hot pursuit’ policies like the one recently witnessed across Manipur border, are being intensified. This has created more antagonisms across the borders. On the whole the people and the country are facing graver threats than during Indira Gandhi’s Emergency rule.
Let us observe the 40th anniversary of the resistance against Emergency rule uniting with all struggling left and democratic forces of the country and highlighting the growing danger of fascist moves in all spheres.