Lessons of 1975 Emergency Declaration

31 May 2016
JUNE 26 marks the 41st anniversary of the Emergency Declaration by Indira Gandhi government which was a Constitutional Coup turning the whole country in to a prison with censorship imposed on media. Tens of thousands were arrested, many killed under state terror and all Constitutional rights suspended to citizens. All these were to save her autocratic regime following the Allahabad High Court verdict, which had unseated her from the Lok Sabha. It was not to bring any welfare to the people, but to protect the continuation of her family dynasty. What followed was fascist style oppression in all fields. Remembering those dark days and the events leading to them are very important when the rightist Congress led rule is now replaced by the ultra rightist BJP rule which is trying to impose a Savrna fascist Brahminical regime to speed up imposition of the neoliberal-corporate policies.

At this critical juncture, there are many including the Congress leadership who wants us to forget the past and call for uniting to bring a BJP or RSS free India. Of course, broadest possible unity is presently needed to defeat the Brahminical onslaught unleashed under Modi regime on each and every field. But while joining hands for it, can we forget how the RSS parivar could come to the controlling position and which are the forces who paved the way for it? Can anyone discard the fact that it was almost six decades of Congress hegemony under which first the Keynesian and then the neoliberal policies were pursued to benefit the elite classes, and the communal appeasement-casteism based vote bank politics was pursued leading to present situation when the RSS led forces could win majority in the 2014 elections? Similarly, based on which minimum program a people’s platform, an alternative to Modi rule can be put forward is also of primary importance. Can the progressive forces repeat the same mistake like the one committed by the CPI (M) led Left Front in 2004 by supporting the Congress led UPA rule in the name of replacing the Modi rule? Or, should they strive for building a people’s alternative against the corporate raj and saffronization of BJP rule based on a common minimum program, summarily rejecting the neoliberal policies, communalism and casteism?

While observing the anniversary of emergency declaration, let us be very clear that today’s situation did not fall from the sky all on a sudden, but is the result of the post-1947 ruling class policies pursued by the Congress and other ruling class parties till now. Struggle to put an end to RSS influence in Indian polity and the struggle against the neoliberal policies which have impoverished the masses cannot be seen as separate polls; they have to be carried forward simultaneously to ensure democratization of the society as well as social justice.
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The Communist movement in India has a history of almost a century after the salvos of October Revolution in Russia brought Marxism-Leninism to the people of India who were engaged in the national liberation struggle against the British colonialists. It is a complex and chequered history.