Post-mortem: 1975 Emergency, a blot that still haunts Indian democracyNew Delhi, Jul 16: It was on 25th June of 1975 that Emergency was imposed in this country. 39 years have passed on since the time democracy was brutalised in India. Many of us were
New Delhi, Jul 16: It was on 25th June of 1975 that Emergency was imposed in this country. 41 years have passed on since the time democracy was brutalised in India. Many of us were not even born at that time and those who had seen and experienced it have almost forgotten it but as the adage go – those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it. Therefore, it's time to recall what, when and why of the black chapter of Indian democracy.
When India broke the shackles of foreign yoke on August 15, 1947 and opted for a democratic set up, there was skepticism in the western world over the future of Indian democracy. The overwhelming view was largely pessimistic because they doubted the ability of poverty stricken and largely illiterate Indian populace, who were deeply divided on sectarian grounds, to overcome the rigors of Westminster model that they had decided to adopt. They believed that it was just a matter of time before the edifice of India's new found democracy crumbles under the weight of its numerous contradictions.
The success of Indian democracy against this backdrop is not only heartening but also a tribute to the deep entrenched commitment of Indian people to the basic philosophy of democracy. India has faced many ups and downs since independence but the country never ever thought of experimenting with any other model of governance.
The significance becomes even starker in view of the fact that India's neighbors, from Pakistan to China and Bangladesh, experimented with both autocratic and theocratic forms of governance but could never become a truly democratic state.