Situation Under Non-Emergency

Indira Gandhi as Prime Minister had imposed national emergency on the country on the midnight of June 25-26, 1975. Nobody supported it. In fact, the people opposed it. Even the Congress later admitted it was a mistake. But the opposition, especially the BJP, ‘observes’ the day every year for targeting the Congress and the deceased Prime Minister. This year was no exception. The Prime Minister, while recalling the Emergency, launched a fresh tirade against the Congress party and the ‘family’ which is perceived to be ruling it. The Congress had not changed a whit, the PM told his audience. He is entitled to his opinion. But a political party, especially a ruling one, is not judged by what a previous government did more than four decades ago, but what the present government is doing, the quality of governance it is providing.
How the India of today is being perceived by the world and even by Indians occupying high constitutional offices? A London-based non-government organization dealing in issues relating to women has, in a recent survey, called India the ‘most dangerous country in the world for women’. The body had on its team 548 experts, including 43 Indians. Expectedly, the report has evoked a howl of protest from official spokesment. But the facts are indisputable. Forty thousand cases of rape in one year (2016), with conviction rate as low as 19 per cent should be enough to shame a country. No statistical jugglery can hide this ugly fact. But crimes against women are not the only crimes being committed in India today. Even the disillusioned leaders of the ruling party are talking of an undeclared emergency and the atmosphere of fear prevailing in the country.
There are self-appointed squads for cow protection, for standing guard over people eating meat, for preventing inter-religious marriages and so on and so forth. Their victims are being thrashed and lynched almost every day. This is not the motivated propaganda of the political opposition or of the ‘biased’ media. No less a person than the Vice-President of the country, Venkaiah Naidu, issued a stern warning to these elements only a few days ago. He warned those practising “intolerance” in the name of cow-protection, love jihad, eating habits of others and watching films of their choice, etc. He said such actions ‘spoiled’ the name of the country and reminded these ‘misguided citizens/’ that nobody can take the law in their hands. Such warnings, issued umpteen times in the past by the Prime Minister himself, had no effect. Will the Vice-President’s warning have a positive effect?

Wednesday, 27 June, 2018