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New Delhi, June 27: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has added his voice to the anti-Emergency chorus and brushed aside charges that an “undeclared Emergency” is now in force.
Addressing an event organised by the BJP in Mumbai to mark the 43rd anniversary of the Emergency, Modi on Tuesday cited instances of “lies and fear” being spread against his Government.
What if the Emergency mirror is held up to Modi? A sample of the litany of “lies” listed by the Prime Minister and some details he conveniently omitted follows:
“Lie” 1: Muslims and Dalits are getting killed under his government. An outcome of the “Emergency mindset”, Modi said.
Omitted: According to an analysis by IndiaSpend, a data journalism initiative, of the content in the English media, Muslims were the target of 51% of the violence linked to bovine issues between 2010 and 2017. As many as 97% of these attacks were reported after the Modi Government came to power in 2014 and most of the incidents took place in BJP-ruled states. Neither did Modi mention the flogging of Dalits in Una in his home state.
“Lie” 2: The government is trying to meddle in judicial affairs and browbeat the judiciary. It was the Congress that terrorised the judiciary during the Emergency and recently sought to impeach the Chief Justice of India, Modi said.
Omitted: For the first time ever, 4 senior Judges had held a media conference to suggest the Chief Justice was assigning sensitive cases to Benches of preference. In March, Justice J Chelameswar, who retired last week, wrote to the Chief Justice that the Government had been sitting on the Supreme Court collegium’s recommendations. ‘“Inconvenient’ but able Judges or Judges to be are being bypassed through this route,” the Judge wrote.
“Lie” 3: The government’s media management has ensured that many mainstream publications toe its line. Modi flagged the subjugation during the Emergency, recalling the words of LK Advani without taking his name that the media then had “crawled when asked to bend”.
Omitted: Allegations have surfaced that at least one Editor unpalatable to the Government had been eased out and several prominent media outlets have taken down reports that raise uncomfortable questions. A large section of the media is now being accused of “crawling without even being asked to bend”.
“Lie” 4: Sections of populations are living under fear. Modi said that “whenever power goes away from the family, the Congress starts clamouring that the country is in crisis, there is an atmosphere of fear, the country is going to be destroyed and only the family can save the nation”.
Omitted: Several people now think twice before publicly discussing their dietary habits or carrying in public transport food that can reveal their religious identity. Criticism of the Government is now equated with anti-nationalism.
Kuldip Nayar, a veteran journalist who was arrested during the Emergency and was given a long-distance “salute” by Modi on Tuesday in spite of being “critical of us”, told The Telegraph in response to a question: “People are very afraid to speak.” (Courtesy: TT)