Dictatorship in India not possible today: Jaitley

Updated - November 16, 2021 07:07 pm IST

Published - June 25, 2015 02:55 am IST - San Francisco:

File photo of Arun Jaitley.

File photo of Arun Jaitley.

It is not possible for anybody to convert a democratic India into a “dictatorship” today, says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who spent 19 months in prison during the Emergency imposed by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1975.

Looking back at the dark days of the Emergency, the senior BJP leader said that back then, the media had been vulnerable and the police and the bureaucracy were compliant. For the Supreme Court also, the Emergency was its “darkest hour.”

“Is it possible to replicate such a situation now? I have my doubts,” he said. “Today, the media and the polity are strong and so are the global institutions. The world would not accept the largest democracy becoming dictatorial today,” Mr. Jaitley said.

Mr. Jaitley said the Emergency was a phase which had showed that a democracy could be converted into a dictatorship by using some provisions of the Constitution and all the major institutions such as the bureaucracy, the police, the media and the judiciary could collapse.

“I think today, the global awareness is in favour of democracy and the kind of sanctions which can be imposed on a dictatorship itself can be a deterrent.”

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