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It took a national uprising to roll back Emergency: Venkaiah

Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu. File

Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu. File  

Vice-President recalls his days during the period on its 46th anniversary

It took a national uprising to roll back Emergency, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu said describing it as the second freedom struggle as he recalled his own days during the period as an underground courier, cook and his 17-month jail term.

Also read: After BJP slams Emergency, Congress hits back describing BJP’s rule as ‘government of two people’

In a long Facebook post on the 46th anniversary of the Emergency, Mr. Naidu urged the people to uphold the dignity of life founded on the individual freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, based on the “learning from that dark era”.

Mr. Naidu recalled how he was arrested for inviting Jayaprakash Narayan to address the students of the Andhra University as the then president of the University Colleges’ Union in 1974 while pursuing law. Underlining the freedom of choice, he recounted an incident from his prison term. One of the detainees, a pure vegetarian, was put incharge of cooking for the fellow detainees on a day when fish curry was on the menu. Mr. Naidu offered to take up the responsibility for the day. The detainee concerned told him: “I am a vegetarian and you are a non-vegetarian. I should do my job as the coordinator for the day as I respect your freedom of eating as per your choice.”

Also read: Why does the Emergency mindset remain in Congress, asks Amit Shah

The Emergency, he said, was used by the then Congress government to put a lid on the sentiment of change raging through the country. “The enlightened countrymen despite being mostly poor and illiterate, rose in unison, for the first time since Independence in defence of the constitutional scheme of things which is the foundation of our parliamentary democracy,” he wrote.

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Printable version | Jul 9, 2020 8:28:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/it-took-a-national-uprising-to-roll-back-emergency-venkaiah/article31915931.ece

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