New Delhi, In his second piece of the three-part series on Emergency, Union Minister and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Monday said the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s role during the period could be compared with the functioning style of Germany politician Adolf Hitler.
He also said in someways the Congress leader (Indira) also did “a few things that Hitler did not do”.
“Both Hitler and Mrs Gandhi never abrogated the Constitution. They used a republican Constitution to transform democracy into dictatorship,” Mr Jaitley, undergoing medical treatment, wrote in his Facebook post.
He said, Hitler had arrested “most of the opposition Members of Parliament” and, therefore, converted his minority Government in Parliament into a Government which had two-third majority of members present and voting.
Similarly, he said, Ms Indira Gandhi also “arrested most opposition Members of Parliament and, therefore, procured, through their absence, a two-third majority of members present and voting and enabling the passage of several obnoxious provisions through Constitution amendments”.
“There were a few things that Hitler did not do which Mrs Gandhi did. She prohibited the publication of Parliamentary proceeding in the media,” Mr Jaitley wrote.
“Since Hitler’s own election has been set aside, he had no change to make in this regard. Ms Gandhi amended both the Constitution and the Representation of People Act,” writes Mr Jaitley.
He also said that the forty-second Amendment diluted the power of High Courts to issue writ petitions, a power which Dr B R Ambedkar had said was the “very heart and soul of India’s Constitution”.
Under Indira Gandhi regime, he said, the government of the day also had amended Article 368 so that a Constitution amendment was beyond judicial review.
The Minister also mentions that the media “was completely terrorized” and that “most editors and journalists surrendered and reconciled with the Idea of living in dictatorship”.
“The Congress Party newspaper “National Herald” editorially commented that time had come for India to evolve into a single party democracy,” he said, however pointing out that there were some “dissenters” in the media too.
Referring to 2015 book, he suggests perhaps Emergency was planned way back on January 8, 1975 itself as there was a supposed suggestion from Siddhartha Shankar Ray where he requests Ms Gandhi to have “lists of persons proposed to be arrested and outlines various other steps which were required to be taken”.
Mr Jaitley also mentions about a prediction made in a “Motherland”, a daily newspaper edited by late BJP leader KR Malkani, that Emergency could be proclaimed.
He further writes that Late Malkani had told him later that when arrested on the midnight of June 26, 1975,Malkani was grilled by intelligence agencies to know about the ‘source of information’ on the basis of which that article predicting the Emergency had been enforced.
“The agencies thought this was a major leak in the Government and were investigating the matter,” he said.