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Friday, June 26, 2015

An Indian Nightmare - the story of emergency

Wow! I became emotional reading this piece. I had left India in 1977, but the dislike for Indira remains embedded in me and the Sanjay. Even today, I shudder hearing the name of Indira Gandhi.  What a nightmare it was!

As Indians we cannot thank enough to the News papers who upheld our freedom, I have come to admire the Indian News papers, I remember Goenka of Indian express going to Jail to secure our freedoms, and now this articles highlights a few more.

Absolute power is anathema to democracy, a nation without a strong press will become fascist.  It is the media and their attacks on the government that keeps our democracy alive. You and I are free today, because of the media.

I continue to salute the media for saving my nation and hope they will not lose that.


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Here is an excerpt:
In January 1977, 19 months after she declared the Emergency, Mrs. Gandhi announced elections, either because, as the novelist and journalist Bruce Chatwin wrote, she could not bear the isolation of dictatorship, or because, as my mother reported, she had read intelligence reports that had assured her she had no chance of losing. Whatever the real reason, elections were held in March. The opposition, disgruntled and defeated after months in jail, was given barely six weeks to campaign. And yet, in that time before social media, and in a country with no middle class to speak of, a wave of defiance rose. A slogan rose on voting night from the newly disenfranchised country: “Jai Nasbandi, Jai Bulldozer,” or “Victory to sterilization, victory to the bulldozer!” It was a strange and subtle appropriation of the wrongs done to them. It became the battle cry in the fight against Mrs. Gandhi.

This was the scene, as I describe it in my most recent novel:

“It was a beautiful March night and thousands had gathered outside the Times of India building, where, on black billboards, the results were posted liked cricket scores. ...

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