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Learn lessons from Emergency

M G Devasahayam’s article “Legacies of the Emergency” (July 7) speaks volumes about the negative fallout of the Emergency and lessons we need to learn from it. Mr Devasahayam had not gone beyond the initial paragraph of “Emergency and anarchy” which appeared in The Tribune on June 26. This was not written to eulogise the Emergency rule. It raised a relevant question: Were those days worse than what commoners are experiencing in India these days?

Indeed, plethora of literature is available on the late Raj Narain and the former Prime Minister of India, the late Indira Gandhi, the Emergency and its aftermath. More often than not, every year some articles appear in the newspapers condemning the Emergency, as if simply by condemning it our democratic ethos will flourish. We all know the way our democracy is flourishing—in pandemonium¾ we frequently witness even in our legislative bodies.

Can we say with conviction that our democracy is a winner minus the Emergency raj? Are we happy today with what is happening around?

The Emergency was imposed because of an individual’s adventurism and zeal to be in power, and the lesson we learnt was that the democratic values should not be trifled with. People had indeed hit back and everyone knows that.

But where have we reached since then? Let us step out of our comfort zones to experience the democratically surcharged anarchy all around.

Dr RAVI K MAHAJAN, Chandigarh

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed in double space, should not exceed the 150-word limit. These can be sent by post to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160030. Letters can also be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribuneindia.com

— Editor-in-Chief


Mr Devasahayam has chosen an apt metaphor of the sunset to describe the Emergency. However, he is stretching the point when he includes as an Emergency excess the Government of India’s approval to Union Carbide for setting up the gas plant at Bhopal.

Hundreds of decisions which were in the pipeline were cleared in the span of those fateful days; it doesn’t mean they were all excesses.

He has made a sensational revelation that a sinister plan had been hatched against JP’s life who was ailing and kept under detention in the PGI, Chandigarh, and makes a cryptic remark, “I sensed that something was amiss and Jayaprakash Narayan’s life was in danger.” He, therefore, moved heaven and earth, “greatly risking his career and liberty”, and succeeded in sending him to the care of Jaslok Hospital in Bombay and saved JP’s life in the nick of time! I am afraid this will not wash. He should have the courage to reveal the outline of the conspiracy, whether some doctors were going to perpetrate this heinous crime. He should fearlessly expose the people behind it.

RAM VARMA, Panchkula


The article gave an insight into the reasons for the decline in morality and increasing corruption in which India is getting entrapped. Churchill remarked “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Politicians are not ready to learn. The writer is very much right in describing the Congress spokesman as ‘minions’ who dubbed those persons as ‘unpatriotic’ who faulted Rajiv Gandhi for the escape of Union Carbide Chief Warren Anderson. Corruption and the declining trend of morality are the legacy of the Emergency era.


Let him rest in peace

I write this letter against the backdrop of the sad demise of Rear Admiral S S Jamwal on July 7. It is unfortunate that without even waiting for the official inquiry report of the actual cause of his death, much of the media, electronic and print, is passing its own judgement that it was a case of suicide, and not a ‘freak accident’.

Anyone who knew Rear Admiral Jamwal even remotely (and I had the good fortune to know him well since 1966) will say that this is the last thing he would have ever done. He was far too positive for that.

Yet, the media and the police officers concerned have already passed their judgement for reasons best known to them. May be, they like to sensationalise issues. May be, mankind has become far too bitter, negative and cynical for words.

Can’t freak accidents occur? Don’t they happen everyday on the roads? Don’t floods and earthquakes take place? Aren’t there ‘higher forces’ in play in the destiny of mankind and the world? When will we ‘wake up’, especially intelligent and responsible people? Don’t drag a shining decorated officer like Rear Admiral Jamwal into controversy. Please let him rest in peace and with honour.

PRAVEEN VASISHT, Headmaster, The Lawrence School, Sanawar



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