Despite a media, and government blackout, on the 37th anniversary of the ‘Emergency 75’ period in India, Twitter users have spoken out about the controversial period of Indian history, and have vowed to never forget the two-year attack on democracy by President Fakruddin Ali Ahmed and Prime Minister Indira Ghandi.
The 21-month period which has been labelled one of India’s “blackest hours” by law scholar Alok Narayan, included a suspension of elections and civil liberties. As a result 140,000 protesters and strike leaders were arrested without trial, of them, 40,000 had come from India's two percent Sikh minority (via Amnesty International).
The government is accused of the detention of people by police without charge or notification of families; abuse and torture of detainees and political prisoners; use of public and private media institutions for government propaganda, forced sterilization; large-scale and illegal enactment of laws (including modifications to the Constitution) which shifted the country towards socialism.
The strength of feeling relating to the period was apparent today as #Emergency75 was the second top trending topic on Twitter in India. Anger both over the actions of the government at the time, and the continued lack of acknowledgement of the period were palpable: