Saturday, June 25, 2005
The black hole in our memory
TCA Srinivasa-Raghavan writes in Business Standard:
[H]ow many Indians have any idea at all of what the Emergency meant for India, and under what circumstances it had been imposed?Read the full thing. I couldn't agree more with his final remarks, that "it is time the [Nehru-Gandhi] family went out of politics." I only disagree with a bit in the middle where he says: "If Sanjay Gandhi had had his way India may have become mightily prosperous." Indira Gandhi vastly increased India's statism during her time in power, and the authoritarian Sanjay would have gone along the same route. No country can become prosperous without economic freedom or oil.
My sons, who are 21 and 17, know exactly what happened on January 30, 1948, when, and how. But they have no clue at all of what happened on June 26, 1975, and why. Nor, indeed, do their cousins who were born during the previous five or so years. That whole generation has been kept in the dark.
The Emergency, infamous as it was, is a black hole in the collective memory of the country.