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Guwahati: Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma said that those who resisted declaration of emergency and endured intolerable pain and sacrificed immensely to strengthen the democratic spirit are the sources of inspiration for the present generation.
On the day of declaration of emergency a programme was organized on June 25 at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra to felicitate 301 Lok Tantra Senani and their relatives. Chief Minister Dr. Sarma felicitated the Lok Tantra Senani and presented pension papers to 91 of them.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Dr. Sarma said that in Indian democracy, the day when emergency was clamped was regarded as very significant. He said that 25th June 1975 is considered as a ‘black day’ in Indian democracy. On this day, based on the recommendation of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, President of India Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed declared emergency. The day is regarded as the black day in Indian democracy because it was declared flouting all democratic principles and norms. However, braving high handedness of the then Prime Minister, lakhs of Indians raised their voice for subverting democracy and in return they ended up being in prison.
Even in Assam also thousands of people raised their voice against despotism of the then Prime Minister, jumped on the street and showed their resentment for imposing emergency. He said that it was because of the stiff resistance of the staunch believer of democracy, after a period of one year and nine months on 21st March, 1977, democracy was restored in the country. The Chief Minister also said that the Lok Tantra Senani who fought hard for the return of democracy have to wait a lot. On the occasion of Azadi Ka Amrit Kaal, Assam decided to felicitate the Lok Tantra Senani.
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The Cabinet meeting held on 19 April, decided to pay monthly pension of Rs. 15 thousand to the Lok Tantra Senani who served imprisonment for protesting against emergency. In the event of death of a Lok Tantra Senani, his wife or his unmarried daughter will be entitled to monthly pension.
The Chief Minister said that the emergency imposed in 1975 was not the result of any treason. It was imposed by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to fulfil her personal political interests. He said that in the name of national security, the then Prime Minister used the emergency to act against the forces which she believed to be inimical to her.
The Chief Minister also said that during the emergency, newspapers were gagged. In the name of emergency the then Congress government arrested several people in Assam and sent them to prison.
Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Ranjeet Kumar Dass, Agriculture Minister Atul Bora, Health and Family Welfare Minister Keshab Mahanta, Environment and Forest Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, Transport Minister Parimal Suklabaidya, Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Ashol Singhal, MP Queen Oja, Lok Tantra Senanis and their family members and host of other dignitaries were present on the occasion.