Puducherry activist’s arrest an ‘Emergency’ mindset: Advani


New Delhi : BJP leader L.K. Advani Sunday slammed the arrest of Puducherry RTI activist S. Ravi for his tweets on the wealth of Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s son Karti, saying it only reflected the 1975 emergency mindset.

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In his latest blog posted on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) website, Advani said there was not a single movie in the Indian filmdom on the 21-month Emergency imposed by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, precisely due to fears that the filmmaker would have to face the wrath of the the powers that be.

“A small event of last week fully justifies the film industry’s fears,” the BJP leader said, referring to Ravi, 46, being arrested by Puducherry Police for tweeting Oct 19 that Karti had amassed more wealth than Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law, Robert Vadra.

“Ravi, who has been active in the events being organised in Puducherry by IAC (India against Corruption), was summoned by the police for this tweet of his, and put under arrest,” he said.

Advani also quoted former Madras High court judge David Annoussamy as pointing out that “by the yardstick applied in Ravi’s case by the police, many tweeters would have to be arrested”.

“If any person feels aggrieved by a tweet, he can certainly file a defamation case against the person who has tweeted. Only if a court finds him guilty can he be arrested!” he said.

Referring to a book he had written during days in prison, after being arrested by Indira Gandhi-led government during the Emergency days, Advani said he had drawn comparison of the 1975 Emergency with the one imposed by German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler in 1933.

The BJP leader said a well-known film maker had evinced keen interest in the making a movie on the Emergency days wholly agreeing that this “traumatic phase” of independent India’s history had been totally neglected by the nation’s film chroniclers.

“But (the film maker) emphasised that with him this neglect is because there is widespread apprehension that those in authority would not tolerate a fair and honest projection of what actually happened.”

“Not even during British rule there had been such repression in the country nor had such severe censorship of the media taken place,” Advani said.

As a tail piece to his blog, the BJP leader also mentioned that the 1980 Congress government of Indira Gandhi had rejected the Justice J.C. Shah Commission report filed during the Janata Party government of Morarji Desai indicting the Congress leader, her son Sanjay Gandhi and government officers, who helped the government to commit the “misuse and abuse of constitutional and legal provisions and the excesses and malpractices committed” by the Congress government during the Emergency period.

The Indira Gandhi government had also taken the extraordinary step of recalling all published Shah Commission reports and destroyed the copies, Advani said, noting that his parliamentary colleague and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Era Sezhiyan had now republished the report.

“I deem it a proud privilege to have been invited by Sezhiyan to Chennai to release this fresh publication renamed ‘Shah Commission Report: Lost and Regained’,” he added.