‘Emergency no longer possible’

New Delhi: Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Friday said Emergency is no longer possible in the country as media censorship is not possible in the digital era and amendment to the Constitution has ensured that people cannot be detained without a cause.

The assertion of Jaitley, a key figure in the government, comes in the wake of senior BJP leader L K Advani’s recent remarks in which he did not rule out Emergency in future, saying, “forces that can crush democracy are stronger”. 

Speaking at the launch of book ‘The Emergency’, written by senior journalist Coomi Kapoor, the Finance Minister said one of the good things Janata Party government, which came to power in the 1977 elections, did was to amend the Constitution to ensure that people cannot be detained even in Emergency without a cause. 

“Is it possible to recreate the situation (Emergency) today? I personally don’t think so for the reason… Firstly, now Constitution even in Emergency had made Article 21 (protection of life and personal liberty) non-suspendable. You cannot detain people without a cause. 

“The second reason, I think because of technology today media censorship is no longer possible. So with the digital space, with the satellite… So today if you impose censorship even then to implement is very difficult because technology will defy any censorship. So to create an environment of fear and awe, and then to rule the whole country is not possible,” he said. 

He also said that the Supreme Court was the most “disappointing institution” during Emergency. “What the Supreme Court did was to put final nail in the coffin,” he said. He, however, noted that the apex court was more independent now. 

Dynastic politics was one of the permanent scars of Emergency, he said, adding, “the whole institution of dynastic political parties started with Emergency”. 

In an apparent dig at Congress and several regional parties run by dynasty for long, he said “the evolution of India from a normal democracy to a dynastic democracy started in that age(following Emergency) and that process continues.


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