Eminent constitutional jurist Fali S Nariman compared the risk that civil liberty was put to by the Congress government led by the then prime minister Indira Gandhi to modern-day threats from the BJP government in terms of ideology and policies, in a column for The Indian Express.
The BJP has ousted the Congress as the country’s national party, with their spectacular victory in Uttar Pradesh, he wrote.
Nariman, who is also a distinguished senior advocate to the Supreme Court, mentions anecdotal incidents that occurred during 1975 state of emergency when the Congress used to be India’s major party.
He recalls how the SC, that stands as the warden of civil liberty, had put a limitation on it with unchallenged force.
Writing on the days of Mrs Gandhi’s emergency in his column titled Lest We Crawl, Nariman remembered the BJP’s LK Advani telling a group of editors at the end of the state of emergency as saying, “You were all asked to bend – but why did you crawl?”
Despite LK Advani’s resistance in 1975, Nariman noted that the BJP was now steadily driving India from “Hinduism as a way of life” towards VD Savarkar’s (unconstitutional) Hindutva – “Hindu Rashtra (state), Hindu Jati (race) and Hindu Sanskriti (culture)”.
Recalling the wise words of one of America’s greatest judges, Billings Learned Hand, “Do not rely too much on the courts to save your liberties — instead rely on yourselves,” he wrote that it was amply clear for the Indian lawyers about the path they have to take in the current political scenario.