| Speaking of Indira Gandhi|
The other day, I blogged about Indira Gandhi, and it brought
to my mind a montage of childhood memories.
It was summer of 1976, and I was barely nine years old.
Indira Gandhi had suspended the constitution of India and
had assumed dictatorial powers.
She had banned the RSS, and saying anything against
the Government or Indira Gandhi landed people in jail without trial.
One day some of us boys got up early in the wee hours and
wandered the dark streets of the town writing anti-Indira graffiti.
"Down with the Dictator" we wrote, and "Damn the Bitch". I was
careful not to deface people's homes, but apparently
some others weren't so diligent. After vandalizing the entire town, we went to wash
our charcoal soaked hands in a waterfall just outside of town.
By the time we returned, it was school time and everybody everywhere was
reading our propaganda. It was great. I felt like the
heroes of India I had idolized, who had fought to banish the British.
But when I went home, there was a big "Indira Gandhi is a Whore"
written on our wall! My uncles were very angry and upset. I was told to
wash the sign with soap before my uncles and I got arrested. I just
remember that the darn thing won't come off!
Subsequent to this incident, many people in my town were
arrested. I personally know of two people who were
kept in prison for a whole year without trial, because
they opposed the programs of Indira Gandhi.
I believe the year was 1977. By now Indira was the self-proclaimed
Amma (motherly figure) of India, and she
came to our town of Honavar for campaigning for the election. The whole of Honavar and
neighboring towns showed up. It was no small event.
We waited like hours and hours for the helicopter to land. It was
my first time seeing an aircraft, and I believe so was for the other
30,000 who had gathered. Indira Gandhi was taken to an open stage
that had been erected for the occasion where she spoke for a few
minutes. But the crowd did not move from the helipad, all of
them had come to see the helicopter!
As she left, some in the audience started shouting the slogans "Indira
Hatao, Indri Bachao" (Avoid Indira and save your genitals!). See,
in the name of family planning, Indira and her evil son Sanjay Gandhi
had forced many poor people to undergo vasectomies, under their
20+5 Point Programme.
A Piece of History
In a stunning display of resiliency of Indian
democracy, Indira and her son Sanjay were defeated in that election,
by candidates who were still in prison. Indira's Congress Party lost power, and a new political force, the Janata Party, emerged. But the weakening of opposition Indira Gandhi had engineered was to have a far damaging impact on the nation, resulting in successive governments that were weak and unstable.
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Tuesday, January 29, 2002|
Last Modified: 11/27/2003
Tags: desitale, honavar