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Vikas Kamat
 Vikas Kamat is a programmer- entrepreneur living in Birmingham AL. This blog is a complex mix of Indian culture, life in southern USA, computer sciences, and sports. Opinions are his own.
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Memories of Indira Durable Link to this BLOG
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

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