‘Emergency Fighters’ appeal PM Modi to grant them the status of ‘Freedom Fighters’, describe their ordeal
#The chorus to provide a status of Freedom Fighters to Emergency Fighters gains pace, 21 states are yet to recognise their sacrifices towards the country
The National Executive and State Officials of Akhil Bhartiya Loktantra Senani Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti from 20 states attended its conference at the Press Club of India on Saturday (August 25). The conference was chaired in the leadership of Shri Govardhan Prasad Atal to discuss the present condition of the ‘fighters of democracy’ who protested against the Emergency Rule imposed in between 1975-77 by the Indira Gandhi government. During that period several protesters were imprisoned in MISA and DIR while several others kept the struggle running by remaining underground.
Officials of the various units, who were nominated from 20 states in the country, attended the conference. Appointed representatives from Assam, Manipur, other North Eastern states, West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, including New Delhi attended the conference. Ashok Kumar Yadav (Vice President), Om Shakti G Babu (Secretary), Ibotombi Singh (President, Manipur), Ravi Rao Bhaumik (Secretary, Assam), Shivaji Shirdhonkar (Maharashtra), Manjunath Swamy, K. N. Chhatrapati and Ganeshayaji (respectively President, Secretary, Central Member, Karnataka), Vishnu Pad Mohanti (Secretary, Orissa), Naresh Gupta, Vishnu Agarwal, Vijay Upmanyu, Vijay Kaushik, Hriday Gupta (Central Member and In-charge of Delhi, President, General Secretary, Treasurer, Secretary), K. Members of the Central Committee including P Manilal (Kerala) were amongst the dignitaries who attended the gathering.
The members reflected upon the sufferings these victims of emergency went through and also recalled the police brutalities and atrocities towards them and their families during the Emergency were discussed. Hurting the genitals, impaling sticks in the anus, genital castrations, beating up after putting them on the ice, striking the nails, breaking hands and feet, etc. were the tribulations many faced. Those who protested against the government even lost their jobs and their shops/businesses closed. Some even lost their education.
In the meeting, a satisfaction was expressed that to honour such victims of the emergency, governments of 10 states, namely Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Bihar, Uttarakhand and Maharashtra have announced ‘Sanman Nidhi’ (honour amount) in between Rs 15,000 and Rs 25,000. It was also assured that the state governments would provide health and travel benefits to such people. But in the remaining 20 states, till date, nothing substantial has been done for the victims of the emergency.
Even now as many as 50,000 Misa-DIR prisoners, who are called democracy fighters, across the country are facing the neglect of the governments. The Maharashtra government has given them the status of freedom fighter. Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan governments are also preparing for the status of freedom fighters.
The Akhil Bhartiya Loktantra Senani Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti has demanded that the ‘Victims of Emergency’ in the remaining 20 states should also be granted the status of Freedom Fighters and grant them ‘sanman nidhi’ pension. The committee demands that the Central Government should accept their demands which will enable them to live a dignified life.
The High Courts of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab have also directed the state governments that it is their duty to honour these fighters who raised their voices for the democratic values, fundamental rights and freedom of expression when all these rights were subdued. The Madras High Court went on to claim in its ruling that ‘helping such fighters isn’t a charity.’
Surprisingly, the state and central governments are giving pensions to 1921-22 Mopla Rebels, Agitators of Khilafat Movement (1919-1922), Anti-independence Travancore movement, China-backing Communist Movements.
The Central Government has alone allocated Rs 2525 crore for the period of 2017-20 for participants of such movements. Since 1980, an estimated fund of Rs 7000-8000 crore has been allocated in the name of pensions to the participants of the above-mentioned very old anti-national and anti-independence movements. However, a major chunk of this sum goes to the commissions and not the beneficiaries. While those who raised their voice against the Emergency period are neglected.
Shri Govardhan Prasad Atal, the president, said, “In the meeting, Akhil Bhartiya Loktantra Senani Sanyukt Sangharsh Samiti demanded a scrutiny of the above-mentioned commissions. We also demand that the government must take proper steps to sensitise the police and help them change their mindset so that in future our citizens never face such police atrocities and inhuman actions. We also demanded that the ‘Emergency fighters’ in the remaining 21 states should also be granted the status of ‘freedom fighters’ and are provided with a proper pension to live a dignified life.”
In a significant resolution the committee decided to help and work in all states in support of nationalist candidates and nationalist candidates and nationalist political parties in ensuing election. The Loktantra Senani Action Committee mourned the demise of emergency fighter and senior senani Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee. They also paid tributes to innocent brothers and sisters who lost their life in Kerala flood.
The national committee also announced appointments of Sri Omshakti G Babu as all India Gen . Secretary , Sri Naresh Kumar Gupta , Sri Ganesh Yazi and Sri Shivaji Shirondkar as National Secretaries of All India Loktantra Action Committee.