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Emergency a historical blunder, we must be vigilant against authoritarian regimes: Satheesan

Terming the nationwide Emergency during Indira Gandhi’s rule a historical blunder, Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan has said the nation must be vigilant of similar tendencies by authoritarian regimes.

Delivering a talk on the topic ‘Future of pluralism among singularism’ at the Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters (MBIFL ‘24) that got under way here on Thursday, Mr. Satheesan stressed on learning lessons from the dark chapters in history, rather than justifying such mistakes.

“Governments must be mindful never to get blinded by power. Authority could give rise to several caucuses. Rulers must strive to realise the motives of those around them. The Congress will remain vigilant against such tendencies,” he said.

In an apparent reference to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Union government, the Congress leader said the country was under the clutches of a ‘deep state’ that has relentlessly endeavoured to bring the judiciary, enforcement agencies and other institutions under its firm grip.

Drawing parallels with the Nazis, he said the administrative dispensation had systematically worked to alter the country’s rich history and culture.

Mr. Satheesan said the citizens must fight to uphold the legacies of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru who founded the country by embracing the nation’s diversity.

He also lamented the “worrying” state of the Indian media which, he alleged, has been cowed down by the administration. Having usurped the control of media outlets, right-wing groups are manipulating the media to become agencies or instruments of their propaganda.

While stressing on Kerala’s potential in becoming the torchbearer of resistance in the country, Mr. Satheesan cautioned against tendencies that endangers pluralism in the State.

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