In unusually candid remarks on Emergency, Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia today said it was a "mistake" and what happened during the anti-Sikh riots in 1984 was "wrong".
"Why can't we say together what happened during Emergency is wrong. Let us not go back and forth on it. What happened in the Sikh riots is wrong. Any loss of life in the country irrespective of which government is in power, we need to say what is right is right and what is wrong is wrong," Scindia said speaking at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit here. Scindia insisted that people of the country feel that there has been enough of "tu tu main main" (sparring) about wrongs happening during the rule of one party or the other.
"Anywhere, If an incident is wrong, it is wrong whether it concerns my party or some other. If something is right is right. If something is wrong it is wrong. That is where lies the accountability of a politician," he said asserting that the party affiliations come only after humanity. Asked to elaborate about his views on Emergency, Scindia said that irrespective of what was the environment then and that there is also a need to look at the issue contextually, "at the end of the day if you if you hail our country for being the world's largest democracy, you have got to stand for democratic values".
Disapproving of "any action, which throttles the freedom of speech and expression", the Congress leader said, "Emergency was a mistake" for our country when asked whether it was a blot on the nation. The remarks of Scindia come days senior Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram openly admitted the ban imposed on Salman Rushdie's controversial novel The Satanic Verses during the regime of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was wrong.
Participating in a session called "the Challenges Before Us", Scindia repeatedly targeted the NDA government on the issue of intolerance and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of "not speaking out" on such incidents.