In a veiled reference to the Emergency in his Republic Day speech, Goa Governor P S Sreedharan Pillai on Wednesday said that the period between 1975-77 was the “darkest days" in our democracy.
Pillai was addressing the state after inspecting the ceremonial parade at the Campal Ground in Panaji on the occasion of the 73rd Republic Day.
“What is the Welfare State? (it means) the welfare of all the citizens and the people of this country. Whether we have achieved this goal is a question to be answered,” the governor said.
Pillai said that India is at the top position amongst the democratic countries.
“We will try and further strengthen our democratic system. Political democracy cannot last unless there is social democracy,” he said.
The governor further said that social democracy implies the way of life that recognises the liberty and equality of people.
“In our history, all these principles are truly followed by us. Of course, 1975 to 1977 were the darkest days in our democracy,” he commented.
The Emergency was a 21-month period from 1975 to 1977 when then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had a state of emergency declared across the country.
Pillai said that though several changes were made in the Constitution over years its integrity is still preserved.
The governor said that the Constitution represents the idea of India as a grand continuity tracing its roots to the spirituality and traditions that date back to several millennia and binding it with the idea of a modern nation.
“The preamble of the Constitution begins with the resolve of 'We The People'. People are supreme in the country and everyone is subordinate to them,” he added.
The governor said that India's sovereignty is facing challenges from outside and also certain internal ones, but we are one of the best forces in the world and can overcome these challenges.