Tuesday, August 10, 2010

'30 yrs on, info on Emergency cannot be official secret'

So where are the records of India's "darkest days", the political period that seemed to spell curtains for democracy, the Emergency of 1975-1977? If replies to an RTI query are to be believed, no one knows where to find the communications between then President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed and the government before and after the Emergency. And no one has any idea where to look for the relevant documents, notings and records of various decisions. These are not with us, says the ministry of home affairs, passing the buck to the National Archives of India (NAI). The NAI, which is the repository of 'non-current records' of the government of India, says nothing was transferred to it. So where did the records go? "The presumption is that they (the officers) have either destroyed them or they don't want to give it away. In this context, one can only assume that all the allegations (pertaining to the Emergency period) against Indira Gandhi and
Sanjay Gandhi were true," said M G Devasahayam, an ex-IAS officer who served as Chandigarh district magistrate during the Emergency.
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