Covid-19 lockdown legitimate confinement, but Emergency was illegitimate, says M Venkaiah Naidu

Last Updated 25 June 2020, 14:55 IST

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said home confinement of people in order to cope with the rising COVID-19 cases was legitimate, but the Emergency in 1975 was "illegitimate" as people were deprived of all fundamental rights.

"What is the worth of life if there is no right to life," he said in a Facebook post.

"If the present confinement was induced by coronavirus, the one I am talking about was triggered by the rampant corruption in public life and the national resentment against the same," he said.

He said three months back, people volunteered to confine themselves to home to ward off the looming threat of coronavirus.

"We preferred to mask ourselves and restrict our movements for the good of all. During this short period, we realised what it means to be confined. This legitimate confinement is a sharp contrast to the one that the nation was subjected to this day 45 years back in the name of a contrived threat to the country's security from internal disturbance," Naidu said.

During that "illegitimate confinement" for a long period of 21 months, the citizens were deprived of all fundamental rights, including the Right to Life, he said.

There was total erosion of values in public life, he said, adding that corruption was rampant.

"Intolerance to a different opinion reached its peak. All this was a manifestation of insecurity. The Constitution was nearly abandoned. The right of judicial review of government's decisions was done away with," the vice president wrote in his Facebook post.

In a nutshell, Naidu said, it was total darkness.

Recalling his days in jail, he said the confinement resulted in extensive political education through individual and group discussions, question and answer sessions.

"This was in contrast to online education, the feature of the present corona-induced confinement," he said.

(Published 25 June 2020, 14:55 IST)

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