Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Emergency, so what?

When people in India talk about the 1975 Indian Emergency imposed by Mrs G, it's always in hushed tones - or at least with some degree of caution. It was, and I'm basing this on the reactions of these people - a huge thing. The biggest thing to strike India since the 71 war.

Now unfortunately I have not read either fact or fiction which is based in the time, so all my evidence is hearsay. But my closest encounter was via Amu (v.nice film - go drool at Konkona in her arty-best.) There was general terror, head-chopping in Delhi, places were majorly closed. Of course, how places far from the capital, like say Gadchiroli or Bidar were affected is another matter to explore - but it would be safe to say that a certain sense of commotion mixed with fear prevailed.

Now - lets come to the current Pakistan situation. I'm assuming here that the legal provisions of the emergency are pretty much similar in both cases. But - apart from that fact that they've caught poor Imran Khan again - life on the street seems pretty much normal. Pervez had a huge send-off party, he threw to himself, where he himself cried at how much he was going to miss himself in an uniform. People around were generally hoping (pun unintended) that they would be rewarded for their troubles by hutta-gutta Peshawari gosht and chicken biryani. A dude I heard on the telly was pretty happy saying that "Musharraf sir ne vardii to utaarii hai, lekin ab aage kya karte hai dekhna padegaa". You strip-teasing-pervert! Shouldn't such guys be put behind bars - immediately? Isn't the emergency hugely bigger than the Rowlatt Act?

When people's freedoms are supposed to be curtailed, Nawaz Sharif - who's been enjoying Saudi belly dancers all these years, is permitted to enter the country. Benazir too drops in to see what the fuss is all about. "Oh, how lovely, emergency! This is something I have not seen. Babu, book my ticket on the next BA, will you?"

Life elsewhere continues as peacefully (or violently) as usual. Shoaib falls sick again, and political wrangling continues.

It's time these guys realised the value of an emergency. "Do din mein khatm hogaa, tab pataa chalegaa, keh detii hoon!"


Salil said...

If I remember correctly, Amu was actually set in 1984 when there was actual blood shedding during the anti-Sikh riots.
The 1975 Emergency on the other hand saw no major violence on the streets - most of the opposition were packed into prisons :-)

Abhishek said...

Yes, you are right. But my imagination of the whole situation stems from that source.