Arun Jaitley, India’s finance minister in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg)

Arun Jaitley Draws Parallel Between Emergency And Nazi Germany

Drawing a parallel between German dictator Adolf Hitler and former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Union Minister Arun Jaitley today said that both turned democracy into dictatorship.

In the second of the three-part series of an article The Emergency Revisited, Jaitley said unlike Hitler, Gandhi went a step ahead by endeavouring to transform India into a “dynastic democracy.”

In his Facebook post, the minister wondered whether the script of Emergency, which was imposed more than four decades ago on June 25, 1975, was inspired by what had happened in Nazi Germany in 1933.

Also read: The Circumstances Leading To The Imposition Of Emergency

"Both Hitler and Mrs. Gandhi never abrogated the Constitution. They used a republican Constitution to transform democracy into dictatorship," Jaitley wrote in the second post sub-titled as 'The Tyranny of Emergency'.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared Jaitley's blog on his Twitter handle.

Jaitley said there were a few things which Hitler did not do which Gandhi did.

"She prohibited the publication of Parliamentary proceeding in the media. Unlike Hitler, Mrs Gandhi went ahead to transform India into a 'dynastic democracy'," Jaitley said.

"The press censorship laws imposed in India and in Germany were almost similar. You had effectively a one party system in play," Jaitley said. As regards the economic programme, the minister drew a similarity between the agenda of Hitler and Gandhi.

"Hitler had announced a 25 point economic programme. Mrs Gandhi had announced 20. To cover up the gap, Sanjay (Gandhi) announced his five point economic and social programme. Dissent became a sin and sycophancy the rule," Jaitley said.

Hitler continued to maintain that his actions were within the four corners of the Constitution, Jaitley said, adding “Mrs. Gandhi imposed the Emergency under Article 352, suspended fundamental rights under Article 359 and claimed that disorder was planned by the opposition in the country.”

The senior minister further said that the security forces were being asked to disobey illegal orders and, therefore, in the larger interest of the nation, India had to become a "disciplined democracy.”

Also read: Emergency Turned Democracy Into Constitutional Dictatorship: Jaitley

Like Hitler, Gandhi arrested most opposition members of Parliament, and therefore procured, through their absence, a two-third majority of members present and voting and enabling the passage of several obnoxious provisions through Constitution amendments, he said.

"The 42nd amendment to the Constitution diluted the power of high courts to issue writ petitions, a power which Dr. Ambedkar had said was the very heart and soul of India's Constitution. They also amended Article 368 so that a Constitution amendment was beyond judicial review," Jaitley said.

A Nazi leader proclaimed that Germany had only one authority and that was the authority of "Fuhrer" ,Jaitley said, adding that similarly All India Congress Ccommittee president Devakanta Barua had proclaimed “Indira is India and India is Indira.”

Watch this discussion with Sudesh Verma of BJP, Muhammad Khan of Congress and Aditi Phadnis, political editor of the Business Standard.