The Bihar government’s official website has called former prime minister Indira Gandhi’s tenure as PM worse than British rule in India, raising the hackles of the Congress party.
It’s arguable at least.
On the website, the mention of Indira Gandhi’s “autocratic rule” and “oppression” perpetrated during the Emergency has been made in a part of Bihar’s history.
While criticising Indira’s rule, the write-up also mentioned the contributions of Jay Prakash Narayan – or JP – to modern history and says, “It was he who steadfastly and staunchly opposed the autocratic rule of Indira Gandhi and her younger son, Sanjay Gandhi. Fearing people’s reaction to his (JP’s) opposition, Indira Gandhi had him arrested on the eve of declaring National Emergency beginning June 26, 1975. He was put in the Tihar Jail, located near Delhi, where notorious criminals are jailed.
“Thus, in Free India, this septuagenarian (JP), who had fought for India’s freedom alongside Indira Gandhi’s father, Jawahar Lal Nehru, received a treatment that was worse than what the British had meted out to Gandhiji in Champaran in 1917, for his speaking out against oppression.”
Let’s face it, decolonialisation was not an unmitigated success. The replacement of foreign bastards by local bastards wasn’t necessarily a move in the right direction: does depend upon the personal characteristics of the bastards in question really. Possibly even upon the institutional structures within which they get to be ruling bastards.
Pol Pot wasn’t a notable improvement over the French protectorate, Botswana seems to have done rather well. Depends: and you could make the argument that Indira wasn’t quite at the right end of that spectrum.