Millennium Post

Teach school students about Emergency: Prasar Bharati chief

School students should be taught about the Emergency in India to make them aware about the consequences of democracy being derailed, Prasar Bharati chairperson A Surya Prakash says.

In a book to be released next week, Prakash has said basic freedoms were curtailed during the Emergency in 1975-77 but its history is largely "hidden" from the younger generation.

"The story of emergency should be told to every generation. For the protection of democratic values, it is very important that they know what happens when democracy is derailed," Prakash, who heads Prasar Bharati which oversees the functioning of Doordarshan and All India Radio, said.

The book looks at the arrests of political activists, media censorship, forced sterilisations, police atrocities and other such developments that took place during the 21 months when Emergency was in force.

It is based on testimonies recorded in the Shah Commission, set up after the Emergency to look into the excesses that took place then, official records and his own experiences as a journalist. Prakash said those born after the Emergency "nightmare" ended may experience "total disbelief" when they learn what transpired during that period.

He said students must know that about "heroes" such as Jayaprakash Narayan, who mobilised the youth in the country in a widespread movement.
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