How did Modi and Swamy manage to evade arrest during Emergency? How was life affected?

By Sunil Kumar

My answer originally appeared on a knowledge-sharing network; Quora.

Actually; S. Swamy’s story is more thrilling than Modi’s.

English: 25,000 people on Ramlila Maidan, Jana...

Visit English: 25,000 people on Ramlila Maidan, Janadesh 2007, Delhi, India. Français : 25 000 personnes à Ramlila Maidan, Janadesh 2007, Delhi, Inde. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to the book “The Emergency” by Coomi Kapoor and online interviews given by Mr. Swamy; he and JP Narayan were having dinner at the Gandhi Peace foundation after a very successful Ramlila Maidan rally.

Later that night; at around 3 a.m. JP Narayan was picked up. Swamy received information from an unnamed police source; and managed to go underground.

He and Nanaji Deshmukh were hiding in different places in Delhi; including Punjabi Bagh, North Delhi and Timarpur; which were most probably less developed than today. He either wore Western clothes or was dressed as a Sikh.

Madhavrao Mule persuaded Swami to go to the West to highlight the opposition’s version of Indira Gandhi’s emergency. So; Swamy sent his wife out of the country first; and escaped to London via Chennai and Colombo.

The BBC and Voice of America actually supported Swamy at the time; and after a few months of vigorous campaigning; Swamy decided to come back to Delhi, India. However; since he was on a watchlist; he booked a flight to Bangkok via Delhi on Pan Am; as his name would not feature on the Delhi airline manifest.

Landing at 3 a.m, Swamy managed to fool the guard at the entrance; showing his parliament pass; getting a salute; and passing off as Mark Tully; the noted BBC India correspondent to the uninitiated.

Dressed as a Sikh mechanic; a dress already prepared for him; he entered his own house. His next escapade was a plan to enter the Indian parliament. So; he drove to the gates of Parliament; dressed in his words; in “Congress goon” gear; a khadi Gandhi topi, shirt; trousers etc. He walked into the building, signed an attendance register when the obituaries were being read out; and announced with characteristic dramatic flair that democracy had died in India.

See link; source for the information;

Dr. Subramanian Swamy Explains How He Escaped Arrest During Emergency. THRILLING STORY !! – SatyaVijayi

According to the PM’s official website; he was mostly in disguise; never caught and distributed revolutionary literature in Gujarat. The Emergency officially ended on 23 March, 1977. So; life was more impacted in the 75–77 period. Police brutality led to many prominent leaders being locked up throughout the country; as they were serving the ruling party’s whims. Some people died; including an engineering student in Kerala; and many unnamed citizens; but it largely went unreported due to media censorship.…


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