The Deaths of Key Figures Made a Boring Session into a Huge Political Battle
“Work is worship”; is the statement the day started with soon progressing to work is power and concluded with work is selfish authority. An unexpected day of chaos with buzzing activity started with some interesting statements made by delegates during PSL. Mr Siddartha informed the committee with regret that he thought Indira Gandhi had done only good during her tenure but, merely in a day, had realised that she had done more bad than good. “Garibi hatao, Indira Hatao!”
If the father introduced fundamental rights, the daughter who took them back was the reality check made by Vijaya Raje Scindia. The motion discussing secularism in the constitution was passed with many references to the UCC, and India being a secular country from the beginning of time was more or less repeated by every delegate. Sanjay Gandhi recommended people stop going by word of mouth about secularism.
Balasaheb Deoras kindly requested Indira Gandhi to stop playing jump rope with secularism. Sheikh Abdullah countered the statement that secularism existed from the beginning of the ages by stating that there have only been radicals and extremists who have spread hatred to specific religions. Indira Gandhi claimed to set up a committee to discuss the marriage laws which allow polygamy by Islam men, which do not stand on par with her claims of uniform civil law. During the same caucus, Atal Behari Vajpayee made a somewhat controversial statement by stating that the word “secular” should be added.
Many of his allies at that time decided to remove him from his party by announcing it through a formal press release and shaming him during his speech. The motion discussing the regulation of the judiciary was interrupted by a crisis. The committee suddenly got the news that the President’s and the Vice President’s motorcade had been bombed, and both passed away. Shortly after that, the Chief Justice of India was sworn in as the President of India.
The Supreme Court also gave its verdict on the Raj Narain vs Indira Gandhi case by stating that Indira Gandhi became the Prime Minister illegally and that fresh elections are to be organised immediately. At that time, they also declared that Vajpayee had decided to join the Indian National Congress. Shortly after that, private sessions were created, and the delegates were made to sit in two different rooms depending on their allegiance to Indira Gandhi or Raj Narain. The Indira Gandhi faction named themselves the INC+ and comprised prominent figures like PN Haksar, Atal Behari Vajpayee, and Yashwantrao Chavan. The Raj Narain faction called themselves the BTS, or the Bharatiya Tiranga Samiti consisting of prominent opposition leaders such as Morarji Desai, Lalu Prasad Yadav, and Siddhartha Shankar Ray.
Thus, the rather dull committee immediately was converted into a mad, cut-throat competition for gaining power. We, however, were faced with yet another crisis update. We were informed that the INC+ had decided to keep herself and her son Sanjay Gandhi as prime minister candidates from INC+. In response to this, the angry people staged protests again. A mob of violent protesters killed Indira Gandhi’s other son, Rajiv Gandhi. The whole country was against Indira Gandhi. The same Indira Gandhi who some representatives of the people faced as the opposition now had the entire country as her opposition. Did it take her son’s death for her to realise that the country came first?