Emergency: An untold, personal story - The Daily Guardian
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Emergency: An untold, personal story

Gopal Krishna Agrawal



26 June is a black day in the post-Independence era. India with a large population below the poverty line and lack of basic amenities like education still stands apart globally in democratic tradition. The only black spot in Indian democratic history is the period of Emergency from 26 June 1975 to 21 March 1977. Any proud Indian believing in democracy cannot but remember those horrifying days of complete anarchy, dictatorship and censorship.

The Indira Gandhi government unleashed terror, systematically denouncing every democratic institution and compromised the judiciary. Many so-called free thinking intellectuals and academicians surrendered themselves to Indira Gandhi and shamelessly praised her.

In those tough times it was unthinkable to raise voice against the government. But some groups of young fellows, mostly owning their allegiance to RSS, and deeprooted love for the nation, could not bear the agony of this stifling silence and decided to raise their voice. I was among them, the youngest of the lot at the age of 13 years, in my formative years. I decided to fight the might through the Gandhian tradition of Satyagraha, a non-violent means of assertive firmness to defy all that is not good for the country.

 Abraham Lincoln had said that democracy is “By the people, for the people and of the people” and so civil vigilance is the cost of democracy, without which it will never remain “of the people”. India is not new to democratic traditions; in times as old as those of Gautam Buddha, we had Gram Sabhas. These Sabhas took collective decisions. Democratic form of governance is the best choice for individual freedom. My experiments with democracy began very early; I value freedom to the exclusion of all other things in life.

Whatever the shortcoming Jawaharlal Nehru had, he is to be credited for building institutions. But Indira Gandhi was authoritarian, successively undermining all democratic Institutions in the country. In 1975, when Allahabad High Court nullified her elections for use of unfair means, she imposed Emergency and suspended all democratic rights including fundamental right of free speech. At a young age of 13 years, with a fresh mind, this was unacceptable to me. I wanted to break the shackles of all bondage imposed under Emergency.

All political activities, with most of the political leaders in one or the other jail, were at a standstill. There was fear all around; terror of the government put everybody in superficial discipline. Propaganda of efficiency, law and order and discipline was baffling and press censorship led to complete disconnect of the people with the reality.

It was left to the RSS to defend democracy and overthrow the Congress’s dictatorial rule. Being connected to the RSS from my early childhood, and belonging to a RSS family, when the organisation gave a call for an all-India Satyagraha, I decided to fight for a cause in a non-violent manner and firm resolve to overthrow the Indira regime.

‘Aapat Kal Sangharsh Samiti’ was formed and a nationwide Satyagraha was planned. The format of Satyagraha was kept simple; instructions were to collect at some point of conglomeration; like market place, university campus, some big event, in small groups of 10 to 15 people; start shouting slogan against dictatorship, distributing cyclostyled or photocopied pamphlets with pro-democratic messages, denouncing Emergency and start walking till the police arrest the participants.

Our Satyagraha was held on 19 November 1975 on the birthday of Indira Gandhi. The government had planned a gathering of school children, their parents, foreign diplomats and international media to commemorate her birthday. The programme was to be addressed by President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed.

We were eight people; I was the youngest amongst them. We entered the venue at National Stadium, India Gate, New Delhi. The stage was in the viewer’s gallery. The children were to perform in the centerfield and audiences were sitting around and behind the stage. We entered one block above, immediately behind the stage. Next to us was foreign media and diplomat’s block. After the performance of the children, as the President took to the podium to speak, we started shouting anti-Emergency slogans, “Indira Gandhi murdabad, down-down Emergency, shame-shame…”, and started running towards the stage and I jumped on it. I had pamphlets that I threw towards the foreign media block. Police immediately arrested all of us.

Police took us to the Tilak Marg police station for FIR, detention and questioning. The overnight stay at the police station was very scary; we were put up in a lock up in a single cell. Police took each one of us from the cell for questioning. Several loud sounds of scolding, beating and screaming were reaching us from the adjoining rooms. After questioning the individual was taken to another room, then the next person was taken out. We had heard so many stories about third-degree atrocities of the police; those pictures were vividly in front of us.

 We stayed in these cells for about 24 hours, the toilet partitioned with a small shoulder height wall, was within the cell itself. There was a bucket of water for washing hands, etc. All this was unhygienic and smelly. Next day we were taken to the magistrate. I, being 13-year-old, was sent to children’s jail behind Ambedkar Stadium and other colleagues were taken to Tihar Jail; this was a big jolt for me, being left alone to fend for myself.

 I was made to stay with criminals in a dormitory set up, sleeping on the ground. Daily we were given blankets from the common pool. Staying in the room locked up in the evening with all types of criminals, under trials and sentenced, for pickpocketing, rape and murder. In the morning I was allowed to use common toilets, which were extremely dirty. I had to wear a jail uniform from the common pool and simple food was given to me. I had to work along with the prisoners for cleaning, washing and other daily work within the premises.

During my lockup of about three months from 19 November to 12 February 1976, I could not even meet my parents; my mother was arrested and kept in Tihar Jail and my father, a professor in Lady Hardinge Medical College, was also arrested on 25 December 1975 and was initially in Tihar Jail and then later in the Nagpur Jail. I was arrested under Defence of India Rule (DIR), which we referred to as Defence of Indira Rule. I was a student of Class VIII at Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan School in New Delhi.

Occasionally counsellor came to me, asking me to sign mafinama (pardon letter), trying to convince me that it will help in my release, and that I am wasting my time in this fight against the might of a powerful government. Very rarely I was taken to a magistrate for recording my statement, but all the uncertainty, mental and physical torture did not budge me to ask for pardon.

After three months in jail I decided to go for judiciary bail and continue our fight from outside. Those three months had brought a lot of trauma for me and my family. My father was suspended from his government job. I lost my precious study time. Our case went on till the new government was formed and was withdrawn in late 1978. Till that time I had to go to court every week for attending dates of the case. Our family case was referred to the Shah Commission, set up to take note of Emergency atrocities.

Those formative years and the experiences thereon gave me a lot to think and contemplate for my future journey. The courage, the will power and the confidence from the success of our movement have always filled me with pride.

 The writer is national spokesperson of the BJP on economic affairs.

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As we spent yet another year at home in our pyjamas, the ongoing festive season has given us the perfect excuse to dress up! It is that time of the year when festivity in India is in its full swing. India boasts of an array of significant festivals, of which Karva Chauth, marks one important celebration for married couples.

Karva Chauth is a celebration of the pious bond between a husband and a wife. Ladies dress up to the nines and observe fast from sunrise to moonrise for a day for the safety and long lives of their husbands.

Undoubtedly, like every year, ladies would be stressed about choosing the perfect outfit for the special day. But do you think your search will be limited to finding a good dress? Of course not!

With your sartorial choices taking the front seat, do not forget to have your hands on the must-have jewellery pieces that not only compliment your clothes but also your personality.

Bhavesh Navlakha, founder of online fashion jewellery brand Sukkhi helped ANI list the trending jewellery pieces that would be a one-time investment for you to perfectly style your outfit not only for Karva Chauth but also for the entire festive season:

1. Pearl choker: Chokers are never out of style and are a beautiful addition to accentuate Indian outfits. The choker lends an edginess to your chosen ethnic outfit. An elegant pearl choker can elevate any outfit and give a rather classy look without being too heavy.

2. Long-chain jhumkis: Long-chain jhumkis, also referred to as Bahubali-inspired earrings, is a style statement that acts as the perfect addition to any ethnic outfit. It is a contemporary take on traditional earrings which adds a touch of glamour to your outfit without the need for any more jewellery.

3. Pearl bangles: Bangles are one of the most traditional accessories used in India. Bangles are a versatile jewellery piece that compliments our ethnic outfits. Adding jewellery pieces to your wrist acts as the perfect accessory to just about every Indian outfit.

4. Jhumkis: Jhumkis are immensely popular as one of the most worn jewellery pieces and is loved by everyone for their intricate design. Jhumkis can be paired with Indian ethnic outfits and also western outfits to create an eye-pleasing ensemble.

5. Kundan neckpiece: Kundan neckpieces look elegant and sophisticated and can glam up your outfit in no time. Not just for Karva Chauth, but Kundan sets can be worn by pairing them with your favourite outfit and layering the necklaces.

With jewellery trends constantly evolving and changing every year, we find it hard to keep ourselves updated on them. So, now that we have got you all covered, style your outfit with the above-mentioned jewellery pieces, making your ensemble not only look great but also speaking volumes for you!

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Needledust launches its first-ever store in Mumbai



India’s first-ever designer jutti label, Needledust is thrilled to announce the launch of their first-ever store in Mumbai at Reliance’s first premium mall in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex, Jio World Drive.

Housing more than 90+ premium and luxury brands, JIO World Driver is an exciting hub for luxury, fashion, shopping and entertainment. Located in Bandra Kurla Complex, and spanning across an area of 17.5 acres at Maker Maxity, Jio World Drive is Mumbai’s newest, vibrant urban hangout. The precinct is home to 72 prominent International and Indian brands, 27 culinary outlets with cuisines from across the globe, Mumbai’s first rooftop Jio Drive-In Theatre, an open-air weekend community market, pet-friendly services, a dedicated pop-up experience and other bespoke services. With an international consumer base, Needledust launched in 2014 with an original first of its kind product in the designer jutti space.

Following the immense success of their existing stores in Delhi & Chandigarh and a spectacular online presence on Needledust.com, this is a significant milestone for the brand as they open their doors to the tinsel town. 

Needledust brings to you a line of bespoke fine leather juttis that speak the charm of a true old school artisan with a desire to recreate this age-old craft for those who wear, admire, preserve its elegance and culture.

The celebrated label is all about unbridled passion for the revival of the jutti and unmatched craftsmanship, amalgamating the finesse of old royal moulds with innovative design and embroidery patterns that impeccably reflect 21st-century aesthetics.

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This wedding season, Manubhai Jewellers, a leading jewellery brand for over 30 years has made the process of finding the perfect jewellery for all the brides-to-be more special and remarkable. The brand has launched a new campaign called “Wedding by Manubhai” that features jewellery for every function – Sangeet, Mehendi and Wedding -along with a special traditional experience for all the new brides-to-be to wish them good luck and prosperity.

Speaking about the new campaign, Samir Sagar, Director, Manubhai Jewellers, said, “We at Manubhai Jewellers have been creating intricate and beautiful pieces of jewellery that balance between tradition and contemporary design to suit every occasion. For the wedding season, we want to take the opportunity to highlight the traditional values associated with our brand and offer a new bridal experience.” Manubhai Jewellers are popularly known for their specially crafted and curated collections in Mumbai. With a retail presence in Borivali, they cater to every customer’s needs ranging from beautiful modern diamond pieces to fanciful and chic gold wear, to traditional Kundan and Jadau jewellery. The brand is one of the few jewellers in Mumbai creating bespoke designs in Polki, Temple and Antique.

Additionally, Manubhai Jewellers are also committed to specialising in bridal jewellery called Madhuban. The Madhuban collection features beautifully handcrafted inspirational jewellery displayed in the store with a royal theme. Manubhai’s traditional concepts stand are brilliantly reflected through the indigenous craftsmanship of the Madhuban collection and has made the brand popular among the best jewellery shops in Mumbai. Further, all jewellers at Manubhai are hallmarked and certified.

Further, to make the moment special for new brides, Manubhai Jewellers have also introduced “Madhuban Delight” wherein the bride is first welcomed in a traditional way with the ‘Aarti thali’ and then gifted with a ‘Potli’ – a traditional drawstring bag that contains silver coins, vermilion, rice and Swastik that symbolise good luck, prosperity and imply the underlying cultural significance of ceremonial rituals.

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Karva Chauth 2021: Stand out with these easy makeup looks



Karva Chauth, an important festival for married couples has always been about dressing up to the nines and sporting elaborate makeup looks for women. Karva Chauth is a celebration of the pious bond between a husband and a wife. Ladies dress up to the nines and observe fast from sunrise to moonrise for a day for the safety and long lives of their husbands. This year Karva Chauth will be celebrated on 24 October, that is, Sunday.

Ladies, you may even have spent days planning out your Karva Chauth outfit and makeup look. However, with the Covid-19 pandemic easing down, there is much of a point in getting decked up like earlier.

So, it is time to come up with a makeup look that is not only appropriate for your special day but also worthy of posting on Instagram!

Check out the simple tips listed below by Professional MUA Sahibjeet Kaur shared with ANI to create a makeup look that is unapologetically you:

1. Basic red, with popping eyeliner or kajal: Women love to wear traditional red shades for their Karwa Chauth, but another trend that has really taken up and we cannot get enough of is the coloured eyeliner or kajal look. Gone are the days when your eyes could carry only basic black or simple brown colours. Now, you can use coloured eyeliner or kajal to add a unique point to your Karva Chauth look. Add trendy colours like lime green, electric blue, and bubblegum pink to your eyeliner or Kajal. You can play around with a sleek cat-eye look or experiment with a graphic liner look by doing a cut-crease with a coloured liner. Apply bold blood-red lipstick with small size red bindi. To compliment your look, style your dress with gajra, mang tikka, and a choker neckpiece.

2. Have fun with the eyeshadow palette: Bid adieu to your basic pink and red eyeshadow look. Explore the peppy colours in the palette and blend the shades that go with your outfit. To add more glam to your eye makeup, apply artificial lashes on your eyes and coat them with intense mascara. Go light with your lip-shade to let your eyes do the talking!

3. Smokey eyes with a glitter twist: A trend that can never become stale is the basic smokey eye makeup look. But, why should you settle for basic? Pick up your makeup brush tool and add some glittery twist to the whole look. Choose a colour matching to your outfit for the smokey eyeshadow. Blend it until you achieve the perfect smoke. Apply artificial lashes to your eyes and coat them with intense mascara. Ditching the basic black, add a glittery twist to the whole look by applying a silver shiny eyeliner. Apply nude or glossy lipstick and a stroke of highlighter on your cheekbones. If you can wear big jhumkis, it can enhance your look like anything.

4. Add some glow to your look: Steer clear of your ultra-bright golden highlighter and go for a subtler look instead. Opt for a subtle highlighter in the shade of rose gold, champagne, or dull gold. Apply it at the high points of your cheekbones, on your brow bones, and down your nose to give yourself that lit-from-within look. This will make your makeup look understated while still making you look effervescent.

5. Get peachy with blush: Red, pink or green- choose any colour for your outfit and peachy makeup will add volumes to your look! Go for a peachy blush with a slight shimmer to add warmth to your face and elevate that dewy look. You can apply the blush straight across your cheekbones and nose to create a pretty fresh look and to your nose to give yourself that lit-from-within look.

Pro-tip: Do not neglect your eyebrows. You can use an eyebrow pencil to shape up your eyebrows or can use eyeshadow to give a natural uplift to your brows.

Now that we have got you all covered, try out these makeup tips to glam up this Karva Chauth!

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With the adage ‘Less is more’, allow your furnishings and accessories to come through placing them judiciously, giving your home an effective yet understated appeal that is easy on the eyes.




Clamping down on consumption for some has indirectly affected their aesthetic (most for the better). It has initiated a shift in consumer choices. The year 2020 and a majority of 2021 have seen a shift in design trends. Instagram accounts with zen influencers have made impressions in the aesthetic inclinations of many. Enter Marie Kondo, the purveyor of minimalism with tidying up as her motto. Known to preach cleanliness, she believes ’Tidying up’ fosters joy and serenity. Indulgence and maximal living is a personal choice and we are not arguing about it. Respect, Kardashians and Jenners.

However, understated interiors are an aesthetically pleasing choice of decor. This style that is #trending can be incorporated into homes of all shapes and sizes. Whether it’s Japanese, modern or Scandinavian, there are many ways to achieve this coveted look. An added advantage is it is not labour intensive to execute so you can save energy for your upcoming HIIT session. Most of these sleek looks can be achieved by incorporating simple streamlined furniture with chalky hues for upholstery.

Clean modern lines, a pastel palette of colours and simple silhouettes. With the adage ‘Less is more’, allow your furnishings and accessories to come through placing them judiciously, giving your home an effective yet understated appeal that is easy on the eyes. Colours are imperative.

A decluttered coffee table with a statement pot planter can do the trick. Facets that add to the zen features range from contemporary ceramic bowls to a some-free soy wax candle. These contemporary bowls can be procured from Ellementry, a home accessory studio from Jaipur. Nestasia (an online Indian home store) boasts of geometric ceramic pots that are unique and trendy. They are available in chalky hues in harmony with a minimalist’s handbook. For everything else there is Ikea.

Rattan mirrors are topping the charts for sprucing up your blank spaces. Choose from a range of hand made rattan numbers to bevelled circular pieces. One mirror on a single wall should do the trick. A multitude of small rattan mirrors can add that subtle adornment. These handmade rattan numbers could be found at gingercrush.com. You could also explore www.pepperfry.in for some sleek round mirrors by the brand Flairglass.

Tables with sharp lines or curves comply with the minimalist’s montage. Sofas and couches with forms conforming to the Marie Kondo design sensibility.

If you’re looking to fix the mess, commit to tidying up. Investing in simple yet effective pieces with minimum maintenance. Airy spaces with sunlight pouring in are therapeutic. Choose earthy and pastel colours in tandem with the zen philosophy. To destress, declutter.

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ICDMA is a provider of IT services such as Cyber Forensics, IT Audit, IT Risk Evaluation, and Digital Security. In recent years, it has become a tried-and-true standard for businesses looking to defend their brands, enterprises, and reputations from crippling cyber attacks. They develop and deploy information security platforms and services, both standard and personalised, to protect, evaluate, and respond to cyber threats such as security breaches that occur in your systems and networks. The services they provide include Application and Web Development, Graphic Design, Security Audits, Cyber Security Services, Vulnerability Assessments, Fraud Risk Management, and IT Consultancy.

In addition, the firm achieved awards for being the best Cyber Forensics firm preventing businesses from external threats. A cybersecurity analyst is responsible for the security of an organisation, business, or government agency from cyber threats. Their primary role is to analyse any possible threat that might occur through or to your system and come up with plausible and practical solutions to protect you.

Being a cyber security expert and analyst, Dheeraj Kumar has years of experience and stays up-to-date with the current crimes and security trends. He believes that like many other professions, this is a never-ending learning field. They monitor your networks and then analyse them to find common threat patterns or trends. Further, they design software that suits the needs of the problem at hand and ensures that these measures are maintained properly. If, in any case, they encounter a new problem, they utilise their years of experience and knowledge to produce a unique solution.

Witnessing the increased cyber threats, Cybersecurity analyst Dheeraj advises people to use the Internet wisely and productively. Dheeraj is currently working on an Al-driven platform for identifying and mitigating digital risks and counteracting brand impersonation attacks with the company’s patented technologies at its core. Dheeraj’s experience in threat hunting and cyber intelligence has been fused into an ecosystem of highly sophisticated software and hardware solutions designed to monitor, identify, and prevent cyberattacks.

A cybersecurity analyst is responsible for the security of an organisation, business or government agency from cyber threats. Their primary role is to analyse any possible threat that might occur through or to your system and come up with plausible solutions.

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