Image Source : INDIA TV India TV Editor-in-Chief Rajat Sharma

President Droupadi Murmu’s address to the joint session of Parliament on Thursday clearly reflects the intent of Narendra Modi 3.0 goernment in the months to come. Firstly, she said , some big and historic decisions will be taken in the forthcoming Union Budget, and the budget will be an effective document showcasing the futuristic vision and long-term policies of the government. Secondly, the President spoke about the misuse of communication medium by disruptive forces. Murmu said, “In this era of communication revolution, disruptive forces are conspiring to weaken democracy and create fissures in the society. These forces resort to rumourmongering, misleading the people and misinformation. This situation cannot be allowed to continue unchecked.” 

The President said, at a time when India is trying to attain its objective of Viksit Bharat, forces inside and outside the country are spreading misinformation and rumours to create divisions in society, which is a matter for worry. The government, she said, will not allow this to continue. She said, misue of latest technology in communication against humanity is dangerous, and India has already expressed its concerns on global platforms. India has called for a global framework, and it is our responsibility to stop these tendencies, and find new ways to tackle these challenges, she said. While outlining the achievements made in the fields of social welfare schemes and infrastructure projects, the President indicated that the next Union Budget will reflect some important decisions. Though the dates of Parliament’s monsoon session have not been decided, but sources say, the session may begin from July 22, and the Union Budget may be introduced either on July 23 or 24. The President also mentioned the 1975 Emergency, and amidst shouts from Congress MPs,  described it as a “black chapter” in India’s history. The people of India, she said, defeated the forces which were trying to crush the Constitution and re-established the rule of Constitution. “It is our responsibility to ensure that such a situation is never repeated again”, she said. 

One needs to understand the meaning of the President’s address in depth and figure out what she was trying to convey. The President referred to points which Narendra Modi wants to convey to the people. Firstly, this is the third Modi government, in continuity, and it is an extension of the previous two governments. Secondly, the third Modi government will take strong and tough decisions, as it took in the past. The effect of such decisions will be seen in the coming days. Thirdly, it was indirectly conveyed  that digital media is being misused to spread lies and sway public opinion. Both internal and external forces are involved in this conspiracy. This remark was made in the context of recent elections. Top BJP leaders feel that the digital media was misused during the recent elections to create a fake narrative around the Constitution, Ambedkar, caste reservation and caste based census. This resulted in large-scale poll reverses for the BJP in states like UP and Maharashtra. This issue is going to be surely debated during the discussion that will take place on the Motion of Thanks for the President in both Houses. 

The point that hit the Congress hard in the President’s speech was her remark about 1975 Emergency. The then Congress Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had imposed Emergency to save her throne, and Constitution, judiciary and media were trampled upon by the then autocratic government. The present Congress leadership has no reply to this attack. Congress leaders want that the dark days of Emergency are best forgotten and there should be no discussion on this issue. But the point here is that the Congress itself is leading the opposition in alleging that democracy is being crushed and the Constitution is being weakend. The opposition leaders have been alleging about “undeclared emergency”. Then how can the same leaders object when BJP members remind people about the Emergency that was imposed 50 years ago? The dark chapter of Emergency has always been a sore point for the Congress, but one must remember: A nation must learn from mistakes that were committed in the past.

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