On June 23, BJP leader Varun Gandhi put out a series of tweets about his late father Sanjay Gandhi on occasion of the latter’s death anniversary.
Sanjay Gandhi, who was killed in a plane crash in 1980 at the age of 33, was one of the key faces of the National Emergency imposed by his mother, former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi for a 21-month period that started on June 25, 1975.
“Today, I pay tribute to my father Late Shri Sanjay Gandhi on his 40th death anniversary. A man of steel, generations ahead of his time, who worked towards a strong and self-reliant India, with both the vision to see what lay ahead and also the courage to act on it,” Varun tweeted on June 23.
Sanjay, however, was considered one of the main faces of the emergency, despite not being an elected representative. Critics of Indira Gandhi have even pointed out that she was manipulated several times by her son and even blinded by his actions.
June 25, which marked 45 years of the emergency, had several members of the BJP criticizing Indira Gandhi and even calling it a dark day in Indian history – something that the party has repeatedly said in its rhetoric ever since it came to power in 2014. In all these cases, both Varun and Maneka Gandhi have remained silent.
However, Varun Gandhi’s silence remains a puzzling factor when Republic Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami called Sanjay Gandhi ‘useless’ on his show last evening. The video, which is longer than the seven-second clip that has been shared by many on social media, had Arnab also criticising the emergency.
Critics of the emergency also questioned Varun’s silence, with most of them criticising Arnab Goswami
Here is how people reacted
Sanjay Gandhi was mostly criticised for his compulsory sterilisation programme to limit India's population growth. While there are disputes over his role in the programme, Sanjay's critics have been quite vocal about his involvement. However, others have blamed the failure of the programme on officials, rather than Sanjay Gandhi himself.