Recalling the Emergency clamped by Indira Gandhi, Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi on Tuesday described it as “the dark hour.”

He recalled his own experiences as a lawyer in Allahabad High Court when he had to file several writ petitions in the Allahabad High Court against the detentions and proposed detentions.

The Emergency, Mr Tripathi’s statement said “was a calamity brought down on the people of India by none other than those who claimed to be champions of Democracy. Patriots suffered during the Emergency while self seekers had a good day,” he added.

“There is always a limit even to atrocities but this limit was crossed everyday during the Emergency,” the governor recalled. “Many Congressmen were seen active in vindicating their personal grievances and forcing the police to arrest their political adversaries,” he said.

Mr Tripathi wondered “ how one can stoop so low to fulfil the lust for power was shamelessly demonstrated in those days in the activities of the then ruling party at the Centre. There was a reign of terror throughout the country while illustrations of brutalities in different forms inflicted on innocent citizens are too many to count.”

“However, the silver lining was the Indian Judiciary which came to the rescue of those who were being illegally detained,” the governor stated. “The High Court granted bail and other reliefs also as was felt necessary by it,” he added.

“The other effect was that the people who suffered became more resolute and stronger in their conviction and the patriotic and democratic feelings in them were strengthened,” Mr Tripathi pointed out. “The whole country was feeling subjugated and eager to get rid of such a notorious situation,” he said.