| New Delhi |
Updated: January 20, 2020 10:55:44 am
Weeks after Indira Gandhi won a landslide victory in the Lok Sabha elections of 1971, the first Indian to head the Indian Army, General K M Cariappa, who was later made Field Marshal, underlined in a clarificatory note that he was in favour of “a military rule, only as a temporary measure to put things right in the country”.
Exhorting Indians to “wake up” and “SPEAK”, he asserted that 90 per cent would “vote for a President’s cum Military Rule to save Democracy”.
The signed note of April 7, 1971 was recently discovered in Karnataka’s state archives. It was written as a clarification for the public after Cariappa had met the then Prime Minister, Home Minister and the Speaker of Lok Sabha following a Parliamentary debate about his comments advocating these measures while informally speaking to the press in Dhanbad in March 1970.
Cariappa was heavily criticised for those remarks, including in Parliament. It was then reported that he had met these leaders to apologise for his remarks, which he denied, asserting that he had “not gone back one inch”.
In the four-page typed note,…