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to encourage as much chaos as possible. They generated frequent strikes, student demonstrations necessitating the canceling of examinations and the closing of universities. The economy was disrupted, boycotts inaugurated in a variety of contexts, work stoppages encouraged, no-tax campaigns and so on. This sort of thing was nationwide and constant. Extreme leftist groups, such as the Naxalites, engaged in violence, terror and murder. Finally a minister of government was murdered and a hartal or general strike planned which, if carried out, could have caused the country to grind to a halt. Meanwhile, selfish and ruthless merchants, moneylenders and lawless elements made full use of social disturbance to further their own private ends and so to exploit the common people.

I have always been an admirer of Jayaprakash Narayan, a Gandhian and a socialist, but he led a movement aimed at what he called "total revolution." Generally committed to nonviolent methods, increasingly he with others advocated violent means for overthrow of the elected government.

On June 12, 1975, a justice of the high court of Mrs. Gandhi's home state found her guilty of two technical and relatively trivial offensesthis was not another Watergate-against the election laws. This finding was appealed, and months later set aside, but her opponents insisted that she had not been elected validly and should step down immediately. Believing that they had her "on the run" they proclaimed a general hartal to begin June 29. Jayaprakash Narayan, speaking to a vast crowd in Delhi on June 25, advocated, as he had frequently done before, that the army and police forces mutiny. The clear intention was to paralyze and overthrow the Government. No government could be expected to tolerate this sort of thing. On June 26 the emergency was called. It is my judgment that if such a drastic step had not been taken utter chaos would have resulted. Freedom had for some become license without a sense of responsibility nor regard for the rights of all. We may well remember Justice Holmes' dictum that no one has the freedom to cry "fire !" in a crowded theater.

It should be understood that the emergency measures taken are not extra-constitutional but precisely provided for in India's constitution. The President of India is authorized to proclaim a state of emergency to protect the nation from external or internal threat. This must subsequently be approved by the Parliament and this was done. I knew Dr. B. R. Ambedkar well. He practically wrote India's Constitution and was wise enough to see to it that such emergency powers were a part of it. Mahatma Gandhi used to say that India needed a "strong hand." He also insisted that "a born democrat is a born disciplinarian."

The present Indian Government is not a militaristic regime. Indeed, the Indian martial tradition is a proud one of aloofness from political partisanship. It is neutral and yet has proved loyal to the lawfully constituted authority.

Though the present policy is authoritarian it can hardly be termed totalitarian in the ordinary sense. India is not unmindful nor unaffected by world opinion. Nor is the authority utterly inhumane. In fact, many of the prisoners have already been released. The vast majority were not political prisoners but are economic offenders: Blackmarketeers, hoarders, money-lenders and profiteers. Too often these

people have been beyond the reach of ordinary legal process. We found that we could talk freely and openly in public with Indian friends— even those opposed to present policies. Letters from India appear to be frank and uninhibited. We have several Indian friends whom we have encouraged to keep public policy under constructive criticism. This would appear to be healthy and tolerable in a democracy.

Meanwhile by all accounts conditions have improved economically in India. Consumer goods are more readily available and staples are within reach of the common people. Prices are down; inflation has been brought under control. The World Bank has given India an astonishingly good "bill of health." Nature has been kind and the year's harvest good. The cities are cleaner; beggars have disappeared from the streets; some horrible and degrading slums have been removed. Courtesy and discipline now characterize public servants and government offices. Stability is making possible many much needed social and economic change. The 20-point economic program is moving forward. Common people are beginning to lift up their heads. Many signs of progress are more encouraging than at any time since independence.

I would suggest several things for American people and policymakers to bear in mind:

(1) A certain restraint and reservation of judgment with respect to India is called for. We too have proclaimed emergencies. President Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus during the Civil War. We abridged the rights of Japanese-American citizens during World War II. We have had and have other contradictions in our tradition and practice of democracy. Moreover, we have shown a remarkable tolerance for regimes which have been unashamedly and deliberately totalitarian and authoritarian.

(2) We may well acknowledge that policies in times of crisis are justifiable that are not acceptable democratic procedures if they are permanent. India's leaders have repeatedly affirmed that the emergency is not permanent. We should accept this in good faith and make it a point of dialog.

(3) We need not conclude that India has left the democratic camp. There is no reason why India should not be expected to continue as the world's largest democracy. We have much in common. India merits our understanding and continued confidence and help. This we seem only reluctantly to give. India may well become a showpiece for Asia and the whole world-but on her own terms.

Thank you very much.

Mr. FRASER. Thank you very much, Bishop Mathews.

We turn now to our third witness, Jagjit Singh Chohan, president of the International Council of Sikhs.


Mr. CHOHAN. Mr. Chairman, I am honored to have been asked to appear before your distinguished House International Relations Subcommittee on International Organizations today. No subject is weighted with more importance for the future of humanity than that of human rights. I consider it a hopeful sign that this body is now

holding these meetings on human rights in India where the violation of basic human rights is a daily, even an hourly occurrence these days. I am a native of the Punjab, that area in the north of India bordering on Pakistan and Kashmir, which is home of the Sikhs. As a medical doctor I served the people in this area for many years. As a physician I have learned that each body, individual or body politic, must react to threats to its health in its own way. I have served as Minister of Finance of the Government of Punjab and general secretary of Akali Dal, a political party which represents 80 percent or more of the Sikhs. As I appear before you it is as president of the International Council of Sikhs. But the irony of fate has it that now I am a stateless person as my passport has been revoked for the last 5 years.

Wherever there is a human being, I see human rights inherent in that being. Whoever takes away rights, especially the rights of free speech and open communication, strips mankind of its humanity and men and women of their dignity. At this moment 14,000 Sikhs in Punjab and more than 100,000 in the rest of India are in prison, which is in gross violation of their basic human rights. Each day as early worshipers leave the Golden Temple in Amristar in the Punjab of India, they are arrested. Without a hearing, without a trial, without justice and in violation of their human rights they are cast into jail on orders from the government of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Our religious belief is based upon human equality and dignity, upon the concept that one community should not enforce its way of life upon another. From our earliest days we have sought independence for ourselves. When India sought independence, we joined with the Congress Party and fought for the independence of all.

How bitter was the taste of the proclamation of emergency of June 26, 1975. Since independence came on August 15, 1947, India has been the scene of many crises and many emergencies. Until 1975 the prior emergencies had been declared to meet clear threats to the nation's security because of war. For the first time the June 26, 1975, proclamation declared "that a grave emergency exists, whereby the security of India is threatened by internal disturbances."

In the morning hours prior to the announcement of the emergency, police on orders of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi rounded up and arrested opposition political leaders. Shortly thereafter complete censorship was imposed to quash any whisper of dissent, or of criticism directed toward the government in Delhi. A regulation was made prohibiting five people from assembling to express any slogan or dissent against the Government. Twenty-six organizations were banned. The principal victims were social religious organizations such as Annada Marga, Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh, and Jamat-e-Islami-e-Hind, et cetera.

[The following list of banned organizations was submitted by Dr. Chohan:]

1. Ananda Marga.


2. Proustist Forum of India.

3. Proustist Bloc of India.

4. Vishva Sankriti Seva.

5. Seva Dharm Mission.

6. Education, Relief, and Welfare Section.

7. Pragtishcel Bhojpuri Samaj.

8. Angika Samaj.

9. Baghelkhand Samaj.

10. Universal Proustist Labour Federation.

11. Universal Proustist Students Federation.

12. Renaissance Universal Club.

13. Renaissance Artists and Writers Association.

14. Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team.

15. Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) Charu Mazumdar group; Lin Piao faction.

16. Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) Charu Mazumdar group; anti-Lin Piao faction.

17. United Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) S.N. Singh-Chandra Pulla Reddy group.

18. Andhra Pradesh Communist Committee (Revolutionaries).

19. Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) Suniti Ghosh-Sharma faction.

20. Eastern India Zonal Consolidation Committee of the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist).

21. Maoist Communist Centre.

22. Mukti Yudha group.

23. Unity Centre of Communist Revolutionaries of India (Marxist-Leninist). 24. Centre of Indian Communists.

25. Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh.

26. Jamat-e-Islami-e-Hind.

27. Mizo National Front.

Mr. CHOHAN. Outside India these humiliating developments were widely interpreted as the end of Indian democracy. Some believed that the nation which had once prided itself as the world's largest democracy has taken the first steps toward becoming the world's largest authoritarian state. Why was it done? What can it mean? Is there anything anyone can do about it? Indeed, how does one respond to a change of such vast proportions affecting a population three times that of the United States or the Soviet Union?

The proof of outrageous violations of human rights are presented in the exhibits accompanying my presentation here today. There is a letter from Sikhs; case histories of leaders arrested, personal examples of persecution, examples of brainwashing, which is the worst, and cases of persecution of religious groups. The violations are real. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, herself threatened by her violations of India's election laws, has turned toward measures to silence all opposition; more than that, to silence all criticism of her regime. Whereas the diverse peoples and cultures thought before in terms of democratic procedures for adjusting differences and setting common goals, now the people are confronted by a system in which political rights and freedoms, and basic human rights as well, have been abrogated.

The questions that this earth-shaking change raises, race like a tidal wave across oceans and nations and hemispheres. Has the shift from democratic to authoritarian procedures arisen from the failure of liberal democracy to provide means to meet the needs of people in India? Or is the failure of a personality, unable to face political defeat and the loss of power endemic in the democratic process, what is really involved? What role has been played by United States policies which have tended to ignore the people of India?

What impact can be credited to the Soviet Union's ardent courting of the Indian people and of Indira Gandhi? In other words has the coolness of the one and the ardor of the other tilted a nation of 600

million away from liberal democracy toward authoritarianism? And what does the future hold? Will India break apart into a number of small independent nations, each serving the needs of its own people, each one quite different from the others? Will India, on the other hand, hold together as an authoritarian state in alliance with the Soviet Union, as some Western strategic thinkers fear, with the threat to democratic nations that would involve? Or finally will India find an alternative way toward satisfying the people's material needs while returning to liberal democracy and multiparty parliamentary government?

These are the questions raised by the gross violations of human rights in India today; questions whose answers will determine the fate of nations and even of the greatest of all nations in today's world. I don't think that favorable answers to these questions can be brought by the granting or the withholding of food grains or of advanced technology. During the 1960's we missed an opportunity to structure the rural economy so that it would be productive. Despite some gains. through the green revolution, the number of landless laborers and destitute urban dwellers has increased. Corruption spread and many people lost faith in democracy and in a better future. There is no hope that external manipulations can lead to any solution of India's problems. For these are deep in the people. They are internal. They are political more than they are economic. There are those in India who believe that if the caution of the divisions of democracy can only be set aside, solutions of economic problems can be achieved by discipline and by will. How many times have we seen this terrible and tragic drama played out? How typical it is. Regimes which begin by stripping people of their human rights end by reducing human beings to living machines.

I have been talking about the violations of human rights in India since June 26, 1976, alone. But for Sikhs the history of the past 30 years in India has been a history of prejudice and discrimination against Sikhs. Their language has been disowned by a majority of Hindus and Harijans, or untouchables, of Punjab. The All India Gurdwara Act, giving Sikhs management of their own affairs, has been violated and Government nominees control the Holy places of Sikhism of Haryana, U.P., Delhi, Himachal Pradeh Maharagura, and Jammy and Kashmir. It remains a historical fact how much struggle and sacrifice has been invested over the 50 years to enable the Sikhs to manage their own religious places. Sikhs are not allowed to own land in other parts of India. They are forced to sell their farm produce at below market prices. The whole move of the Hindu Government during this long period of time has been toward weakening and even toward exterminating Sikhism. The violation of Sikhs' religious and human rights has been intensified by development since the June 1975 emergency.

In the pursuit of freedom many Sikhs have come to the United States. They have found comfortable homes here and have become citizens of this great land of liberty and prosperity. It is our view that a people is free when its corporate actions are determined by the people themselves. As long as the people control their own destinies they are free, but as soon as they lose control of their political, social and

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