The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Laloo to rewrite Misa myths

Patna, June 29: After making Misa, the infamous Emergency law, a part of his family, Laloo Prasad Yadav now wants his memories of the turbulent period enshrined as recorded history.

The Rashtriya Janata Dal chief — who named his first-born Misa after the Maintenance of Internal Security Act — appears to have realised that the lathi alone will not do to counter his rivals, the BJP-RSS.

The immediate provocation for Laloo to lay down the lathi for the pen is deputy Prime Minister .K. Advani’s recent description of Jan Sangh and RSS “sacrifices” that helped pull down the Congress regime, responsible for declaring Emergency.

“I have decided to write my own experiences during Emergency. This is to explode a lot of myths being spread around by the BJP-RSS,” Laloo Prasad said here today.

“It (the book) may take sometime. But I have to complete it.” A writer will help Laloo Prasad record his memories. He has reportedly already got in touch with a publisher. “I can tell you this will be a bestseller,” the ever confident Bihar leader said.

After trying to pitch the Bihari farmer’s lathi as an alternative to the VHP’s trishul at a massive rally on April 30, Laloo Prasad appears to have adopted the BJP tactic of gaining political mileage by raking up the issue of Emergency. “If they (the BJP) go to the polls with this (Emergency), I will be the first to campaign on what actually happened,” he said.

On June 26, while speaking on the 28th anniversary of the Emergency, BJP general secretary Pramod Mahajan had warned people that the “Congress had no regrets about Emergency. If they get an opportunity, they may do it again”.

Laloo Prasad has attributed the downfall of Indira Gandhi’s government to the “nasbandi (sterilisation)” drive, not Emergency itself. “Everybody, young and old, was subjected to this, causing an outrage,” he said.

Back in 1974, Laloo Prasad, a follower of Jayaprakash Narayan, was a key commandant in Bihar of the students’ movement the leader had unleashed.

“The ABVP, the Jan Sangh’s student wing, had offered to court arrest in large numbers…” he said. “However, when it was time to do so, not a single student was around. I had to get some students to court arrest.”

Laloo himself was sent to jail, Beur and Bhagalpur being among the several prisons he spent time in.

“I have more explosive things to write. When the JP movement was losing steam, the Jan Sanghis had plotted to kill JP,” Laloo Prasad said, adding he knew what he was talking about.

The leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Sushil Kumar Modi –- a former colleague of Laloo Prasad in the movement -- said the RJD chief is choosing “convenient lies to distort the facts”.

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