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Haryana govt to give monthly pension to those detained during Emergency: How I escaped from being arrested under MISA?
The Haryana government's decision to give monthly pension of Rs ten thousand to those who were detained under MISA during the Emergency has perturbed me. As a journalist, I had a narrow escape from being arrested under MISA during the Emergency in 1975. During that time, I was posted at Jind, serving as a reporter for Hindi daily "Rajdharm" published from Rohtak in Haryana.

The newspaper had been launched by Arya Samaj leader Swami Indravesh barely a few days before imposition of the Emergency and was shut the moment a state of emergency was declared by the erstwhile Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Its office at Rohtak was raided from where the police obtained a list of reporters working for the newspaper.

The Home Secretary directed all SPs of Haryana to detain reporters of 'Rajdharm' under Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA), on the pretext that they are Arya Samaj activists.

When a security branch official of the then Jind SP Swadesh Kumar Sethi put papers before him mentioning my name as a reporter of 'Rajdharm, Sethi Sahib, whose younger brother was my friend from Government College in Jind where we were studying, kept the file with himself.

Later on, one fine evening, when me and my friend were playing at the SP's residence, Sethi Sahib all of sudden started shouting at me saying, "What the hell this "Rajdharm" is…First complete your education and then think of journalism."

In later years, when Sethi Sahib told me the background and reason for his scolding me, I thanked the almighty. But now with the Haryana government deciding to give monthly pension to Emergency detainees, I'm thinking, why I wasn't arrested? Had I been arrested then, in my old age now, I too would have been drawing pension to run my livelihood.

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