The ‘National Emergency’ promulgated on 25/26th June 1975 by the President of India on the advice of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was withdrawn on 21st March 1977, immediately after the utter defeat of Indira Gandhi and Congress in the general elections held in March 1977. The Janata government was formed, by all the opposition parties, who jointly fought against the Congress. This was the first non-Congress government after Independence in 1947. The jailed politicians, trade unions leaders, activists were released from the jail by the new government.
In Calicut, the two telecom employees who were in jail, Coms. V.A.Ouseph and Sathyanathan were also released and joined duty. But the latter comrade had a grievance. He was a new recruit and while he was in jail, he got a job in Indian Bank for which he had applied, but could not join and lost it.
We felt that it is necessary that the injustice should be removed and he should get the job in the Indian Bank. As the Secretary of the union, I had to take the responsibility for the same. Within days I went to New Delhi by train.
First I went to the Janatha Party Office, which was situated in a big bungalow allotted to Parliament members. The compound was full of hundreds of people who had come from far and near to meet their leaders. Most were from the Hindi belt, especially, UP, Bihar, M.P. etc. Tea, sweets and snacks were being freely supplied to all. Everybody was in joyful mood and celebrating the victory. I could see Ministers Raj Narain, a hero of the Emergency and some other ministers. I went and met the Secretary of the Janatha Party, who was from Kerala and requested to help me in getting the bank job to Sathyanathan. I had with me a letter addressed to Finance minister in this respect. He went through the letter and without any delay noted something on the representation and told me to go and meet the Finance Minister. Immediately I went to the office of the Finance Minister in the North Block and went directly to the Minister’s room. There was no security any where and people were moving unobstructed. It was just like another Independence. Finance Minister Shri H.M.Patel was coming out of his office. I spoke and gave the representation to him and told the matter in brief. He immediately signed in the representation and told me to meet the Secretary Finance. The office of the Finance Secretary was nearby. I went and met the Finance Secretary, who went through the letter and signed it telling me to meet the Joint Secretary Finance, Banking and guided me that the office is in the 5th/6th floor of the LIC Building opposite to Dak Bhawan. I went there and met the Joint Secretary and gave the letter and told what the Finance Secretary told. He went through the letter and asked me about the details of the case.
After noting down something on the representation, he telephoned the Managing Director of the Indian Bank in Madras and told him to issue immediate orders appointing Shri Sathyanathan to the job in the bank. He also told ” Mr. Namboodiri is sitting in front of me. Before he reaches Calicut, the order should reach there.” I thanked him profusely and returned with satisfaction.
I immediately phoned our comrades at Calicut and told what happened. Within two hours I could meet the secretary Janatha Party, Finance Minister, Finance Secretary, Joint Secretary and get results. The post-emergency situation was such that each and every emergency excess has to be settled immediately.
As assured by the Joint Secretary Banking, before I reached calicut after two-three days rail journey, the order was received by Sathyanathan and he joined the Indian Bank at Madras, if I remember correct. I was told later that he got promoted to higher posts. retired.
I still feel it as a miracle, something beyond usual. Of course, as I said, it was post-emergency and everything was possible without bureaucratic intervention and security concerns.