PM Narendra Modi, then a 25-year-old RSS ‘pracharak’, disguised himself as a Sikh to avoid getting arrested during the Emergency, imposed by then PM Indira Gandhi on June 25, 1975. RSS was among groups which were banned during that period. Modi reportedly carried banned literature to Delhi and posed as a sanyasi, escorting leaders like George Fernandes to safe locations.
Modi’s underground activities during Emergency helped him grow his stature as a leader.
“By the time Emergency was lifted, Modi’s vision had widened and from being an obscure pracharak, he was a ‘name’ in RSS circles. Success in building a statewide net of supporters providing safe havens and financial support, organising meetings that escaped prying eyes of police, ferrying proscribed literature and ability to network with diverse anti-Emergency groups resulted in Modi’s stock-value rising ..