lost. The police were out in force for the demonstration and arrested all those who raised the Sikhcall of "Jo Bole So Nihaal, Sat Sri Akal" (Whoever speaks, shall be fulfilled, Truth is Undying),including theShiromani Akali Daland Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC)
leaders.The Prime Minister seemed genuinely surprised at the strength of the response from the Sikhs.Fearing their defiance might inspire civil disobedience in other parts of the county, she offered tonegotiate a deal with the Shiromani Akal Dal that would give it joint control of thePunjabLegislative Assembly.The leader of the protests, Sant Harchand Singh Longowalrefused to
meet with government representatives so long as the Emergency was in effect. In a pressinterview, he made clear the grounds of the Save Democracy campaign."The question before us is not whether Indira Gandhi should continue to be primeminister or not. The point is whether democracy in this country is to survive or not. Thedemocratic structure stands on three pillars, namely a strong opposition, independent judiciary and free press. Emergency has destroyed all these essentials."
While the civil disobedience campaign caught on in some parts of the country, especially atDelhi University, the government's tactics of mass arrests, censorship and intimidation curtailedthe oppositions's popularity. After January, the Sikhs remained virtually alone in their activeresistance to the regime. Hailed by opposition leaders as "the last bastion of democracy"
, theycontinued to come out in large numbers each month on the day of the new moon, symbolizingthe dark night of Indian democracy, to court arrest.According to Amnesty International, 140,000 people had been arrested without trial during thetwenty months of Indira Gandhi's Emergency. Of them, 40,000 had come from India's two percent Sikh minority.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, which was seen close to opposition leaders, and with its largeorganizational base was seen potential of organizing protests against the Government, was also banned
.Police clamped down on the organization and thousands of its workers wereimprisoned
.The RSS defied the ban and thousands participated in Satyagraha (peaceful protests) against the ban and against the curtailment of fundamental rights. Later, when there was no letup, thevolunteers of the RSS formed underground movements for the restoration of democracy.Literature that was censored in the media was clandestinely published and distributed on a largescale and funds were collected for the movement. Networks were established between leaders of different political parties in the jail and outside for the coordination of the movement
.'The Economist', London, described the movement as "the only non-left revolutionary force inthe world". It said that the movement was "dominated by tens of thousands of RSS cadres,though more and more young recruits are coming". Talking about its objectives it said "its platform at the moment has only one plank: to bring democracy back to India"