The Emergency In 1975: How Indira Gandhi Led India's Democracy to Chaos

The Emergency In 1975: How Indira Gandhi
Led India's Democracy to Chaos

On June 26, around forty-four years ago, in 1975, Ali Ahmed (a former president of India) proclaimed an emergency all over India that lasted for 21 months. Thus, civil liberties were curbed, and elections were suspended. Press was censored, and all the opponents of Gandhi's political party were imprisoned. So, the emergency time was considered the most controversial time in India's history.

What Led to The Declaration of Emergency

India's economy and social condition was in the worst condition after the Bangladesh Liberation War, and the US also stopped all aid to India, leading to distress in people and high commodity prices. Employees were distressed because of the government freezing their salaries, and even farmers were stressed because of delays in monsoon and food grain output. Students from Gujarat opposed the high prices of eatables in January 1974. In addition, many political parties supported them, and elections were held in June 1975 in Gujarat. Jayprakash Narayan endorsed Bihar's students movement, and the campaign was taken at the national level. Narayan announced a Satyagraha for the registration of Indira Gandhi, leading a large rally in Ramlila ground, Delhi, on June 25, 1975.

Disqualification of Indira Gandhi As An MP: Proclamation of Emergency

In 1971: In parliamentary elections, Indira Gandhi had overcome Raj Narain from the Rae Bareli supporters.

June 12, 1975: Justice Jagmohanlal Sinha found the Prime Minister guilty of misuse of the government machinery during her election campaign and declared null void elections.

June 24, 1975: Indira Gandhi moved to the Supreme Court, and the court announced that she could be part of the MP but could not participate in Lok Sabha.

June 25, 1975: Ali Ahmad declared an internal emergency as guided by the Prime Minister.

June 26, 1975: A large number of opposition leaders and workers were arrested

The Period of Emergency

All the powers were transferred to the Union government as soon as India proclaimed the national emergency. The government seized the citizens' fundamental rights during the period. The press was not allowed to publish any article without prior approval. Jamiat-e-Islami and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) were banned. Furthermore, elections for President, Prime Minister, Vice-president were declared unofficially. Sanjay Gandhi gained the administration control. The government decided to declare an election in March 1977.

Furthermore, Jayprakash Narayan led the new political party, Janata Party, and defeated Congress in the Lok Sabha elections. Janata Party won 295 seats, and the Congress won only 154 seats. Thus, Indira Gandhi was defeated from Rae Bareli, and Sanjay Gandhi was defeated from Amethi.

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