History of Emergency
June 25, 1975 is the most infamous and dark day in the history of independent India, the day Emergency was declared. Indira Gandhi, after splitting the original Congress party, headed the other faction called Indira Congress, declared and imposed ‘internal emergency’ for reasons that had no bearing on the internal security of the country.1The emergency was imposed to suppress the widespread political unrest and agitations launched against her corrupt government and chief ministers under the leadership of noted Gandhian socialist and sarvodaya leader Jai Prakash Narain alias JP.
The Allahabad High Court had ruled that Indira Gandhi had misused her authority to win the Lok Sabha election and thus nullified her election. This verdict came on June 12. On June 24, the Supreme Court too, upheld the HC judgement and disrobed Indira Gandhi of the voting right in the parliament.
This infuriated the Prime Minister and accepting the advice of her coterie that includedSiddharth Shankar Ray, Sanjay Gandhi, V C Shukla etc. she decided to impose emergency. The draft of the proclamation prepared by S S Ray was taken personally to then President Fakruddin Ali Ahmad and he was made to sign. Indira Gandhi, instead of bowing to the verdict of the High Court, thus decided to continue in power by imposing emergency.
On June 26, 1975, she addressed the nation on All India Radio (TV had no network then). In her very brief address she said, “The President has proclaimed Emergency and there is nothing to panic about”.
The Indian democracy thus was made to stand subverted by the Congress Party Prime Minister Indira Gandhi pushing India into the darkest days till the 1977 elections. Thousands of activists of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Jamat-e-Islami, Anand Marg and leaders of various political parties including Jan Sangh, Socialist Party, Congress (O), Bharatiya Krandi Dal etc. were put behind bars across the country.
Censorship was imposed on the media so that the truth could be suppressed from the people1. Judiciary was forced to be ‘committed’ to one person. Human rights including fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution were suspended. Indira did not spare the ‘Young Turks’ like Chandrasekhar in her party who voiced any opposition to her. Police were given the free hand to arrest anyone they suspected so also the political goons of the Congress (I) to exercise their heavy arm tactics to break any opposition to Indira Gandhi.