On this day, an emergency was declared in India in 1975 by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The crisis lasted for a period of 21 months from 25 June 1975 to 21 March 1977. President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed declared a state of emergency due to internal disturbances under Article 352 of the Constitution of India on the recommendations of the government led by PM Indira Gandhi.
The crisis is often regarded as a dark phase in the history of India’s democracy as it was a period of suspension of fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution, state censorship on the media and crackdown on civil liberties.
What is an emergency?
Article 352 of the Indian Constitution declares that if the security of the country is in danger and is endangered by war, external aggression or internal disruption / armed insurgency, the President of India may declare a national emergency.
How was the state of emergency declared in 1975?
On the night of June 25, within hours of the conversation between PM Gandhi and President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, a national emergency was declared. Several opposition leaders were arrested.
According to reports, the government allegedly cut off the power supply to newspapers and media houses in Delhi so that no word would come out and the next morning Indira Gandhi declared an emergency on All India Radio.
The role of Jayaprakash Narayan
Jayaprakash Narayan was a leader and activist in Bihar who led a massive protest against the Indira Gandhi-led government in the years before 1975. Jayaprakash Narayan, also known as JP, called for a complete revolution to reform the system and fight corruption. Inflation He blamed PM Indira Gandhi for all the problems in the country.
On June 12, 1975, the Allahabad High Court convicted Indira Gandhi of election irregularities and barred her from holding any public office for 6 years. In the 1971 Lok Sabha elections, her election was canceled from Rae Bareli constituency in UP. Indira Gandhi then appealed to the Supreme Court and continued in office as Prime Minister.
However, Jayaprakash Narayan intensified the protest to remove Indira Gandhi from office. He announced a rally on June 25 at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan.
Development after the declaration of emergency
More than one lakh people were arrested during the crisis period in the country who were protesting or raising voice against the central government. Several opposition leaders and activists went underground. The state elections were also delayed due to the crisis.
After the crisis was lifted, Lok Sabha elections were held again, in which Indira Gandhi lost, and for the first time since independence, a party other than the Congress came to power. In the mid-term elections held in March 1977, Indira Gandhi also suffered a crushing defeat.
Crisis in India before 1975
Before 1975, India was in a state of emergency twice. The country was declared a state of emergency during the Sino-Indian war in 1962 and the Indo-Pakistani war in 1971.