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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dictator Indira Gandhi's Emergency in 1975

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Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, the despotic daughter of the Blunder of Century Jawaharlal Nehru, gave Hindusthan THE darkest days in Bharatiya Democracy by unethically and unjustifiably declaring Emergency on June 25, 1975 till March 21, 1977. She followed in the footsteps of her corrupt Socialist and British stooge father Jawahar Lal Nehru, who had also imposed an Emergency when the bravado he had encouraged during the early stages of the war with China evaporated after humiliation in the Himalayas by the armies of Chairman Mao Zedong. During the dark period of Emergency, dictator Indira made many immoral changes to the Constitution including to the Preamble of the Bharatiya Constitution. Here are some famous pictures from the days of Emergency.

The famous cartoon by Abu Abraham showing the former President of India, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, signing the proclamation of Emergency from his bathtub.

Dictator Indira Gandhi's despotic regime found this cartoon by Abu Abraham in Indian Express not fit for publication as it was critical of her censorship. Cartoon was CENSORED. See the rejection stamp.

One MAN Government.

श्रमेव-जयते or Shram-eva-Jayate was another slogan then. Indira Gandhi's stooges colleagues labored hard.

One of the outputs generated from Dictator Indira Gandhi's propaganda machine: Price of Liberty Indian people had to pay.

Dictator Indira Gandhi had ministerial colleagues during dark days of Emergency who all resembled this.

Frontpage of Indian Herald Newspaper when Emergency (Darkest days of Indian Democracy) was enforced by Indira Gandhi & Indian National Congress and opposition including great stalwart Indian leaders like Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Mr. Lal Krishna Advani, et al, the then opposition, were thrown in jail.

Frontpage of The Hindu Newspaper when Emergency (Darkest days of Indian Democracy) was enforced by Indira Gandhi & Indian National Congress and press censorship was imposed.

Jayaprakash Narayan (JP) leading people to Parliament Street against Emergency.

All vacant sites of outdoor media and billboards had to display such dictatorial messages.

Few examples of her tyrannies which made complete mockery of the Bharatiya Constitution and civil liberties:
* Suspension of Fundamental Rights
* Article 14 – Right to Equality before Law
* Article 21 – Right to Life and Personal Liberty
* Article 22 – Protection against Arrest and Detention in certain cases
* Gain of extraordinary power
* 39 th Amendment – Made proclamation of Emergency non-justiciable
* 40 th Amendment – Courts prevented from hearing against President, PM, Speaker
* 41 st Amendment – Conferred immunity to PM against criminal proceedings in just about every conceivable case
* 42 nd Amendment – Authorised President to amend Constitution for 2 years
* Abolished the need for quorum in Parliament (2/3 could make laws for India!)

Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger's Taped conversation: Indira Gandhi is a Bitch and an Old Witch

Experiences of AS Raghunath
GenNext must know what had led to Emergency, 37 years ago. Situation no different today. At least, there was JP then. Today? No one.

Emergency back grounder: Raj Narain, a socialist who was defeated by Indira Gandhi in the Rae Bareilly LS constituency, submitted to the Allahabad High Court charges of corruption in the election process against Mrs. G. In 1974, Jayaprakash Narayan, ex-socialist began to organize a campaign in Bihar to oust Indira Gandhi and her congress party from office on charges of corruption.

On June 12th, 1975, Justice Jagmohanlal Sinha of the Allahabad High Court, found the PM guilty on the charge of misuse of government machinery for her election campaign. The court declared her election "null and void" and unseated her from the Lok Sabha.

The court also banned her from contesting in any election for an additional six years. She was held guilty on charges such as building of a dais by state police and provision of electricity by the state electricity department and height of the dais from which she addressed the campaign rally.

The Times of India, a pro-establishment newspaper described her arrest as "firing the Prime Minister for a traffic ticket."

Strikes by labour and trade unions, student unions and government unions swept across the country. Protests led by Raj Narayan and Moraji Desai flooded the streets of Delhi close to the Parliament building and the Prime Minister's residence.

Justice Sinha stayed the operation of his judgment for 20 days allowing the Congress party to elect a successor to the Prime Minister.

Unable to find a competent successor, Mrs. Gandhi, on June 23rd 1975 appealed for “complete and absolute” stay which would have permitted her to be a voting Member of Parliament, as well as Prime Minister.

On June 24th 1975 Justice Iyer granted Indira Gandhi “conditional stay”. This decision gave rise to outcries from the opposition that she should resign. Mrs. Gandhi did not resign.

On the evening of June 25th 1975, JP Narayan called for a civil disobedience campaign to force the resignation of the Prime Minister. In response, the authority of the maintenance of Internal Security Act was used in the early hours of June 26th to arrest more than a hundred people who opposed Mrs. Gandhi and her party.

People arrested included JP Narayan, Raj Narain, Jyortimoy Basu (communist party-marxist), Samar Guha (president of the Jana Sangha). A proclamation of Emergency was issued on June 26th by President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, on the advice of Prime Minister Gandhi.

Democracy is alien to dynasties - By Kanchan Gupta, The Daily Pioneer
Thirty seven years ago this week, the Constitution was brutalised to turn India into a police state. One of the men who helped enforce Mrs Gandhi’s dictatorship is set to become the keeper of the Constitution.

News would travel fast in Jamshedpur, a small sleepy town in the 1970s where there were few distractions from the daily routine. This was some three decades before the advent of the Internet and cell phones. Computers were unheard of and television notionally existed, courtesy Doordarshan, in the big metropolitan cities. Few homes had telephones and still fewer had telephones that were not perpetually ‘out of order’.

In Jamshedpur, life was played out, frame by frame, in monotonous black and white, with occasional stretches of technicolour excitement. Jump cuts were considered too startling, but they couldn’t be avoided entirely: These usually came by way of unsettling news from the world beyond Jamshedpur, either borne by the Calcutta papers that came by the morning train and were distributed late in the afternoon, or riding the radio waves of Akashvani. People tuned into All India Radio to listen to Lotika Ratnam and Nilima Sanyal, not so much for what they had to say but to hear their voice so that they could imitate their accent. But that was okay, because, as I said, news travelled fast in Jamshedpur.

And so it was that although the Calcutta papers did not arrive on June 26, 1975, everybody knew by mid-morning of the events with cataclysmic consequences of the previous evening in faraway New Delhi. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had ‘recommended’ to President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed the declaration of Internal Emergency as she had information that there was “an imminent danger to the security of India being threatened by internal disturbances”. The President had complied without a murmur of protest.

At the stroke of the midnight hour, civil liberties and fundamental rights had been suspended; censorship imposed; Opposition leaders arrested; and, dictatorship of the dynasty had replaced democracy of the people. India was in chains all over again, this time enslaved by its own. “Don’t talk to strangers,” parents instructed their teenaged children.

Over the next few days a strange fear descended upon the people of this country — the fear of being punished and persecuted by the Emergency regime through its many agents and agencies. The dreaded midnight knock became the metaphor of those dark, terrible days when friends stopped trusting friends, relatives shunned relatives, teachers squealed on students and vice versa, and censors eager to please Congress bosses decided what was fit to print.

Not everybody, though, was appalled by Mrs Gandhi’s tanashahi — I learned that word from our physics teacher who was a tyrant in the classroom but would incessantly rage against the tyranny of what he would bitingly describe as an “illegitimate Government”. There were middle-class collaborators who, convinced that imitation was the best form of flattery, mimicked Sanjay Gandhi’s mannerisms and style of speech, and wore white kurta-pajamas similar to his. Hoodlums wore white kurtas over drainpipe pants and ran extortion rackets. Many people thought the Emergency was a good idea because trains ran on time and Vinoba Bhave endorsed Mrs Gandhi’s evil decision, calling the Emergency “Anushasan Parv”. Newspapers, barring honourable exceptions, caved in without a fight: Journalists, asked to bend, chose to crawl.

Meanwhile, dissent and its expression through protest was met with swift retribution. The RSS, which mobilised its vast network of swayamsevaks to launch an underground movement against Mrs Gandhi's dictatorship, was banned. But that did not deter swayamsevaks from persisting with their movement that was described by The Economist as “the only non-left revolutionary force in the world … its platform at the moment has only one plank: To bring democracy back to India.” The only other organisation which led from the front in the fight-back was the Akali Dal. Mrs Gandhi tried to coopt the Akalis, but they rebuffed her gesture; for them, freedom was far more important than power.

The Intelligence Bureau and the Central Bureau of Investigation were used for intimidating and harassing both rich and poor on mere suspicion of anti-Emergency activism. The Income Tax Department was instructed to let loose a reign of terror on trade union leaders. People were arrested and packed off to jail; many of them were brutally tortured to extract a confession that would serve the Emergency regime’s political interests — for instance, that he/she was a CIA agent.

The Constitution was slyly amended to declare India a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic, an absurdity whose burden we are still forced to carry. To inspire confidence in the Supreme Leader, a massive Soviet-style propaganda offensive was launched. Billboards were put up with slogans like “The Leader is right, the nation’s future is bright!”In offices, including those in the private sector, Congress goons put up posters, urging people to “Work more, Talk less.” It was all very darkly reminiscent of the Third Reich.

Mrs Gandhi had the Supreme Court packed with handpicked ‘committed’ judges whose job it was to overturn the Allahabad High Court’s judgement of June 15, declaring her 1971 election as void and disqualifying her from contesting elections for the next six years. To demonstrate their ‘commitment’ to her, the judges also suspended the provision for habeas corpus without which India is no different from a police state ruled by a tin pot dictator.

By the time Mrs Gandhi called a general election in the spring of 1977, the people had made up their minds. On voting day they voted out the Congress! Mrs Gandhi and her son Sanjay were trounced in constituencies they considered to be their family heirloom and, therefore, theirs by right. A chastened Mrs Gandhi lifted the Emergency on March 21, 1977.

Thirty-seven years later, the excesses of the Emergency era may appear too distant in the past to be worthy of recall. But to believe that would be incorrect. There has been no change in the attitude of the Congress and the party’s first family makes no effort to hide its unshakeable belief that it has the divine right to rule India, either directly or indirectly, and not be held accountable for the many sins of omission and commission of which the Nehru-Gandhis are guilty. Indeed, to forget the Emergency would be a grave injustice to those who suffered so that liberty and rights would be ours.

It will forever be a matter of abiding shame for Bengalis that one of their own — Chief Minister Siddhartha Shankar Ray — came up with the idea of using the Constitution to kill freedom in India and drafted the declaration of Emergency to which Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed meekly appended his signature.

Those who are not well-disposed towards Mr Pranab Mukherjee would add the name of a second Bengali to the list of the villains of 1975-77 — his. As Minister of State for Finance (October 1974-December 1975) and later Minister of State with independent charge of Banking and Revenue (December 1975-March 1977) in those dark days he did Mrs Gandhi’s bidding and more than helped keep dissenters at bay through the expedient means of getting the Income Tax Department to ruthlessly hound them. Seen in this context, it’s only apt that he should resign from the Cabinet close to June 26, the 37th anniversary of Mrs Gandhi’s Emergency, to assume the charge of ‘Keeper of the Constitution of India’ as President of the Republic.

India Emergency 35th Anniversary – chronology of events

Corrupted And Perverted Mind Of Nehruvian Congress

Bursting bloated bladders of lies and pomposity

The Economist‘s Indira Gandhi circa 1984

The artwork for a cover of Indira Gandhi (1984) that led to The Economist being confiscated at airports in India

Penned just months before her assassination, It seems to have pretty much hit off every single thing you can think of: she’s in a vaguely Bharat Mata-gone-crazy pose that brings back memories of the “Indira is India” quote, wearing a sort of kitschy Bollywood rustic belle outfit, holding on to an angry man in a turban (a Sikh I suppose), a scimitar, another angry man trying to get her attention (the common man or a party worker?), a big bag full of cash, and stomping on Sri Lanka. She also has Madonna-worthy muscles, a couple of snakes for a necklace, a walnut for an eye and a pouchy tummy.

Image courtesy: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 Image courtesy: The Economist

 The man of simple lines By H.K. Dua, Editor-in-Chief, The Tribune India
Those were bad times in India. Indira Gandhi had placed the country under emergency raj. Thousands of opposition leaders were arrested after midnight on June 25, 1975 and sent to undisclosed destinations.

A severe press censorship was imposed. Electricity of newspaper offices was switched off; the printing presses were locked. No one knew what would be the shape of things to come. The mood across the country was of anxiety and uncertainty.

Vidya Charan Shukla had been asked to take over the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. Apparently, Mrs Gandhi and her son Sanjay thought that he would do the job ruthlessly and Inder Gujral whom he had replaced would not. Shukla thought of addressing a press conference clearly to pass on the emergency message.

"We have imposed press censorship to stop the spread of rumours", Shukla said imperiously.
1975: The Emergency - "Democracy had been hijacked to serve personal interests"
By MJ Akbar

The Emergency of 1975, imposed by Indira Gandhi, was like mumps or chicken pox on the body politic of India: you had to suffer from it once in order to become immune. If it had come later, it might have proved fatal.

It was not the first proclamation of the Emergency by the Union Government. Indira Gandhi's father, Jawaharlal Nehru, also imposed an Emergency when the bravado he had encouraged during the early stages of the war with China evaporated after humiliation in the Himalayas by the armies of Chairman Mao Zedong.

But in 1962 Indians responded to the Emergency with a passionate display of unity and sacrifice, particularly after they learnt the bitter truth of defeat. The 1975 Emergency was imposed not because India was in danger but because Indira was in danger. The nation's reaction was stunned anger. Democracy had been hijacked to serve personal interests. It was the ultimate betrayal.

Everything that can be said has been written about when and why this Emergency was declared, and how it was manipulated through a craven Congress, an imprisoned Opposition and an obedient judiciary. Less is known about why it was lifted.

According to a source very close to Mrs Gandhi, and one important enough in the political pecking order to be mentioned in the succession stakes after her assassination, she took the decision in December 1976 to call for the overdue general election.

Word was put out to intelligence agencies and confidants to check the national mood. Her son Sanjay Gandhi, young, arrogant, dictatorial and completely insensitive to democracy and its values, was furious when he heard that his mother had gone "soft".

In Sanjay's scheme of things, they could have continued with the Emergency for another 20 years and, as he argued, "put this country right". Like Mussolini, he wanted the trains to run on time. That this would have turned India into another tinpot dictatorship of the kind prevalent all across the Third World was of little consequence to him. He put enormous pressure on his mother to reverse gear.

In the meantime, astrologers, the usual musicians of India's political symphonies, came into play and proclaimed that any announcement could be made only in the more auspicious second half of January.

The decision remained in doubt, said my source, till the first few days of January, when Mrs Gandhi decided that she needed the legitimacy of a popular victory to remain in power. Her words were significant as she took her decision: "If we do not go to the people now, we will never go to them again."

Cynics might take a less flattering view, and heaven knows that Mrs Gandhi gave sufficient reason for cynicism. But, with the perspective of three decades, I do believe that she was more a child of Nehru than the mother of Sanjay.

Power was important to her, but, in the final analysis, not more important than nationalism. We were lucky that the Emergency was a weapon that she chose to use, because by reversing it, Mrs Gandhi also made this Constitutional provision impotent forever.
Indian unity has shown the tensile strength to withstand rebellions in the north-west and north-east and murmurs in the south. But it is only as strong as Indian democracy, for it is democracy that gives every Indian a practical stake in his country's present and future. The Emergency of 1975 was a turning point precisely because time stood still during those 19 months.
What really happened during Emergency in India?
By Tejasvita Apte

This answer is both legal and political as law and politics played a major role before, during and after the emergency. It will therefore get a little technical. If you have any questions, I urge you to comment and ask.

Short answer -

The first thing you need to know about emergency is -

During emergency, Fundamental Rights are suspended. This means that the state can take any action and people have no recourse. During emergency thousands of people from the opposition were arrested and put behind bars without a trial. The press had absolutely no freedom to report. There was extreme censorship. Extreme measures like forced mass sterilization were conducted. The state policies were implemented completely.

This in short is what happened in Emergency.

Long answer  -

Emergency was declared in India from 1975-1977. 21 months. Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister and Fakruddin Ali Ahmad was the President.


From the beginning, there was a clash between the Legislature and the Judiciary in India. Immediately after independence, the government in view of its socialist policy carried out land reforms. Land was acquired by the government.
At that point of time, Right to property was still a Fundamental Right. A lot of amendments were carried out including removal of Right to property from Part III (It is now a legal right), creation of IXth schedule ( A schedule in the Constitution that gives immunity to laws. If a law is put in the IXth schedule, it cannot be challenged on the grounds of violation of Fundamental Rights).

The Supreme Court initially was very pro government as it saw these amendments as necessary to carry out reforms. In the cases of Sajjan Singh and Shankari Prasad, therefore, the Union of India won.

But 17 years after, the misuse of IXth schedule slowly came to light.

I.C. Golaknath v. State of Punjab

This was a landmark case in which the Petitioner won. This was a bench of 11 judges. Constitutional validity of a bunch of amendments as well as land laws (which were included in the IXth schedule were challenged).

The question was - Whether the Parliament has unlimited power to amend the Constitution or not.

Article 13 of the Constitution lays down that the State shall not pass any law which violates Fundamental Rights. The meaning of the word 'law' came up for interpretation. Did it include Constitutional amendments? That was the second question.
If it did, then amendments could not be made to the Fundamental Rights. If it did not apply to Constitutional amendments, then the Parliament could amend the Fundamental Rights (even take them away) but could not pass a law that violated them (Ironically!).

The SC held by a majority of 6:5 that the word 'law' in article 13 included Constitutional amendments.

Effect -

The effect of this judgment was that Parliament became powerless to amend, alter any part of the Fundamental rights enshrined from 14-32.

This verdict (highly criticized) resulted in creating a major rift between the judiciary and the legislature. It also resulted in a legal battle that continued through a series of cases and a lot of Judicial transfers!

These landmark cases are - Privy purses case, Benett Coleman Case, Bank Nationalization case, Kesavananda Bharti case, Minerva Mills case, etc.

Privy Purses case and Bank Nationalization case did not go as the government desired.

The Political storm

Meanwhile, a political storm was brewing which was owing a lot to the economic situation in India. In hindsight everyone today would agree that India's socialism hasn't really helped her, but at that point of time, it was highly in vogue.

1971 - Garibi Hatao (Eliminate poverty)

This was the catchy slogan used by Indira Gandhi to win a stunning victory in 1971. Immediately after that, the government's top priority was to over rule Golaknath's case along with Privy purses and Bank Nationalization cases. Consequently, Constitution was amended. There was many vicious changes like the word 'compensation' was replaced with 'amount'.
So initially, if a person's land was acquired, the government as per law was required to pay them compensation. Now, they were required to pay an 'amount' which could very well be Rs. 1/-.

Meanwhile from 1973-75, there was huge unrest with strikes and lockouts in the country. The government was highly criticized and it faced several no confidence motions in the Parliament.

Indira Nehru Gandhi v. Raj Narayan

This case further added to Mrs. Gandhi's troubles. Raj Narayan who had contested against Indira Gandhi and lost, filed cases of election malpractice against the sitting Prime Minister!

Justice Jagmohan Sinha of the Allahabad High Court found the Prime Minister guilty of the charges. Apparently, the judge's stenographer was forced to live in the judge's house with his family as there were threats to his life! Indira Gandhi appealed and lost.

This case was like the final nail in the coffin!

Jayprakash Narayan was organizing rallies against the government and this was probably the time Indira Gandhi would have thought of declaring emergency and seizing power. In her biography, it is written that this was probably the most difficult time for her and she was extremely insecure.

Emergency was declared on 25 June 1975 citing threats of national security and bad economy.

There were widespread arrests without trials, violation of Human rights, police brutality, mass sterilization, etc.

Aftermath -

The Emergency came to an end on 23 March 1977. Fresh Elections were called for and Janata Party (opposition) won. Ironically, in 1980, Indira Gandhi again won majority owing to ideological divides in the Janta government.

Current legal position as to amendability of the Constitution -

The SC in partially over ruled Golaknath's case in the landmark case of Kesavananda Bharti v. State of Kerala.
It has laid down that the Parliament has the power to amend any part of the Constitution as long as it doesn't violate the Basic Structure of the Constitution.

Following is a summarize chronology of her autocratic rule during emergency:

Educating Dr Manmohan Singh - Presentation Transcript

1. Educating Dr. Manmohan Singh ‘ What is L.K. Advani’s contribution to our national life?’ -Dr. Manmohan Singh, when releasing Congress Party Manifesto on 24 March 2009
2. An online volunteer recounts the horrifying, yet true story of the darkest days of Indian democracy that every Indian should know and take lessons from! Emergency: Democracy Imprisoned
3. LK Advani was one of the leading fighters for the country’s freedom when the Emergency threatened our very existence Dr. Manmohan Singh, when releasing Congress Party Manifesto on 24 March 2009, asked: ‘ What is L.K. Advani’s contribution to our national life?’
o Dr. Singh conveniently forgot India’s traumatic experience of the Emergency Rule (June 1975 till March 1977), when L.K. Advani, along with many other stalwarts of the Opposition courageously fought for the restoration of democracy.
o The incumbent Congress Government headed by Indira Gandhi sent Advani, along with tens of thousands of pre-democracy activists to jail for 19 months.
o Dr. Singh does not consider this a worthy contribution to our national life. Not surprising since he didn’t utter a word of protest against the Emergency – then or later.
“ Freedom and hope don’t go hand in hand. They can steal your freedom, but can’t take away your hope.” - Laurie Hendricks, Amsterdam (one of the many international messages sent to L.K. Advani while in prison) Advani revisits Bangalore Central Jail where he had spent 19 months during Emergency (2000)
4. Why is there a need for this today? Emergency took away our most prized possession: FREEDOM
* Without Freedom, a Nation is stripped of its honour
* A lot of blood and tears were shed before we earned our Freedom
* However, it was lost in 1975 during Emergency
* Thousands, including the stalwarts from the Opposition, were put behind bars
* No recourse for appeal to courts
* Newspapers became stenographers to Government
* Foundations of judiciary were hacked
“ Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” - George Santayana Wide-spread ignorance about facts related to Emergency
* No mention of post-Independence era in our history books
* A large section of our country still ignorant about Emergency
* Congress party, that enforced Emergency, is still at the helm
* Politicians like Smt. Indira Gandhi that enforced Emergency, are still eulogized
5. The Emergency lasted for almost 2 years – the darkest days in the history of Free India “ Freedom of the human personality, freedom of the mind and freedom of the spirit has become the passion of my life and I shall not see it compromised for bread, for security, for prosperity, for the glory of the state or for anything else.” - Jayaprakash Narayan
6. The Allahabad High Court ruling triggered a chain of events that converted the world’s largest democracy to the second largest dictatorship “ I have decided to declare an Emergency. The President has agreed. I will inform the Cabinet tomorrow.” - Indira Gandhi (on the night Emergency was imposed) Political Unrest
* Congress practiced electoral fraud to win 1971 elections
* Jayaprakash Narayan’s agitation in Bihar for change in provincial government
* Congress defeated in Gujarat by Janata Party
Allahabad Conviction
* Case filed against Indira Gandhi for election fraud and misuse of state machinery
* Allahabad High Court finds PM guilty on the charge of misuse for election campaign
* Declares her election null and void; unseated from her Lok Sabha seat
* Huge protests all over the country by students, trade-unions against the PM
* Persistent efforts received praise worldwide
Declaration of Emergency
* President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed declared a state of Emergency upon the advice of PM on the midnight of 26 June 1975
* The Cabinet did not even meet to pass the resolution before Emergency was declared
Famous cartoon by Abu Abraham showing Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed (the then President of India), signing the proclamation of Emergency from his bathtub
7. Invoking Article 352, PM granted herself extraordinary powers and launched a massive crackdown on civil liberties and political opposition. Justice HR Khanna (Supreme Court) - “If a person jailed during the Emergency is shot down by those in authority for personal reasons, do you mean to suggest that his associates have no judicial remedy?” Attorney General – “I do not feel happy saying this, but legally, Lordship, that is precisely the position.” Thousands of protestors and strike leaders were arrested
* Notable politicians arrested
* Jayaprakash Narayan - L.K. Advani
* Morarji Desai - Chandrasekhar
* A.B. Vajpayee -Ramkrishna Hegde
* LK Advani authored 5 underground essays while in prison used by people campaigning against Emergency
* Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and many other organizations were banned
Complete mockery of the Indian Constitution and civil liberties
* Suspension of Fundamental Rights
* Article 14 – Right to Equality before Law
* Article 21 – Right to Life and Personal Liberty
* Article 22 – Protection against Arrest and Detention in certain cases
* Gain of extraordinary power
* 39 th Amendment – Made proclamation of Emergency non-justiciable
* 40 th Amendment – Courts prevented from hearing against President, PM, Speaker
* 41 st Amendment – Conferred immunity to PM against criminal proceedings in just about every conceivable case
* 42 nd Amendment – Authorised President to amend Constitution for 2 years
* – Abolished the need for quorum in Parliament (2/3 could make laws for India!)
8. Freedom of Press was curtailed as never before, even worse than during the British Raj “ Is it an accident that nowhere in the (new) Code of Conduct (for the Press) does the word ‘freedom appear?” - V.K. Narasimhan, Chief Editor, The Indian Express (during Emergency) Press was abused and misused to meet PM’s objective
* Atrocities committed on Press
* - 253 journalists were arrested (110 - MISA, 110 - DIR, and 33 – other laws)
* Entry into India was banned for 26 foreign journalists (including Mark Tully)
* Govt. disaccredited 51 journalists and expelled 7 of them
* Strict censorship imposed
* Govt. officer appointed as censor for every newspaper/news agency
* Incompetent censors indiscriminately censored anything remotely ‘politically incorrect’
* New code of conduct prepared and foisted upon Press
* Crime even to publish any information about who was in detention and where
* Media used for propaganda and brainwashing public
* All India Radio and the entire mass media used for propaganda
* People made to believe that liberty, civil-rights, press freedom, judicial independence were ‘elitist’ concepts
* National Herald (Congress party’s own daily newspaper) eulogised one-party system in countries like Tanzania
9. There were serious charges against the Government, under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi Abuse and torture of detainees and political prisoners Misuse of public and private media institutions Arbitrary destruction of the slum and low-income housing Complete disregard for Indian Constitution
o Prisoners were segregated on the basis of religion
o No distinction made between political prisoners and criminals
Wanton detention of innocent people
o 34,988 persons were detained under MISA
o 75,818 were arrested under Defense of India Rules (DIR)
Forced vasectomy
o Thousands of men forced to undergo vasectomy
o Abusive and forcible treatment of poor people
o Slum and low-income housing in Turkmen Gate and Jama Masjid area destroyed
o Hundreds of relatively prosperous families reduced to the status of impoverished and needy
o AIR and Doordarshan used as tools for propaganda
o Indian Press subjected to censorship which was worse than during the British Raj
o Almost all parts of Constitution including the Preamble was changed
o Aimed at substituting a democratic form of government by an authoritarian form of government
“ As borne out by the records of the Government and the depositions of several responsible Government servants, dishonesty and falsehood became almost a way of official life during the Emergency” - Shah Commission (appointed to inquire into all the excesses committed during Emergency)
10. However, there were heroes who fought a determined battle against all odds and championed the cause of democracy “ If India ever finds its way back to the freedom and democracy, someone will surely erect a monument to Justice H.R. Khanna” - New York Times, 1976 Jayaprakash Narayan
* Called for Indira Gandhi to resign after Allahabad HC ruling
* Inspired millions to fight against the Emergency
* Championed the coalition of Opposition parties against Congress
Justice Hans Raj Khanna
* Stood up against the might of a muffling Indian state during Emergency
* Adjudged : Parliament cannot take away the basic rights of an individual
* Adjudged : Parliament cannot change the basic structure of Constitution
Mahommedali Currim Chagla
* Fought case for Emergency detenus against the Indian government
* Argued against detention of Opposition leaders under MISA
* Stood resolute despite of failing health and having quit legal practice
11. … And ultimately, it was the people of India that came out triumphant Janata Party voted to power; Congress trounced
* PM forced to announce elections because of increasing isolation
* Elections announced on 23 rd January, 1977; held in March
* Jayaprakash Narayan declares formation of Janata Party
* Members of Janata Party – Jana Sangh (pre-curser of BJP, Congress (O), Socialist Party and Lok Dal
* Janata Party wins a clear majority of 295 seats in a House of 542 seats; Indira Gandhi loses her own LS seat
LK Advani restores freedom of Press as I&B Minister
* Morarji Desai sworn in as new PM; L.K. Advani gets Information and Broadcasting portfolio; A.B. Vajpayee becomes External Affairs Minister
* Advani’s First task: Presented a White paper on misuse of media during Emergency
* Ensured all restrictions and controls imposed during Emergency were removed
* Restored freedom of Press – an integral part of a true democracy
“ If the Emergency was the darkest period in India’s post-Independence history, the righteous struggle following it was undoubtedly the brightest” - L.K. Advani LK Advani undertaking oath of office as I&B minister in 1977 Jayaprakash Narayan administering an oath of unity and service to Nation to all Janata Party MPs at Rajghat
12. Shri LK Advani was one of the leading fighters against Emergency which threatened the basic ideals of Justice, Liberty and Peace that our country is built upon If this is not contribution to National life, then what is?
* Authored 5 underground essays in prison
* Smuggled out of prison by anti-Emergency fighters
* Circulated across the country in anti-Emergency campaigns
* Strong defiance of censorship imposed by Government
* Inspired thousands to join protest against Emergency
* Full text: http://www.lkadvani.in/eng/content/blogcategory/96/422/
* Spent 19 months in prison during anti-Emergency struggle
* Challenged the Government in Karnataka High Court
* Received mass support from people all over India
* Restored Freedom of Press as I&B Minister
* Withdrew all directives issued for Press censorship
* Repealed the Prevention of Publication of Objectionable Material Act
* Restored the Parliamentary Proceedings Act
* For the first time, allowed all national and state-level political parties to broadcast their election campaigns with equal time
“ I see in Advaniji a multitude of roles ..as an erudite journalist with Organiser, .. as a crusader for democracy and fellow-prisoner during the Emergency.. , as one who assisted me in forging the NDA; and as my able deputy in steering the ship of nation for six years.” - Atal Bihari Vajpayee
13. Dear fellow citizens! The country looks up to you again… Perform your duty… Think and Vote! - by An Indian

Remembering Emergency days

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi recounting excesses, atrocities, and brutalities by Indira Gandhi during Emergency

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