Four reasons why Indira Gandhi declared Emergency

Four reasons why Indira Gandhi declared Emergency

“The President has proclaimed Emergency. There is nothing to panic about.” The words of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi blared from the All India Radio in the wee hours of June 26. The nation, on the receiving end of this piece of news, was as unsuspecting of it as were Gandhi’s Cabinet ministers who had been informed just hours before the PM proceeded to the AIR studio. The proclamation of Emergency had been signed by President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed the previous night itself. Soon after, newspaper presses across Delhi sank into darkness as a power cut ensured that nothing could be printed for the next two days. In the early hours of June 26, on the other hand, hundreds of political leaders, activists, and trade unionists opposed to the Congress Party were imprisoned.
The goal of the 21-month-long Emergency in the country was to control “internal disturbance”, for which the constitutional rights were suspended and freedom of speech and the press withdrawn. Indira Gandhi justified the drastic measure in terms of national interest, primarily based on three grounds. First, she said India’s security and democracy was in danger owing to the movement launched by Jayaprakash Narayan. Second, she was of the opinion that there was a need for rapid economic development and upliftment of the underprivileged. Third, she warned against the intervention of powers from abroad which could destabilise and weaken India.
emergency, emergency anniversary, 43 years of emergency, indira gandhi, why was emergency declared, emergency 1975, jayaprakash narayan, jp, emergency news, India news, Indian Express The goal of the 21-month-long Emergency in the country was to control “internal disturbance”, for which the constitutional rights were suspended and freedom of speech and the press withdrawn. (Express archive photo)
The months preceding the declaration of the Emergency were fraught with economic troubles — growing unemployment, rampant inflation and scarcity of food. The dismal condition of the Indian economy was accompanied by widespread riots and protests in several parts of the country. Interestingly, the hitherto simmering borders of the country were rather quiet in the years preceding the Emergency. “As if to compensate, there was now trouble in the heartland, in parts of the country which, for reasons of history, politics, tradition, and language, had long considered themselves integral parts of the Republic of India,” writes historian Ramachandra Guha in his book, ‘India after Gandhi.’ The trouble began in Gujarat, spread to Bihar and from there to several other parts of Northern India. While the streets were raging against Gandhi’s governance, another challenge came to the doorstep of the prime minister in the form of a petition filed in the Allahabad High Court.
Navnirman Andolan in Gujarat
In December 1973, students of L D College of Engineering in Ahmedabad went on a strike to protest against a hike in school fees. A month later, students of Gujarat University erupted in protest, demanding the dismissal of the state government.