Indira's voice echoed on the radio… Emergency was imposed in the country, that story of the emergency

Ananya Shroff
4 Min Read

New Delhi: 25 June 1975… the date when emergency was declared in the country at midnight. This day is considered a black day in the history of democracy. This was the day when the then President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed declared emergency on the recommendation of Indira Gandhi's government under Article 352 of the Constitution. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi herself announced on the radio that emergency has been imposed in the country. The next morning i.e. on 26 June, Indira Gandhi informed the countrymen about the emergency on the radio early in the morning.

Why was emergency imposed in the country?

This has been a very controversial topic in the history of India. Many reasons are given behind the imposition of emergency. The main reason was political instability. This political instability started when the Allahabad High Court found Indira Gandhi guilty of electoral fraud on 12 June 1975 and barred her from holding any elected office for six years. After this decision, protests and political tension increased across the country. Indira Gandhi and her government claimed that there was deep unrest and internal instability in the country, due to which national security was in danger. That is why she declared emergency so that she could run the government without any legislative and judicial interference.

Freedom of the press was taken away, opposition leaders were put in jail

The Emergency was a dark period when the government arrested all opposition leaders, imposed censorship on the press and restricted civil liberties. 24 organizations, including the RSS, were banned. Apart from this, Indira Gandhi's government carried out extensive social and economic reforms in the country, which included tough measures like forced sterilization and removal of slums. Many historians believe that Indira Gandhi used the Emergency to consolidate her power and suppress opposing voices. This incident was a severe blow to Indian democracy and left a deep mark on the country's political history.

The public gave a befitting reply to Indira Gandhi

The opposition in the country had started uniting against the Emergency. Many big leaders of the opposition were in jail. Some leaders outside had started making strategies against the Indira government. The opposition leaders had staged a sit-in at the Rashtrapati Bhavan and held nationwide meetings and demonstrations. Indira Gandhi had held elections in 1977 after the Emergency was lifted, so that she could come forward as a 'supporter of democracy'. But all Indira's efforts failed. In 1977, the newly formed Janata Party united under the 'one two one' formula and defeated the Congress, due to which Indira Gandhi was marginalized. Indira Gandhi herself lost the election from Rae Bareli. Morarji Desai became the PM of the country. This was the first non-Congress government after 30 years of independence.

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