Emergency- 25th June 1975

Emergency- 25th June 1975

Ever imagined how the country will be if the Prime Minister’s amendments wouldn’t be entertained by the Supreme court? The day of emergency is one such example and is being categorized as a black part in the Indian History, where the arrest of masses, violation of human rights, stifling on the press, and other ruthless & dominating activities took place by the government. All the rebellions were imprisoned, whosoever, spoke or gone in against Indira Gandhi’s party(Indian national congress) was suppressed by some or the other way. The whole country was shutted down with agitation under-enforcement of the emergency.

What is an emergency?

An emergency is the power of the Prime Minister of the country.  During the period of emergency Prime minister is allowed to cancel elections, stifle the press, suspend human rights, and take other violent measures as per his/her will. In India, the emergency was imposed by Indira Gandhi on 25th June 1975, which led to the suspension of the fundamental rights of the citizens, oppositions were sent to jail, including a mass sterilization campaign led by Sanjay Gandhi.

The official letter was signed by (then) president Fakruddin Ali Ahmed under Article 352 of the constitution. The reason was claimed to be “internal disturbance”. The emergency was imposed for the period of 21 months from (1975 to 1977) in the reign of Indira Gandhi.

How the emergency is imposed?

There are majorly three reasons for the enforcement of the emergency, first is, if India goes on a war with another country, second is, if there is any external aggression that took place and India is in danger due to that particular incident, third is, if rebel within the country has happened which is termed as internal disruption. Last one was the cause for the emergency in India.  

Before 1975 there were two times when emergency was foisted in India. The first was in 1962 during the Indo-china war and the second was in 1971 in the course of the Indo-Pak war.

The emergency of 1975 emerged with the nationalization of the 14 Private banks. In 1969, 14 banks were ordered to be under the government sector by Indira Gandhi, this led to the loss of various shareholders who had their shares in those private banks. As, the after-effect the case was dragged to the Supreme court by the shareholder of Central Bank of India, Rustom C. cooper, for the injustice that happened to them. As a result, the court declared the decision of the government null and void with the statement that the order of the government isn’t in favor of the shareholders. Now, the fight between Indira Gandhi’s government and the court swelled up, and she passed another amendment which reversed the order of the supreme court, the removal of the Privy Purse.

She proclaimed that no princely states will exist in the country and thus, no payment would be given to them. But the court again rejected the order and again the order got reversed through the next amendment by the government.

Privy Purse

It was the payment given to the royal families of the princely states in the country. At the time of the Indian independence, those states were used to unite and collectively hold India. So, the condition was laid down that the families of those ruling parties must be provided with some amount. Hence, it was a custom which Indira Gandhi attempted to break by her amendments.

The Beginning Of Janata Party

After all these happenings, the royal families were hot-headed and decided to compete with the government through elections. Nawab Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi was the first one to fight against her but unfortunately, he lost the elections, later, Vijaya Raje Scindia & Madhavrao Scindia fought and they won elections. But again in the year 1971, Indira Gandhi came into power with more dominant policies. Also, the Indo-Pak war gave rise to inflation, corruption, the emergence of Navnirman Andolan also happened in the year 1974. In the course of this, a major scam of Chimanbhai Patel also disclosed, aftermath, buses burnt, loot in various shops arose, police was being attacked and all such violence led to the dissolvency of the state government. Till 1975 there were non-stop protests, corruption, and devastating inflation.

Break-down of Indira Gandhi

The on-going circumstances grew repercussions against Indira Gandhi and 14 crimes were registered on her. With time she managed to curtail 12 of them but still two crimes existed, one of them alleged that UP government build higher stage for Indira Gandhi’s speech and other one that one of the government employee is simultaneously contesting elections with the job. As the after- effect she was removed from the Lok Sabha Seat, then, to keep her point she went to Supreme Court but her plea wasn’t listened there. She was no longer  the owner of her privileges, had no voting rights or power to contest in elections for 6 years. The only advantage left with her was that she could be a Prime Minister until the next year. In a race to take a harsh move she took a bungling decision which shattered the roots of democracy and emergency was declared on 25th june 1975 shaking the lives of the ordinary, collapsing the economy, and disrupting the whole judiciary body.

Busting of the emergency tenure

Many oppositions as well as the members of the congress itself consider the decision of the emergency as an imbecile step by Indira Gandhi, figures like: J.R.D Tata and Orissa’s then Chief Minister Nandini Satpathy also shifted their opinion in against of the emergency. And finally, in the October- November 1976, efforts to change the liberalisation policies  and Indian constitution were enforced.

The carful moves to strengthen the ordinance in the judiciary body were taken into consideration.


Shreya Agarwal

I am from Bareilly. Currently I am doing MA in Journalism & mass communication from Amity, Jaipur