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  • In the history of independent India, the Emergency was imposed on three occasions. The Emergency was imposed for the first time on 26th October 1962 during the India-China war and for the second time on 03rd December 1971 during the India-Pakistan war. The people of India supported these two periods of the Emergency with complete passion of nationalistic and patriotic values. The people wholeheartedly supported the Government and the security forces during these two Emergency periods.

    The Emergency was imposed for the third time on 25th June 1975 under controversial circumstances under Smt Indira Gandhi's Prime Ministership. The reason behind the third Emergency was the historic decision of the Allahabad High Court on 12th June, 1975 which found the then Prime Minister Smt Indira Gandhi guilty on the charges of corrupt practices and misuse of government machinery during her Parliamentary election. The court declared her election null and void and unseated her from her Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat. The court also banned her from contesting any elections for an additional six years. The Emergency, which was imposed in the midnight of 25th June, 1975, was not imposed due to any external threat or a war. “It was purely a sin committed to protect power and throne of the Congress and Smt Indira Gandhi.”

    The Congress Government, immediately after imposing the Emergency, amended the election laws to protect Smt Indira Gandhi’s chair. Law had been brought retrospectively to reverse the decisions of the Allahabad High Court and the Supreme Court. The Constitution was amended which said that the President, the Prime Minister, the Vice-President, the Lok Sabha Speaker can’t be tried in any case for their entire life. The amendment was not brought in the Lok Sabha, but the Rajya Sabha had passed it. The most shameful was the 42nd Constitutional Amendment, which was enacted to destroy the Constitution and the Constitutional rights of the people and to disturb the legislature, executive and the judiciary.

    Smt Indira Gandhi and the Congress, shamelessly, tried to demolish the soul of the Constitution. In the very first week of the Emergency, the Constitution’s Articles 14, 21 and 22 were suspended. Right to Equality, laws providing security to life and property; provisions to produce a person before a court within 24 hours of his arrest was suspended. In January 1976, Article 19 was also suspended. The freedom of speech, freedom to form a party or group, freedom to hold public meetings, freedom to publish, was suspended. The President issued an order suspending the right of any person to move courts for the enforcement of the rights guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution during the Emergency. The Congress Government amended the National Security Act for several times to fulfil their narrow political self-interests. Provision was made to keep a person in detention for a year without trial, on 16th July 1975, the right to appeal in the court against such detention was also suspended. On 10th October, it was declared a crime to inform the court or any one about reasons of detention.

    The Congress Government gave reason for the Emergency, imposed in the midnight of 25th June 1975, that “there were imminent threat to the country”. The Congress sycophants started shouting “India is Indira, Indira is India” slogan. “They painted the threat to Smt Indira Gandhi’s chair as a threat to India”.

    The Emergency of 1975 was the biggest blot on the Indian democracy, hundreds of people were killed and oppressed in jail; “the Government terrorism and anarchy, cruelty” was at its peak; democratic and Constitutional rights of the people were violated; political opponents, social activists had been jailed; sedition charges were levelled against political-social activists, students, journalists and they had been jailed and killed for opposing dictatorship; they were kept without food for several days; they had been kept standing on their one leg for hours; they were intimidated; Freedom of Speech had been throttled; legislature, executive, judiciary had been held hostage. There was an environment where the people were not allowed even to breathe freely.

    Censorship was imposed on newspapers, news agencies, films. The intellectuals, journalists and writers either accepted “India is Indira, Indira is India” slogan or they had been jailed. Law was framed to control the media; electricity to newspapers was cut; those journalists who refused to bow down before the dictatorship were jailed and tortured. Films such as “Kissa Kursi Ka”, “Aandhi” had been banned. Legendary singer Kishore Kumar’s songs were banned, he was “black listed” during the Emergency because he refused to praise the Congress and Smt Indira Gandhi. Several film artists, producers, directors, writers were harassed.

    The anger among the people of the country had been increasing day by day due to dictatorship; the anger against the Congress had been converted into hate; the people boycotted Congress’ public meetings. The news of killings and torture of people those had been jailed spread like wildfire.

    Those who escaped the detention were arranging food, clothes, medicines etc for those people who had been jailed. Families of those who were fighting for democracy faced a situation where there was no food to eat at their homes for several days. The sin committed by the Congress resulted into a period of brutality, nails of several youth activists were extracted during torture; their hands-legs were broken, their eyes had been damaged with rods, they had been tortured brutally.

    But it was a result of the people’s commitment to the country’s democratic values and hatred against the dictatorship, that they strongly opposed “feudal mindset” of the Congress. The people of the country fought for democratic values, constitutional rights and they were succeeded in protecting the democracy and the Constitution by removing the Congress from power. But the question still arises that whether the Congress has overcome that “feudal mindset and dictatorial culture” or not?

    A chapter on the Emergency should be included in textbooks, as there was a need to tell the people especially the younger generation about the atrocities and torture committed during the period which witnessed destruction of the soul of the democracy and the Constitution. Majority of the population of the country especially the youths don't know that Emergency of 1975 was imposed by the Congress to protect their “power and throne”. This was the result of dictatorial mindset.

    Inclusion of the chapter on the Emergency in the text books will be a strong and effective message of power of democratic values against the dictatorial mindset.