On 25 June 1975, the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared a state of emergency. This was the first emergency in India. Between 25 June 1975 and 21 March 1977. A 21 month state of emergency was imposed in the country. The President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed declared emergency in the country under Article 352 on the recommendation of the government led by the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
The first emergency was imposed in the country with the signing of the President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed in the intervening night of 25 and 26 June. Immediately after the announcement of imposition of emergency, power was cut in all the newspaper offices across Delhi so that nothing could be printed in the newspaper for the next two days. On the other hand, on the morning of 26 June, hundreds of political leaders, workers and trade unions opposing the Congress party were jailed.
Reson For Emergency
The reason behind the Emergency was the Lok Sabha elections held in 1971. In which he defeated his main rival Rajnarayan. But four years after the election results came out, Raj Narayan challenged the election results in the High Court. Rajnarayan Singh argued that Indira Gandhi misused government machinery in the elections, spent money in excess to influence the voters.
The court upheld these allegations. On 12 June 1975, Justice Jagmohan Lal Singha of the Allahabad High Court canceled the election of Indira Gandhi and banned her from contesting for six years and declared Rajnarayan Singh, who was defeated by her, as the winner.
Situation after imposition of emergency
- With the declaration of emergency in India on 25 June 1975, censorship was first imposed on the press.
- About 327 journalists were forcibly imprisoned and about 3801 newspapers were confiscated.
- Government advertisements of 290 newspapers were stopped, 7 international journalists of Time magazine and Guardian newspaper were also thrown out of India.
- The Press Council of India was also dissolved.
- The sterilization program was started in the country on the orders of Indira Gandhi’s younger son Sanjay Gandhi.
- All fundamental rights of citizens were abolished.
- Jayaprakash Narayan started the movement against the policies of the government and the emergency, he is also called the father of JP movement.
- Agitation broke out against Indira Gandhi in the country. Government machinery was engaged in crushing the opposition’s movement. All the leaders of opposition including Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Lal Krishna Advani, Mulayam Singh Yann were imprisoned.
- The battle of JP reached a decisive point, Indira Gandhi had to give up the throne. The Janata Party was formed under the leadership of Morarji Desai. On 23 March 1977, at the age of eighty-one, Morarji Desai became the Prime Minister. This was the first non-Congress government formed after thirty years of independence.