1975

emergency to me like most  born in the late 1980s is a dark period in our history , something which came down to us through vivid narrations , , It was Mrs Gandhi’s attempt at being the “Indian Empress” by imposing her will on a country of over half a billion. The excesses of the period are a topic of discussion even today , literature abound with detailS , whether it be “Midnights Children” or the movie “Hazaroon khwaishein aisi” . Ironically rarely does these discussions proceed to the question of – why emergency was imposed? , we don’t know much about Mr jayaprakash narayan before 1970s ,and  to the few who knew him the details are sketchy , still he is one of the revered saints of our time.

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The JP movement from a constitutional point of view was equally unlawful  as the emergency was and to an equally violent . The movement taken out against a democratically elected government is undemocratic right from its conception, and to this if we add the geographical limitation of the movement it looses its pan India appeal.. After the 1971 war Indira Gandhi had started showing signs of despotism , but mere signs  cannot be taken an excuse to ask for her resignation before the end of her term . The elections were due in 1976 but  Mr JP intensified his agitation in 1974 itself , Like a normal politician  he could have waited for the democratic process to  bring about change , but what he did was unwarranted . With his support base he tried to stall the functioning of the government and oust Mrs Gandhi through undemocratic means , which ultimately led to the events of 1975 .

I am in no way supporting Mrs Gandhi for what she did or the doings of her “princeling” , Emergency was and will remain a blot on our democracy , but painting JP in white and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in black is not fair . It is hard to digest the story of the socialist leader who retired from politics for serving the society suddenly donning the role of a messiah of the masses . He too had political ambitions , may be he regretted his initial decision to retire, during the final days  .comparing the JP movement to Gandhiji’s civil disobedience movement is stupidity . While Mrs Gandhi was thrust into power by the people on a huge majority , the British were not . Even at the Zenith of the movement against her Mrs Gandhi was still an all India force  , while JP was not.  this was latter proved by the dissipation of the janatha government at the same speed with which it came to power.

while discussing emergency we take JP for granted , but his intentions still remain a mystery . but solely blaming Indira Gandhi  for 1975 is not kind on the legacy of a leader of her stature.

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One comment

  1. It would not be a stretch to say that Indira Gandhi is the only Indian Prime Minister to have a focused external affairs policy. She was decisive, and most of India’s achievements in defense related areas are her legacy.
    She had her faults of course. Great article.

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