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If its not on Google…Was the Emergency for real?

13 November 2010 2,710 views 49 Comments

Thanks to Vikram for alerting me to this. Below, a shocking excerpt from a recent piece by Kuldip Nayar, “The shame of misrule” (emphasis added):

…Typical of Congress’ furtive ways to cover up its misdeeds, the home ministry claims it does not have the emergency proclamation issued by then President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed. Nor does it have any record of the decisions taken on the arrests of thousands on the basis of false allegations, the appointment of certain people to key posts and the manner in which the statutory provisions governing detentions were breached.

This means that anyone aged 30 or younger will find it difficult to obtain any hard information about what happened during those dark days. Many of us remember the courage of Jayaprakash (JP) Narayan, who challenged Mrs Gandhi’s misrule, and the pain he suffered when he was subsequently imprisoned.

…I am surprised that there was no furore in parliament on the disclosure of the disappearance of the papers on the emergency. Neither Mulayam Singh nor Lalu Prasad Yadav, nor even the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, raised the topic.

The home ministry fixes responsibility for the missing records on the National Archives of India, saying that it is the “repository of non-current records”. The National Archives says that nothing was transferred to its safekeeping. Yet the Shah Commission, which dug into the misdeeds committed during the emergency, said on the last day of its proceedings that it was depositing all the records with the National Archives.

The Shah Commission held 100 meetings, examined 48,000 papers and issued two interim reports. While the Janata government was still in power, I checked with the National Archives and was assured that the records of the commission’s verbatim proceedings were intact.

Apparently, the destruction of evidence started after Mrs Gandhi’s return to power in 1980. Copies of the Shah Commission report disappeared even from the shop where official publications were available. The report by the National Police Commission, which made praiseworthy recommendations to free the force from the pressure of politicians, was shelved because it had been constituted by the Janata government. Mrs Gandhi walked out of a police medal distribution ceremony when her aide told her that the medals were for work in exposing excesses during the emergency.

…The reason why the system, which was derailed during the emergency, has not been able to return to its moorings so far is the unaccountability of bureaucrats and politicians. No one found guilty by the Shah Commission has been punished*. In fact, those who indulged in excesses were given out-of-turn promotions and appointments to key posts.

…I am not surprised that Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah has remained silent over the missing records. He is too close and beholden to the dynasty.

…True, it is all history. But the Congress cannot rewrite it. The failings of the government and its leaders should never be fudged because the nation’s conscience is at stake. Coming generations should know how and where the country’s institutions were compromised and democracy derailed. It is only by laying the truth out in black and white that future emergencies and associated authoritarian rule can be avoided. And I hope the dawn of our second independence is never overtaken by the twilight made up of the brutalities and excesses that shame us.

Indian Herald Emergency Headline

* At least one such officer continues to remain in the public eye. He is none other than Sh Navin Chawla, whom the Shah Commission had declared “unfit to hold any public office which demands an attitude of fair play and consideration for others…”

Related Posts: Doosra* Sanjay Gandhi?

Reading Ramdhari Singh “Dinkar” As many of you would know, JP’s movement against Emergency was inspired by the words of RAshtrakavi Dinkar.

Ironically, the National Herald newspaper was founded by Jawaharlal Nehru

UPDATE: Here is a link to the final report and a copy of the Interim Report of the Shah Commission is available on this link, courtesy, https://twitter.com/thinkerspad

49 Comments »

  • 1. Ranganaathan said:

    Dear Shantanuji, what an apt time to post this article, only today morning i tweeted about the feeling of Emergency. Rightly said our Youth have no way to know the truths of Emergency. It was a nightmare for all the citizens,no one were spared, arrests were done with CON goondas pointing out at ppl. It is though funny today, but i was arrested because of playing Kabbadi in the Shaka near my school, was doing my 5th Std released after family found me late night. Buses were nationalized, was sheer arrogance which Indira Gandhi & her CON party leashed out. But yes as you said Shah Commission report has gone missing,maybe its also our duty to compile the excesses which happened during that period for our future generations. Kuldip Nayar, JP, ABV, but special mention to @Swamy39, who was the only MP who could not be arrested, he disappeared & later surfaced Abroad. Special mention of Shri.Goenka ji & his Indian Express which relentless fought the dictator without fear. As you rightly put it history cannot be rewritten by few dictators, i am sure there will exist a copy of Shah Commission report somewhere. I am with you on any project which needs help to compile all the excesses inflicted on this great nation during Emergency. We will not fail our future generations, we will provide them with the correct history of Bharath. Jai Hind..Vande Mataram

  • 2. Sid said:

    Shantanu,

    I do not have any memory of the emergency but I am surprised that in the last thirty plus years nobody tried to write a memoir that details the experience during emergency or no investigative book came out. I can understand that such book can not be released in India but it can be released abroad as Hamish Mcdonald’s book on Ambanis was released abroad and can be bought over net.
    Journalists like Nayar can show their token anger against “excesses” in the pages of various journals but no mainstream media house would dare put such stuff in their editorial pages. There is no coincidence that it appears in dawn, the pakistani liberal news outlet. But likes of Nayar lack the gut that likes of Ramnath Goenka and Arun Shourie showed during emergency and Rajiv Ganhi’s regime by publishing news without caring for government approval. I remember, one particular rumour about emergency that McDonald’s books tells: In a particular telephonic conversation to Goenka, Mrs.Gandhi threatened to raze the IE tower in Delhi to ground. Goenka threatened back saying that he would publish Feroze Gandhi’s letters (that he collected when the said person worked for him in the late fifties) in the next day’s Indian Express. Mrs. Gandhi reportedly backed off. Alas, we would never know what were in those letters.
    In another example, in 1981-82, if it was not for Shourie’s continuous agitation in the pages of IE, the sacking of MH CM AR Antulay on the charge of massive corruption would not have been possible. The government pressure on Indian Express in the aftermath (labor agitation, over 300+ cases were filed against it, banks stopped lending to the media house) was a telling example. It is a pity that we have oily rats like the moron that heads Indian Express today representing Indian journalism. Today no-one in the mainstream media houses is there to expose the scandals that is far bigger than what was then known to be India’s watergate. What a shame!!!

    At least one such officer continues to remain in the public eye. He is none other than Sh Navin Chawla, whom the Shah Commission had declared “unfit to hold any public office which demands an attitude of fair play and consideration for others…”
    You forgot our finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, an old-time Sanjay cronie. Like Mrs. …. er… sorry gandhidases please do not attack my house … Lady Gandhi, this man too refused to be present in front of Shah commission. What happened since then? He survived the allegation of corruption during initial years of Rajiv’s rule and later prospered. And now sky is the limit for him. Coming from a family of dedicated Congress workers and supporters in Bengal, I have heard stories about his loyalty to the Gandhis and I can not put those stories here for the sake of decency.
    Then there exists a thousand cases like the case of T A Pai (founder of Manipal) whose Syndicate bank and personal properties are taken out in the name of Bank nationalisation and socialism by Mrs. Gandhi’s goons. Who would write these stories, Indian media is a vast wasteland of real news when the marriage of a second class movie actor becomes breaking news.

    On a side note, speaking of socialism, JP Narayanan was right in agitating against emergency but if he had his way there is no reason to believe that India would have been better. In the late fifties, soon after one of Nehru’s thugs, RA Kidwai took over Tata’s airlines, a younger JP went to Nehru demanding the nationalisation of another “big business” belonging Tatas. if JP had his way, then I can imagine the position Tata Steel have gone to instead of becoming seventh largest steel producer in the world.

  • 3. Dirt Digger said:

    In an ideal world imagined by Congress, the only thing people would remember about the Emergency was that the trains ran on time without delays.

  • 4. Ashwin Kumaraswamy said:

    Well written, but when Congress party has apologiesd for emergency and Indira Gandhi and Congress was punished for emergency ….. there is no point in the rhetoric?

    Would any party ever in India attempt to impose emergency again, i am not sure. There is no politician in India today who can even think of such a thing. May be i could see Narendra Modi not attempting an emergency, but trying to bring in a authoritarian regime at best!

    Emergency is something that cant be deffended. People of India taught congress and Indira gandhi a lesson, but the same people elected her in 1980 – this is truly the power of democracy. Now if only had the post emergency Janata Govt had given a good rule – Congress would have been a history now!

  • 5. Sid said:

    @Ashwin,
    May be i could see Narendra Modi not attempting an emergency, but trying to bring in a authoritarian regime at best!
    Would you mind elaborating how Narendra Modi is "trying to bring in a authoritarian regime at best"? Oh, I forgot, he tried to bring in good governance as well as law-and-order. That is indeed authoritarian, after all anybody who does not have a Gandhi surname but succeeds in ruling must be an authoritarian. Is that the only explanation?

  • 6. Indian said:

    Well said Sid!

    @Ashwin

    So what is good? corruption? Congress only brings chaos in the country, thats fine. Right? But N. Modi no good, because he slapped congress hardly in Gujarat. That is so hurting…! I can understand your pain!

  • 7. Ashwin Kumaraswamy said:

    @ Indian and Sid,

    I am NOT defending as i said earlier the act of Emergency!
    As for corruption, today no political party is devoid of it and more so corruption has become part of the society. Unless we uproot it from bottoms up – i dont envisage any party coming to power is going to make any tangible difference.

    You talk about Congress and corruption, how come you tend to forget BJP CM in Karnataka has been neck deep in corruption, not just him, half his minsiry has been involved in corruption. Even today ToI carried article and says it has proof on illegal land deals. In Karnataka
    CM – involved in illegal land deals, doling out government money to religious institutions and then ask central government for more money
    One of the ministers, Halappa – was caught red handed on tapes nude trying to rape friends wife. The Govt instead of arresting the misiter and lodging an FIR, let be free for nearly month for him to try and destroy evidence..
    Minister Bachegowda- beat up a car driver because he happened to overtake ministers car
    There are far more cases like this on the BJP Govt in Karnataka. How can the BJP who called for rhe resignation for Ashok Chavan, why cant BJP the same with their own CM.

    Hence i said, corruption is not going to stop just because BJP comes to power!

    The reason i said Narendra Modi can be the one who can subvert democracy and bring in a bit of authoritarian rule – is based on what he did in Godhra. No amount of explanations is going to make up for his dubious role in the godhra mascare. When Vajpayee talked about “Raj Dharma” Modi becoming a history was evident, BUT only for BJP’s “Loha Purush” aka Advani Modi is the reality! Also given the pechant the Sangh ideologues character assisinate ideological rivals….. i can see Modi is the only one who seem to have that ruthless streak!
    Thats my presonal opinion, we dont need to agree or disagree on it.

  • 8. Indian said:

    @Ashwin

    Really! when did and which court proved N.Modi guilty? Stop playing old cards when congress is trashed in the bin in Gujarat. He too is democratically elected and much much better than Nehru-Gandhi parivar.

    My take corruption in congress cannot match up with any, they are the one who ripped citizen of India ruling India more than any party has. Shameless and corrupted company.

    This is not my personal opinion but this is the only words I hear where everwhere!

  • 9. seadog4227 said:

    Further to the above, there was also a few lines in the Slimes about an archives building catching fire in Delhi recently.
    This could be further work done by the Kkangress dirty tricks department.
    We cannot begin to fathom the depths to which the 3rd-rate, rotten, corrupt, anti-democracy and anti-national party has sunk.
    One of he reasons that the BJP/NDA is unable to cope with the Kkangress broadsides, is how carefully it is kept off-balance. Pliant media and corrupt officials are willing to do anything for the Kkangress because of quid-pro-quo for all kinds of largesse that the Kkangress has distributed.
    The way out is beyond conventional law.

  • 10. Sid said:

    @Ashwin,
    The reason i said Narendra Modi can be the one who can subvert democracy and bring in a bit of authoritarian rule – is based on what he did in Godhra.
    Godhra train burning had nothing to do with Narendra Modi. The train was burnt by a Muslim mob. Get your facts correct…. oh silly me, I forgot that facts are just a luxury for CON party fanboys.
    No amount of explanations is going to make up for his dubious role in the godhra mascare.
    If you have proof that the riot that spontaneously started after the train burning was the orchestration of Mr. Modi then why do not you go to the court and submit the incontrovertible proof that would punish Mr. Modi for this? You know the case was going for last nine years and so far three independent committees have burnt tax payer money to find the proof that was never there. If you do not have that proof then just shut up and let the court decide. The fact that riots happened was not denied by him, neither he tried to justify it the way a certain arrogant Gandhi tried to justify a massacre (not even riot) of a far bigger scale. If Narendra Modi was authoritarian because he was alleged to have promoted a riot then we definitely saw even sterner authoritarian rule during 1984-89 because we know, for sure, that the man who started Sikh killing (and later justified it) were in charge of running this country during that period. Do not you agree? I am merely extending your reasoning.
    When Vajpayee talked about “Raj Dharma” Modi becoming a history was evident,BUT only for BJP’s “Loha Purush” aka Advani Modi is the reality!
    What has Vajpayee and Advani got to do with Modi? But then it is my bad. When fanboys does not know what to say they usually resort to non-sequitur. BTW, Modi upheld “Raj Dharma” when he delivered good governance to his people. But then the people who think that idea of governance is sadak-bijli-pani and loan waivers just before the election would not know how to appreciate good governance or “Raj Dharma”.
    Also given the pechant the Sangh ideologues character assisinate ideological rivals…..
    Another non sequitur.
    i can see Modi is the only one who seem to have that ruthless streak!
    How about the lady who declared the emergency rule? Oh, I know she was not ruthless, just strict, was she not? Or the hero who started “Nasbandi” operation? Ooopsss, he was not ruthless either, he was the then hope of new India. Or the smiling gentleman who promoted sikh killing in New Delhi for three days? I know, just the benevolent parent teaching the erring Sikh community a lesson. But, then, wait a second. Who was this Vindranwale dude who were allowed to put his henchmen on top of public buses in Delhi? Yes, that not-so-ruthless lover of non-violence was promoted by our strict lady too.

  • 11. seadog4227 said:

    Also, pls note: entire archives of 1971 War are missing.

    @ Sid:

    ” J.P.Narayanan”?!

    Wow!

    Reminds me of DD’s pronunciation of South-Indian names before the Indian glasnost!

  • 12. Ashwin Kumaraswamy said:

    @ Sid and India,

    I am not sure if Shantanu would like us taking over the thread to talk about Modi. In short neither you do have any proof nor do I.

    I am basing my opinion on Modi, on my understanding of comments made by the media, non BJP political parties, and more importantly the then Home Minister of state of Gujrat, currently an expelled BJP leader and the comments made by the family members of Congress MP who was attacked by Sangh activists for the MP being a muslim. Like how you have your opinions and views on Congress, i have certain views on Modi – no matter you say, unless he apologises i am not going to change my opinion on Moid.

    As for curruption, like you i dont distinguish between low level and high level corruption!

  • 14. Malavika said:

    Ashwin Kumaraswamy said:
    “May be i could see Narendra Modi not attempting an emergency, but trying to bring in a authoritarian regime at best!”

    Bringing in N.Modi is typical Trojan Horse technique. I am not surprised that you are not worried about power without responsibility in the present Sonia-MMS govt. Nor am I surprised that the real Genocider Rajiv Gandhi escaped your attention. In 1984 no Congress foot soldiers were killed in police firing. Compared to that in Guj

    “Fact 4: In the entire period of riots total Hindu casualties were 80 shot dead and 207 wounded by police bullets alone. (But no Delhi-based media showed any interest in giving coverage to these casualties.)

    Fact 5: The Muslim counter attack, which commenced from March 1, 2002 was no less ferocious. In the first three days alone, out of a total 611 deaths, 101 were caused by police firing. Of these, 61 were Hindus and 40 were Muslims.

    Fact 6: As on 5th of March, as many as 40,000 Hindus had to be given shelter in Relief Camps. (There was plenty of media coverage given to the plight of Muslims in relief camps but no Delhi-based media covered any Hindu relief camp.”

    http://satyameva-jayate.org/2008/09/26/weekend-reading-5/

  • 15. Malavika said:

    I has been my contention that India is a semi fascist state with unrestrained power in one family. This just confirms my thesis.

    Fortunately, the aam citizen now has far more choices and dissenting voices like this forum and other blogs are popular amongst well read Internet Hindus. It is heartening to see the Durbaris get cornered on the intenet and twitter.

    However, I do think there is way too much censorship in India. Mainly to cover up the misdeeds of the Dynasty. It is not just the Shah commission report there is the Henderson brooks report which is still ‘classified’. We need to know on what basis 90,000+ POWs were released in 1972/73 without settling any Indian Interests.

    US has far broader free speech rights than India. Perhaps a web site based in US can publish the archives. Any better ideas?

  • 16. Kartik said:

    Comrade Kumaraswamy wrote:

    >>but when Congress party has apologiesd for emergency and Indira Gandhi and Congress was punished for emergency ….. there is no point in the rhetoric?

    Rhetoric? Are you for real, Comrade?

    The Emergency is India’s dark ages. Democracy was annulled, civil liberties were suspended, thousands were forcibly sterilized, many slum-dwellers were rendered homeless overnight by government-butt-licking bureaucrats who demolished their homes in Delhi and Bombay, thousands of people were jailed for opposing an authoritarian regime and several dissidents disappeared without a trace. The Congress party allegedly “apologises” and that’s all it takes you to forget — perhaps even justify and rationalize — all this barbarism?

    I’m sure there are also left-liberal fruitcakes in the world who would argue that Auschwitz and Holocaust could have been forgiven, if only Hitler — you know, the Roman Catholic socialist — lived on to “apologize”.

    And without doubt, you will most gleefully proclaim Congress as exonerated, because it “apologized” for the murder of 4000 Sikhs in Delhi.

    I bet you’re waiting for someone to “apologize” for the ethnic cleansing of Pandits, so you can go ahead and declare the chapter closed.

    Odds are you also believe that that the murders that the CPIM committed in West Bengal, the rapes it inflicted on innocent women in Nandigram, should all be forgotten because the comrades allegedly “apologised”. This was essentially the argument of extremist commie bloggers.

    Given the fanaticism you are exhibiting, I will be surprised if, even for form’s sake, you’ll deny any of your real inclinations on these matters.

  • 17. flawsophy said:

    I can’t believe that our governments don’t care to even preserve as is … it’s like the classic Orwellian dystopia – ERASE THE PAST TO CONTROL THE FUTURE …

    Having born way after emergency, my only knowledge out of it was the movie “Hazaroon Khwaish Aisi” :)

  • 18. B Shantanu (author) said:

    Dear all: Thanks for a robust discussion…Pl try and stick to the topic…Re. Godhra, there is an entire category of posts on the subject. Thanks

  • 19. Ashwin Kumaraswamy said:

    @ Malvika,

    Yopu refer to my earlier posts, No ammout of explanation can defend “Emergency” – few Congress leaders who tried to justify it have been taught a lesson by the great Indian public, and the real power of democracy was very much evident when Indira Gandhi lost her lok sabha election to Raj Narain and Congress lost across India.

    If you look at history, Indira Gandhi herself realised the bluder she had committed and made sure there were free and fair elections post emergency knowing very well she had no chance of winning! She then bounced back after the shambolic Janata party government – what would you make of that? India did give Indira another chance post emergency, which in itself shows Indians threw her out for her mistakes but brought her back because the alternative was even worse!

    All i am saying is Congress party has paid a heavy price for Emergency by loosing an election and has also apologised for the same act. In my opinion, i dont see any political party in India that would even attempt to think about such an act! Hence i called for rather than having sucked into the rhetoric of Emergency – there are many other modern day issues that needs to be tackled, and it is time that we learn from our past but not to live in the past!

    When it comes to Congress – the right wing talks about Emergency, dynastic rule, bofors, Sikh riots post the assasination of Indira Gandhi, off late on Sonia’s foreign origin, allegedly dual power centre etc…

    That does not mean, the right wing BJP is any less: post Emergency the biggest blot in Indian democracy was pulling down of Babri Masjid, Godhra Riots! I dont intend to compare who has done more wrong than the other..

    For me apart from the “dynastic rule, sonia’a foreign origin and allegedly dual power centre” which has nothing to do with democratic process, there other issues are somethign which needs to be condemned and not defended.

    As for:
    1. Dynastic politics – no party in India is devoid of this. There are dynasties in congress, bjp and all other parties in india except Communist parties.
    2. Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origin issues: is in effect decided, India has elected her to the parliament evenr since she has come into politics and more so she has declined to be the PM of India.
    3. Alleged dual power centre: Yes being the leader of UPA alliance and President of the Congress party, she can advise, reguest and ask the government to consider the party and the alliance views on policies. BUT there is a very clear line of command in the Government and it is the PM who calls the shots and there are enough examples for that.
    As you have alleged, i could even point out to how the RSS controls BJP and, RSS enjoys all the power without any responsibility. It was evident in how they have hounded Advani, Jaswant, Vajpayeeji and the changes that took place in BJP post the defeat in the last two general elections. Hence i would say at times one needs to trust and beleive the system and be pragmatic about it rather than being a cynic!

    More so, a democracy can be vibrant only when there is a healthy debate and eventually the “the best thing for the country” should be done. All the talk about right wing or left wing does and should not matter when it comes to the best thing for the nation. Personally i would prefer to occy the centre groun in politics rather than being branded right or left! Across the wrold the philosophy of being in the centre groun dof politics is the most progressive politics one can deliver for their countries.

  • 20. Ranganaathan said:

    @Ashwin

    Few Points i would like to mention below which can maybe give you an insight on the importance of this post.

    1. Emergency was not an easy period to live in, only experience can tell you what those years were, we were not sure whether we would get back home in the evening, were not sure if our parents would come back from work. As you may not have experienced it or probably your earlier gen was in comfortable equation with CONgress, you will never understand the pain what we underwent.
    2. Shantanu’s very mention in this post is the way the Shah commission reports have been erased out of our system. The basic problem with our Nation is that for a few generations now we have been reading/learning English history & not the pride our Nation state. This is only leading to erosion of our values as a culture, patriotism is at lowest, we ape the western thoughts & preach western culture. Whatever happened in Emergency could have been a lesson to all the future leaders, but today the whole event has become a story, maybe few years from now most will say that ‘Emergency’was a disinformation campaign to malign the goodwill of Nehru/Indira dynasty & there would be no proof to counter.
    3. Though i agree with you that Indira suffered a defeat which was a punishment, her return was only by appeasing the minority communities.
    4. your 2nd & 3rd point above is devoid of vision of our Bharath, Sonia by winning an election cannot be said that her nationality issue is closed. If she has the guts let her contest from an educated constituency, or win when Amethi/Rae Bareli is atleast 90% literate. For the last 63 yrs Indira/Rajiv/Sonia & the rest ensured the backwardness of the area to only win their election. Pt. 3 about Dual power centre- today even the common man who is not educated knows that Shri.Singh is only a puppet & Sonia controls the Govt.A.Raja is simple example.
    5. In your perception RSS controls BJP, there are so many instances to prove otherwise, only that the media controlled by todays rulers do not highlight all these, they have no time other than projecting them.

    Prefer to stop here, but only humble request is that if you have not experienced the pain, dont hurt others by telling them to forget the pain. Emergency days was not only pain to us but also a nightmare which continues through our life. In my earlier comment i only mentioned the tip of what happened in my life, as a family we have suffered huge loss physically, mentally & socially, which sharing also makes it painful.. Those days should never again repeat..
    Jai Hind..Vande Mataram

  • 21. Malavika said:

    Ashwin Kumaraswamy said:
    “All i am saying is Congress party has paid a heavy price for Emergency by loosing an election and has also apologised for the same act”

    Rubbish, in any democracy(half a decent)all the officials involved in excesses will be punished and banished from public life. Your Sonia Madam elevated Naveen Chawla as chief CEC. This is the same Chawla who was indicted by the Shah commission for emergency excesses. What kind of apology is that? More like ading salt to the wounds. Your lack of empathy for emergency victims and 1984 riot victims clearly shows.

    You still did not answer how many Congress workers who were rioting were killed by Rajiv Gandhi Administration in 1984?

    Modi Admin killed several Hindu rioters. In spite of your opinion, facts on the ground clearly state that Rajiv Admin was far more culpable than Modi.

    However I do agree that instead of Labelling people, one should have a debate.

  • 22. navdeep said:

    I went through the posts here and i don’t know why, there are certain blind supporters of congress party in my country, that whenever misdeeds of congress party is questioned, they bring the bjp party in between.

    But the fact that they tend to forget is that the congress ruled our country for over 55 yrs. and hence the duty of securing the integrity of democratic institutes relied on the shoulders of the party which claims to be guardian of gandhian values.Hence the politically aware citizens of the india criticize them with harsher words and i being to those citizens.

    Having said that, i as citizen of india would never defend the main opposition party of india caught in act of corruption.
    We in india need people who form a flexible vote-banks rather than the rigid vote-banks, based on performance of our representatives rather then on the lines of caste, religion, creed, colour, party etc.

    Moreover the list of the misdeeds/scams done by the congress is much more as compared to that by bjp, maybe because that they are not that much corrupt, or they didn’t had that much time to be involved in many such scams.

  • 23. Jayant said:

    @Ashwin
    “That does not mean, the right wing BJP is any less: post Emergency the biggest blot in Indian democracy was pulling down of Babri Masjid, Godhra Riots! ”

    Why is it that the Anti-Sikh riots do not find a mention in this list of the biggest blots in Indian democracy post emergency?
    Do not assume that I am a BJP/Sangh Parivar supporter while replying, if at all you choose to reply.

  • 24. Malavika said:

    @ Ashwin:
    “Alleged dual power centre: Yes being the leader of UPA alliance and President of the Congress party, she can advise, reguest and ask the government to consider the party and the alliance views on policies. BUT there is a very clear line of command in the Government and it is the PM who calls the shots and there are enough examples for that.”

    Some examples please.

    Just recently Chavan ran to Sonia for a chat and not PM. Also, from my home state the Congress chief minister run to meet ‘Madam’ not PM.

    An excellent article in NIE regarding the extra constitutional( Banana republic) setup we have.

    “Are Indians aware that their country has entered a state of semi-autocracy where every important decision comes from a single individual residing in her fortress of 10 Janpath surrounded by dozens of security men, an empress of India? Do they know that the huge amounts of the scams, whether the 2G, the CWG, or the Adarsh housing society scam, do not go into politicians’ pockets (only a fraction), but to the coffers of the Congress for the next general elections, and more than anything to please Sonia Gandhi? Nobody seems to notice what is happening under the reign of Sonia Gandhi.”

    http://expressbuzz.com/opinion/op-ed/an-empress-of-india-in-new-clothes/222331.html

  • 25. N S Rajaram said:

    Ramachandra Guha’s latest book Makers of Modern India must be seen in the same light– to erase Sardar Patel, Subhas Bose, Sri Aurobindo, Swami Vivekananda and others from history and leave only Nehru and his family as successors of Gandhi.

    With this, Bharata-varsha will be turned into Nehru-varsha. Mahatma Gandhi’s name will be invoked for Nehru just as Allah was invoked on behalf of Prophet Mohammed.

  • 26. Sid said:

    @seadog,
    Sorry, my bad. I had a close friend with the name Narayanan, so I must have mixed it up at sub conscious.

    @Ashwin,
    I am basing my opinion on Modi, on my understanding of comments made by the media, non BJP political parties, and more importantly the then Home Minister of state of Gujrat, currently an expelled BJP leader
    Show me that one of them has any proof. Media can keep saying what they want. Would you blame yourself if I get an op-ed space and accuse you of some crime?
    and the comments made by the family members of Congress MP who was attacked by Sangh activists for the MP being a muslim.
    That was a lie. That is something that went to court. The minister’s wife could not even substantiate that the MP’s murder has anything to do with rampaging Hindu mob. A rumour was spread that his two daughters were raped the same night and later it turned out that they were out of the country then. This is the status of the media report. If you want to discuss more on this, I suggest you respond to Shantanu’s thread on Godhra.
    Like how you have your opinions and views on Congress, i have certain views on Modi
    The difference is that whatever I have said about dynasty and Congress are proven facts – both emergency and Sikh massacre. What you are saying is based on opinion space in the media and politically inspired rhetoric. But then you would not be a Gandhi fanboy if you understand the difference.
    – no matter you say, unless he apologises i am not going to change my opinion on Moid. – Why should he apologise for something he has not done? In Gujrat, how much importance is assigned to opinion of CON party and Gandhi fanboys is apparent in all the recent elections, so it does not matter.

    You still have not answered that if Modi is an authoritarian because he is accused to have promoted riot then Rajiv was a bigger authoritarian because he promoted and justified even bigger massacre of another community. – Yes or no?

  • 27. Ashwin Kumaraswamy said:

    @ Rangaanathan,

    My apologies if i have hurt your sentiments. I am not supporting or defending Emergency. I am totally with you on the issue of condemning it. Further, i have acknowledged that political parties in India have learnt from emergency and in my opinion no one would ever attempt to carry out such an act or even think about such an act again. But that really does not mean that we should keep harping back on the excesses made during emergency! Life has moved on ever since emergency was imposed…. it is important that the wounds of emergency are healed and for that to happen, it is important not to harp back and create a rhetoric on emergency days… but to take the learnings, which i beleive the society and politicians have taken on board to move forward.

    Indira’s legacy should not just be viewed only on the basis of emergency, yes that was the blot and i think she knew it herself! As for how history will see Indira Gandhi on a balance view, there have been positives and the single biggest negative will be enacting emergency. We need to credit her at places where she deserves!

    As for the other points made by you on Sonia Gandhi and her guts. I can challenge you if you dont accept the verdict to contest against her and get the people mandate! I would urge you to not skew your vision of Bharath. In our cluture, the girl after marriage forms part of her husbands family. So where is the issue of Sonia Gandhi not being Indian?

    About dual power centres, dont be blind and cynical about the system. Yes Dr. Singh was selected by Sonia gandhi to become to PM that does not mean, Sonia Gandhi interferes in the day to day running of the government. In the parliamentary democracy, PM of India can take inputs from across the political divide! But it is wrong to say Sonia Gandhi to be running a parallel government.

    Yes, i know for the fact RSS advises BJP. There are many instances in politics that i know off and have seen and felt this. So please dont turn a blind eye to it as merely media created story!

    Once again, my opinion was not meant to hurt your sentiments. But I genuinely belive India has moved forward and if the wounds of emergency has to be healed, we should not be rhetorical about it. I am sure the lessons of the emergency has been learnt.

  • 28. Ashwin Kumaraswamy said:

    @ Jayant,

    I have iuncluded Sikh riots has a blot on democracy! And dont intend to support the perpetuators as such.

    @ Malvika

    Sonia Gandhi has a president of the congress party has taken the decision on removing One Chavan and appointing another Chavan! It is in her remit to do.

  • 29. Ashwin Kumaraswamy said:

    @ Sid,

    You still have not answered that if Modi is an authoritarian because he is accused to have promoted riot then Rajiv was a bigger authoritarian because he promoted and justified even bigger massacre of another community. – Yes or no?
    ——

    Firstly Rajiv never got involved in the encouraging the crowd to kill anyone! When he was asked to comment, all he said was “When a big tress falls, there is bound to be an impact”!
    We need to see anti sikh riots on the backdrop of the khalistan movement and the terror acts carried out by the Punjabi militants. BUT, please note i am not supporting the Sikh riots that took place after the assasination of Indira gandhi.

    I am sure neither are you a government agency that is carrying out the investigation on Godhra mascare and nor are you part of the various committees that have carried out the investigation. Like me you are also basing your opinions on Modi based on your personal views and your research trawl on the web. I have no intention to do any research trawl on Modi, i am happy to rely on the “media reports”, various politicians comments! It is all about what you choose to beleive or not, between us we belive two extremes on Modi. Thats is fine by me, i dont have any intention to change my view!

  • 30. Suhas said:

    Ashwin Kumaraswamy
    Why dont you see post 13 references. One is by Nicole Elfi and the other by NDTV, which all Indian love.

  • 31. Dr. Ambekar said:

    Dear Shantanu
    I read the comments with interest. Basic fact remains that the Media has been “Dynasty” centric since the Nuhruvian period and even today. Whether TOI or NDTV of for that matter majority media moguls are Dynasty centric. That is the reason we do not get the facts of the matter. How many journalists have done any investigations in the case of Bank embezzlement of 60 lacks by Rustom Sohrab Nagarwala? For full story on this case go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1971_Nagarwala_scandal. If one wants to be critical of events one needs to be patriotic not to their Political masters but to the Nation which provides them their Bread and Butter ( ROTI, KAPADA AND MAKAN) What ever the meaning of this word one would like to make?
    Corruption is corruption whether is it in Congress, BJP, SP, BSP, RJD, DMK, TDP or any other political party. One must remember that the chief cause of increasing corruption in Political party is the Election Campaign expense. One needs to take measures to stop these expenses in which ever manner they are spent. The nexus between the “Babus” (Bureaucrats) and Political leaders must be broken at what ever cost.
    I have noticed from the blame game some of comments are directed at Gujarat CM as “Authoritarian” must be condemned because if there is smooth administration and development at the same time it can not be blamed on Political executive but Babu’s are equally responsible for the true development, unless the babu’s are lying.

    I would value your comment on this.

    Dr. Ambekar.

  • 32. Khandu Patel said:

    Dr Ambekar lays all the blame on dynasty centric politics of India for its ills. Its hard not to disagree. If the core values of a country is dynastic centric then the country should have been a monarchy. Indian politics under Nehru’s domination did not make the issue as pressing as when Mrs Gandhi was PM. She imposed the emergency when she lost the election to a diverse coalition of personalities much like the present unstable politics that obtains at the center and in the states of the Union. With hindsight therefore a strong Government however it is obtained is preferable.

    The American constitution makes the American President a virtual dictator. The Russian President likewise enjoys the same powers. In the UK all power constitutionally flows from the authority of the Queen in Parliament who only narrowly escaped in the last election from not having a PM and by default would have inherited unprecedented presidential powers.

    I am afraid that no matter how rotten the state of affairs obtains in India, there is no one to fill the vacuum which can only be filled by a person with emergency powers. An honest debate should be conducted with what is best for the country in mind and not just some romantic notions. In this regard the Supreme Court judgement was not helpful. This does not inspire confidence in me that the Supreme Court’s judgement will be anywise beneficial on Ayodhya.

    When so much that passes for history in India is falsehood, it is not unsurprising to me that historical papers have been destroyed to support the falsehood that is perpetuated of the Nehru dynasty. The rest of the world has seen off all sorts of totalitarian dynasty’s. Only India manages to conjure them up out of thin air. While its peoples feel a need for such false gods through which to live (and this seems peculiar to Hindus), India will not be shot off such people at the forefront of the life on of the nation.

  • 33. seadog4227 said:

    *** COMMENT EDITED SLIGHTLY ***

    Guys, the issue is not debating…Kumaraswamy, but the malafide intentions of governments in eliminating public info. Since, the rotten Kkangress has been around in power for 50+ years out of 60+ years of independence, it has acquired deep media, bureaucratic and idealogical links. It does whatever it wants with impunity by virtue of support from these quarters.Recent attempts include vicious threats and attempts to stop publication of “The Red Saree” in India.
    There is a voluminous book in this somewhere, and my research may take me there…..

    *** NOTE by MODERATOR ***

    No personal abuse please. Thank you.

  • 34. ravi said:

    @ashwin

    “Well written, but when Congress party has apologiesd for emergency and Indira Gandhi and Congress was punished for emergency ….. there is no point in the rhetoric?”

    The purpose of documenting history is to learn from history and to ensure that mistakes are not repeated. Wheather congress has apologized for emergency or not is not the question. When did documenting history became RHETORIC. People might have elected back Congress in 1980. But that is no reason to say that emergency can be forgotten. They voted back Congress because Janata Govt could not deliver. But the context of this discussion is not wheather Janata Govt delivered or failed. The topic being discussed is why is the history being erased. 50 more years down the lane who can ensure that the lessons learnt are passed on to the later generations if the history is erased.

    Today no leader might dream of imposing emergency but how can that be true with generations which come much later?

  • 35. Sid said:

    Firstly Rajiv never got involved in the encouraging the crowd to kill anyone! When he was asked to comment, all he said was “When a big tress falls, there is bound to be an impact”!
    Precisely. He could not say that perpetrators would be brought to justice. BTW, show me where Modi went and asked people to instigate riot. I could have answered other points but this is not a thread to discuss Modi.
    I saw with interest that you avoided answering my question yet again. What more can we expect from Gandhi-dases.

  • 36. seadog4227 said:

    To the moderator:
    As in Scott Turow’s book ” Presumed Innocent”, I though I was using a term of endearment!
    Point noted!

  • 37. Malavika said:

    @ Ashwin Kumaraswamy said:

    “Sonia Gandhi has a president of the congress party has taken the decision on removing One Chavan and appointing another Chavan! It is in her remit to do.”

    In a banana republic yes, or a fascist state. But not a democracy. It is the prerogative of the legislative assembly to elect its leader NOT get ‘Appointed’. Who is Sonia for that matter earlier Rajiv or Indira or Nehru to appoint the ‘chief minister’. That is the prerogative of the assembly, whose members have been elected by the people of the state.

    Some people have been so blinded by dynasty worship that they equate elected = appoint. Then claim to be ‘liberal’ and for democracy. Some chtuzpah indeed!

    b.t.w You still did not answer how many Congress workers who were rioting were killed by Rajiv Gandhi Administration in 1984?

  • 38. Khandu Patel said:

    Sonia Gandhi’s prominent position in the Indian Government stems from a fundamental flaw in the Hindu society. She would not be there if it was to do the bidding of others who have not been able to secure the position that they have secured for her.

    All this is only possible as the rest of Hindu society is a passive bystander at what is no less than theft. Indian history and precedent had established that no foreigner should be holding the position of power that she holds: no less than Nehru ruled in a like case. All this points to a lack of anchoring of Hindu moral and ethical values in the government of the country. I would like posts to see how this state of affairs can be improved. We can certainly go on endlessly about how rotten things are, and they will only get worse if all we do is talk about and do walk the talk to some constructive purpose.

  • 39. Sanjeev Sabhlok said:

    Good to see the Emergency declaration news item I scanned from the Deccan Herald newspaper (in my possession even today!) is circulating widely on the internet (http://www.sanjeev.sabhlokcity.com/1975.html)

  • 40. B Shantanu (author) said:

    Good and bad news…
    Excerpt from Emergency papers found, minus Indira signature by Manoj Mitta, TNN, Dec 10, 2010, 03.49am IST (emphasis added)

    …NEW DELHI: Six months after pleading ignorance about their whereabouts, the National Archives have come up with records of the infamous Emergency. Tell-tale gaps in the information though could well have been responsible for the delayed disclosure about a phase that the present rulers have much to be embarrassed about.


    The reams of documents given to Devasahayam betray extraordinary attempts to distance Indira Gandhi from much of the illegal decisions responsible for Emergency and its excesses. Though the signatures of other dramatis personae, President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed downwards, are available on the Emergency records, there is none of Indira Gandhi herself in any of them.

    The omission of Indira Gandhi’s signature is most glaring in the file relating to the manner in which she had bypassed the Cabinet while asking Ahmed to sign the Emergency proclamation late in the night on June 25, 1975.

    While the original proclamation bearing Ahmed’s signature is available, there is only a typed copy of the PM’s ”top secret” letter that had recommended imposition of Emergency under Article 352 of the Constitution.

    According to the file, the copy of Indira Gandhi’s historic letter was obtained by the home ministry from the President’s Secretariat. The original letter signed by Indira Gandhi was probably taken out of the file at some point and kept away in her personal papers, which are in the control of her family.

    …This (the papers) shows that India’s hard-fought democracy was suspended on the perception of one individual, without any institutional checks.

    The file is a treasure trove for historians as it brings out, among other things, the manner in which the Cabinet gave post-facto approval to Emergency at a meeting held at 6 am on June 26, 1975. It bears out the Shah Commission’s finding that none of the Cabinet ministers was privy to the unprecedented decision to impose Emergency. Yet, the Cabinet and bureaucracy without demur facilitated the Emergency measures that followed quickly: imposition of press censorship and draconian amendments to preventive detention laws.

  • 41. Sid said:

    So this means that court historians like Ramchandra Guha would soon write a revisionist history to purify the tyrant and gandhi-dases would then demand that the deity be purified to remove any trace of allegations of emergency from her.
    Who knows, by another decade, the emergency would soon appear to be a “fiction” promoted by RSS and it’s far-right supporters. Then someone like Swamy would release youtube videos to prove that it was not so and people would call him “loose canon” to discredit him. All hail the ignoramus.

  • 42. B Shantanu (author) said:

    From SC revisits 1976, says Emergency ruling was wrong, December 28, 2010 by Abraham Thomas:

    In perhaps the first-ever open condemnation of the Emergency, the Apex Bench of Justices Aftab Alam and AK Ganguly stated in their decision, “There is no doubt that the majority judgement of this court in the ADM Jabalpur case violated the fundamental rights of a large number of people in this country.”

    It was referring to the 1976 apex court decision in the case of ADM Jabalpur v Shivakant Shukla, where four judges sitting on a Constitution Bench passed a majority verdict upholding the presidential decree proclaiming Emergency. The lone dissent, offered by Justice HR Khanna, later became the law of the land, with the Moraji Desai Government setting right the anomaly by excluding Articles 20 and 21 from the purview of suspension during Emergency.

    The 1976 case was unique as it tested the power of courts to challenge the Executive action even during Emergency. The majority view of then Chief Justice AN Ray, Justices MH Beg, YV Chandrachud and PN Bhagwati dealt a death blow to the power of courts to issue writs for safeguarding fundamental rights; thus relegating its status to that of a mute spectator. On the other hand, Justice Khanna observed, “No power has been conferred upon any authority in the Constitution for suspending the power of the high court to issue writs in the nature of habeas corpus during the period of Emergency.”

    Upholding Justice Khanna’s dissent as the correct exposition of law, the SC has suggested that “the instances of this court’s judgement violating the human rights of the citizens may be extremely rare, but it cannot be said that such a situation can never happen” as it pointed to the 1976 decision.

  • 43. Sid said:

    Watch this piece of news:
    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/emergency-cong-clears-indira-slams-sanjay-calls-jp-undemocratic/730312/
    Now Sanjay Duryodhan is at fault alone, the tyrant is cleared. To top it all, JP is accused as undemocratic.

  • 44. P.S.Ramanathan said:

    I very well remember emergency.
    As normal citizens of South India,it was indeed a good time.
    There was law and order,everything went smooth.
    The only persons affected were politicians.
    That is the reason why Indira Gandhi won in South India
    in the elections

  • 45. B Shantanu (author) said:

    After the Home Ministry, the PMO too appears to have washed its hands off this…Shameful, really..

    Emergency records missing from PMO (emphasis added):
    V Narayanasamy, minister of state in the PMO, in a written reply to the Lok Sabha said “yes” to the question “whether the official record regarding the imposition of emergency in the year 1975 is not available in the PMO”.
    He said the PMO also could not trace the correspondence between then prime minister Indira Gandhi and president Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed on the issue.
    “A thorough search was made to retrieve, trace records of correspondence between the then prime minister and the president of India relating to proclamation of emergency. However, no such records were found in the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office),” said Narayanasamy.
    He said the PMO had also received an RTI application over the issue.

    The minister said the Central Information Commission (CIC) has sought an investigation into the matter and “ensure that these records are retrieved or traced, wherever they might be, and should be preserved appropriately for citizens to access”.

  • 46. B Shantanu (author) said:

    Here is a glimpse how things were in those days, courtesy Kanchan Gupta’s recent article, Dynasty above democracy:
    …it is not as if people were not bothered about the Emergency regime and life went on as usual in the country’s cities, towns and villages. With fundamental rights suspended, the judiciary packed with ‘committed’ judges and no jholawallahs around to light candles for people who mysteriously disappeared after the proverbial midnight knock on their doors or file PILs demanding they be located and produced in court (even if they had done so their petitions would have been dumped into the nearest dustbin), a strange sense of fear gripped everybody.
    …Parents worried themselves sick if their children were not home by sunset. Wives panicked if their husbands were late in returning from work. Friends stopped trusting friends; relatives were cautious in what they told each other; Government employees avoided sharing chai and gossip with colleagues; nobody spoke to strangers. You never knew who had been co-opted by the Emergency mukhabarat. In coffee houses, popular among college and university students those days — the brew was cheap and cigarettes were shared — the staff discouraged overcrowding at tables. Schools had to seek prior approval for elocution contests and essay competitions.
    …There were horror stories of young men, some in their teens, being picked up and ‘sterilised’ by zealous district officials eager to meet targets set for them. Overnight all goons and thugs became active members of the Youth Congress and took to wearing white kurtas with Chinese collars in deference to their leader, Sanjay Gandhi, whose meteoric rise to power by virtue of being Mrs Gandhi’s son was described by Russi Karanjia as “history’s own answer to our prayers”. The venerable Khushwant Singh, who was then editor of The Illustrated Weekly, was an unabashed supporter of Mrs Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi, and found nothing wrong with their deeds.

    Newspaper editors had to send galley proofs to censors who would laboriously read through the text, cross out portions they thought were not in conformity with official policy or had a whiff of criticism or simply because they couldn’t understand and and hence were deemed not fit to be published. A copy of next morning’s paper had to be hand-delivered to the censors to prove that the might of their blue pencil had not been defied. Not that too many editors were eager to fall foul of the Emergency regime. In fact, a group of editors marched to Mrs Gandhi’s residence and presented her with a petition pointing out that the censorship laws were not strict enough and needed to be made harsher. As Mr LK Advani was to later famously say, “Asked to bend, many chose to crawl.”

  • 47. B Shantanu (author) said:

    A brief excerpt from Democracy is alien to dynasties by Kanchan Gupta:

    …And so it was that although the Calcutta papers did not arrive on June 26, 1975, everybody knew by mid-morning of the events with cataclysmic consequences of the previous evening in faraway New Delhi. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had ‘recommended’ to President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed the declaration of Internal Emergency as she had information that there was “an imminent danger to the security of India being threatened by internal disturbances”. The President had complied without a murmur of protest.

    ..Over the next few days a strange fear descended upon the people of this country — the fear of being punished and persecuted by the Emergency regime through its many agents and agencies. The dreaded midnight knock became the metaphor of those dark, terrible days when friends stopped trusting friends, relatives shunned relatives, teachers squealed on students and vice versa, and censors eager to please Congress bosses decided what was fit to print.

    Meanwhile, dissent and its expression through protest was met with swift retribution. The RSS, which mobilised its vast network of swayamsevaks to launch an underground movement against Mrs Gandhi’s dictatorship, was banned. But that did not deter swayamsevaks from persisting with their movement that was described by The Economist as “the only non-left revolutionary force in the world … its platform at the moment has only one plank: To bring democracy back to India.” The only other organisation which led from the front in the fight-back was the Akali Dal. Mrs Gandhi tried to coopt the Akalis, but they rebuffed her gesture; for them, freedom was far more important than power.

    The Intelligence Bureau and the Central Bureau of Investigation were used for intimidating and harassing both rich and poor on mere suspicion of anti-Emergency activism. The Income Tax Department was instructed to let loose a reign of terror on trade union leaders. People were arrested and packed off to jail; many of them were brutally tortured to extract a confession that would serve the Emergency regime’s political interests — for instance, that he/she was a CIA agent.

    The Constitution was slyly amended to declare India a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic, an absurdity whose burden we are still forced to carry. To inspire confidence in the Supreme Leader, a massive Soviet-style propaganda offensive was launched. Billboards were put up with slogans like “The Leader is right, the nation’s future is bright!”In offices, including those in the private sector, Congress goons put up posters, urging people to “Work more, Talk less.” It was all very darkly reminiscent of the Third Reich.

    Mrs Gandhi had the Supreme Court packed with handpicked ‘committed’ judges whose job it was to overturn the Allahabad High Court’s judgement of June 15, declaring her 1971 election as void and disqualifying her from contesting elections for the next six years. To demonstrate their ‘commitment’ to her, the judges also suspended the provision for habeas corpus without which India is no different from a police state ruled by a tin pot dictator.

    Thirty-seven years later, the excesses of the Emergency era may appear too distant in the past to be worthy of recall. But to believe that would be incorrect. There has been no change in the attitude of the Congress and the party’s first family makes no effort to hide its unshakeable belief that it has the divine right to rule India, either directly or indirectly, and not be held accountable for the many sins of omission and commission of which the Nehru-Gandhis are guilty. Indeed, to forget the Emergency would be a grave injustice to those who suffered so that liberty and rights would be ours.

  • 48. B Shantanu (author) said:

    As this site informs us http://www.mtholyoke.edu/~ghosh20p/page1.html:

    On June 12th, 1975, Justice Jagmohanlal Sinha of the Allahabad High Court, found the Prime Minister guilty on the charge of misuse of government machinery for her election campaign. The court declared her election “null and void” and unseated her from the Lok Sabha. The court also banned her from contesting in any election for an additional six years. Some serious charges such as bribing voters and election malpractices were dropped and she was held guilty on comparatively less important charges such as building of a dais by state police and provision of electricity by the state electricity department and height of the dais from which she addressed the campaign rally. Some of these charges were in reality an essential part for the Prime Minister’s Security protocol. In addition, she was held responsible for misusing the government machinery as a government employee. Because the court unseated her on comparatively lesser charges, while being acquitted on more serious charges, The Times of India described it as “firing the Prime Minister for a traffic ticket.”

    Strikes by labour and trade unions, student unions and government unions swept across the country. Protests led by Raj Narayan and Moraji Desai flooded the streets of Delhi close to the Parliament building and the Prime Minister’s residence.

    Declaration of Emergency

    Justice Sinha stayed the operation of his judgment for 20 days allowing the Congress party to elect a successor to the Prime Minister. Unable to find a competent successor, Mrs. Gandhi, on June 23rd 1975 appealed for “complete and absolute” stay which would have permitted her to be a voting Member of Parliament, as well as Prime Minister. On June 24th 1975 Justice Iyer granted Indira Gandhi “conditional stay”. This decision gave rise to outcries of opposition from the opposition that she should resign. Mrs. Gandhi did not resign. On the evening of June 25th 1975, JP Narayan called for a civil disobedience campaign to force the resignation of the Prime Minister. In response, the authority of the maintenance of Internal Security Act was used in the early hours of June 26th to arrest more than a hundred people who opposed Mrs. Gandhi and her party. People arrested included JP Narayan, Raj Narain, Jyortimoy Basu (communist party-marxist), Samar Guha (president of the Jana Sangha). A proclamation of Emergency was issued on June 26th by President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, on the advice of Prime Minister Gandhi. The authority for calling the emergency was under Article 352 of the Indian Constitution. Sunch an emergency can be called by the President whenever he is satisfied that the security of India, or any part of it has been threatened by war, external agression, or internal disturbance. The actual occurrence of a disturbance is not necessary, only expected the occurrence of a disturbance. Furthermore, under Article 352, the Courts may not inquire into the validity of the grounds upon which emergency was called. The powers given to the Central Government under this form of emergency virtually have no limits.

  • 49. B Shantanu (author) said:

    Link to Shah Commission’s Interim Report Part II
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/138066806/Shah-Commission-of-Inquiry-Interim-Report-II

    Pl see links to final report in the main post too..

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