Horrible memories of  those draconian days. PM Indira Gandhi declared the state of  internal emergency on June  25,1975 across India citing threats of national security and bad economic conditions. This led to  arrests or detention without trials. No external aggression , no armed rebellion. All for retaining power by the then PM- illegally, undemocratically.

Fundamental rights were suspended and any person who opposed the govt. was either detained or arrested without the right to appeal to courts. Article 352 of the Indian Constitution that gave extraordinary powers to Indira Gandhi was misused. Elections , civil liberties were suspended.

Correspondents of foreign media were expelled. Severe censorship was imposed on local and national media. MHA informed  the Parliament in May 1976 that 7,000 persons had been arrested  for circulating clandestine literature opposing the Emergency. Lakhs of people were arrested in rural and urban areas.The Congress leaders found it an opportune time to settle scores with their personal and political adversaries.

Total  Media censorship of national media. Editorials spaces of mainstream media blanked out by censoring authority. BBC was the only source of news stories.

Indira Gandhi was ubiquitously visible anywhere, everywhere on big posters and cut-outs and  on Doordarshan, the captive national TV.

Pre-dawn  swoops by the police were order of the day. Large scale arrests/ detention of leaders of opposition , political workers, journalists, government employees, serving and retired. Information regarding  third-degree tortures of  detainees in jails kept filtering out. There was a constant fear of imminent arrests by the police.Judiciary was frightened into silence and subservience.

Fortunately, subsequent  governments introduced checks and balances to  ensure that the posterity does not  have to pass through the same nightmare once again. Prior sanction of Parliament is now obligatory for imposing emergency. The Cabinet does not have the right to impose emergency.

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About A.K.Saxena

A K SAXENA, an Indian national, is a retired civil servant from Government of India He is also a freelance journalist with several published investigative articles and columns in various fields to his credit. His writings are a reflection of his interest in writing on divergent themes and making the topics relevant to a wider audience. A post graduate in Chemistry from University of Delhi,he could not sustain his interest in pursuing research and instead chose to enter the government service through the IAS etc exam held by the UPSC. “KALASAVYA” that brought out several publications besides organizing cultural shows.


You can contact me at

aksaxena1947@gmail.com

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