The first was achieved by concentrating the central government's power within the Prime Minister's Secretariat , rather than the Cabinet , whose elected members she saw as a threat and distrusted. For this she relied on her principal secretary, P.
Haksar , a central figure in Indira's inner circle of advisors. Further, Haksar promoted the idea of a "committed bureaucracy" that required hitherto-impartial government officials to be "committed" to the ideology of the ruling party of the day.
Within the Congress, Indira ruthlessly outmanoeuvred her rivals, forcing the party to split in —into the Congress O comprising the old-guard known as the "Syndicate" and her Congress R. Indira's party was of a different breed from the Congress of old, which had been a robust institution with traditions of internal democracy. In the Congress R , on the other hand, members quickly realised that their progress within the ranks depended solely on their loyalty to Indira Gandhi and her family , and ostentatious displays of sycophancy became routine.
In the coming years, Indira's influence was such that she could install hand-picked loyalists as chief ministers of states, rather than their being elected by the Congress legislative party. Indira's ascent was backed by her charismatic appeal among the masses that was aided by her government's near-radical leftward turns. These included the July nationalisation of several major banks and the September abolition of the privy purse ; these changes were often done suddenly, via ordinance, to the shock of her opponents.
Subsequently, unlike the Syndicate and other opponents, Indira was seen as "standing for socialism in economics and secularism in matters of religion, as being pro-poor and for the development of the nation as a whole.
Awarded the Bharat Ratna the next month, she was at her greatest peak; for her biographer Inder Malhotra , "The Economist's description of her as the 'Empress of India' seemed apt.
Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. March Learn how and when to remove this template message In 's Golaknath case , the Supreme Court said that the Constitution could not be amended by Parliament if the changes affect basic issues such as fundamental rights.
To nullify this judgement, Parliament dominated by the Indira Gandhi Congress, passed the 24th Amendment in Similarly, after the government lost a Supreme Court case for withdrawing the privy purse given to erstwhile princes, Parliament passed the 26th Amendment. This gave constitutional validity to the government's abolition of the privy purse and nullified the Supreme Court's order.
This judiciary—executive battle would continue in the landmark Kesavananda Bharati case , where the 24th Amendment was called into question. With a wafer-thin majority of 7 to 6, the bench of the Supreme Court restricted Parliament's amendment power by stating it could not be used to alter the " basic structure " of the Constitution.
Subsequently, Prime Minister Gandhi made A. Ray —the senior most judge amongst those in the minority in Kesavananda Bharati— Chief Justice of India. Ray superseded three judges more senior to him— J. Hegde and Grover—all members of the majority in Kesavananda Bharati.
Indira Gandhi's tendency to control the judiciary met with severe criticism, both from the press and political opponents such as Jayaprakash Narayan "JP". Political and civic unrest[ edit ] During —75, political unrest against the Indira Gandhi government increased across the country. This led some Congress party leaders to demand a move towards a presidential system , with a more powerful directly elected executive.
The most significant of the initial such movement was the Nav Nirman movement in Gujarat, between December and March Student unrest against the state's education minister ultimately forced the central government to dissolve the state legislature, leading to the resignation of the chief minister, Chimanbhai Patel , and the imposition of President's rule. After the re-elections in June , Gandhi's party was defeated by the Janata alliance , formed by parties opposed to the ruling Congress party.
Meanwhile there were assassination attempts on public leaders as well as the assassination of the railway minister L.
Mishra by a bomb. All of these indicated a growing law and order problem in the entire country, which Mrs. Gandhi's advisors warned her of for months. In April , in Patna, JP called for "total revolution," asking students, peasants, and labour unions to non-violently transform Indian society.
He also demanded the dissolution of the state government, but this was not accepted by Centre. A month later, the railway-employees union, the largest union in the country, went on a nationwide railways strike. This strike was brutally suppressed by the Indira Gandhi government, which arrested thousands of employees and drove their families out of their quarters. State of Uttar Pradesh v. Raj Narain Raj Narain , who had been defeated in the parliamentary election by Indira Gandhi, lodged cases of election fraud and use of state machinery for election purposes against her in the Allahabad High Court.
Shanti Bhushan fought the case for Narain. Indira Gandhi was also cross-examined in the High Court which was the first such instance for an Indian Prime Minister. The court declared her election null and void and unseated her from her seat in the Lok Sabha. The court also banned her from contesting any election for an additional six years.
Serious charges such as bribing voters and election malpractices were dropped and she was held responsible for misusing government machinery, and found guilty on charges such as using the state police to build a dais, availing herself of the services of a government officer, Yashpal Kapoor , during the elections before he had resigned from his position, and use of electricity from the state electricity department.
Krishna Iyer , on 24 June , upheld the High Court judgement and ordered all privileges Gandhi received as an MP be stopped, and that she be debarred from voting. However, she was allowed to continue as Prime Minister pending the resolution of her appeal. JP Narayan and Morarji Desai called for daily anti-government protests. The next day, JP organised a large rally in Delhi, where he said that a police officer must reject the orders of government if the order is immoral and unethical as this was Mahatma Gandhi 's motto during the freedom struggle.
Such a statement was taken as a sign of inciting rebellion in the country. Later that day, Indira Gandhi requested a compliant President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed to issue a proclamation of a state of emergency.
Within three hours, the electricity to all major newspapers was cut and the political opposition arrested. The proposal was sent without discussion with the Union Cabinet, who only learnt of it and ratified it the next morning. Due to the war and additional challenges of drought and the oil crisis , the economy was in poor condition. The Government claimed that the strikes and protests had paralysed the government and hurt the economy of the country greatly.
In the face of massive political opposition, desertion and disorder across the country and the party, Gandhi stuck to the advice of a few loyalists and her younger son Sanjay Gandhi , whose own power had grown considerably over the last few years to become an "extra-constitutional authority". Siddhartha Shankar Ray , the Chief Minister of West Bengal , proposed to the prime minister to impose an "internal emergency".
He drafted a letter for the President to issue the proclamation on the basis of information Indira had received that "there is an imminent danger to the security of India being threatened by internal disturbances".
He showed how democratic freedom could be suspended while remaining within the ambit of the Constitution. As the constitution requires, Mrs. Gandhi advised and President Ahmed approved the continuation of Emergency over every six-month period until her decision to hold elections in Administration[ edit ] Indira Gandhi devised a 'point' economic programme to increase agricultural and industrial production, improve public services and fight poverty and illiteracy, through "the discipline of the graveyard".
Later during the Emergency, the two projects merged into a twenty-five point programme. The Government used police forces across the country to place thousands of protestors and strike leaders under preventive detention. Numerous Communist leaders were arrested along with many others involved with their party. Congress leaders who dissented the Emergency declaration and amendment to the constitution such as Mohan Dharia and Chandra Shekhar resigned their government and party positions and were arrested and placed under detention,   In Tamil Nadu, the M.
Karunanidhi government was dissolved and the leaders of the DMK were incarcerated. In particular, Karunanidhi's son M. Stalin , was arrested under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act.
At least nine High Courts pronounced that even after the declaration of an emergency, a person could challenge his detention. Ray , overruled all of them, upholding the state's plea for power to detain a person without the necessity of informing him of the grounds for his arrest, or to suspend his personal liberties, or to deprive him of his right to life, in an absolute manner the habeas corpus case'.
Gandhi and her parliamentary majorities could rewrite the nation's laws, since her Congress party had the required mandate to do so — a two-thirds majority in the Parliament.
And when she felt the existing laws were 'too slow', she got the President to issue 'Ordinances' — a law-making power in times of urgency, invoked sparingly — completely bypassing the Parliament, allowing her to rule by decree. Also, she had little trouble amending the Constitution that exonerated her from any culpability in her election-fraud case, imposing President's Rule in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu , where anti-Indira parties ruled state legislatures were thereby dissolved and suspended indefinitely , and jailing thousands of opponents.
The 42nd Amendment , which brought about extensive changes to the letter and spirit of the Constitution, is one of the lasting legacies of the Emergency.
If the Indian constitution is our heritage bequeathed to us by our founding fathers, no less are we, the people of India, the trustees and custodians of the values which pulsate within its provisions!
A constitution is not a parchment of paper, it is a way of life and has to be lived up to. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty and in the final analysis, its only keepers are the people.
Imbecility of men, history teaches us, always invites the impudence of power. State of Kerala  In the Rajan case , P. Rajan of the Regional Engineering College, Calicut , was arrested by the police in Kerala on 1 March ,  tortured in custody until he died and then his body was disposed of and was never recovered.
The facts of this incident came out owing to a habeas corpus suit filed in the Kerala High Court. The exact extent of Sanjay Gandhi's role in the implementation of the programme is disputed, with some writers     holding Gandhi directly responsible for his authoritarianism, and other writers  blaming the officials who implemented the programme rather than Gandhi himself.
Rukhsana Sultana was a socialite known for being one of Sanjay Gandhi's close associates and she gained a lot of notoriety in leading Sanjay Gandhi's sterilisation campaign in Muslim areas of old Delhi. Quotas were set up that enthusiastic supporters and government officials worked hard to achieve. There were allegations of coercion of unwilling candidates too. The bad publicity led every government since to stress that family planning is entirely voluntary.
He was forcefully taken for sterilisation in a jeep. En route, the police forced a man on the bicycle into the jeep because he was not sterilised.
Kartar had an infection and pain because of the procedure and could not work for months. After mentioning that he was already sterilised, he was beaten. A sterilisation procedure was undertaken on him for a second time. The infection took his life. Police gathered men at the bus stop.
In the process of finding more villagers, police broke into homes and looted. Total of forced sterilisations were done. Hundreds of Hindus and Muslims surrounded the police station demanding to free captives.
The police refused to release them and used tear gas shells. Crowd retaliated by throwing stones and to control the situation, the police fired on the crowd.