40 years of Emergency: A look at the 'darkest days' of independent India
June 25, 1975: The then President of India Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, upon advice by Indira Gandhi, declared a state of emergency under Article 352 of the Constitution.
Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declares Emergency from AIR studios on June 26, 1975. (Photo: Express Archives)
Former President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed with his wife. According to reports, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi imposed Emergency citing grave threat to her government and sovereignty of the country from both internal and external forces.
Indira Gandhi's younger son Sanjay Gandhi, who was just 29 years old then, took charge of the administration and started sending opposition leaders and workers to jails across India.
Civil Liberties suspended and the government introduced a mandatory birth control programme. The campaign primarily involved getting males to undergo vasectomy . Quotas were set up that enthusiastic supporters and government officials worked hard to
Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi proclaims the birth control programme. In 1976–1977, the program counted 8.3 million sterilisations, up from 2.7 million the previous year.The exact extent of Sanjay Gandhi's role in the implementation of the
Sanjay Gandhi, Kamal Nath, Jagdish Tytler in parliament during the days of Emergency. Sanjay was responsible for incarceration of his political opponents. All political parties faced the wrath of the Indira Gandhi government during the days of
On August 15, 1975 Bangladesh President Sheikh Mujibur Rahaman was assassinated by Bangladeshi military leaders and this incident gave rise to new external problems in India.
On July 4, 1975, the Government of India banned four major religious, political and revolutionary parties and 22 associated parties with them. These parties included the Anand Marg, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the Naxalites and the Jamaat-e-Islami-
Clashes by Janta Party members at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi. There was a failure of monsoon and unemployment rate had touched a high. Poverty was increasing. Industrial production was down and there was a massive labour and students unrest across
In prison during the Emergency, Jaya Prakash Narayan was the epicentre of forces that defeated the Congress party for the first time in 1977. Jaya Prakash Narayan popularly known as 'JP' openly led a mass movement against her calling her corrupt and
"Vinaashakaale viparita buddhi" was the Sanskrit proverb JP Narayan had uttered when he was placed under arrest. The Sanskrit proverb can be translated as, 'Madness takes hold at the moment of disaster.'
Atal Bihari Vajpayee with Jyoti Basu and George Fernandes in 1975 before declaration of Emergency
Atal Bihari Vajpayee speaks at a campaign condemning the Emergency. According to Amnesty International, 140,000 people had been arrested without trial during the twenty months of Indira Gandhi's Emergency.
George Fernandes and CGK Reddy arrested and chained during Emergency.
Firebrand trade union leader George Fernandes had successfully organised an all India Railways strike bringing the public transport and economy to a halt. This image of Fernandes standing defiantly with his shackled hand raised, became one of the
On July 22, 1975 the 38th Amendment barred judicial review of the emergency. Crowds cheer George Fernandes after his arrest at Raj Ghat in 1977.
The opposition movement against the Emergency was led by JP, George Fernandes, Morarji Desai, Nanaji Deshmukh, Subramanian Swamy, AB Vajpayee, LK Advani, Ramakrishna Hegde, HD Deve Gowda, M Karunanidhi, JB Patnaik, Jyoti Basu, Madhu Dandavate, Lalu
Ramnath Goenka, was the only newspaper owner who stood up to Indira Gandhi. He was harassed and he faced a series of troubles at the hands of her government.
Indira Gandhi shocked everybody by declaring Lok Sabha elections in January 1977 bringing an end to draconian Emergency. In the historic Lok Sabha election held in March 1977, Indira Gandhi-led Congress lost power and Janata Party gained absolute