The must-debated Emergency has many layers of truth to it that have been unravelled from time to time. The reason for a major historical change in India, the event brought many strong leaders to the fore who were later knoen for their political acumen and masterminding the emergency.
Many argue that it was Indira's idea to protect her political aspirations and buying time to brush aside the mistakes that she had committed.
And for that, she was ready to even curb the freedom of the civilians temorarily and eliminate anything that came on her way. Hence, the suspension of the Fundamental Rights, imposition of censorship on the press and the arrest of anyone who stood against her in the opposition.
Siddhartha Shankar Ray: A Gandhi loyalist, many forget his political skills when it came to ruling his home state or even Punjab as the Governor there. A prominent leader in the Indian National Congress, he was the education minister of India and thge chief minister of West Bengal between 1972 to 1977.
Reckless as he was considered in strategising the political path of Indira Gandhi, he is considered the architect of Emergency. During an interview, the former private secretary of Indira Gandhi RK Dhawan said West Bengal chief minister SS Ray gave Indira Gandhi the idea of imposing Emergency as early as January 1975 and can be called its "architect." Dhawan also revealed that the Emergency was being planned for a long time.
It is said that Ray was there along with Indira Gandhi, asking him to declare an emergency and he was the one who drafted the proclamation.
If Dhawan is to be believed, the Emergency not called for protecting Gandhi's political career after she was struck down by the High Court of Allahabad and issued a conditional stay by the Supreme Court, but to curb the events that were leading to a crisis-like situation.
Be it the railway strike or the murder of LN Mishra, the opposition's attempt to paralyze the government's functioning, resulting in Jayprakash Narayan's call to army and police not to obey illegal orders as reasons for imposition.
Sanjay Gandhi: The younger son of Indira Gandhi-late Sanjay Gandhi-may also have played an immense role in imposing the Emergency. He is considered to have planned and drafted the "20 points" program, along with his mother, describing the salient features of demolishing the slums from Delhi's Turkman Gate area.
But the most debatable was the forced family planning to contain the population growth of the nation. Although, this was supposed to be a voluntary program for both men and women, there were reports that unmarried men and women were forced to undergo the surgery. Even the poor and the opposition party members were not spared.
Sanjay was known among his political comrades as a rude dictator who had his way anyhow.
As Khushwant Singh rightly pointed out,"In some ways, the lovable Goonda epitomised the slogan he had coined: Kaam ziyaada, baatein kum - work more, talk less. He was a young man in a hurry to get things done. He had no patience with tedious democratic processes and red tape, no time for long-winded politicians or bureaucrats. The fact that he had no legitimacy for imposing his fiats on the country besides being the son of the prime minister was of little consequence to him."
The names are debatable and so are the situations which led to the Emergency. Although a thibg of the past, this political event in India has left a sour taste in everyone's mouth. Good or Bad, it is for the historians to judge; what we face are the survivors.