BJP to observe 1975 Emergency Anniversary as ‘Black Day’
The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) will observe 25 June, the date when Emergency was imposed in 1975 by the then PM Indira Gandhi, as 'black day'.
The 'Emergency' refers to a 21-month period from 1975 to 1977. It was officially issued by the then president Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed under Article 352 of the Constitution due to prevailing 'internal disturbance'.
The Emergency was in effect from 25 June 1975 until its withdrawal on 21 March 1977.
Indira had imposed Emergency after the Allahabad High Court and subsequently, the Supreme Court found her election to the Lok Sabha 'null and void'. With protests and strikes sweeping the country after the SC's judgement, the government stated that the country was 'paralysed' after a hard-fought war with Pakistan and justified the imposition of the Emergency by citing threats to national security.
During this 22-month period, Indira invoked Article 352 of the Constitution to grant herself 'extraordinary powers' and launched a massive 'crackdown on civil liberties'' and political rivals, arresting opposition leaders like Vijayaraje Scindia, Jaiprakash Narayan, Morarji Desai, Chaudhary Charan Singh, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani.
Censuring of all media and 'forced sterilisation drives' undertaken by Indira's younger son Sanjay Gandhi also unfolded during the period. After the Emergency officially ended, fresh elections were called, with the Congress losing by a large margin, resulting in the Janata Party's Morarji Desai becoming the first non-Congress PM of India.