Why is emergency considered to be one of the most controversial episodes in Indian politics? Analyse any three reasons.
On 12 June 1975, Justice Jagmohan Lal Sinha of the Allahabad High Court passed a judgement declaring the Lok Sabha election of Indira Gandhi as invalid. This order was passed based on an election petition filed by Raj Narain, a socialist leader and candidate, who had contested against her in 1971. The petition challenged the election of Indira Gandhi of using the services of government servants in her election campaign. The High Court judgement meant that legally Indira Gandhi was not remaining an MP and therefore could not remain the Prime Minister unless she was once again elected as an MP within six months. On 24 June, the Supreme Court granted a partial stay on the High Court order, and she was allowed to remain an MP till the final verdict was out. However, though she could be the MP, she could not take part in the proceedings of the Lok Sabha.
The opposition political party’s leader Jai Prakash Narayan pressed for the resignation of Indira Gandhi and organised a massive demonstration in Delhi on 25 June 1975. Jai Prakash declared a nationwide Satyagraha for her resignation and asked the army, the Pence and government employees not to obey ‘illegal and immoral orders’. This too threatened to bring the activities to a standstill. The political mood of the country had turned against Congress more than ever before. On 25 June 1975, the government declared that there was a threat of internal disturbances, and therefore, it invoiced Article 352 of the Constitution. Under the Provision of Article 352, the government could declare a state of emergency on the grounds of external threat or a threat of internal disturbances. On the night of 25th June 1975, the Prime Minister recommended the imposition of Emergency of President Fakhruddin All Ahmed. He issued the proclamation immediately after midnight, and the electric supply to all the major newspaper offices was disconnected. In the early morning, a large number of leaders and workers of the opposition parties were arrested. The Cabinet was informed about a special meeting at 6 a.m.