Emergency in India of 1975: A BREACH TO INDIAN DEMOCRACY

The constitution of India declares India as a democratic country which means the government of the country should always be people centric and all the citizens of India enjoy their individual rights. In addition to this, the provision of EMERGENCY (Article 352) was also included in the constitution which enables the government to take control of the whole situation in the case of External aggression (or) armed rebellion disturbing the internal peace.

During Emergency in India period, the citizens will lose all their fundamental rights and can be put into jail without showing any reason. The emergency in India was introduced only once in our country in 1975 during the rule of Congress Government, with Indira Gandhi as the Prime Minister and lasted till 1977.

Must Read: National Movement of India: 1905 to 1920

The factors led to the proclamation of Emergency and the after consequences are as follows:

Factors that led to the Proclamation:

There were many incidents happened during the period 1973-75 which led to the imposition of Emergency in India. But, the root cause was the dictatorial behaviour of Indira Gandhi as a Prime Minister which received the wide range of criticism even from some of her own party members.

Even from her first election as a prime minister in 1966, Indira Gandhi always followed radical and oppressive methods to control the opposition parties and rebels of own party. Some important steps such as Nationalisation of Banks in 1969, employment programmes for poor people and so on gained her huge following in the masses and she was once again elected as the prime minister with the great majority in 1971 general elections.

In 1971, India waged a war with Pakistan and helped Bangladesh to secure its independence from Pakistan. After this, Indira Gandhi began to control the judiciary by challenging the power of Judiciary over the laws made by the parliament. She even appointed the persons of her own choice as the Judges of the Supreme Court and high courts. This behaviour earned severe criticism and many movements began to rise against the government.

On 12th June 1975, Allahabad High court gave the judgement that the election of Indira Gandhi as an MP is not valid as she was found guilty of doing malpractices during the election. After this Judgement, protestors led by JAYA PRAKASH NARAYAN, the famous socialist leader of JANATHA party flooded the streets of Delhi raising slogans against Indira Gandhi. This situation continued to prevail all over India for the next few days.

Finally, Indira made the president, FAKHRUDDIN ALI AHMED to proclaim emergency on the night of 25th June 1975 on the grounds of armed rebellion disturbing the internal peace of the country. This proclamation is regarded as the sole decision taken by Indira Gandhi to secure her own political interests.

Also Read: National Movement of India: 1920 to 1940

Period of Emergency in India

The emergency in India period was characterised by following incidents.

ABOLITION OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS: The people of the country lost their fundamental rights and they can be put in jail showing no reason.


POSTPONEMENT OF ELECTIONS: All the state and parliamentary elections were postponed.

BAN ON PRESS: The government imposed the ban on press and print media suppressing the right of expression.

LAW MAKING BY ORDINANCES: Indira Gandhi enacted all the laws through president by making him to issue ordinances.

Like this, Emergency in India was prolonged till January 1977 and elections were called where people voted against the Congress party giving power to the JANATA PARTY at the centre. Thus, the 21 months period of Emergency came to an end.

Have a Look at: Civil Disobedience Movement


The period of emergency in India is considered as the darkest phase of independent India. The provision of showing internal rebellion as the reason for imposing emergency was also removed afterwards.

Don’t Miss: The Rowlatt Act


  1. there were three periods during which a state of emergency was deemed to have existed.

    Between 26 October 1962 to 10 January 1968 during the India-China war — “the security of India” having been declared “threatened by external aggression”.
    Between 3 December 1971 to 21 March 1977 originally proclaimed during the Indo Pakistan war, and later extended along with the third proclamation — “the security of India” having been declared “threatened by external aggression”.
    Between 25 June 1975 to 21 March 1977 under controversial circumstances of political instability under Indira Gandhi’s prime ministership — “the security of India” having been declared “threatened by internal disturbances”.

    • Parash brother…please do not try to show your knowledge here. I think admin of IAS blog has given sufficient points regarding the point EMERGENCY IN INDIA(1975) and this is sufficient for exam.

      • Dear Rohan,..if u have problem with the knowledge of Parash then please don’t read it. But let others get to about more things ..this is not showing off of the knowledge brother . Be matured. God bless u . And all the best

  2. Proclamation of emergency has been done thrice not once.
    First one in 1962 during war between India and China. It was revoked in1968.
    Second one in1971 during war between India and Pakistan.
    Third one in 1975. It was in 1977 when both second and third one were revoked.

  3. There are 3 types of emergency
    National: arising out of war artiacal 352
    Constitutional : arising out of the failure of const. Machinery i,e internal disturbence tz also called president rule artical 356
    Financial : arising out of financial insatability artical 360
    1st emergency was declared in 1962 chainese aggression
    Den in 1971 indo pak war
    3rd emergency coz of internal disturbance in 1975

  4. From June 25, 1975 to March 21, 1977 were 21 months of uncertainty and fear triggered by the imposition of internal Emergency by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. On the occasion of this period’s 40th anniversary, here is a look at the mood in the country as democracy went under.
    The Emergency was set in motion by the Indira Gandhi government on June 25, 1975 and was in place for 21 months till its withdrawal on March 21, 1977. The order gave Ms. Gandhi the authority to rule by decree wherein civil liberties were curbed. An external Emergency was already in place even before the imposition of the internal one.
    The Emergency was officially issued by the then President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed. With the suspension of the Fundamental rights, politicians who opposed Ms. Gandhi were arrested. Threat to national security and bad economic conditions were cited as reasons for the declaration. In Tamil Nadu, the Karunanidhi government was dissolved. The DMK leader’s son M.K. Stalin was arrested amidst protests under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act.

  5. The facts given are correct as per my knowledge except that the emergency has been imposed 3 times. Not once but three times, emergency has been imposed in India.
    1st: Indo-China war :1962-1968.
    2nd: Indo-Pak war: 1971
    3rd: Dictatorial behaviour of Indira Gandhi. : 1975-1977.

  6. we generally do write word ‘introduce’ for thing which is against people wish , the correct word I’d imposed.

  7. At that point of time, Right to property was still a Fundamental Right. A lot of amendments were carried out including removal of Right to property from Part III (It is now a legal right), creation of IXth schedule ( A schedule in the Constitution that gives immunity to laws. If a law is put in the IXth schedule, it cannot be challenged on the grounds of violation of Fundamental Rights). 

  8. if you want to know about the darker side of independent india please visit north-east india mostly with reference to manipur. You talk of fundamental right- can you please explain in context to manipur. North-east india still remains to be in the darker phase of independent india. Where every dark law is being tested. It is not the uneducated indians who discriminate north-east but the educated elected representatives of mainland indians who wants to suppress, who thinks of controlling north-east by force. Hate such politics…..

  9. Correction for conclustion:
    ‘Internal disturbance’ was replaced by ‘armed rebellion’ by the 44th amendment act of 1978.

  10. Emergency proclaimed during 1962 and 1971 were based on armed rebellion and termed as external emergency while the one proclaimed in 1975 was the internal emergency. so technically internal emergency was proclaimed only once.

  11. Thanks for the information. I get to know about other two as well from readers comment here.

  12. some times the government no need to take permission from the people . and they don’t need to answer to the opposition party’s. because government have to protect the country and territories . i think Indira Gandhi was always correct. rajiv gandhi .also best PM of India. but not Nehru .
    i think in case Subhash Chandra Bose was becomes the PM of india after freedom. we are not like this position . we must hit the country of china . and may be Pakistan was not liberate from Us.

  13. Same as a traumatic experience between india and pakistan in which more than 10 lakh peoples were killed …where is the govt’s emergency that time?

  14. Was the dark age of indian democracy.. and it proved the value and the need of the fundamental rights of the people in a country !

  15. Not all fundamental rights are suspended under emergency.. Proclaimation of emergency cant suspend ” Protection in respect of conviction for offenses} And “right to life and personal liberty” under article 20,r21.
    Clear ur facts .
    Frgt Ias, clearing class 10th is tough with this level of blunder

  16. being a dictator might felt so good to Indira Gandhi..but not for long… like every dictator,she was also shutdown..thats the power of democracy…India rocks.

  17. Proclamation of emergency(article 352) done thrice not once. 1962,,1971 and 1975. Ist and 2nd were external emergenciee while 3rd one was internal emergency. The word internal emergency was replaced with armed rebellion by 44 Constitutional Amendment act. 1979.

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