Story of Emergence: When for the first time in independent India, the Prime Minister himself had to go to court to testify
On June 12, Justice Sinha declared Indira Gandhi’s election invalid and disqualified her for six years after finding her guilty of adopting corrupt methods in the election.
A time has passed on 26th June 1975. But the evaluation of fear, devaluation of institutions, the killing of political freedom, repression, attack on judiciary and crisis on fearless and independent journalism is still going on.
Promises made by Mrs Indira Gandhi to the public during the 1971 mid-term elections and irregularities in her own election in Rae Bareli are at the core of the developments.
In fact, the dates for the 1971 mid-term elections were chosen by Mrs Gandhi herself. Mrs Gandhi had already announced to contest from Rae Bareli.
But no major leader of the united opposition was ready to contest against him. On 19 January 1971, when the United Opposition announced the socialist leader Rajnarayan, Mrs Gandhi tried to take her candidacy lightly.
Rajnarayan of the Samajwadi Party led by Dr Lohia had become famous inside and outside the House as an ardent critic of Mrs Gandhi.
On 9 March, when the votes were counted, Mrs Gandhi was elected by a margin of nearly one lakh votes. The opposition was not ready to accept this defeat easily.
As a result, a serious charge sheet was filed in court by Rajnarayan’s lawyer Shanti Bhushan.
In the charge sheet, Hindu Mahasabha candidate Swami Advaitananda was fielded by paying a bribe of Rs 50,000, use of blankets, dhoti, liquor etc. to woo voters, as well as the most sensational allegations were regarding the role of Yashpal Kapoor, who played Mrs Gandhi.
While being OSD, he was playing the role of his election agent.
As the trial started reaching its intervening stage, the eyes of the whole country turned towards the Allahabad High Court. The eminent lawyer of the High Court, Satish Chandra Khare, was the lawyer of Mrs Gandhi.
For the first time in independent India, a Prime Minister himself had to go to court and testify.
Finally the day of 12 June 1975 arrived. The CID officers started hovering over the house of Justice Sinha’s secretary. Tried to scare them. Shanti Bhushan was also given inducements.
But on June 12, Justice Sinha declared Mrs Gandhi’s election invalid and disqualified her for six years after finding Mrs Gandhi guilty of adopting corrupt practices in the election.
The entire opposition unanimously demanded the resignation of Mrs Gandhi and decided to form a Sangharsh Samiti under the leadership of Morarji Bhai and Nanaji Deshmukh for a nationwide movement.
But Mrs Gandhi announced not to resign and the sycophants began to describe her as synonymous with the country.
Finally, on the evening of June 25, a huge public meeting was organized at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi, in which a call for complete revolution was given by Jayaprakash Narayan.
He said in the public meeting, today I call upon all the policemen and jawans not to obey the orders of this government because this government has lost its legitimacy to rule.
After this, an emergency was imposed in the country at midnight of 25 June 1975. J. P., Morarji Bhai, Chaudhary Charan Singh, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, LK Advani, Rajnarayan, Madhu Limaye and two lakh leaders and activists were jailed under dark laws like DIR and MISA without assigning any reason.
200 journalists including Kuldip Nayar were arrested. Newspapers were instructed not to publish any news without permission from PIB. The emergency is a lesson for all political parties.
No party or leader should try in the future to establish a family rule, for this internal democracy should be maintained in the parties. The position of the country should always be higher than the boundary of any person or party.