The imposition of emergency in 1975 has been one of the greatest challenges faced by the Indian Democracy. However, democracy has endured it and emerged stronger. Analyse.

The emergency is one of the darkest hours in Indian History. In 1975, PM Indira Gandhi after being disqualifies as an MP, recommended to the President under Article 352 to impose National Emergency on the grounds of internal disturbances.


  • Many organizations were banned/declared illegal.
  • MISA was passed & thousands were detained.
  • Pre-censorship was imposed, so many newspaper left blank spaces. Later leaving blank spaces was also banned by the government.
  • Forced sterilization camps run to control population.
  • 42nd constitutional amendment was brought it & made so many changes that it was called as mini-constitution.
  • Impartiality of SC abused.
  • Opposition leaders locked up.
  • Many state governments were dismissed on trivial grounds.
  • Centre-state relations damaged.


  • Gandhi was badly defeated in 1977 elections and congress defeated very badly.
  • 44th constitutional amendment was brought to nullify acts passed during emergency.
  • Grounds of declaration of emergency changed from internal disturbances to armed rebellion.
  • Written consent of cabinet made compulsory for its imposition.
  • Parliamentary approval required within a month and then required repeatedly to keep it in force.
  • Judicial review and Habeas corpus cannot be suspended.


The emergency was like a bitter pill. While, it did damage India in short term, it led to promotion of democracy in India ultimately.


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