Q. 1. Analyse the circumstances responsible for the declaration of a state of emergency in India on 25 June, 1975.
Examine any six reasons for the imposition of Emergency in India in 1975.
Analyse the reasons given by the Government for declaring a National Emergency in 1975.
Ans. Circumstances that led to imposition of Emergency :
(i) Clash between the Executive (Government) and Judiciary.
(ii) Rising prices and lower growth rate.
(iii) Students movements in Bihar and Gujarat against price rise and corruption.
(iv) Railway strike led by George Fernandes.
(v) A big rally at Ram Lila Maidan and call to the employees including police / army not to obey the undemocratic orders.
(vi) Judgement of Allahabad High Court setting aside the election of Indira Gandhi.
All these led to the atmosphere of distrust against Indira Gandhi which hurriedly tried to save her position by imposing emergency.
Q.2. Examine the three consequences of Emergency imposed in 1975.
Ans. Consequences of Emergency in 1975:
(i) The nationwide strikes and protests got terminated and banned.
(ii) Many leaders of the opposition and other prominent persons were arrested on the ground of preventive detention.
(iii) Freedom of the Press was suspended. Newspapers were asked to get prior approval for all material to be published.
(iv) National organisations like Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) and Jamait-e-Islami were banned.
(v) Fundamental Rights of the citizens were suspended till the continuance of National Emergency.
(vi) The 42nd Amendment was also passed during the Emergency declaring that elections of Prime Minister, President and Vice-President could not be challenged in the court.
Q.3. Discuss the effects of Emergency on the following aspects of our polity.
(i) Effect on civil liberties for citizens.
(ii) Impact on relationship between the Executive and Judiciary.
(iii) Functioning of Mass Media.
(iv) Working of Police and Bureaucracy.
Ans. (i) There were mass arrests on the grounds of Preventive Detention. The arrests could not be challenged in any court of law. There were no reasons given for arrests of the so-called suspects.
(ii) There were many new changes incorporated through Amendment 42 of the Constitution. The role of Supreme Court was curbed to some extent. The Court could not challenge the elections of President of India, Vice President of India and Prime Minister of India. It also gave the power to the government for postponement of elections in situations of Emergency.
(iii) The powers of media were curtailed by imposition of press censorship. There was ban on protests, strikes, agitations, etc. Fundamental Rights were curtailed and suspended. Many eminent Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan awarded returned their titles. Some prominent newspapers like Indian Express protested by leaving blank space at places where news were censored.
(iv) It is a combination of restriction on civil liberties of the people along with tension between the government and the judiciary.
Q.4. ‘Emergency is one of the most controversial episodes in Indian politics.’ Analyse three reasons and three consequences of it.
Ans. Causes of Emergency:
(i) ‘The Bangladesh crisis had put a heavy strain on India’s economy.
(ii) This was followed by war with Pakistan.
(iii) After the war the US government stopped all aid to India. Industrial growth was low and unemployment was very high. Monsoons failed in 1972-1973.
(iv) This resulted in a sharp decline in agricultural productivity and increase in the activities of Marxist groups.
(v) Students in Gujarat started an agitation against rising prices of food grains, cooking oil and other essential commodities, and against corruption in high places.
(vi) Leader Jayaprakash Narayan demanded the dismissal of the Congress government in Bihar and gave a call for total revolution in the social, economic and political spheres in order to establish what he considered to be true democracy.
(vii) A series of bandhs, gheraos, and strikes were organised in protest against the Bihar government.
(viii) There constitutional hindrance regarding the change in the basic structure the Supreme Court said it cannot. Secondly, can the Parliament curtail the right to property by making an amendment ? Again, the Court said that Parliament cannot amend the Constitution in such a manner that rights are curtailed. Thirdly, the Parliament amended the Constitution saying that it can abridge Fundamental Rights for giving effect to Directive Principles.
Consequences of Emergency :
(i) It invoked Article 352 of the Constitution that federal distribution of powers remains practically suspended and all the powers are concentrated in the hands of the union government.
(ii) Secondly, the government also gets the power to curtail or restrict all or any of the Fundamental Rights during the Emergency. Strikes were banned; many opposition leaders were put in Jail; the political situation became very quiet though tense.
(iii) Deciding to use its special powers under Emergency provisions, the government suspended the freedom of the press. The government made extensive use of preventive detention.
(iv) Under this provision, people are arrested and detained. Kannada writer Shivarama Karanth, awarded with Padma Bhushan, and Hindi writer Fanisharnath Renu, awarded with Padma Shri, returned their awards in protest against the suspension of democracy.
Q.5. Read the passage given below carefully and answer the following questions :
The Janata Party made the 1977 elections into a referendum on the Emergency. Its election campaign was focused on the non-democratic character of the Congress rule and on the various excesses that took place during this period. In the backdrop of arrests of thousands of persons and the censorship of the Press, the public opinion was against the Congress.
(a) What is meant by ‘referendum’?
(b) ‘‘Acts like arrests of thousands of persons and the censorship of the Press during the Emergency period were non-democratic.’’ Do you agree with the statement? Justify your answer with one suitable argument for/ against each act.
(c) In spite of winning the 1977 elections with a thumping majority, why could the Janata Party remain in power only for a short period? Explain.
Ans. (a) Referendum means to refer an important issue to the people for decision/verdict by general vote.
(b) (i) Nearly one lakh eleven thousand people were arrested under Preventive Detention, but none of them were tried for antinational activity.
(ii) Newspapers were not allowed to publish articles without the prior approval of government. Note : If a candidate gives an appropriate argument in favour of the statement, it may be suitably awarded.
(c) (i) Stiff competition from within the Janata Party for the post of Prime Minister.
(ii) It lacked directions, leadership and a common programme.
(iii) Split in the Janata Party reduced it to minority.