India Under Authoritarian Rule

Archive Report

One Year of Emergency Decrees

Situation Leading to Full Government Control

A year ago, on June 26, 1975, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India declared a state of internal emergency during the height of an intense political crisis. In so doing, she ordered the arrest of hundreds of Indian citizens, suspended civil liberties and imposed strict censorship on the press. Although Mrs. Gandhi in her official message to the nation expressed hope that a speedy improvement of “internal conditions” would allow her to revoke the emergency proclamation “as soon as possible,” the decree remains in effect today.

The measures enacted under the emergency have markedly changed the system of government in the world's largest democracy, and they raised questions as to whether the word “democracy” still applies. ...

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