Emergency in India, When Congress Crushed Democracy and Contribution of RSS in Restoring it

Emergency Imposed – 26th June 1975 ( midnight of June 25th)  — The Day When Bharat’s democratic rights were crushed..

It is fashionable among India’s elitist “intellectual” circles to target anyone related to the Hindu renaissance movement as fascist or  Nazi. The only time that Independent India saw democratic rights completely being crushed was under the Congress rule. The only time post Independence, Bharat was subjected to Nazi like and fascist like treatment was under the Congress.  Isn’t it revealing that the elite intellectuals do not remind the country of emergency imposed in India under Smt.Indira Gandhi’s rule ? Why ?

It was the Lok Sangharsh Samiti under the leadership of Jai Prakash Narayan which ensured that Bharat breathed freely again. The Lok Sangharsh Samiti had thousands of volunteers from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, known as the RSS which spearheaded the Hindu renaissance movement since 1925.

Indira Gandhi, and the Congress Party’s misuse of Power and Malpractice :

On 12 June 1975, the Allahabad High Court  found Smt. Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister guilty on the charge of misuse of government machinery for her election campaign. The court declared her election null and void and unseated her from her seat in the Lok Sabha. The court also banned her from contesting any election for an additional six years.

A book by a senior official in the Prime Minister’s Office Sri Bishan Tandon gives details about the events of those crucial days. He writes in the PMO diary ” Her objective is clear: whatever happens, she must remain PM. The senior leaders will applaud her as she does whatever she wants. Our ideals, values and yardsticks can go to hell. Is democracy nearing its end in our country “. ( quoted in Sri LK Advani’s blog).

It is clear that in her quest for power at all costs, she imposed emergency on the mid night of June 25th and w.ef. from June 26th, 1975 . The order for emergency was signed by the President Faqruddin Ali Ahmed.


Emergency Indira

Indira Gandhi

Draconian Law MISA Imposed  –

On July 4th, ( 3rd July midnight), a ban was put on RSS activities. On 5th August 1975, Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) was imposed and thousands of people who were thought to be a threat to the Congress were put in jail and tortured. Political leaders belonging to the Jan Sangh and socialist party were also arrested. More significantly, common people with social consciousness were arrested and put behind bars.

Many of the Congress leaders who were instrumental in crushing people’s rights are or have been Cabinet ministers in the last 10 years of UPA government.

The country Rises : 

Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan

The country rose as one voice under the banner of Lok Sangharsh Samiti lead by Loknayak Jayprakash Narayan. Thousands of RSS volunteers under the direction of Sarsanghchalak Balasaheb Deoras plunged into the movement. Almost all of them who participated in the movement were people on whom depended their entire family….and yet their family members supported their fight for democracy.

RSS Sarsangchalak Balasahebji

Balasahebji Deoras

‘The Economist’, London, on 4-12-1976  described the movement as “the only non-left revolutionary force in the world”. It said that the movement was “dominated by tens of thousands of RSS cadres, though more and more young recruits are coming”. Talking about its objectives it said “its platform at the moment has only one plank: to bring democracy back to India”.

Satyagraha was organised across the country and thousands got arrested. After almost 2 years of relentless struggle, the country was successful in restoring democracy. According to “The People Versus Emergecy: A saga of Struggle” the number of RSS swayamsevaks detained under MISA was 23015. The number of RSS activists arrested for offering satyagraha during emergency was 44965. Other accounts quoted in ” A Prisoner’s Scrap Book” – By LK Advani states, out of the 105000 detainees, 25000 were arrested during the first weeks of Emergency and another 80000 during Satyagraha. 70 died in custody.

Indira had to lift emergency on  21st March 1977.

Let us bow our heads in tribute to the lakhs of Bharatiyas who braved the odds to restore democracy and the thousands who faced the brutality of MISA.

Many of the people who have seen the Emergency, indicate that the anarchist situation and misuse of government machinery by the UPA government reminded them of the situation prevalent before the Emergency. Let us take a sankalp that we will not allow the institutions, values and ideals of Bharat to be compromised.

Arise Bharat !

Appendix :

Table : Number of Arrests and Detentions in Various States/ UTs during Emergency

Name of State/ UT Detention under MISA Arrests under DISIR
Andhra Pradesh 1135 451
Assam 533 2388
Bihar 2360 7747
Gujarat 1762 2643
Haryana 200 1079
Himachal Pradesh 34 654
Jammu & Kashmir 466 311
Karnataka 487 4015
Kerala 790 7134
Madhya Pradesh 5620 2521
Maharashtra 5473 9799
Manipur 231 228
Meghalaya 39 20
Nagaland 95 4
Orissa 408 762
Punjab 440 2463
Rajasthan 542 1352
Sikkim 4
Tamilnadu 1027 1644
Tripura 77 99
Uttar Pradesh 6956 24781
West Bengal 4992 2547
Andman & Nicobar Islands 41 88
Arunachal Pradesh 1
Chandigarh 27 74
Dadra & Nagar Haveli 3
Delhi 1012 2851
Goa, Daman & Diu 113
Lakshdweep Islands
Mizoram 70 136
Pondicherry 54 63
Total 34988 [MISA Detentions] 75818 [DISIR Arrests]

TOTAL BEHIND BARS : 1,10,806 [Source : Shah Commission’s Report on Emergency]

– Ayush Nadimpalli


9 thoughts on “Emergency in India, When Congress Crushed Democracy and Contribution of RSS in Restoring it

  1. Pingback: When Britain Finally Left India – Narendra Modi’s Victory | Arise Bharat

  2. adhyaya

    What has been true of every praise that is uttered on the role of RSS in Emergency, some media “crooks” always quote Dr.Subramanian Swamy’s account of Emergency (from his column ‘Unlearnt lessons of the Emergency’, Dt:13/June/2000) only to malign RSS and spread wrong information, who otherwise bitterly hate him! Truth about what happened during the crucial meeting between Sangh leaders and Indira’s emissary: (Excerpts from the book: “RSS, A Vision in Action”, by Sri H.V.Seshadri):

    1975-1977, Emergency: A Crucial Decision

    The Sangh leadership had to face a crucial test. It was the first week of March’1977. Elections were just a couple of weeks away. A very senior intelligence officer sought a secret interview with the leaders outside. Accordingly his meeting with five top leaders of Sangh was arranged. He proposed that the lifting of the ban on RSS could be considered if it withdrew its ranks from the election campaign.

    The arguments advanced by him were as follows:

    When the Government itself had come forward with a conciliatory gesture, was it not but proper that RSS too should respond in the same spirit? Already the RSS men were rotting in jails for over 21 months! After all, how much longer could they stand it ?

    The reply was firm and unequivocal:

    Any compromise with the government at such a crucial juncture would be a betrayal of the nation. The Sangh would prefer to see the crisis resolved by the ballot. If the verdict was adverse, it was prepared to continue the struggle as before.

    The morale of the Sangh workers in jails was excellent. The underground movement outside also was gathering greater popular support. The workers, outside or inside, would never tolerate any move which would turn all their sufferings and sacrifice into a waste. If the government were to lift the ban and release the workers, their indignation against it would be probably assuage d a bit. That is all that the government could expect by way of recompense to their gesture.

    Finally, the officer was asked, “Did you seriously believe that the Sangh would succumb to such an offer which would be nothing short of stabbing the nation in the back – just to save its skin?”
    The proposal fell through. The office departed. As he was crossing the threshold, he turned back and slowly said, “I expected the same from you. And I am proud of you.”
    The last-minute tactics of Indira Gandhi to divide and demoralise the Opposition ranks had failed. She lost in the gamble of elections. And the nation had won.

  3. Pingback: 22nd February 1977 MISA And Emergency Was Cancelled | Shivaji Raje

  4. klakkarajuKasinadh Lakkaraju

    My father Late Sri.L.Ramanadha Rao garu, advocate at Tenali was arrested on the same evening as he was the then Guntur District President of Bharateeya Jan Sangh. That evening he went for a walk along with his friends and followers, the police approached him on the way and issued arrest warrant. By then Sri Ramacharyulu, a veteran swayamsewak and Jansanghee of Tenali was already arrested. Then my father came with police to home. He packed his clothes and left for the jail. He told our mother, that he did not know to which jail, he would be taken. It was a kind of shock for a middle class family. My brother was to join, REC, Warangal, I was studying 7th class and my sister in 1st standard. The big question was, whether my brother should join BE in REC. My relatives and swayam sewaks said they would support us and he should join the course. Thus my brother at the age of 17 years went on his own to Warangal and joined the college. Of course , he had a few thick friends and neighbors studying there already. To save money, he used to stay in a room outside the college and do the cooking along with his friends and study. My father was lodged in Central jail, Rajahmundry. My mother and sister shifted to Rajahmundry where my maternal grand father stayed. I stayed back at Tenali and one of my uncles ( my father’s elder brother – Late Sri Lakkaraju Sadaasivarao garu) shifted his family to Tenali from Bapatla. He was posted to Vijayawada municipality. His job demanded that, he was to stay at Vijayawada only. However, he used to travel daily between Tenali and Vijayawada. Swayamsewaks used to collect some funds to support our family. Though it was not sufficient. their promptness was really touching. We had a moral dilemma, whether to accept that help. My mother asked my father whether we should accept the help. Then my father told her that he was representing them in the jail, so we could accept the help, only to the extent, we needed.
    Once in 10 days police used to visit our house to question us, how we were surviving, who were helping us, whether any of our relatives were staying with us. My aunt, a lawyer who was taking care of my father’s clients used to answer their queries. In the end we used to ask then when we my father could be released. They were not sure but used to say 3 months time.
    One of my relatives who who had influence with the then State Home Minister could access, my fathers case. In the file my father was described as Hardcore RSS Worker. Then the Home Minister expressed his helplessness to release my father.
    Those days I used to find cyclostyled papers thrown into our house at night. These papers used to describe the atrocities during emergency and how the fight was going on.
    I used to be treated well by my neighbors and friends. They used to appreciate that I was staying away from my parents at that age. Once, one of my classmates heckled me that I was son of a Khaidee in the classroom. Of course, I took care of him in the school ground later.
    At that time, my father’s jail mates were SarvaSri Jupudi Yagna Narayana, Varanasi Suryanarayana Murthy ( I think he is father of Sri Ram Madhav Ji), Komaragiri Krishnamohan, Gottipati Muralimohan, Ravindranath ( Advocate – Narasarao Peta), Dr.NSN Raju ( Trustee of Rangaraya Medical College, Kakinada), Subbaraju (Old Congress if I am right).
    They used to have fun at the jail. They used to supervise cooking, learn languages, write poetry. My father’s poems are still with me. His other colleagues belonged to communist parties, Naxalites, Old Congress, Anand Margies, smugglers etc. He had friendship with all of them. He used to tell that even cats did not venture into the area of naxals, as they used to catch and eat them as a preparation for war/ jungle life. Anand Margies used to fight with Naxals violently. Anand Margies used to dance at midnight with a skull in their hand on Amavasya.
    My father was released after 18 months 19 days. It taught us how to survive adversity and how to adjust and live for ideals. It taught us not to fear police, jail, arrest. My father repaid all the assistance we received during emergency. When Janata Party government asked him ,whether he needed any help from the government. He flatly refused.
    Later BJS merged in Janata Party. Later BJP was started with Gandhian Socialism slogan. My father was disappointed with cultural change in BJP. He left BJP and joined BMS. Most of his followers were Muslim artisans. He was very good at Muslim Law.
    The only undue attachment, we have is with BJP which we want to grow as a principled party and govern the nation. We feel it as our family, though the present crop of leaders may not have similar feelings, which is very natural.
    I thank Arise Bharath for reminding us of those days.

    1. కాశీనాథ్ లక్కరాజు

      In emergency only family members and listed relatives of the prisoner were allowed to meet the prisoner monthly once. If memory serves well Sri Gopala Swamy Pillalamarri garu a veteran journalist from Tenali went on my maternal uncle’s name to meet my father in Rajahmundry central jail. My father Late Sri Lakkaraju Ramanadharao garu, advocate , Tenali was arrested for 18 monthys 19 days. Sri Ram Madhav ji’s father was also in the same prison, if I am correct.

  5. Bharat

    Many swayamsevaks were sent behind the bars during emergency. Among them my grand father Sri Shambhu Nath Dixit and his elder brother Shri Chakradhar Dixit, also went to jail. They were all sent to Naini Central jail (Allahabad).


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