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DNA Exclusive: Emergency – a historical folly? How right to freedom of speech and expression was trampled



New Delhi: On the morning of June 26, India’s then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi annouced Emergency in the country from the office of  All India Radio at 7 am. Though the Emergency was announced on June 26 it was declared by the then President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed at 11 pm on June 25.

On Friday’s episode of DNA, Zee News Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary spoke on Emergency, Chapter 2 of the special series, which was announced by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 26, 1975.

This episode talks about how the system of democratic governance ended in the country after the Emergency was imposed and Indira Gandhi oppressed every section of the country to preserve the legacy of the Gandhi-Nehru family and how a large part of the media and film industry did not just bow down in front of Indira Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi, but laid down before them.

A cabinet meeting was called at 6 am and all the Union Ministers were informed about the imposition of emergency in the country for the first time. Eight Union Ministers had attended this meeting – among them were the then External Affairs Minister Yashwantrao Chavan, Agriculture Minister Babu Jagjivan Ram, Defense Minister Sardar Swaran Singh, Law Minister H.R. Gokhale, Parliamentary Affairs Minister K. Raghu Ramaiah, Home Minister Kasu Brahmananda Reddy, Health Minister Karan Singh and Information and Broadcasting Minister Inder Kumar Gujral.

Unfortunately, no one questioned Indira Gandhi’s decision at that time.

And thus began the dark chapter in India’s history as it brought along an atmosphere of uncertainty in the country. It was historic and yet an unfortunate announcement, which tarnished the Indian Constitution. 

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