Kerala Plus Two Political Science Chapter Wise Questions and Answers Chapter 6 The Crisis of Democratic Order
State whether the following statements regarding the Emergency are correct or incorrect.
a) It was declared in 1975 by Indira Gandhi
b) It led to the suspension of all fundamental rights.
c) It was proclaimed due to the deteriorating economic conditions.
d) Many opposition leaders were arrested during the emergency.
e) CPI supported the proclamation of the Emergency
a. true b. true c. false d. true e. true
a – ii b – i, c – iii; d – iv
Can you identify the writers who had returned their awards such as Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri in protest against the suspension of democracy?
1. Shivarama Karanth.
Phaniswar Nath “Renu”
One of the following Commissions is associated with National Emergency of 1975. Identify the commission
a) Justice Pradhan Commisson.
b) Sreekrishna Commission.
c) Shah Commission.
d) Sarkaria Commission.
c) Shah Commission.
Identify the leader associated with Naxalite Movement.
b) Charu Majumdar.
b) Charu Majumdar
Find out the personalities who made the following slogan.
a) Jai Jawan Jai Kissan
b) Garibi Hatao
b. Indira Gandhi
Identify the commission appointed by the Janata Party in 1977 to inquire into the actions taken in the wake of the emergecy.
Match the following.
|Garibi Hatao||Charu Mamjudar|
|Total Revolution||Indira Gandhi|
|Railway Strike||George Fernandez|
|Naxalite Movement||Justice J.C. Shah|
|Chairman of Inquiry Commission||Jaya Prakash Narayana|
Garibi Hatao – Indira Gandhi
Total Revolution – Jay Prakash Narayan
Railway Strike – George Fernandez
Naxalite Movement – Charu Majumdar
Chairman of Enquiry Commission – Justice J.C. Shah
Normally emergency is imposed in connection with war and aggression or with natural disaster. But in June 1975 the emergency was imposed due to the perceived threat of internal disturbance. Briefly evaluate the circumstances that led to the declaration of emergency.
After the 1971 election, Indira became a popular leader with a lot of support from the people. This time there were serious problems in the Party. There were three main reasons:
- Economic Reasons
- Gujarat & Bihar Movement
- Dispute with the Judiciary
The main slogan in the 1971 election was ‘garibi hatao’. But when the government came to power it could not improve the economic condition of the country, There were a number of reasons for that. First of all there was the refuge problem. Then there was the Bangladesh Crisis, followed by the Indo Pakistan War. All these things created financial problems. Secondly, after the War, America stopped its aids to India.
Thirdly, there was a sharp increase in oil prices. The 4th reason was inflation which made the life of ordinary people very difficult. The 5th problem was negative growth in industrial output. Unemployment increased, especially in the rural sector. Sixthly, the salaries of government employees had to be reduced and even stopped. Seventhly, lack of rain caused serious shortfall in foodstuff.All the above things created an economic crisis in the country. There was general discontentment in the country. This gave the Opposition Parties an opportunity to organise protests.
Gujarat and Bihar Movement:
The second biggest problem was the students’ protest in Gujarat and Bihar which were Congress-ruled States. The main reason was the increase in the prices of essential commodities. Shortage of food, unemployment and corruption made the students angry. In both these States the Opposition Parties supported the students. In Gujarat, Presidential Rule was imposed. At this time the main opponent of Indira Gandhi and the leader of Congress (O), Morarji Desai, decided to go on an indefinite hunger strike.
He did that for demanding elections in Gujarat. In June 1975, because of heavy pressure from various sources, election was conducted. Congress lost the election. In Bihar the students invited Jay Prakash Narayan to lead their protest. He accepted the invitation insisting that the protest must be non-violent.
He asked for the dismissal of the Bihar govemment. He argued that there was a need for a revolution in social, economic and political spheres. But the Bihar government refused to resign. The entire country discussed the issue. Jay Prakash Narayan wanted to spread the protest to all parts of the country. In the meantime the railway workers went on a strike.
It would make the entire country come to a stand-still. In 1975, Jay Prakash Narayan organized a march to the Parliament. It was the biggest rally the capital had ever seen. The Opposition saw in him an alternative to Indira Gandhi. Both the protests were anti-Congress. Voices also rose against the leadership of Mrs. Gandhi. She believed that all this was done to take revenge on her.
Dispute with the Judiciary:
Another reason for the declaration of Emergency was Indira Gandhi’s dispute with the Judiciary.The Supreme Court said that some of the things the government did were against the Constitution. Congress argued that the Supreme Court judgement was against democracy and the authority of the Parliament. The Party said that the Court was standing against some welfare measures taken to help the poor people. The dispute was mainly in three things.
Firstly, Can the Parliament change the Fundamental Rights? The Court said no. Secondly, Can the Parliament change ownership of land? Again the Court said no. Thirdly, the Parliament said that it had the right to reduce fundamental rights. It amended the Constitution. But the Supreme Court objected. Ail these were the reasons for the dispute between the Government and the Supreme Court.
There were two more reasons. In the Kesavananda Bharati case, the Supreme Court judged that the Parliament can’t change the basic structure of the Constitution. Soon the post of the Chief Justice became vacant. Normally the senior most judge is appointed as the Chief Justice. But keeping aside 3 eligible Judges, the government appointed A.N. Roy as the Chief Justice. This appointment became controversial. Besides, the Uttar Pradesh High Court declared the election of Indira Gandhi as null and void. All these were the reasons for Mrs Gandhi to declare Emergency in June 1975.
During 1975 the people close to the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi started talking about the need for a judiciary and bureaucracy ‘committed’ to the vision of the executive and the legislature. Express your idea about committed judiciary and bureaucracy.
India is a democratic country. So, administration must be done according to the Constitution. We, therefore, do not need a committed judiciary or committed bureaucracy. Committed Judiciary and Committed Bureaucracy are used by autocrats or one party governments to implement their policies.
Examples of such committed judiciary and bureaucracy could be seen in Mao’s China, Mussolini’s. Italy and Hitler’s Germany. India does not need these things. If we go for committed judiciary and bureaucracy, we will be going against democracy.
Jayaprakash Narayan played an important role in the agitations against Indira Gandhi government. Even though he had given up active politics and was involved in social work, he became an alternative to Indira Gandhi. Can you briefly explain the role of Jayaprakassh Narayan in dislodging Indira Gandhi government?
Total Revolution People’s
March to Parliament 1975
Nationwide Satyagraha Janata Party
In March 1974, the students in Bihar organized some agitations. They were voicing their protest against increase in the prices of essential commodities, unemployment, and corruption. They invited Jay Prakash Narayan to lead the struggle. He accepted the invitation insisting that the protests must be nonviolent and they should not be limited to Bihar alone. Thus the protests acquired a political nature. People joined the agitation. JP Narayan asked the Centre to dismiss the Bihar government. He envisaged a total revolution at the social, economic and political levels. Bihar government refused to resign.
This Movement got wide publicity at national level. JP Narayan wanted this Movement to spread across India. When the Railway workers struck work, there was the possibility of the entire country coming to a standstill. In 1975, JPN made a popular march to the Parliament. It was the biggest march Delhi had ever seen. The Opposition looked at JP Narayan as an alternative to Mrs. Gandhi.
By June 1975, the enmity between the ruling party’ and the opposition became very strong. JPN demanded the resignation of Mrs. Gandhi. On 25 June 1975 there was a big protest on the Ramlila Ground in Delhi. There also he demanded Mrs Gandhi’s’ resignation. He declared he would start a satyagraha. He asked the police and government employees not to obey any rule that was not normal. Government felt it could not continue working. Many people were against Congress.
As a reaction to all this, on 25 June 1975, Indira Gandhi declared an Emergency saying that there was threat to the internal security of the country. In the 1977 election, after the Emergency, the entire Opposition fought against the Congress under Janata Party led by JP Narayan. For the first time Congress lost its majority in the Lok Sabha. Thus JP Narayan became the hero who fought for the restoration of democracy.
The declaration of National Emergency in 1975 produced many bitter incidents to the citizens. Can you mention any two incidents to express the bitter experience of emergency?
With the declaration of Emergency, people were in trouble. Their rights and freedom were at risk. Even when people approached the Court forgetting their rights, it proved useless. Government itself started acting against democracy. Here are two incidents. Turkmangate was an area in Delhi where poor people lived. The residents here were forced to leave this place and live in the barren areas of the Yamuna River Bank. The huts in Turkmangate were destroyed. People were forcefully sterilized. Those who volunteered for sterilization were given some free land. Some ran away from their new settlements. But some agreed to be sterilized.
The custody death of Rajan:
In the early morning of 1 March 1976, Rajan, a final year student of Kozhikode Engineering College, was arrested along with another student named Joseph Pali. Mr. T.V. Ichara Varrier, father of Rajan, tried different ways to find out where Rajan was. Since it was Emergency period, fundamental rights could not be enforced by any Court. When the Emergency was withdrawn, Ichara Varrier filed a “Habeas Corpus” in the Court.
According to witnesses, Rajan was taken from the hostel to the Tourist Bungalow at Kozhikode. Because of torture Rajan died in illegal police custody. The Kerala High Court summoned the then Chief Minister of Kerala Mr. K. Karunakarari. ‘He had to resign on this account.
Both these incidents show that during Emergency the fundamental rights of the people were breached. Many such things might have happened in the country. That is why in the 1977 election people refused to vote Congress into power for the first time after independence.
Given below is an anonymous advertisement published after the declaration of emergency in Times of India’.“…death of D.E.M.O’cracy, mourned by his wife T.Ruth, his son L.l.Bertie and his daughters Faith, Hope and Justice’’
The consequences of emergency proved the above comment true. Can you explain the consequences of declaration of emergency?
According to the Constitution, during the Emergency, the Central Government has special powers. During the Emergency, the Government did the following:
- Protests and agitations by government employees were banned.
- Media were strictly controlled.
- Fundamental Rights of the citizens were suspended. Even the courts could not enforce article 32.
- A number of preventive arrests of leaders were made. By doing all these things, the democratic set-up was seriously shaken.
The media could publish only things the government approved. Protesting against this, Newspapers like Indian Express and Statesman published their papers leaving some columns blank. Many journalists were under preventive detention. Many Opposition leaders were also kept in preventive custody. The argument for keeping them in jail was preventing any possible violence. Many leaders went underground. The suspension of article 32 was like closing the doors of justice on people. People could not even file ‘Habeas Corpus’. Later article 42 was also amended. We can easily say that the Emergency adversely affected the people in many ways.
There are arguments for and against the declaration of emergency. Indira Gandhi justified emergency on the ground that subversive forces were trying to distract the progressive programme of the government and were attempting to dislodge her from power through extra constitutional means. But to the critics Indira Gandhi misused a constitutional provision for saving the country to save her personal power. Can you substantiate the arguments for and against the declaration of National Emergency?
The Government justified the Emergency giving these reasons. First, in a democratic country the majority ruling party should be allowed to do things without unnecessary interference from the Opposition. Second, protests and agitations do not do anything good for the country. Third, the government did not want the Opposition to resort to any unconstitutional means to remove Indira Gandhi from power.
Fourth, Government had to take action to maintain law and order in the country. Indira Gandhi accused the Opposition saying that it prevented the government from taking welfare measures for the uplift of the masses and they wanted to remove her from power using unconstitutional means.
The CPI favoured the Emergency. At that time they argued that protests were unnecessary. They said that there were international problems threatening the unity of India. They also said that Jay Prakash Narayan was a representative of the Middle Class who objected to the reforms aimed at the welfare of the masses.These arguments were criticised. The critics pointed out that the Indian politics itself was a history of protests and agitations.
Therefore people have the right to protest against the government and its policies. None of the arrested people had committed any treason or any such grave offences. No case was registered against any of them. The threat was not to the country but to the Prime Minister and the Congress government. So there was no need for any Emergency. They felt that Indira Gandhi misused the constitutional provision for serving her personal needs.
The declaration of emergency was regarded as a test for excellence of democracy. In this test our democracy exhibited its strength and weakness. Express your opinion regarding the strength and weakness of our democracy on the basis of emergency.
The following things will show the strength of Indian democracy. First, it was proved that democracy can’t be destroyed in India. Second, the vagueness or ambiguity of this article in the Constitution was removed. Internal Emergency could be declared by the President with the approval of the Cabinet only when there was an armed revolution in the country. Third, it evaluated the freedom of a citizen. After the Emergency, the Court took measures to ensure the fundamental rights of the citizens. Finally many citizens’ right groups were formed.
The Emergency also shows some weaknesses of our Constitution. First, the tensions that happen between the vested interests of the political parties and the running of the government. It was the police and the bureaucrats that implemented the Emergency. They were not able to function independently. Often they had to function as the yes-men of the ruling parties. Even now this problem is persisting.
“The 1977 General Election was regarded as a referendum on the experience of emergency”. Do you think the election manifested the referendum by its results? Give your explanation.
The 1977 election was certainly a referendum after the Emergency. Even before the Emergency, public opinion had turned against the Congress government. Emergency made the people turn against the Party. The people made a slogan asking the Opposition to save democracy. The Opposition Parties joined together and became the Janata Party. They rallied under the leadership of Jay Prakash Narayan .
The Janata Party made the 1977 election a referendum. Their propaganda focused on the violation of people’s fundamental rights, the arrest of thousands of people and censorship imposed on the media.Jay Prakash Narayan became the symbol of de-mocracy. With the coming of the Janata Party, the opposition votes would not get scattered among different parties. Because of these reasons, Congress lost in the election.
There was a belief that “ The alternative of Congress Party can not complete its tenure”. This belief proved to be true with the case of Janata Party. Can you evaluate the reason behind this belief?
Only Congress had the claim to be part of the freedom struggle. The Opposition Parties did not have an all-India base or influence. They did not even have a strong slogan. This was the situation of the Grand Alliance. But by the time of the 1977 election, things had changed. Then they had a serious issue before them and also a strong leader. The Janata Party was bound by unity. But, after the election, there was a stiff competition for the prime ministership. There was Morarji Desai who opposed Mrs. Gandhi since 1966. Then there was Charan Singh, the leader of Bhartiya Lok Dal.
There was also Jagjivan Ram, who was an experienced Minister in many Congress Ministries. Finally Morarji Desai became the PM. But that did not solve the problems in the Janata Party.Janata Party was just a group of parties that joined together because of Emergency. It had no sense of direction or a definite goal. It failed to bring about any fundamental change. In 18 months, it lost its majority.
Then Congress supported the Charan Singh Ministry. But very soon Congress withdrew its support. Charan Singh was in power only for 4 months. In the election of 1980, the Janata Party lost badly. Congress under Indira Gandhi came back to power with a big majority. Later Congress became a Party that sought the support of many other parties and interest groups arguing that it was a party with a Socialist leaning working for the welfare of the poor.
The Congress Party justified the implementation of emergency. It wanted to use the emergency to bring law and order, restore efficiency and to implement the proper welfare programmes. Try to write a brief note about the positive actions of Indira Gandhi government during emergency.
Indira Gandhi declared a 20-point Programme. Some of the programmes were land reform, land distribution, increasing agricultural wages, representation of workers in the management and abolition of forced or compulsory labour. In the beginning the urban and middle class people were happy because there were no protests and agitations, strikes and hartals. Discipline was good. The poor people thought welfare schemes would bring them prosperity. Thus different people had different views and different expectations about the Emergency.
‘Shah Commission’ is the commission appointed to inquire into several aspects of emergency proclaimed on the 25th June 1975. Prepare a brief note about Shah Commission.
J.C. Shah was a retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The Janata Government set up a commission under his chairmanship to look into the charges made against the government during the Emergency period. The Shah Commission made detailed enquiries. Indira Gandhi also appeared before the Commission but she did not answer any question put to her.The findings, observations and recommendations were approved by the Janata Government. The report was presented in both the Loa Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.
Railway is the biggest public sector undertaking in India. The functioning of Railway is closely associated with the economy of the country. But in 1974 the Railway employees started a nationwide strike. Do you think such a strike can be justified? Express your opinion in the light of ,1974 Railway Strike.
The National Coordination Committee for Railwaymen, under the leadership of George Fernandez, embarked on a nationwide strike to press for their demands. Since railway service came under essential services, some questions were asked. Is the strike legal? Can the workers strike for claiming certain things? The Government declared the strike illegal. It did not approve the demands of the workers. Prominent leaders were arrested and border security personnel were deployed for the protection of the railway tracks. The strike was called off after 20 days without arriving at any solution.
In my opinion, workers have the right to make reasonable demands as India is a democratic country. But it should not be done in such a way by making the country come to a standstill. Sabotaging the economic security of the country is illegal and like treason. If the strike was because the authorities refused to pay reasonable salaries and other facilities, the strike could be justified to an extent. But here the strike was for an increase in their bonus and getting other benefits. Therefore their strike can’t be justified.
‘Naxalite’ is a general term used to indicate those persons who follow extra constitutional methods to achieve their objectives. Express your opinion about the Naxalite movement in the light of Naxalite movement in India.
The word Naxalite came from a peasant revolt in Naxalbari, a hilly region in Darjeeling in West Bengal. The leaders of this revolt were the local leaders of the CPI (M). Later it came to be known as the Naxalite Movement. In 1969, a new Party different from CPI (M) was formed and it was called CPI (ML). Charu Majumdar was its leader. The CPI (ML) resorted to Guerrilla tactics to press their claims.
The Naxalites forcefully took land from the rich people and gave Tito the poor peasants. They think that for achieving one’s goal one can use violence. Although strict actions were taken against the Naxalite Movement, it was not possible to suppress it completely. Recently in the Nandigram issue, the Naxalites became strong. In some areas Maoists are getting strong. This is an issue that should be carefully handled by the Central and State Governments. The growth of Naxalites might jeopardise the peaceful life of the country.
Describe the term ‘Committed Bureaucracy’.
Committed Bureaucracy means the government officials must be willing to carry out the principles and policies of the ruling party. They should do things as directed by the Party. It means the officials should be loyal not only to what is written in the Constitution but also to the Ruling Party. In countries like China we can see committed bureaucracy.
What do you know about Railway strike of 1974?
In 1974, the railway workers demanded bonus and better service conditions. But the government did not accede to their demands. To put pressure on the government, the railway workers, under George Fernandez, went on a nation-wide strike.
What do you understand by Civil Liberties Organisation?
Civil Liberties Organization came as a result of the Emergency. Two Organizations named Civil Liberties Democratic Organization and People’s Organization for Democratic Rights were formed after the Emergency period.
Who was the leader of ’Congress for Democracy’?
…………… was the first Prime Minister be-longing to a non-Congress Party.