This Post was my response to a question on Quora: http://www.quora.com/History-of-India/Why-is-the-National-Emergency-of-1975-seen-as-one-of-the-most-controversial-times-in-the-History-of-India/answer/Puneet-Tripathi-1?__snids__=240894766&__nsrc__=2
There were allegations by opposition that Indira Gandhi practiced electoral fraud to win the 1971 elections because of which there was huge unrest among political parties, student communities and citizens everywhere. People started protest and their agitation led to demand of dissolution of state government first in Gujrat and then later in Bihar. Gujrat’s happened but Bihar’s was refused by central govt.
Raj Narain filed case against Indira Gandhi in Allahabad High Court and in the verdict the then PM Mrs. Indira Gandhi was found guilty of the charges. See moved to supreme court but the decision was upheld by the Apex Court, she was not allowed to vote but she could continue as PM. This happened on 24th June 1975, JP Narain called a huge rally on 25th where he advised police to reject the decision of court and arrest her as the verdict was immoral.
So to save the power and possession of her position the next day she(Indira Gandhi) proposed emergency to president as the incident of 25th June could have led to a mass rebellion. AND THE EMERGENCY WAS DECLARED. The next 19 months were called blackest hours by JP Narain.
It happened in the interest of one person and we know who she was, a hint the then PM.
Any person who opposed or spoke against her was put behind the bars. That was the time that all these big political names like L.K.Advani, Atal Ji, D.P. Tripathi and thousand others spent their time in jail. Anyone who was considered threat was there in prison.
It was absolute anarchy in otherwise Democratic Nation.
Elections were postponed indefinitely. Satan Gandhi and her parliamentary majorities could rewrite the nation’s laws, since her Congress party had the required mandate to do so – a two-thirds majority in the Parliament. And when she felt the existing laws were ‘too slow’, she got the President to issue ‘Ordinances’ – a law making power in times of urgency, invoked sparingly – completely bypassing the Parliament, allowing her to rule by decree.
In 1976-1977, the program counted 8.3 million sterilizations, up from 2.7 million the previous year.
Detention of people by police without charge or notification of families was a common occurrence. Abuse and torture of detainees and political prisoners was done only for the welfare of the state[sarcasm intended].
Use of public and private media institutions, like the national television network Doordarshan for Govt propaganda.
Constitution was amended and updated for govt’s or rather Indira Satan Gandhi’s benefit multiple times and laws were created overnight which gave her powers way above law.
The list of evil done can go on but there are no doubts around why they were darkest hours of India. And also why that period was so controversial.