IT IS TRUE 25 JUNE 1975 IS DARKEST DAY OF INDIAN DEMOCRACY BUT..

Yes, it is true June 25, 1975 is the darkest day in the world’s largest democracy, a blot on the free spirit a democracy is meant for.

40 years ago, India was pushed to a dictatorship. Civil liberties were suspended and every dissent in any form was crushed.

A widespread mass movement was organized against it and people protested wherever they could – explicitly or while they were underground. More than a lakh were imprisoned including all political opponents of Indira Gandhi.

June 25, 2915 was the 40th anniversary of that black day – a milestone event on the timeline of The Emergency in India.

But while remembering the day and the ‘excesses’ that it brought, we also need to think that it didn’t reflect comprehensively in the electoral outcomes of 1977 and was totally overturned in 1980.

Why I say the reaction was not comprehensive in 1977 is based on the fact that Congress still got 154 of the 542 Lok Sabha seats and 34.52% votes. The Janata Party alliance, which fought 1977 polls on the Bhartiya Lok Dal (BLD) symbol, got 295 seats and 41.32% votes.

Five national parties, CPI, CPM, NCO, BLD and INC, in 1977 polls got 84.67% of votes together while state parties could get just 8.80% votes. Of this 84.67%, Congress and the BLD together got 75.84% votes.

So, in spite of all the protests and negative words against Indira Gandhi, Congress (or her Congress) remained the major political force in India. In fact, Congress did well in South Indian states. It won 41 seats of 42 in Andhra Pradesh, 26 of 28 in Karnataka, 11 of 20 in Kerala (its alliance partner CPI won another four in the state) and 14 of 39 in Tamil Nadu while its alliance partner Anna Dramuk won 17 seats taking the state tally to 31. Congress also did well in Assam and was a major opposition force in Gujarat and Maharashtra.

On the other side, the BLD’s good show was due to the alliance sweeping Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and its further good show in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Haryana and Gujarat. In states like West Bengal, Punjab and Maharashtra, its alliance partners did well taking the overall Janata Party alliance numbers higher.

So, political (and social) opposition of Congress in the first election after The Emergency, that was called by Indira Gandhi, was not uniform across India. And it was led by a loosely connected political alliance that became its undoing in the next three years giving Congress a chance to make electoral comeback.

And Indira Gandhi made a grand comeback in 1980, winning 353 of 529 seats with 42.69% vote share. Janata Party was reduced to a stature of a distant runner-up with 18/97% votes.

Why it happened so?

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

HOPE THE EMERGENCY BE NEVER EMERGENT AGAIN

My reflections on life – in quotes

“40 years:
Hope ‘The Emergency’ never gets the occasion to become emergent again.
We cherish our democracy and will work out its loopholes.”

 

Emergency 1

HOPE THE EMERGENCY BE NEVER EMERGENT AGAIN

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

A TRYST WITH POLITICS: AFTER 67 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

Yes, it cannot be compared and it is nowhere near to the history-defining moment of 1947 when Jawahal Lal Nehru delivered the epoch-making midnight ‘Tryst with Destiny’ speech 67 years ago on India’s first Independence Day.

It is another history-defining aspect of India, Indian politics and Indian democracy that Jawahar Lal Nehru’s run as India’s first prime minister that continued for many years went on to establish a political dynasty in India, something that should never have been the case.

Remember, the Mahatma, the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi had said to wind up the Indian National Congress in 1948 – “My suggestion is that, in so far as the Congress was intended solely to achieve Swaraj and that purpose has been gained – though I do not think what we have gained is full and real Swaraj – this organisation should be wound up, and that we should put to use all the energies of the country.”

Yes, that should never be the case. We cannot undo the past but we can think of the future based the day now. And we can hope so with a prime minister who has no family and who has willingly and honestly kept his separated wife (with mutual consent and in harmony) and his extended family away from any possibility of political patronage.

And the tryst with politics this year on the Indian Independence Day was about this man only and the sort of political changes that India has seen with him after the results of the Lok Sabha elections 2014 were declared on May 16, 2014 giving an absolute and overwhelming majority to a non-Congress party since the Independence in 1947.

The other time when a non-Congress political outfit had got clear majority on its own was in 1977, the watershed elections after the Emergency that sent Indira Gandhi packing, but the 295 seats of the BLD (Bharatiya Lok Dal) also included some 28 seats won by Jagjivan Ram’s Congress for Democracy (CFD). Janata Party had contested the election on BLD’s symbol and in alliance with CFD. And that makes the BJP (Bhartiya Janata Party) tally of 280 on its own in this election the largest ever for a non-Congress political party.

And that person played the central role in it. His intense campaigning, his direct approach and highly commendable and successful governance record coupled with his nationalist and pro-Hindutva branding, aided superbly by the sky-high anti-incumbency against the Congress-led Manmohan Singh government pushed the BJP from some expected 200-220 mark to 280 seats in the final tally.

No one had expected so, not when no single party had been able to win clear majority after the 1984 elections, not even Congress.

And the political tryst this year has made that possible. The turn of political events this year has given the world’s largest democracy a prime minister in Narendra Modi who began his life from the weakest socioeconomic layer of the Indian society, worked hard, rose steadily and gradually and ousted the most powerful political dynasty of the country from the seat of power. It was an impressive win and a humiliating defeat.

A required tryst in Indian politics after 67 years of Independence! Hope it delivers.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/