Interaction with School chairman on the Emergency for classes 11 and 12

Posted by on Oct 21, 2019 in School News | Comments Off

On 4 October 2019, the students of classes XI and XII got the privilege to interact with our School chairman, Mr Prafull Goradia, to learn more about the infamous Emergency years.

Mr Goradia first shared the general details about Emergency – its duration, names of important ministers of the government, the prominent opposition leaders etc.

Sir told the students about the various types of emergencies that can be proclaimed under the the Indian constitution. He shared his own experience about the time. He happened to be visiting Patna on a market research programme when he heard Ms Indira Gandhi declaring the Emergency on the radio. The night before the declaration of Emergency, the opposition leaders were detained.

He also shared anecdotes on how some officials and politicians took advantage of their position and power during the period. He spoke of how people were imprisoned for an indefinite period, men were forcibly sterilised and the poor were often forced to move from the city slums in an attempt to make the city beautiful!

Sir told us the incidents which provoked the Emergency such as the great railway strike led by George Fernandes, protests under the leadership of Jay Prakash Narayan which started from Bihar and became a countrywide movement, the verdict of the Allahabad High Court unseating Ms Gandhi from the Rai Bareilly constituency on a complaint filed by Raj Narayan ( her main opponent in the constituency) and her conflict with the judiciary in the Keshavananda Bharti case.

Ms Gandhi announced fresh elections in the firm belief that the Congress would return to power. However she was in for a rude shock when, in north India, besides Kamal Nath, no one else won from the Congress! Hardly anyone had attended the campaign meetings of Ms Gandhi and the Congress lost badly in elections held in 1977.

After the end of the Emergency, the Shah Commission was appointed by the Morarji Desai government to investigate the brutalities of the Emergency period and most of the changes made to the Indian constitution were reversed by the 43rd Amendment. The Emergency is regarded as the black spot in the political history of India.

The students assembled were thus introduced to a significant period of Indian politics. The interesting details kept them engaged throughout.

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