How did the 1975 Emergency shape the future of Indian politics?

By Sunil Kumar

Thanks. 41 years since the 1975 Emergency. Indian politics has altered beyond belief in this time period.

Indira Gandhi is elected as the first female P...

Visit Indira Gandhi is elected as the first female Prime Minister of India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The immediate consequence of Indira Gandhi’s experiment was that India had a non-Congress government for the first time. Jayaprakash Narayan’s populist movement had given Indian politics a springboard platform; from which future struggles; whether well-meaning or mere sloganeering(the great Indian circus) were going to emerge.

Regional parties have become more powerful since then. The Communists came to power in West Bengal in 1977; and became one of the longest-lasting democratically elected left parties to rule anywhere in the world. The Jana Sangh morphed into the BJP that gradually became a serious contender in the Delhi game of thrones.


Terrorist movements became stronger in regions; first the Punjab; and then Kashmir starting 1989. The national tradition of votebank politics gained ground over latent idealism of the years after independence.

Basically Indira’s self-goal led to a cataclysmic change; but this was gradual; as are most events in history. But; some of the groundwork for the overhaul of Indian politics was in the 1975 Emergency.


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