NCERT Notes for Class 12 Political Science Chapter 6 The Crisis of Democratic Order

Class 12 Political Science Chapter 6 The Crisis of Democratic Order

NCERT Notes for Class 12 Political ScienceChapter 6 The Crisis of Democratic Order, (Political Science) exam are Students are taught thru NCERT books in some of the state board and CBSE Schools. As the chapter involves an end, there is an exercise provided to assist students to prepare for evaluation. Students need to clear up those exercises very well because the questions inside the very last asked from those.

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NCERT Notes for Class 12 Political Science Chapter 6 The Crisis of Democratic Order

Class 12 Political Science Chapter 6 The Crisis of Democratic Order

Background to Emergency

  • The major changes after 1967 were:
    1. Indira Gandhi as a towering leader.
    2. Party Competition became bitter.
    3. Tensions between Govt and judiciary.
    4. More political opponents to Indira Gandhi.
  • It was in this context that internal emergency was declared n nd a.
  • The period of emergency which lasted for 21 months ( from June 1975 to march 1977) was a dark chapter in the history of indep nd nt India.

It was the greatest challenge that Indian d mocracy had ever faced.

Main causes for the imposition of internal Emergency:

  1. Economic context
    • 8 million refugees from East Pakistan as a result of Indo-Pak War in 1971.
    • US govt stopped all financial aid to India.
    • Oil Price increa ed in International market and it led to price rise.
    • Industrial growth was low.
    • Unemployment was very high.
    • Failure of monsoon during the period between 1972-73.
    • Sharp decline in agricultural productivity.
    • Govt froze the salaries of govt employees.
    • Anti-govt protest all over the country.
    • Naxalite movement.

Gujarat and Bihar movements

    • The political agitations of Bihar and Gujarat in 1974 Contributed to the imposition of emergency.
    • At this time Congress govt was ruling Gujarat and Bihar.
    • The students’ agitations in Gujarat and Bihar had far reaching impact on the politics of these two states and national Politics.

a). Gujarat movement

    • In January 1974, students of Gujarat started an agitation agai st rising Prices of food grains, cooking oil and other essential commod t es.
    • Against corruption in high places.
    • To solve the problem of unemployment.
    • All the major political parties joined the agitation of the students.
    • Gradually the agitation turned into viol nce and Gujarat Witnessed looting, riots and Police firings.
    • Consequently, the legislature assembly was dissolved and President’s rule was imposed in the state.
    • Under this intense pressure, e ection was held in Gujarat in June 1975.
    • Congress was defeated in this election.

Congress (O), Socialist Party, Bharathiya Lok Dal etc..

Conflict with Judiciary

  • During this period the govt and the ruling party were in constant conflict with judiciary.
  • It was caused by three constitutional issues:
    1. The first issue was that Parliament can restrict fundamental rights of the people. The Supreme Court Categorically declared that Parliament had no right to do it.
    2. The second issue was that Parliament can curtail the right to property through constitutional amendment. The court asserted that parl ame t cannot do it.
  • Parliament amended constitution saying that t can abr dge Fu damental Rights for giving effect to Directive principles. The SC rejected th s provision.
  • The crisis reached its culmination in the Kesavananda Bharathi Case.
  • In the verdict of this case, the SC declar d that parliam nt cannot amend the basic features of the Constitution.
  • Another important controversy was that the Go t of India appointed Justice A.N Ray as chief Justice, superseding the sen or ty of three other judges in 1972.

Declaration of Emergency

  • Raj Narayan, an opponent of Indira Gandhi in the 1971 election, challenged the election on the ground that he had used the services of govt servants in her election campaign.
  • In 12th June 1975 Allahabad High Court declared Indira Gandhi’s election to the Lok Sabha invalid.
  • On June 24th 1975 , the SC granted partial stay on the verdict of the High Court.
  • She could remain as MP in office until the final judgment was given by the court in the appeal Petition filed by Indira Gandhi.
  • At the same time she was prohibited to Participate in the Lok Sabha proceedings and to excercise vote.
  • On 25th June 1975, opposition Parties led by Jayaprakash Narayanan organised a massive demonstration in the Ramleela ground in New Delhi.
  • Addressing the rally JP announced a nationwide Satyagraha demanding the resignation of Indira Gandhi.
  • Jayaprakash Narayan asked the military, the police and the Civil servants, not to obey the “illegal and immoral orders” of the govt.
  • It threatened to paralyse the country.
  • On the night of 25th June 1975, Indira Gandhi recommended the imposition of Emergency to President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed on the grounds of internal insecurity.
  • The electricity to all the major newspaper offices was disconnected.
  • a large number of opposition leaders and party workers were arrested.

On 26th June 1975, 6 AM Indira Gandhi informed the Cab et m isters about the Emergency at a special meeting.

Consequences of Emergency

  • Opposition leaders were in jail.
  • Strikes were banned.
  • Press censorship
  • RSS and Jamait-e-islami were banned.
  • Fundamental rights were suspended.
  • Preventive detention was widely u ed.
  • Elections were postponed.
  • Taking advantage of the ituation of emergency, Parliament made some important amendments in the Con titution , Such as the election of the President, Vice president and Prime minister cannot be challenged in the court.
  • By the 42nd Amendment, the duration of the state legislatures was extended from five to six years.

Resistance to the Emergency

  • Many nonarrested leaders were gone underground and organized protest.
  • Leaving blank spaces in the newspapers in order to protest against the censorship.
  • Many magazines were closed down.
  • Secretly many newspapers and leaflets were published.
  • Many celebrities returned their Awards in protest against the suspension of democracy.

Arguments for Emergency

Supporters argued that Emergency was necessary due to the following reasons:

  • Frequent agitations affected the functioning of government.
  • Stability of the government was challenged.
  • Government was forced to give more attention to the mai te a ce of the Law and Order.
  • CPI firstly believe that there was an international consp racy against the unity of India.
  • Agitations were mainly by the middle-class s to oppose the pro poor policies of Indra.

Arguments against the Emergency

  • They argued that in a democrat c state people had the right to make an open protests against the policies of the government.
  • Agitations were non-violent and not anti-national activities.
  • The Home Ministry did not make any anxiety on the Law and Order situation of the country.
  • They government had ufficient powers to deal with an agitation if it went beyond the limits.
  • The real thread was not to the unity and integrity of the country but to the ruling party and to the Prime minister.
  • The critics say that Indira Gandhi misused the Constitutional provision for protecting her personal power and position.

What happened during the Emergency?

  • supporters believed that it could bring Law and Order.
  • To restore the efficiency of the government.
  • To implement Pro poor welfare programes, 20 Point programes etc…
  • Critics point out that the most of the promises given by the government were not fulfilled.
  • Misuse of preventive detention laws and the custodial death.
  • Heavy restrictions on the freedom of press.
  • During the Emergency, governmental powers were exercised by some people who had no official positions, for example Sanjay Gandhi.
  • The attempts of Sanjay Gandhi to beautify Delhi by removi g the slums and to make compulsory sterilization became controversial. It is know as Turkman Gate Incident in Delhi.

Custodial death of Rajan

  • He was under illegal custody of Kerala polic , di d of continuous torture during the period of emergency.

Lessons of Emergency

  • Democracy resumed within a short per od after emergency. It became clear that democracy cannot be rooted out from the Ind an soil.
  • Now internal emergency can be dec ared only if the security of India is threatened either by external aggression or by armed rebellion.
  • The recommendation of the cabinet to declare Emergency must be handed over to the president in writing.
  • Emergency made the people aware of the value of civil liberties. Many voluntary organizations were also formed for the protection of the civil liberties.

Shah Commission .

  • In 1977, the Janata party came to power defeating the Congress.
  • The Janata government appointed a commission under the chairmanship of Justice J C Sha, a retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, to enquire about the allegations of abuse of power, excesses and Corruption which were taken place during the time of emergency.
  • Politics after Emergency
  • In January 1977, after 18 months of emergency, Indira Gandhi announced election to the Lok Sabha.
  • The Intelligence report was that Congress would again come into power if the election was held, prompted her to make such a decision.
  • The Election of 1977 was really a referendum on emergency.
  • The opposition faced the election with the slogan “Save democracy”.
  • All major opposition parties began to cooperate in the pre-Emergency period.
  • The political parties such as Congress (O), Jana Sangh, Bharathiya Lok Dal and Socialist Party came together on the eve of the elections and formed a ew political party called the Janata party.
  • The new party accepted the leadership of Jayaprakash Narayan

The reasons behind the victory of Janata Party in the general election of 1977

  • Emergency
  • Leadership of Jayaprakash Narayan
  • Unity among the non-congress part es
  • Massive electoral waves aganist Congress n North India.
  • Anti-democratic activities of the Congress govt like censorship of the press and the denial of Civic rights.

Reasons behind the success of Congress in the Southern States

  • The impact of Emergency was not Similar in all the states
  • The forced relocation and displacements, the forced sterilization and the police atrocities were mostly concentrated in the Central and North Indian States.
  • The 20 point programmes were more effectively implemented in southern states. It helped the congress party to attain better victory in these states.
  • The people of the southern states were not aware about the excesses of Emergency. Naturally, they had no bitter attitude towards congress party.

Janatha government

  • After the elections in 1977, the Janata party formed government in India.
  • Janatha party was an alliance of various parties, which had no ideological Unity.
  • After the election, there was stiff competition among three prominent leaders for the post of Prime Minister – Morarji Desai, Charan Singh and Jagjivan Ram .
  • Morarji Desai became the Prime Minister due to the mediation of jayaprakash Narayan and J B Kripalani
  • The party lacked direction,leadership, and a common programme.
  • The Janatha government failed to bring fundamental changes in the policies pursued by the congress party.
  • The party was always haunted by internal conflicts.
  • corruption and power struggle began to grow among the party leaders.
  • Following a split in the party ,the Morarji government lost its majority and forced to resign on 15 July 1979. It lasted for just 18 months
  • Charan Singh, the leader of a faction of Janata party, th n formed a new government with the support of the Congress.
  • But congress party withdrew its support and Charan singh’s ministry collapsed.
  • Charan Singh had to resign even w thout fac ng Lok Sabha.
  • Fresh general election was he d to Lok Sabha in January 1980 in which the Janata party suffered a humiliating defeat , e pecially in North India.
  • The congress party wept the polls and Indira Gandhi returned to power winning 353 seats in Loksabha.


  • The formation and the failure of the Janatha government and return of Indira Gandhi government created far-reaching consequences in the Indian political system.
  • one party dominant system came to an end.
  • From 1969 onwards congress party changed its Stand and try to establish its own identity.
  • The ideological change and Charismatic personality of Indira Gandhi became the basis of Congress victory in the elections.
  • The opposition parties tried to avoid the division of non-congress votes in the elections.

This factor played an important role in the election of 1977.

  • The period of emergency is considered as a period of constitutional crisis. The conflictbetween the Judiciary and the Parliament regarding their jurisdiction started during this period.
  • Another critical issue that emerged during this period was about the role and extent of mass protests in a parliamentary democracy.

Naxalite movement

  • A pleasant Uprising took place in 1967 in the Naxalbari police station area of Darjeeling Hills districts in West Bengal.
  • This movement was started under the local leadership of the marx st party.
  • In a very short period, this Moviement spreaded to several states of India and came to be known as the Naxalite movement
  • In 1969 Naxalite group booke off from the CPI(M) and a new party, Communist Party(Marxist – Leninist) was form d und r the l ad rship of Charu Majumdar.
  • Naxalites do not believe in democracy.
  • They believe in violence and Guerr lla war in order to achieve their aim.
  • Naxalites used force to snatch and from big landlords and distributed to the poor and landless workers.

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