Class 12 Political Science Chapter 6 The Crisis of Democratic Order
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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:
- Indira Gandhi as a towering leader.
- Party Competition became bitter.
- Tensions between Govt and judiciary.
- 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:
- 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:
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.