chapter  5
23 Pages


So reported an American newspaper when Indira Gandhi declared a ‘State of Emergency’ on Thursday, 26 June 1975. ‘The Emergency’ refers to a twenty-one month period of rule by decree, in which the prime minister took on extraordinary powers, which she argued was necessary to advance economic development, increase effi ciency, arrest corruption in government, and forestall rebellions. In retrospect it is most remembered for the grave political excesses of the government throughout its duration.