In India, 'The Emergency' refers to a 21-month period from 1975 to 1977 when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had a state of emergency declared across the country.
It was officially issued by President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed under Article 352 of the Constitution because of the prevailing 'internal disturbance'.
The Emergency was in effect from June 25, 1975, until it's withdrawal on March 21, 1977.
The order allowed elections to be cancelled and civil liberties to be suspended. Most of Indira Gandhi's political opponents were imprisoned and the press was also censored.
Several other human rights violations were reported, including a mass forced sterilization campaign spearheaded by Sanjay Gandhi.
The Emergency is one of the most controversial periods of independent India's history.
Here is why the Emergency was imposed:
1. During the period of 1973-75, political unrest against the Indira Gandhi-led movement was on its peak. During this period, many of the party leaders within Congress demanded a system that works more like a presidential one, one where there would be directly elected executives in the party.
Nav Nirman movement in Gujarat between December 1973 and March 1974 was one of the first moments which begun the strife in the nation. During this movement, the Central government was forced to dissolve the state legislature in Gujarat and Chief Minister Chimanbhai Patel had to resign, which resulted in the President's rule in Gujarat.
2. Indira Gandhi was found guilty by the Allahabad High Court on several accounts and was charged for malpractice during the previous campaigns during her Lok Sabha seat election. Even within the Parliament, the government was undergoing much criticism from the opposition parties.
3. Unemployment and increasing laboring population generated fume and outrage all over the nation. The government claimed that the regular strikes and protests by the citizens have paralyzed the government and it's economy and there was anomaly on streets as well as political opposition prevailing in many parts of the country.
As a result of all this, an Emergency was declared in India.