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Emergency Chronicles

Indira Gandhi and Democracy's Turning Point

Gyan Prakash

ca. 20,99
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Princeton University Press img Link Publisher

Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Geschichte


The gripping story of an explosive turning point in the history of modern India

On the night of June 25, 1975, Indira Gandhi declared a state of emergency in India, suspending constitutional rights and rounding up her political opponents in midnight raids across the country. In the twenty-one harrowing months that followed, her regime unleashed a brutal campaign of coercion and intimidation, arresting and torturing people by the tens of thousands, razing slums, and imposing compulsory sterilization on the poor. Emergency Chronicles provides the first comprehensive account of this understudied episode in India’s modern history. Gyan Prakash strips away the comfortable myth that the Emergency was an isolated event brought on solely by Gandhi’s desire to cling to power, arguing that it was as much the product of Indian democracy’s troubled relationship with popular politics.

Drawing on archival records, private papers and letters, published sources, film and literary materials, and interviews with victims and perpetrators, Prakash traces the Emergency’s origins to the moment of India’s independence in 1947, revealing how the unfulfilled promise of democratic transformation upset the fine balance between state power and civil rights. He vividly depicts the unfolding of a political crisis that culminated in widespread popular unrest, which Gandhi sought to crush by paradoxically using the law to suspend lawful rights. Her failure to preserve the existing political order had lasting and unforeseen repercussions, opening the door for caste politics and Hindu nationalism.

Placing the Emergency within the broader global history of democracy, this gripping book offers invaluable lessons for us today as the world once again confronts the dangers of rising authoritarianism and populist nationalism.

Weitere Titel von diesem Autor



P. N. Haksar, Politician, Fundamental rights, Humiliation, Romesh Thapar, Habeas corpus, New Delhi, Sovereignty, Regime, Charan Singh, Ideology, Opposition Party, Government of India, Political freedom, Institution, The Other Hand, Hindustan Motors, State of exception, Pramila Dandavate, Representative democracy, Slum, Principal Secretary (India), Janata Party, Politics, Hindutva, Democracy, Social transformation, Constitution of India, Mahatma Gandhi, Secularism, Dalit, Constitutional amendment, Criticism, State government, Liberal democracy, Proclamation, Communism, Activism, Popular sovereignty, Amendment, Rule of law, Family planning, Due process, Bihar Movement, Raj Narain, Imprisonment, Civil disobedience, Directive Principles, Police, Trade union, Haryana, Politics of India, Shiv Sena, Maharashtra, Sikh, Judiciary, Princeton University Press, Narendra Modi, Naxalite, Hindu nationalism, Neoliberalism, Preventive detention, Shah Commission, B. R. Ambedkar, Rukhsana Sultana, Hegemony, Legislation, Modernity, Despotism, Jawaharlal Nehru, Censorship, Marxism, Indira Gandhi, Jayaprakash Narayan, Authoritarianism, Basic structure doctrine, Morarji Desai, Republic, State of emergency, Public sphere, Police officer, Political party, World War II, Ghosh, Governance, Democratic republic, Princeton University, Madhu Dandavate, Bharatiya Jana Sangh, Bharatiya Janata Party, Central government, Sanjay Gandhi, Intimidation, Populism, Bansi Lal, Satyagraha, Om Mehta, Political violence, Assassination, Other Backward Class