Proclamation of Emergency by Indira Gandhi
Location: Indira Gandhi’s Emergency announcement aired on All India Radio
Date: 8 AM, June 26, 1975
The President has proclaimed an emergency. This is nothing to panic about.
I am sure you are all conscious of the deep and widespread conspiracy which has been brewing ever since I began introducing certain progressive measure of benefit to the common man and woman of India in the name of democracy. It has sought to negate the very functioning of democracy. Duly elected governments have not been allowed to function, and in some cases force has been used to compel members to resign in order to dissolve lawfully elected assemblies.
Agitations have surcharged the atmosphere leading to violent incidents. The whole country was shocked at the brutal murder of my Cabinet colleague, Mr. L.N. Mishra. We also deeply deplore the dastardly attack on the Chief Justice of India.
‘Forces of Disintegration’
Certain powers have gone to the length of inciting our armed forces to mutiny and our. police to rebel. The fact that our defense forces and the police are disciplined and deeply patriotic and therefore will not be taken in does not mitigate the seriousness of provocation. The forces of disintegration are in full play and communal passions are being aroused, threatening our unity.
All manner of false allegations have been hurled at me. The Indian people have known me since my childhood. All my life has been in the service of our people. This is not a personal matter. It is not important whether I remain Prime Minister or not. However, the institution of the Prime Minister is important, and the political attempt to denigrate it is not in the interest of democracy or of the nation.
We have watched these developments with utmost patience for long. Now we learn of new programs challenging law and order throughout the country with a view to disrupt normal functioning. How can any government worth the name stand by and allow the country’s stability to be imperilled?
The actions of a few are endangering the rights of the vast majority. Any situation which weakens the capacity of the national government to act decisively inside the country is bound to encourage dangers from outside. It is our paramount duty to safeguard unity and stability. The nation’s integrity demands firm action.
The threat to internal stability also affects production and prospects of economic development. In the last few months the determined action we have taken has suc ceeded in largely checking the price rise. We have been actively considering further measures to strengthen the economy and to relieve the hardship of various sections, including the poor and vulnerable and those with fixed incomes. I shall announce these soon.
I should like to assure you that the new emergency proclamation will in no way affect the rights of law‐abiding citizens. I am sure that internal conditions will speedily improve to enable us to dispense this proclamation as soon as possible.
I have been overwhelmed by messages of goodwillfrom all parts of India and all sections of the people.
May I appeal for your continued cooperation and trust in the days ahead.