IB’s defence of Emergency: ‘The country has been saved’https://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/ibs-defence-of-emergency-the-country-has-been-saved/

IB’s defence of Emergency: ‘The country has been saved’

It adds the opposition had earlier not hesitated to indulge in violence at Congress meetings.

Two weeks after Emergency was imposed by the Indira Gandhi government on June 25,1975,the Intelligence Bureau prepared an internal note with a detailed defence of the imposition,claiming it “saved” the country from from “chaos and anarchy”. The points it stressed matched those used by the Congress government to defend its stance in Parliament.

The 34-page note,dated July 11,1975 and titled “The Threat of Grave Internal Disturbance,The Need for the Proclamation of an Emergency”,was part of home ministry documents pertaining to the Emergency period accessed by The Indian Express from the National Archives of India. It blamed the opposition parties for creating a situation that necessitated an emergency and claimed the government had,in fact,“saved the country from widespread internal disorder”.

“In the light of what had transpired in Gujarat and Bihar and the ‘mini-revolts’ staged by these political parties,their trade unions and student fronts in the last one-and-a-half years and particularly the anarchy and disorder that was sought to be unleashed during the last railway strike,one could imagine the chaos and anarchy [into which the country would have been thrown if these plans had not been scotched effectively by the proclamation of the Emergency and the arrest and detention of these leaders,” the note says. “By this action,the country has been saved from widespread internal disorder and a situation in which the administration would have been put to the very greatest stress leading to serious setbacks in development and meeting the pressing needs of the people.”

The note begins by talking about the “anarchy” in Gujarat,followed by Bihar. “The public have no doubt seen the outlines of the ‘strategy for Total Revolution’ and the havoc wrought by its implementation in Gujarat and Bihar in the last 18 months. But because of the very nature of the clandestine and sinister plans of the opposition,the people are not aware of the enormity of the dimensions of the… anarchy and disorder planned by these forces,” the documents states,adding the non-CPI opposition parties were trying to “capture power”.

“…The BJP and its militant cadres in the RSS and ABVP prepared a ‘Blue Print’ for capturing power through extra-parliamentary mass agitations,” the document says,adding conditions of widespread “lawlessness and anarchy” had been created in Gujarat following which the assembly was dissolved on March 15,1974. It adds the opposition had earlier not “hesitated to indulge in violence at Congress meetings” in poll-bound UP.

“The parties of the ‘grand alliance’ saw in the Gujarat developments a new hope… The possibility of repeating ‘Gujarat’ in Bihar loomed large in their political thinking,” the note says. It claims the opposition parties unleashed an “orgy of arson and violence” in the state on March 18,1974.

On the May 1974 rail strike,it says,“Simultaneously with developing the links with all anti-Congress forces,the leaders of the Socialist Party were busy planning a ‘rail strike’ which was to disrupt communications on a wide scale and engulf the country in ‘economic chaos’…” but “failed to bring the government to their knees”.

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It says the Socialist Party in March 1975 was advocating a “civil disobedience movement” and opposition leaders were “exhorting people to be in readiness for fighting the battle on the streets”. It particularly mentions opposition leaders Madhu Limaye,Atal Behari Vajpayee,George Fernandes,Morarji Desai and J P Narayan,besides others. It accuses the opposition of trying to “undermine the loyalty of the police and military”,calling the move “deeply sinister”.