From India Gate: The silence of Shankaracharya got the message to Indira Gandhi to remove the Emergency

From India Gate: The silence of Shankaracharya got the message to Indira Gandhi to remove the Emergency


oi-Ajay Setia


Published: Sunday, June 26, 2022, 13:40 [IST]

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On this day, 26 June 1975, 47 years ago, Indira Gandhi imposed emergency to save her chair. But what happened that his emergency imposed on the country could not last even two years? Was she intimidated by the opposition’s movements or was there some kind of fear in her due to which she declared the general election on 18 January 1977 by lifting the Emergency? Did the silence of Kanchi Kamakoti Shankaracharya Chandrashekharendra Saraswati inspire him to remove the emergency?


The history of excesses during the Emergency is replete with. Every writer has written it in their own way. All the then opposition leaders later became Prime Minister, Chief Minister, Ministers in Central Governments and State Governments in various non-Congress governments. Dozens of leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Lal Krishna Advani, Rajnarayan, Charan Singh, Madhu Dandawate etc. later became ministers in the Morarji government. Leaders opposing the Emergency like Lalu Yadav, Mulayam Singh, Kalyan Singh, Nitish Kumar, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Parkash Singh Badal, Shanta Kumar, Sunder Lal Patwa, Bhagat Singh Koshyari became Chief Ministers.
But it still remains a mystery that when Indira Gandhi got the term of the Lok Sabha extended from five years to six years by getting the bill passed by the Parliament on January 5, 1976, then why suddenly on January 18, 1977, dissolved the Lok Sabha and announced the election. ? Whereas at that time 15 months were left for the tenure of the Lok Sabha.

Indira Gandhi’s then information advisor H.Y. Sharda Prasad’s son R. V. Sharda Prasad has written that after the Guwahati session of Congress in November, Indira Gandhi had made up her mind to lift the emergency and hold elections. But she did not want Sanjay Gandhi to know about her decision, so she kept her decision a secret. Sanjay Gandhi was never in favor of removing the emergency, but he wanted to change the democratic system of the country.

R. V. Sharda Prasad writes that in the second week of November 1976, Indira Gandhi called on her principal secretary, Professor PN Dhar, and her father, H.Y. Sharda Prasad: “I am going to end the Emergency and call for elections. I know I will be defeated, but this is something I will have to do.” But until he announced the general election on All India Radio on January 18, 1977, he took great care that no one in the Congress got a clue. She was taking special care that her son Sanjay Gandhi was kept in the dark; Sanjay Gandhi came to know about the announcement of the election through a radio broadcast, and he became very angry with Indira Gandhi for this.

Many take credit for the fact that he had prepared Indira Gandhi for the restoration of democracy. His friend Pupul Jayakar claimed that his mentor and philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti had prepared him for the restoration of democracy as Indira Gandhi told Krishnamurthy on October 28, 1976: “I am riding on the back of a tiger, I know That tiger is killing me but I don’t know how to get off its back”? Jiddu Krishnamurthy replied to Indira Gandhi that if she thought deeply about her situation, she would find the answer herself. Jayakar claims that Jiddu Krishnamurthy persuaded Indira Gandhi to “end the Emergency, no matter what the consequences”.

But in convincing Indira Gandhi, the role of Michael Mackintosh Foot, the President of the Council of Lords of Britain and the leader of the House of Commons, seems a bit too much. Indira Gandhi considered him as her elder brother. He came to India in October 1977 and met Indira Gandhi. In which he had advised to hold elections by releasing political prisoners. Indira Gandhi listened to him patiently, but did not answer. However, in that conversation, Indira Gandhi told him the reasons, due to which the Emergency had to be imposed. But Michael Mackintosh ft. later H.Y. Sharda Prasad that Indira Gandhi would announce the elections.

The silence of Shankaracharya Chandrashekharendra Saraswati of Kanchi Kamakoti Peeth is also considered a major reason for the restoration of democracy in India after the Emergency by Indira Gandhi. Indira Gandhi had great respect for the Shankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peeth. Shankaracharya had observed silence on the day she went to meet him.

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english summary

Indira Gandhi got message of removal of Emergency from Shankaracharya silence

Story first published: Sunday, June 26, 2022, 13:40 [IST]

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