Emergency Chronicles

Emergency Chronicles[Reading] ➼ Emergency Chronicles Author Gyan Prakash – Heartforum.co.uk The gripping story of an explosive turning point in the history of modern IndiaOn the night of June 25 1975 Indira Gandhi declared a state of emergency in India suspending constitutional rights and ro The gripping story of an explosive turning point in the history of modern IndiaOn the night of June 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 politicsDrawing 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 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 nationalismPlacing 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.


Hardcover  ñ Emergency Chronicles PDF Ä
  • Hardcover
  • 456 pages
  • Emergency Chronicles
  • Gyan Prakash
  • English
  • 28 November 2014
  • 9780691186726

10 thoughts on “Emergency Chronicles

  1. Sambasivan says:

    Being the first reviewer of this book in goodreads I would like to congratulate the author for his indefatigable efforts to research meticulously this black spot period in Indian post independence history He is particularly scathing of Sanjay Gandhi and his doting mother who was blinded by her maternal love completely overlooking the disaster his son caused during the fateful emergency period The present political scenario is perilously close to the Emergency period and the author ends with a forewarning that we better pay heed to lest the country is doomed to relive the horrific past

  2. Vampire Who Baked says:

    Most books on the Emergency are basically books on Indira Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi This book is not It spends relatively less time on Indira and Sanjay and their motivations which as the author points out are speculative anyway considering that their private papers are not in the public domain Instead the book is an extended discussion on constitutional principles and popular revolt when the social contract based on these constitutional principles loses consensus and the limits of democratic institutions in the face of such popular opposition The author lays much emphasis on spelling out the exact social political and historical context in which the events unfolded including in great detail all the specific clauses hard coded into the Indian Constitution that made the Emergency possible even inevitable and the reasoning of the framers behind writing these back doors into democracy and all the heated debates within the constituent assembly leading up to itThis book however needed a little editing The narrative does get incoherent at times the author is ardent and authoritative on the subject and he often rambles into tangent after tangent with the text resembling a stream of consciousness monologue at times There is a detailed chapter on the Indian automobile industry that feels like history and whitepaper that could have been easily summarised Many of the initial few chapters lack focus and could have done with organisingHaving said that the book is overall an amazing read Ultimately the title is best read as a meditation on constitutional democracy and its limits and whether authoritarianism or popular uprisings have a place in it A very informative book and uniue in its category Highly recommended

  3. Harshad Vaswani says:

    Very well written The author has gone to great lengths to explain what led to tge emergency analysing the various social and political factors He explains the economic climate at the time The only issue is the political tone of the epilogue is mot befitting a book so well researched

  4. Sanjay Banerjee says:

    Great and refreshing reading that apart fromrecounting the events immediately before during and after the emergency situates the cause of emergency to the imperfections in the Indian society and its interplay with eualityineuality and politics Especially insightful is the epilogue attempting to explain today’s political environment and middlemen as an offshoot of the imperfections from pre colonial through to emergency days

  5. Pranav Kadam says:

    This book was my first in Indian political literature and I have to say I’m very impressed Gyan prakash’s passion for history and politics is telling in the copious amounts of notes and citations he has attached to all of the facts mentioned The author balances his voice very well with facts and gives the viewers a detailed analysis of the emergency It paints a really good picture of India pre emergency and helps the readers understand why it was necessary in its time The author does digress a lot in the middle when he talks about India’s auto industry but he makes up for it with a stellar epilogue in which he draws parallels between 1975 and the present Really recommend this book if you want to understand how the constitution in India was drafted and how politics played out during all of Indira Gandhi’s terms in office

  6. Riva Sinha says:

    Wonderful book Prakash's analyses of events of the past and how they culminated into the Emergency are excellent Through this book he breaks the popular that the Emergency was an isolated event in the postcolonial democratic India This book is a must for all those who want to know about the Emergency

  7. Ankit Mathur says:

    One of the best political history books It's deep research and 'connecting the dots' makes it a gripping read It's important for the young India to understand it's past This book does complete justice to present the dark era of Indian democracy with a warning for the future

  8. Crystal says:

    If you've heard talk recently about democracy in India you need to read this book It will scare you but will also tell you a lot about what's currently going on in the US

  9. Priyanka says:

    Bhakti in religion may be a road to the salvation of the soul But in politics Bhakti or hero worship is a sure road to degradation and to eventual dictatorship BRAmbedkarI have to admit that I am no expert in history and whatever I know of the previous dark era of Indian Democracy is from literary works which definitely has its own limitations But this book has been an excellent starting point to dig deep into various factors that lead to the constitutional emergencyIt is an essential read considering the times we live in If anybody has problems with the political undertone of this book keep your privilege in check

  10. Avinash says:

    If all told history was as engaging and informing as this book then we couldn't have fools in our midst I expected a concise reportage of things leading to The Emergency during it and the impact of it I was banking on my interest in Indian Political history to read through it What is given here is the portrayal of India of that era Prakash goes back to the drafting of the constitution to explore why these powers were included in it How the RSS was politically legitimised by JP's movement How Indira Gandhi entered the mindset of an authoritarian ruler Most significantly how India reacted to The Emergency Prakesh outlines some of the literature to come out of that dark period positing how farreaching the influence of The Emergency was

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