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Rajnath Singh terms emergency 'dark chapter' in India's history

New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday termed the 1975 emergency, which was declared 47 years ago, as a "dark chapter" in the history of the country.

"The imposition of emergency in India 47 years ago is such a dark chapter in the history of this country, which can never be forgotten. On this day, all Indians should not only dedicate themselves to the defence of democracy but should also take a pledge to maintain the dignity of the constitution and institutions," Singh tweeted.

Emergency was declared for a 21-month period from 1975 to 1977 by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Officially issued by President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed under Article 352 of the Constitution due to the prevailing "internal disturbance", the Emergency was in effect from June 25, 1975, until its withdrawal on March 21, 1977.

The order vested upon the then Prime Minister the authority to rule by decree, allowing elections to be suspended and civil liberties to be curbed.

The final decision to impose an Emergency was proposed by Indira Gandhi, agreed upon by the President, and thereafter ratified by the Cabinet and the Parliament (from July to August 1975), based on the rationale that there were imminent internal and external threats to the Indian state.

The Emergency is considered to be one of the most controversial periods of independent India's history. (ANI)

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