Chapter 6 - Crisis of the Democratic order : Important Questions and Answers

List of Questions and Answers

1.Who became the prime-minister is Janata party Government?
(a) Morarjee Desai
(b) Jagjeevan Ram
(c) Charan Singh
(d) Jay prakash Narayan

Ans: (c) Charan Singh.

2.Who filed the election petition declaring Indira Gandhi's election to the Lok Sabha as invalid?

Ans: The election petition was filed by Raj Narain, a socialist leader and a candidate who had contested against her in 1971.

3.The First Non-Congress Prime Minister of India was _____________.
(a) V.P. Singh
(b) Chandrashekar
(c) H.D.Devegowda
(d) Morarji Desai

Ans: (d) Morarji Desai.

4.Analyse the major consequences of the National Emergency of 1975.


  • Many opposition leaders were put in jail; the political situation became very quiet though tense.
  • The government suspended the freedom of the Press. Newspapers were asked to get prior approval for all material to be published. This is known as press censorship.
  • The government banned Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Jamait-e-Islami.Protests and strikes and public agitations were also disallowed.
  • The provisions of Emergency, the various Fundamental Rights of citizens stood suspended, including the right of citizens to move the Court for restoring their Fundamental Rights.
  • Using preventive detention acts, the government made large scale arrests during the Emergency.
  • Many political workers who were not arrested in the first wave, went ‘underground’ and organised protests against the government.

5.Highlight the lessons which we have learnt from the National Emergency imposed during the 1970s.

The Emergency saw both the weaknesses and the strengths of India’s democracy.
Following are the lessons learnt from Emergency:

  • Emergency is extremely difficult to do away with democracy in India.
  • Secondly, it brought out some ambiguities regarding the Emergency provision in the constitution that have been rectified .Now "internal" Emergency can be proclaimed only on the grounds of "armed rebellion" and it is necessary that the advice to the President to proclaim Emergency must be given in writing by the Council of Ministers.
  • Thirdly, the Emergency made everyone more aware of the value of civil liberties. The Courts too, have taken an active role after the Emergency in protecting the civil liberties of the individuals.

6.Examine the dramatic changes that took place in the party system in India during 1969 to 1977.


  • Since 1969, the Congress party had started losing its character as an umbrella party which accommodated leaders and workers of different ideological dispensations and viewpoints and this was their main strength earlier under leader, Indira Gandhi.
  • With the change in the nature of the Congress party, other opposition parties relied more and more on what is known in Indian politics as "non-Congressism".This factor played a major role in the elections of 1977.
  • The Assembly elections held in 1977 state election, the northern States elected non-Congress governments in which the leaders of the backward castes played an important role.
  • The Emergency and the period around it can be described as a period of constitutional crisis because it had its origins in the constitutional battle over the jurisdiction of the Parliament and the judiciary.
  • Another critical issue that emerged during this period was the role and extent of mass protests in a parliamentary democracy. There was clearly a tension between institution-based democracy and democracy based on spontaneous popular participation.
  • This tension may be attributed to the inability of the party system to incorporate the aspirations of the people.