In the Name of Democracy JP Movement and the Emergency

In the Name of Democracy JP Movement and the Emergency JP Narayan led the first notable political revolution in the post independence India and this books takes you through the journey of this revolution Indira Gandhi's total seizure of control and then the total loss of it Then the book highlights the very fragmented political opposition to congress which eventually could not stand against Congress or Indira Gandhi This book is pretty scary Although I wouldn't trivialize the Emergency by comparing it with what's going on in India today some sections came pretty fucking close to current events For the first time a well balanced book about the JP Movement and the Emergency that it provoked All the other accounts I have read deify or demonize one or the other Bipan Chandra analyzes the causes for the movement it's principal actors and its nature The author presents very convincingly that JP himself was not very clear about the goals and even methods of the movement Having a limited presence outside Bihar JP relied on a motley band of organizations for support and organization Of them the Congress O the Sarvodayaites the RSS Naxalites and Anand Margis there was a real danger of the movement turning fascist with there being a real risk of the RSS hijacking the movementAs for the Emergency while not defending it the author emphasizes that while it was bad it not not as bad as other Authoritarian and Totalitarian regimes contemporary or past He postulates that Indira Gandhi called off the Emergency when she realized that too much power was accumulated in the hands of Sanjay Gandhi her son and that the Emergency itself was in danger of spinning out of control into an Authoritarian Totalitarian and potentially a Fascist regimeAll in all an excellent book for those interested in the Emergency and its causes Detailed narration but biased Though a few books exist on the emergency per se this is the first attempt to critically analyse it in tandem with thw JP movement Mapping the course of events in these years 1973 1977 Bipan Chandra finds that while both Jayaprakash Narayan and Indira Gandhi ostensibly sought to protect democracy the manner in which their political efforts were played out went against the grain of it adversely influencing and posing a dilemme for post 19977 politics in India

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