Political Scandals That Shook The Indian Nation

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What is politics? Formally speaking, it’s the activities associated with the governance of a country or area. It especially involves the debate between parties having power and the ones that don’t. They have activities aimed at improving their peoples’ status or increasing or giving them power within an organization. Though, honestly, how many of you ever agreed with that definition of politics when it comes to our country? Our dear country, known as India. Just like a coin, our Indian government is not all frowns and no smiles. They have surely done a lot of good for our country, but at the same time, they have taken intensive actions which have shook the entire country and have had a major impact on the citizens of the nation. Such actions or events were regarded as morally and legally wrong and caused general public outrage. This unethical behavior and outrageous wrongdoing was called as major scandal.

Here are a few of them, which were really huge:

THE EMERGENCY OF 1970s

2In India, a state of emergency (period of governance under an altered constitutional setup that can be proclaimed by the President of India, when he/she perceives grave threats to the nation from internal and external sources or from financial situations of crisis) refers to a 21-month period in 1975–77 when Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, had a “state of emergency” declared across the country. The Government cited threats to national security, as a war with Pakistan had recently been concluded. Due to the war and additional challenges of drought and the 1973 oil crisis, the economy was in bad shape. The Government claimed that the strikes and protests had paralyzed the government and hurt the economy of the country greatly, due to which the Chief Minister of West Bengal, proposed to the prime minister to impose an “internal emergency”. He drafted a letter for the President to issue the proclamation, on the basis of information Indira Gandhi had received, that “there is an imminent danger to the security of India being threatened by internal disturbances”. The emergency was officially issued by the ruling President, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, under Article 352(1) of the Constitution for “internal disturbance”. During this time, Gandhi granted herself extraordinary powers and launched a massive crackdown on civil liberties and political opposition. The Government used police forces across the country to place thousands of protestors and strike leaders under preventive detention, media were stripped off their freedom and elections for the Parliament and state governments were postponed.

SANJAY GANDHI’S COMPULSORY STERILIZATION

3India’s state of emergency between 1975 and 1977 had also included a family planning initiative that began in April 1976, Sanjay Gandhi initiated a widespread compulsory sterilization program to limit population growth. He was largely blamed for what turned out to be a failed program. This program used propaganda and monetary incentives to manipulate citizens to get sterilized. People who agreed to get sterilized would receive land, housing, and money or loans. Because of this program, thousands of men received vasectomies and even more women received tubal ligations, both of which were reversible. However, the program focused more on sterilizing women than men. The forced sterilization was, by far, the most calamitous exercise undertaken during the Emergency. India’s democracy was a hurdle: no government could possibly enact laws limiting the number of children a couple could have without incurring punishment at the ballot box. But with democracy suspended, the IMF and World Bank encouraged Indira to pursue the program with renewed vigor.

THE BOFORS SCANDAL

1This scandal was a major political scandal that occurred between India and Sweden. It was initiated by the Congress politicians and involving the Indian prime minister (in power during that time), Rajiv Gandhi and several other members of the Indian and Swedish government, during the 1980s and 1990s.They were accused of receiving kickbacks [a form of negotiated bribery in which a commission is paid to the bribe-taker as a quid pro quo (Latin, for ‘goods and services) for services rendered. The purpose of the kickback is usually to encourage the other party to cooperate in the illegal scheme] from ‘Bofors AB’ (a Swedish arms manufacturing industry) for winning a bid to supply India’s 155 mm field howitzer. It was the biggest arms deal ever in Sweden, and money marked for development projects was diverted to secure this contract at any cost. The scale of the corruption was far worse than any that Sweden and India had seen before and directly led to the defeat of Gandhi’s ruling Indian National Congress party in the November 1989 general elections.

ND TIWARI SCANDAL

4Narayan Dutt Tiwari, Indian politician affiliated with the Indian National Congress party. He was thrice the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and once the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. He also served in the Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi’s cabinet as Minister for External Affairs. He was serving as Governor of Andhra Pradesh from 2007 until 2009, the time he was forced to resign due to a scandal. He was initially alleged to be involved in a scandal that was broadcast by a Telugu language news channel, ABN Andhra Jyothi, of a video that showed Tiwari in bed with three women, at his residence in the Raj Bhavan. A police complaint was filed against Tiwari for “sexually abusing girls, blackmailing and misuse of office”. The Raj Bhavan staff were also interrogated by police regarding the details related to the scandal. Tiwari publicly apologized, but claimed that he was being “framed” by “a political conspiracy”.