In The Name Of Democracy: JP Movement and the Emergency - Review by Beni Rathore - The Red Carpet


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Thursday, July 9, 2020

In The Name Of Democracy: JP Movement and the Emergency - Review by Beni Rathore


Author – Bipan Chandra 
Published – In 2003 
Digital Edition Published – in 2016
Publisher – Panguin Books (For More Information

A Short Comment

What do you really wish in the perusal of a history book? Your answer can be found in this fabulous piece of study. Mr Bipan Chandra is a renowned writer in contemporary political history and his philosophy can be seen in every word of the sentences in this book. What I like most in this book is that he does presentment of arguments in different corners. He does not take a linear path of views but runs in a curve with mindful sentiments. His authenticity of facts is remarkable and absolute. 

The book triggers from the ground politics and situations before emergency was proclaimed. This gives you the better understanding of circumstances in which the decision was taken and there is much space that you can argue with yourself, how many more options were left then instead of emergency. After the study of first part you move towards the section which has many points of view for even a single argument. The starting of JP Movement and performances of its followers and alliances have decomposed with a deep eye in the book. How the alliance with RSS and other opposition parties have gone wrong and how do JP's own objectives get affected from these alliances? You can get much legitimate answers for these questions in this book.

The reactions of Mrs Indira would leave many concepts in your mind arguable and your thoughtful mind will understand how much willing or unwilling she was at proclaiming the action. The rise of Sanjay and power wielded by him as an extra constitutional personality can make you frustrated with him. Mr Bipin Chandra puts very unbiased and legitimate points on him. How the functions of constitutional institutions and other authorities were affected and how intellectuals reacted to emergency has beautifully enumerated by the author. 

The reasons, functions, objectives and corollaries of JP Movement and emergency are widely covered in this piece of study. I can assure you it would not be disappointing for a reader if he has patience to read wide observations and debates. Good luck! Enjoy the one of the best books on emergency.

An Open Review

1. Size 

The book comprises a total of 364 pages. In which 261 pages are filled with chapters and rest are for appendix, notes, bibliograpy and etcetera. The book is divided in 10 chapters and according to amazon kindle reading speed meter, it takes almost 19 hours to be completed. If you are a speed reader you can complete this book in your favorable hours. But, I believe when you start reading this interesting book, you will not look for completion only. Every chapter of this book is divided in 3-4 sections furthermore. Bipan Chandra delivers an wider expression to the events and views and covers almost every important facet of JPM and emergency. 

2. Language 

The book is written in English language and have fabulous and easy to understand vocabulary. Even if you are beginner in English language, you will not find any much harder meaning or complex sentence. The structure of the sentences is according to impression what the author wants to deliver. Though, this book is easy to understand for beginners it does not mean that this book is not pro readers. It has many pro vocabularies which satisfy almost every type of reader. The language in this book is used very beautifully and gives the intrinsic expression to the events and arguments. This book fits in the lapel of every profound reader like you  

3. Let’s have a tour 

“Two crises of an unprecedented magnitude rocked India during the years 1974 to 1977. From January 1974 to June 1975 the country went through a turbulent period marked by a series of agitations –Bandhs and Gheraos , strikes and shutdowns, closer of collage and universities, two massive popular movements in Gujarat and Bihar, that demanded resignations of the state governments and dissolution of the assemblies.” This is opening account of this book. Further in introduction part, you get in touch with much interesting elementary circumstances which were existed before proclaimation of emergency. Author gives an exclusive account of leading events with evidentiary facts and views. He delivers very absolute costumes to the persons who were playing their role in contemporary political history. 

The first 6 chapters of this book are used like creating the trailer for upcoming emergency. Though, the main focus remains on Jay Prakash Narayan and Indira Gandhi, it takes over all the allies and followers of both sides. Bipan Chandra talks very exclusively and without fear about every leader, organization, political parties, intellectuals, journalists and the common people also. He tracks all the events with guiding us to understand the impact of such events on upcoming drama. What I like most in this book is that Bipan Chandra uses the method of question and answer in his writing and the same one can look in this book. Actually this method leaves a scope for the reader to think about the question and to develop his own apprehension towards the question and when the reading goes on reader finds much wider and different point of views for the answer which makes a reader more capable to rethink and understand the present events of his life and country. And, it fulfills a reader’s objective to read a book. 

In these chapters this book shows that how the contemporaneous decisions were being made and how the impact of every decision was going good and bad. It raises a finger towards the incapability and the weaknesses of Jay Prakash Narayan as a leader of mass movement. Whether he was leading poor and needy people who wanted change or he was only a face mark of the movement who was making a clear way for some fasist groups and politically opportunistic persons. When the book talks about Indira Gandhi, it searches for the elements of authoritarianism in her government and her blind love for her beloved son Sanjay. This book leaves nobody without being criticized. 

The book gives exclusive space for opposition. The role of RSS, Janshangh, BLD, CPM is covered without leaving any facet of the coin. The author shows the role of RSS as an fascist group with very believable evidentiary facts about the events and its play in drama. He discovers the role of Naxalite groups also. It totally depends on yourself how you read the content. Besides all the groups, political personalities and intellectuals one can see how the author enumerate contemporary feelings of common people very significantly. Whether they were ready to accept the emergency or they want to be rebel. How much they were affected with excesses of sterilization and slum clearance exercises wielded by Sanjay and how much they were benefitted by Mrs. Gandhi’s 20 point program. 

The next 3 chapters are exclusively there for emergency. In these chapters the author walks through the initial and later phases of the emergency and revocation of the same. He raises many questions in these chapters about the impact of concentration of power, excesses of executive authorities, duration of emergency and the possibilities of revocation. Every question comes with arguments and corollaries. The last chapter gives the space for conclusion. This is the one of the best parts of this book. Here, you find all answers of the question if any remained unanswered in your mind. Here, you get the peace.🙂

4. Conclusion 

The Red Carpet review point gives it 4.5 out of 5 points. Bipan Chandra brings this book in very authentic and scientific way. It is well researched and managed. The Penguin Books gives it wonderful editing. Why we cut off half points for this book in our rating system is this because the content has some repetitive instances but not often. It has very wider conceptions and opinions. After reading this book you may feel that this book is looking on you and asking that hey buddy! What do you think about the history? In our view history creates better understandings in us and it depends on us that whether we want to accept those understandings or want to live with our prejudices or unauthentic opinions. It overall depends on you! Let’s read this book. You will definitely love it. 💕💕🙂🙂


  1. really a helpful review for the people who are thinking about reading this book and history of that time.

    1. Thank you! Your comment encourages our team to work more proficiently.

  2. Thank You For for valuable comment.


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