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June 26, 2005, is the 30th anniversary of the Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi.

Most people consider the Emergency the darkest period in the history of independent India. The period is said to be a blot on democracy.

Indira's opponents had long made allegations that her party had indulged in electoral malpractices to win the 1971 elections.

In June 1975, the Allahabad high court found her guilty of electoral fraud and ordered her to be removed from her seat in Parliament and banned from running for elections for an additional six years.

Rather than face the charges, on June 26, 1975, Indira declared a state of Emergency. With this act, she brought democracy 'to a grinding halt'.

Invoking Article 352 of the Constitution, she granted herself extraordinary powers and launched a massive crackdown on civil liberties and political opposition.

In the 19 months of Indira's Emergency rule, thousands were jailed and the freedom of the press was curbed.

In this slide show, we take a look at some people whose names will forever be linked with the Emergency.

Let us take a peek into their lives during those dark days and find out if they hold any relevance for us today.

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Text: Ehtasham Khan, Onkar Singh | Illustration: Uttam Ghosh | Design: Rahil Shaikh

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