|Photo courtesy Stuart Freedman|
|Photo courtesy: Wikimedia|
This seal was broken by the resistance leaders and it became the center for the anti-emergency resistance movement. With regard to other triggers for the opposition to pro-actively confront Indira Gandhi were a complexity of issues. Jaiprakash Narain's Sampoorna Kranti movement had galvanised students and with the fall of the Chimanbhai Patel government (who represented the kulak or the landed lobby) and the abortive (if somewhat short-lived) take-over by the Gujarat Navnirman Samiti proved a shot in the arm for the mainstream opposition. Socialist leaders like George Fernandes, Surendra Mohan, Madhu Dandavate Promila Dandavate and others were the people behind this struggle.
The Charan Singh led Bharitya Lok Dal was always considered the opportunist farmers' lobby during the Emergency struggle and his SVD was known for its political flip-flops. It is his ambition to capture UP that propelled him to be a part of the movement for the restoration of democracy. This is what The Hindu said about Surendra Mohan on his death in its newspaper dated December 18, 2010.
"Mr. Mohan, a veteran socialist leader, was a member of the Rajya Sabha from 1978 to 1984. He was also the former chairman of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission. And, even though he played a key role in the country's politics in 1977 when the Janata Party coalition government was formed at the Centre, and in 1989, when the Janata Dal was born, he always remained a behind-the-scenes party ideologue. As a colleague said: “In this day and age of scams, he stood out like a shining beacon. Another key leader during the emergency days was the great socialist doyen Mohan Dharia who fearlessly quit the Congress once emergency was imposed. When he passed away the Hindu in its report dated October 15, 2013 stated:
"Mr. Dharia was born on February 14, 1925 in Maharashtra’s Raigad district. A lawyer by profession, he was a part of the Praja Socialist Party during the Freedom struggle. He was a Minister of State in the Indira Gandhi government and fiercely opposed the Emergency. This earned him the title of ‘Young Turk.’
The other young turks included Chandrshekhar, Krishna Kant (later vice-president of India) and of course Ravindra Varma. It later transpired that both Jagjivan Ram and HN Bahuguna revolted from within the Indira-led Congress and joined hands with the Janata Party by merging their party which they had called Congress For Democracy. Other stalwarts who were at the vanguard of the movement for the restoration of democracy was the redoubtable Piloo Mody of the Swatantra Party and his wit, intellect and his skills as an orator were legendary.
As for the underground movement and the locations, I would say that multiple locations were part of the opposition strategy. Since the place was teeming with informers, we the Niza Town boys were the last people that the cops would look for. We were dope-smoking deviants and that is why both Gautam and I were part of the youth editorial team. People like Kuldip Nayar and his son among other journalist did play a huge role.