As Indira Gandhi declared Emergency on June 25, 1975, imprisoning rivals, leaders wore disguises to avoid arrest.

Via: Mumbai Mirror

1. Narendra Modi: The RSS was among the groups that were banned during the Emergency. Modi, an RSS pracharak at the time, disguised himself as a Sikh to avoid arrest. One report said he carried banned literature to Delhi and met Jan Sangh leaders in jail. A 25-year-old Modi also posed as a sanyasi and took leaders such as George Fernandes to safe houses.


2. Subramanian Swamy: When the Emergency was declared, Swamy was a Jan Sangh MP. An arrest warrant was issued against him, but he managed to evade arrest. Swamy went to Chennai and fled to Sri Lanka. He later flew to the US, where he built opinion against Emergency. After returning to India, he sneaked into his own house disguised as a Sikh. Despite the warrant, he managed to enter Parliament and register his presence as an MP.

Indian Leaders disguised themselves during 1975 Emergency
Indian Leaders disguised themselves during 1975 Emergency

3. George Fernandes: The opposition leader was in the fishing village of Gopalpur, Orissa, when Emergency was declared, according to Coomi Kapoor’s book, The Emergency: A Personal History. Fernandes was visiting his in-laws. He fled after disguising himself as a fisherman. “After that he was on the move constantly, changing his address and appearance often,” the book says.

4. Nanaji Deshmukh: He was among the founders of Bhartiya Jan Sangh and also a member of the Rajya Sabha. He helped raise funds for anti-establishment movement during the Emergency. According to a report, he avoided arrest by changing his spectacles and hairstyle, and posed as a businessman, wearing a suit instead of a kurta.

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