Severe urban rioting, the accompaniment of an organized political agitation known as the Nav Nirman (Reconstruction) movement, gripped the Indian state of Gujarat in early 1974, bringing to a violent climax social and political discontents from beneath a surface tranquility. Costly in lives and property and damaging to the political fabric of Gujarat, the ten-week-long agitation subsided only after winning two political objectives: first, the expulsion of the Chief Minister and imposition of President's Rule; and second, dissolution of the Gujarat legislative assembly. Resisted by the central government, the overthrow in Gujarat was an embarrassment to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and was a factor leading to the declaration of national emergency in June 1975. Gujarat's recent troubles have a background in the 1969 national split of the Congress party, but the immediate issues of Nav Nirman were food scarcity, rising prices, corruption in governing circles, and grievances in the educational system. These issues were seized upon by college students, who sparked the riots and who thereafter provided the most visible leadership of the movement.

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