Jayaprakash Narayan(October 11,1902 – Forever)
He, widely known as JP, was an Indian freedom fighter and political leader. He joined “Bihar Vidyapeeth” founded by Dr. Rajendra Prasad for motivating young meritorious youths and was among the first students of eminent Gandhian Dr.Anugrah Narayan Sinha ,a close collegue of M. K. Gandhi who later became first Deputy Chief Minister cum Finance Minister of Bihar. In October, 1920 Jayaprakash was married to Prabhavati Devi, a freedom fighter in her own right and a staunch disciple of Kasturba Gandhi. She often held opinions which were not in agreement with JP’s views, but Narayan respected her independence. On Gandhiji’s invitation, she stayed at his Sabarmati Ashram while Jayaprakash continued his studies.
After returning to India, Narayan joined the Indian National Congress on the invitation of Jawaharlal Nehru in 1929; M. K. Gandhi became his mentor in the Congress. He shared the same house at kadam kuan in Patna with his close friend and nationalist Ganga Sharan Singh (Sinha). During the Indian independence movement he was arrested, jailed, and tortured several times by the British. He won particular fame during the Quit India movement.
After being jailed in 1932 for civil disobedience against British rule, Narayan was imprisoned in Nasik Jail, where he met Ram Manohar Lohia, Minoo Masani, Achyut Patwardhan, Ashok Mehta, Yusuf Desai and other national leaders. After his release, the Congress Socialist Party, or (CSP), a left-wing group within the Congress, was formed with Acharya Narendra Deva as President and Narayan as General secretary.
On April 19, 1954, Narayan announced in Gaya that he was dedicating his life (Jeevandan) to Vinoba Bhave’s Sarvodaya movement and its Bhoodan campaign, which promoted distributing land to Harijans (untouchables). He gave up his land, set up an ashram in Hazaribagh, and worked towards uplifting the village. In 1957, Narayan formally broke with the Praja Socialist Party in order to pursue lokniti [Polity of the people], as opposed to rajniti [Polity of the state]. By this time, Narayan had become convinced that lokniti should be non-partisan in order to build a consensus-based, classless, participatory democracy which he termed Sarvodaya. Narayan became an important figure in the India-wide network of Gandhian Sarvodaya workers. Narayan returned to prominence in State politics in the late 1960s. In 1974, he led the student’s movement in the state of Bihar which gradually developed into a popular people’s movement known as the Bihar movement. It was during this movement that JP gave a call for peaceful Total Revolution Together with V. M. Tarkunde, he founded the Citizens for Democracy in 1974 and the People’s Union for Civil Liberties in 1976, both NGOs, to uphold and defend civil liberties.
When Indira Gandhi was found guilty of violating electoral laws by the Allahabad High Court, Narayan called for Indira to resign, and advocated a program of social transformation which he termed Sampoorna kraanti [Total Revolution]. Instead she proclaimed a national Emergency on the midnight of June 25, 1975, immediately after Narayan had called for the PM’s resignation and had asked the military and the police to disregard unconstitutional and immoral orders; JP, opposition leaders, and dissenting members of her own party (the ‘Young Turks’) were arrested on that day.
Narayan also wrote several books, notably Reconstruction of Indian Polity.
A Collection By Chetan