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Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan Birth Anniversary

Focus: GS I- Modern History

Why in News?

Recently, the Prime Minister has bowed to Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan on his birth anniversary.

About Jayaprakash Narayan

  • Jayaprakash Narayan, born on October 11 1902 in Sitab Diyara, Bihar.
  • He was an Indian political leader and theorist.
  • He was a disciple of Mohandas Gandhi and leader of India’s independence movement.
  • In 1922, he went to the United States, where he studied political science and economics at the universities of California, Iowa, Wisconsin and Ohio State.
  • Socialist and Resistance Leader: The nationalist and anti-imperialist convictions of JP Narayan developed into Marxist beliefs and participation in Communist activities.
    • Narayan was opposed to policies of the Soviet Union and rejected organized communism upon returning to India in 1929.
    • He repudiated his resistance movement’s commitment to non-violence, engineering strikes, train wrecks and riots.
  • Advocate of Saintly Politics: After India gained independence, violence and Marxism waned in Narayan.
    • He embraced a Gandhian type of revolutionary action in which he sought to change the minds and hearts of people.
    • He was an advocate of “saintly politics” and he urged Jawaharlal Nehru and other leaders to resign and live with the impoverished masses.
    • He never held a formal position in the government, but remained a leading political personality operating outside party politics.
Congress Socialist Party of JP Narayan
  • It was founded in 1934 by socialists such as Jayaprakash Narayan and Acharya Narendra Dev.
  • It was a socialist group within the Indian National Congress (INC).
  • It believed in Marxist Ideas, Gandhism, Liberal and Social democracy of the west and showed allegiance to Indian National Congress (INC),
  • The first All-India congress socialists’ conference was convened at Patna by Jaya Prakash Narayan in May 1934 under the presidentship of Acharya Narendra Dev to deliberate on the formation of Party.
  • The first All India Congress Socialist Party was formed in Bombay in October 1934 under the presidentship of Sampurnananda and Jayaprakash Narayan as the General Secretary.
1939-1979
  • He was imprisoned by the British again in 1939 for his opposition to Indian participation in World War II on the side of Britain, but he subsequently made a dramatic escape and for a short time tried to organize violent resistance to the government before his recapture in 1943.
  • After his release in 1946 he tried to persuade the Congress leaders to adopt a more militant policy against British rule.
  • In 1948 he, together with most of the Congress Socialists, left the Congress Party and in 1952 formed the Praja Socialist Party.
  • Soon becoming dissatisfied with party politics, he announced in 1954 that he would thenceforth devote his life exclusively to the Bhoodan Yajna Movement, founded by Vinoba Bhave, which demanded that land be distributed among the landless.
  • His continuing interest in political problems, however, was revealed when in 1959 he argued for a “reconstruction of Indian polity” by means of a four-tier hierarchy of village, district, state, and union councils.
  • When Indira Gandhi was found guilty of violating electoral laws by the Allahabad High Court. JP Narayan called for Indira and the CMs to resign and the military and police to disregard unconstitutional and immoral orders. He advocated a program of social transformation which he termed ‘Sampoorna Kranti’ (total revolution) in 1974 against corruption in public life.
  • Total revolution:
  • Total Revolution is a combination of seven revolu­tions, viz., political, social, economic, cultural, ideological or intellectual, educational and spiritual.
  • The main motive was to bring in a change in the existing society that is in tune with the ideals of the Sarvodaya.
  • Jayaprakash Narayan was posthumously conferred with India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, for his “invaluable contribution to the freedom struggle and upliftment of the poor and downtrodden”.

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