Loknayak Jaiprakash Narayan – Special – RSTV IAS UPSC

  • IASbaba
  • November 25, 2020
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The Big Picture- RSTV, UPSC Articles
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Loknayak Jaiprakash Narayan


TOPIC: General Studies 1

  • Indian Freedom Movement
  • Indian freedom fighters

Loknayak Jaiprakash Narayan

  • Lok Nayak Jay Prakash Narayan’s birthday (11th October, 1902) is celebrated as “Save Democracy Day” for his invaluable contribution to anti-emergency agitation during 1975-76.
  • His entire life is one of supreme sacrifice and commitment to the nation
  • In 1921 he joined the Non-cooperation movement and was influenced by Gandhian Ideology
  • Later he went to US, where he was deeply influenced by Marxist ideology. However, he rejected the ultimate solution of “revolution” to bring down the capitalism as being advocated by the Marxists. On the contrary, he advocated Socialism.
  • In 1929 he joined the INC at the invitation of J Nehru
  • In 1934 he formed Congress Socialist Party with the following members
    • Acharya Narendra Deva
    • Ram Manohar Lohia
    • Minoo Masani
    • Achyut Patvardhan
    • Ashok Mehta

Congress Socialist Party

  • 1st President : Acharya Narendra Dev
  • General Secretary: JP Narayan
  • Ideology: Democratic Socialism
  • He also participated in Quit India Movement in 1942. He advocated non-rebellion & non-violence
  • During the period of emergency starting from 1975, he gave a call for “Total Revolution” or “Sampoorna Kranti” to completely transform the society. He advocated
    • Party-less democracy
    • Sarvodaya
    • Rejection of Parliamentary Democracy
  • After the death of J Nehru, JP had increasingly involved in national politics
  • During the second half of 1960s, he involved in resolving disputes in Kashmir
  • He also played a pivotal role in the Nagaland issue in 1960s
  • During the Bangladesh crisis, it was JP who became India’s ambassador to persuade about the rightness of India’s cause
  • The voice of JP favouring human rights found relevance in Hungarian crisis, Czech crisis, and Tibetan crisis during his times
  • In 1999, he was posthumously awarded Bharat Ratna

Part of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS)

Jayaprakash Narayan (JP), whose 117th birth anniversary falls on October 11, was among the twelve apostles of the Mahatma and had been a front-soldier during the Indian freedom struggle. In this fight, JP imbibed a combination of ahimsa and aggression.

His call for ‘sampoorna kranti’ or total revolution to fight against rampant corruption, unemployment and systematic weakening of democratic institutions back in 1974, and the subsequent events, led to the imposition of the infamous Emergency. It eventually paved the way for a realignment of political forces in the country and gave a new direction to the politics of the country, with far-reaching ramifications.

He firmly believed that youngsters should be in the forefront of changing the system. Those entrenched in power, the status quoists, would naturally resist any change, but only the energy and force of youth can bring about revolutionary transformation – this was his firm belief.

And that’s precisely what happened in the seventies. After blessing the Nav Nirman Andolan in Gujarat, where people had risen against the corrupt state government, JP mobilised students in Bihar to fight against authoritarianism and corruption. He had such a mesmerising influence on the political scene that under his mentorship a host of splinter parties of the Congress, like Congress (O), Jana Sangh and Swatantra Party, and other socialists came together to form the Janata Party. He could have easily occupied the top post during the Janata regime. Although people clamoured for his leadership, he said that power was not his aim. 

He participated in the freedom struggle and led the Quit India movement in 1942 in the absence of senior leaders. He remained detached from electoral politics after Independence, but as such was not indifferent to politics. He also took active part in Vinoba Bhave’s Bhoodan movement.

The legacy of JP is akin to that of the Mahatma and echoes him on issues that have cropped up in the post-Gandhi era. 

All of them are topical and in JP’s own words:


“Freedom became one of the beacon lights of my life and it has remained so ever since… Above all it meant freedom of the human personality, freedom of the mind, freedom of the spirit. This freedom has become a passion of my life and I shall not see it compromised for food, for security, for prosperity, for the glory of the state or for anything else.”


“India’s democracy is to rise storey by storey from the foundation, consisting of self-governing, self-sufficient, agro-industrial, urbo-rural local communities — gram sabha, panchayat samiti and zilla parishad—that would form the base of Vidhan Sabhas and the Lok Sabha. These politico-economic institutions will regulate the use of natural resources for the good of the community and the nation.


“Idea of development envisages independent India as sui generis, a society unlike any other, in a class of its own that would not follow the western pattern of mega industrialisation, urbanisation and individuation. India’s would be agro-based people’s economy that would chart out a distinct course in economic growth, which would be need-based, human-scale and balanced while conserving nature and livelihoods.

Such a ‘development’ process would be democratic and decentralised.  The best development model for India is diversified, democratic decentralised and value-added agriculture as the root, manufacturing small/medium industries as trunk and branches and widespread service sector as a canopy. The almost universal tendency for a centralised political, economic model, and social system that is associated with both of them should be abandoned.”


“Although almost every religious community had its own brand of communalism, Hindu communalism was more pernicious than the others because Hindu communalism can easily masquerade as Indian nationalism and denounce all opposition to it as being anti-national.”


“Those who attempt to equate India with Hindus and Indian history with Hindu history are only detracting from the greatness of India and the glory of Indian history and civilisation. Such person, paradoxical though this may seem, are in reality the enemies of Hinduism itself and the Hindus. Not only do they degrade the noble religion and destroy its catholicity and spirit of tolerance and harmony, but they also weaken and sunder the fabric of the nation, of which Hindus form such a vast majority.”

Hindu Rashtra

In the long struggle for national freedom there emerged a clear enough concept of a single, composite, non-sectarian Indian nationhood. All those who spoke about divisive and sectarian nationalism were therefore outside the pale of this nationalism, evolved during the freedom struggle. The hostile and alienating nationalism we hear about today is antithetical to the ethos of freedom struggle and against the belief of all those who helped it evolve.”

Connecting the Dots:

  1. “JP was an embodiment of freedom, quest for human dignity and the expression of true democracy.” Explain the role of JP in the nation building.
  2. What are the events/causes that led to the JP Movement? Highlight the role played by JP during the movement.
  3. “Despite being a huge mass movement that virtually shook the roots of the constitutional principles, JP movement is considered as a flawed movement.” Critically examine the JP movement and its flaws.
  4. “Emergency imposed during the 1975 is seen as a dark period in the history of post-independent India.” Give a critical account on the outcomes of emergency and what are the lessons that we have learnt from the 40 years of emergency.

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