When the country’s independence is mentioned first and foremost, the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, similarly, the biggest credit for the second independence of the country goes to Lokanayak Jayaprakash Narayan. Second independence means the end of the Emergency imposed by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and restoration of democracy in the country. Jayaprakash, or JP, who gave new life to the world’s largest democracy, was born on this day in 1902. Let us tell you the special things related to his life …
Jayaprakash Narayan was born in Sitabadiyara, a small village on the border of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. After his primary education in the village, he was admitted to Patna in the seventh class. Since childhood, the meritorious Jayaprakash received scholarship for Patna College after matriculation examination. It is said that he was influenced by Gandhian ideas during his studies and used indigenous goods. He wore hand-sewn kurta and dhoti.
JP was married to Prabhavati, daughter of Braj Kishore Prasad in 1920 at the age of just 18. A few years later, Prabhavati took a vow of celibacy and started living with Gandhi’s wife Kasturba at the Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad. JP also followed the Brahmacharya fast with his wife.
JP also waged a war against the British during his studies. Being financed by the British government, JP left the college midway and joined the Bihar Vidyapith run by the Bihar Congress.
In 1922 he went to California and in January 2023 enrolled at Barkley. While studying sociology, he worked in the garage to meet his expenses.
While studying, he was influenced by the Russian Revolution and Marxism. He returned to India from America as a Marxist in 1929 and in the same year joined the Congress.
JP, who was playing an active role in the freedom struggle, was arrested in 1932. He was tortured a lot in prison. After coming out of jail, he joined the Quit India movement. During this time the Congress Socialist Party was formed and JP was made its general secretary.
In 1954, he announced to work for the Sarvodal movement of Binova Bhave in Bihar. In 1957, he also decided to leave politics. However, he became active in politics once again in the late 1960s. He also led the farmers’ movements.
The then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared a state of emergency in the country on 25 June 1975 after being disqualified by the Allahabad High Court. All the top leaders of the Opposition were jailed and freedom of expression was also guarded. Jayaprakash Narayan united the country at that time and it was the result of his mass movement that the Emergency ended on 21 March 1977 after about 21 months.
Jayaprakash Narayan was against the administrative policies of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. In 1974, students started a movement in Patna. He led it on the condition of carrying out the movement in a peaceful manner. At the same time, when an anti-government atmosphere was created in the country, Indira Gandhi declared a state of emergency. JP also went to jail and remained behind bars for about seven months. His health was also bad in those days, but the slogan of the complete revolution ensured the restoration of democracy in the country.
Dozens of leaders, including Lalu Prasad Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Nitish Kumar, Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Sushil Modi, who joined the student movement in the JP movement, remained in power for years afterwards. The current Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took part in the Emergency battle.
After the emergency elections were held in the country, the Congress Party suffered a crushing defeat and a non-Congress government was formed for the first time at the Center. Indira Gandhi herself and her son Sanjay Gandhi lost the election.
JP died in Patna on 8 October 1979 due to heart disease and diabetes. In 1999, he was awarded the Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian honor.