The Biography of Famous Personalities of India will tell you about the controversies, the dark sides of a person that you may have never heard of.
Introduction, Early Life, Education and Marriage of Jai Prakash Narayan
My interest is not in the capture of power, but in the control of power by the people.
Jai Prakash Narayan was an Indian independence activist and political leader. Popularly referred to as JP or Lok Nayak (The People’s Hero), he actively participated in the civil disobedience movement against British rule in India.
JP returned to India after higher studies at US in 1929. Impressed by his ideals, Jawaharlal Nehru invited him to join the Indian National Congress which he accepted. Mahatma Gandhi was also impressed by him.
JP became very active in the surging Indian independence movement. He participated in the civil disobedience against British rule and was arrested and imprisoned in 1932. During his imprisonment he met Ram Manohar Lohia and other national leaders, which strengthened his nationalist fervour. After his release, he played a major role in the founding of the Congress Socialist Party, a left-wing group within the Congress Party, and was made its General Secretary.
JP intensified his role in the Indian freedom struggle and 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 made good his escape in a dramatic way.
In 1942, Mahatma Gandhi launched the Quit India Movement. During this time JP planned to start an underground movement for freedom. However he was recaptured by the British in 1943.
JP was finally released in 1946. By this time he had grown so passionate about the freedom struggle that he tried to persuade the Congress leaders to adopt a more violent approach against the British.
India eventually gained independence-in 1947. Along with several other socialists, he left the Congress Party in 1948. A few years later he played a major role in forming the Praja Socialist Party in 1952.
Before long JP became tired of the party politics and decided to dedicate his life to the Bhoodan Movement, founded by Vinoba Bhave. However, his interest in politics was re-ignited in the late 1950s and once again he became active in political activities.
JP gained much prominence as a politician in the late 1960s. In 1965 he was presented with the Ramon Magsaysay Award for public service. After the nation suffered high inflation and unemployment among other problems in 1974, the Nav Nirman Andolan movement of Gujarat asked him to lead a peaceful agitation.
In his seventies at the time, he led a silent procession at Patna. The procession was lathi-charged but nothing could deter the patriot’s spirit. He addressed a large crowd at Gandhi Maidan on 5 June, 1974 which was initiated by students in protest against the corruption in the government of Bihar. Also called Total Revolution Movement and JP Movement, it later turned against Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s government at the Centre and became a satyagraha of sorts.
JP suffered from kidney failure, diabetes and heart ailments during his later years and died on 8 October, 1979. He was posthumously honoured with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, in 1999 in recognition of his social work.
Early Life and Education
True politics is about promotion of human happiness.
Jai Prakash Narayan was born on October 11, 1902 in a village namely Sitab-diara in Saran district of Bihar. Sitab- diara village lies some eight kilometers from Patna. He was the son of Harsh Dayal, a middle-class, minor government official and Phulrani Devi. He was the fourth child of his parents. He had two brothers and three sisters.
After finishing primary education, Jai Prakash went to Patna for his High School education. The nationalist movement was very strong in Bihar those days. In 1917, Mahatma Gandhi had gone to Bihar to investigate the condition of labour in Indigo plantations. By using the non-violent technique of Satyagraha against the British plantation owners successfully, he had attracted the attention of all the nationalists to the novel method of non-violent resistance to injustice.
Jai Prakash was also duly impressed. He started reading Gandhiji’s articles in ‘Young India’. He discarded the western style of dress, and took to wearing coarse Khadi clothes. But still his attraction towards revolutionaries from Bengal went on increasing.
In 1919, he passed his Matriculation in first class and earned a ‘merit scholarship’. He enrolled his name in the Science College in Patna. His ambition was to be a scientist and serve his motherland.
Jai Prakash lived an eventful life. Those days, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the leader of the ‘Garam Dal’ of the Indian National Congress gave the slogan ‘Swaraj is my Birth Right and I shall have it’. The historical Russian Revolution also took place in the year 1917.
All these events had a tremendous impact on Jai Prakash. He read about Gandhiji’s life writings and the Bhagawad Geeta. The simplicity of Gandhiji and his identification with the common man had a profound impact on him. But Gopal Krishna Gokhale was first to influence him. Jai Prakash even wrote a tearful poem when Gokhale died.
Marriage & Movement
If you really care For Freedom, liberty. There cannot be any democracy or liberal institution without politics.
In 1920, Jai Prakash was married to Prabhavati Devi, the eldest daughter of a rich and influential resident of Patna, Babu Braj Kishore Prasad. He was the well-known Congress leader of Bihar. Jai Prakash had then completed the eighteenth year of his age while Prabhavati Devi was an innocent girl of only fourteen.
It was the second year of his marriage and his Inter¬mediate examination was only a few days away when Gandhiji started his non¬cooperation movement.
Jai Prakash got the opportunity in 1920 to listen to the speeches of both Maulana Azad and Jawaharlal Nehru in Patna. Gandhiji called upon advocates and students to boycott courts and colleges respectively, Deshbandhu C.R. Das and Pandit Motilal Nehru had already given up their practices. In Patna, Maulana Mazrul Haq and Dr. Rajendra Prasad had followed their example.
Jai Prakash Narayan, in his speeches proudly refers to these events in his early life, while calling upon college students in Bihar to give up their studies for a year and throw themselves whole heartedly in the movement for a total revolution.
He wrote : “As a boy, like most boys of those days, I was an ardent nationalist and learned towards the revolutionaries cult of which Bengal was the noble leader at that time. But even then the story of the South African Satyagraha had fascinated my young heart. Before my revolutionary learnings could mature, Gandhiji’s first non-cooperation movement swept over the land as a strangely up-lifting hurricane.
But all of a sudden, Mahatma Gandhi abandoned his plan of Satyagraha in February 1922, as a violent mob at Chaurichaura burnt down a police station and killed several policemen. Gandhiji undertook a 5-day fast of atonement for the tragedy and withdrew the campaign of non-cooperation movement.