Jayaprakash Narayan

Jayaprakash Narayan

Jayaprakash Narayan, an Indian political leader and theorist, was born in Sitab Diyara on October 11, 1902.
He was a Mohandas Gandhi disciple and the leader of India's independence movement.
  • He moved to the United States in 1922 to study political science and economics at universities in California, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Ohio.
  • JP was not religious, but he started reading the Bhagvad Gita, one of the most fundamental Hindu scriptures, on a regular basis, drawing heroic inspiration from the Mahabharata's great war.
  • He advocated for Gandhian-style revolutionary action, in which he attempted to change people's minds and hearts.
  • He was a proponent of "saintly politics," urging Jawaharlal Nehru and other leaders to resign and live among the poor.
  • In the absence of senior leaders, he took part in the independence struggle and led the Quit India movement in 1942. After independence, he remained detached from electoral politics, but he was not uninterested in politics. He never held a formal government post, but he remained a prominent political figure outside of party politics.


Narayan received his education at American universities, where he became a Marxist. He became a member of the Indian National Congress (Congress Party). He was sentenced to a year in prison in 1932 for his role in the civil disobedience movement against British rule in India, and he was again imprisoned in 1939 for his opposition to Indian involvement in World War II on Britain's side, but he managed to flee and attempted to organise armed resistance to the government before being recaptured in 1943. He sought to convince Congress representatives to pursue a more aggressive stance against British rule after his release in 1946.


In 1948, he and a few other progressive members of the Congress left the party and worked hard to establish an anti-Congress forum. They founded the Praja Socialist Party in 1952. He gave oppressed people a voice and created an alternative political forum by founding the PSP. He declared two years later that he would devote his life to the Bhoodan Movement, which was created by Acharya Vinobha Bhave to redistribute land to the landless. He was a committed soldier for social restoration and national resurgence as he mentored political leaders from across the spectrum, and he called for the reconstruction of Indian polity by proposing Chaukhamba Raj in 1959.


Jayaprakash Narayan (JP) was one of the Mahatma's twelve apostles and a front-line soldier in the Indian freedom struggle. JP used a mixture of ahimsa and violence in this war.
In 1974, he called for a ‘sampoorna kranti,' or absolute revolution, to combat rampant corruption, unemployment, and the systemic undermining of democratic institutions, and the events that followed led to the infamous Emergency. It paved the way for a realignment of political powers in the world and gave the country's politics a new direction, with far-reaching implications.
He was a true believer in putting youth at the forefront of systemic change. Those in control would naturally oppose any change, but he was convinced that only the passion and force of youth could bring about revolutionary change and that is exactly what happened in the 1970s.
JP mobilised students in Bihar to combat authoritarianism and corruption after blessing the Nav Nirman Andolan in Gujarat, where people rose up against a corrupt state government. He had such a hypnotic effect on the political scene that, under his tutelage, a slew of Congress splinter parties, including Congress (O), Jana Sangh, and Swatantra Party, as well as other socialists, merged to form the Janata Party. During the Janata regime, he could have easily risen to the top. Despite public demand for his leadership, he stated that power was not his goal.


Total Revolution, according to Jaya Prakash, is a combination of seven revolutions: political, social, economic, cultural, ideological or intellectual, educational, and spiritual, with the main aim of bringing about a shift in the current society in accordance with the Sarvodaya ideals. JP had a rather idealistic view of society, and it was in this search that he moved from Marxism to Socialism, and then to Sarvodaya.
The Bihar agitations turned into mass demonstrations in 1974, with people demanding changes in the political, social, and educational systems. At this point, JP announced a four-part strategy aimed at paralysing the government, implementing Gram Swarajya, and creating a people's government. JP described the word "peoples government" as a small unit of democracy at the village, panchayat, or block level, preferably at all three levels.
These organisations were seen as channels of people's power in times of peace, as well as in times of inequality or dictatorship, and were primarily responsible for the restoration of society on the basis of equality and the abolition of poverty, racism, and exploitation. JP also urged the people of Bihar, as well as the rest of India, to unite by setting aside their personal and political differences.
His motivation for inciting the Bihar students was to bring about a full transformation of the Indian polity's governmental framework and system. He named it a ‘Total Revolution’ because of this. JP gave a thorough presentation on the principle of Total Revolution. The idea of total revolution reflected his commitment to socialist and humanistic ideals.
JP sought to transform culture as well as people's attitudes toward society through this revolution. He also urged workers in Bihar to prepare for a long fight to achieve the complete revolution's goals.
JP claimed that a vigorous opposition, a powerful public opinion, a free and fearless press, and intellectual and moral pressure from academics and trade unions were all important for democracy to be a vibrant and successful instrument. In reality, he urged people to rethink their views and attitudes toward India's democratic functioning.

Jayaprakash Narayan


Socialism - Jayaprakash Narayan interpreted socialism through an Indian prism. If there is no unequal distribution of wealth and no exploitation then it would be a world that grows in a healthy manner on all fronts. Elimination of exploitation and poverty, provision of equal opportunities for all for self-development, complete development of society's material and moral capital, and fair distribution of national wealth are among Jayprakash's social objectives.
Jayprakash's socialism in the economic sphere includes, Landlordism and capitalism are eliminated, and the means of production are socialised by eliminating private property rights. Gram panchayat-run cooperative farming, collective farming, state-owned large-scale industries with worker involvement, and small-scale industries organised into producer's cooperatives
Sarvodaya Movement - Jayaprakash, a founder of the Sarvodaya movement, travelled from socialism to Sarvodaya in the 1950s. Gandhi began the Sarvodaya movement in pre-independence India, and Vinoba Bhave led it in the post-independence period. Jayaprakash's Sarvodaya denotes a new social order in which society is classless and stateless; it will be a democratic structure in which Lokniti replaces Rajneeti; it will be "peoples' socialism," guaranteeing not only independence and equality, but also harmony and immortality. The key features of sarvodaya, according to JP, are that no power should be dominant in society.
Participatory Democracy concept - He promoted Gandhi's view that as you advance from the bottom to the top, each higher level should have less and less functions and forces. People at all levels will have the greatest ability to handle all political affairs under such a structure. People will have an interest in democracy as well as a sense of Swaraj under such a democratic structure. Jayaprakash's views on democracy are focused on the Panchayati Raj System. Because it will bring government to the people's doorstep and enable every person to participate in it.
He did, however, set some conditions like - People should have access to education, Political parties do not interfere with Panchayat elections or operations, Power and obligations are truly devolved to the Panchayats, Local governments should have financial control, and public servants should be held accountable. According to him, the system of participatory democracy must be constructed under these conditions.

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