K C Tyagi
Today is 11 October (1902) JP’s birthday. After Gandhi, the number of experiments done by JP in the politics of the country, such examples are rarely found. Jaiprakash is remembered as soon as he mentions about egalitarian society, democracy, civil rights, eradication of corruption and a society free from all forms of exploitation and atrocities. His whole life was devoted to dozens of new ideals.
Before returning to India after completing his education in famous institutions of America, JP had been painted in intense Marxist color. More than a decade had passed since the Soviet Communist Revolution of 1917 under Lenin. In India too, a large section of ideologically committed youth had been formed who looked up to the Soviet Union as a role model and was ready to establish a society free from all forms of exploitation.
With his arrival in India in 1929, JP comes in contact with locally active Marxist people and his political activities begin. On the other hand, Pt. Nehru returns home after finishing his studies in Britain, takes interest in the program of the Congress Party and supporters of ideological trends like JP, such as Meenu Masani, Mohanlal Gautam, N.G. Blondes, EMS Namboodiripad, Acharya Narendra Dev, Dr. Sampoornanand, Kamala Devi Chattopadhyay, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, SM. Joshi, along with Navkrishna Choudhary, Achyut Patwardhan, Yusuf Meher Ali, Sajjad Zaheer, Ashok Mehta, Dinkar Mehta and Ramvriksha Benipuri, etc., want to convert it into an instrument of economic and social change by joining the broad front of the Congress party.
Tej Pratap Yadav’s Janshakti Yatra on JP Jayanti, will blow the bugle of rebellion!
JP is arrested for the first time in 1932. He is kept in Nashik Central Jail. Prior to that, he is actively involved with the youth, exploring the possibilities of armed struggle by staying underground. This is the period when the sensation of hanging of Sardar Bhagat Singh and his associates in Lahore Central Jail is spreading in the air. Earlier, Bhagat Singh has also played the bugle of revolution like the Soviet Union by leading an organization called Hindustan Socialist Republican Party.
In a letter to Pt. Nehru Meenu Masani in 1933, he says that I would welcome the formation of a socialist group in the Congress party, the Congress party should also become an organization of economic and social change, which would build a new India after independence. With the efforts of JP, this organization also starts from Bihar when a conference of socialists is organized under the chairmanship of Acharya Narendra Dev on 17th May 1934 in Anjuman Islamia Hall of Patna, JP is made the general secretary of this organization. Achyut Patwardhan, Meenu Masani, Ashok Mehta, N.G. Gorey, Yusuf Meher Ali etc.
He is reborn as a hero of the freedom movement when he manages to break the jail on 8 November 1942 by climbing the 17 feet high wall of Hazaribagh Jail in the wake of Quit India Movement. Staying underground, he organizes youth as a top leader and organizes a wide nationwide movement and in this sequence, in 1943, along with Dr. Lohia, he is arrested in Nepal and brought to Lahore Central Jail and becomes a victim of horrific torture there. The role of the communists in the Second World War puts them closer to Gandhi and away from the communists. After his release from jail on 21 April 1946, his felicitation is held at Gandhi Maidan in Patna.
The rally at Ramlila Maidan on 25 June 1975 that forced Indira Gandhi to impose emergency
By 1947, the socialists were disappointed with Pt. Nehru on questions like the formation of the Constituent Assembly, the Indo-Pak partition, etc. Going against the wishes of Gandhiji, in 1948, all the socialists form a separate party by organizing a conference in Nashik. In 1952, after colliding with the aura of Pt. Nehru, he suffers a bad defeat in the election and JP abandons active politics and takes the path of Bhoodan. He is then reborn as Lok Nayak in 1974, when he emerges as the vehicle of total revolution. JP’s work will always guide us.
(The author is General Secretary of JDU)
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are those of the author.