[Editorial Analysis] Remembering Jayaprakash Narayan, the people’s hero

Mains Paper 1: History
Prelims level: Jayaprakash Narayan
Mains level: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present significant events, personalities, issues.

Context:

• On October 8 marked the 42nd death anniversary of Jayaprakash Narayan.

Who was Jayaprakash Narayan?

• Jayaprakash Narayan was an outstanding leader of modern India.

• He was born in Sitabdiara, Bihar.

• He quit college to take part in the non-cooperation movement.

• He later exposed to Marxism.

• Subsequent events brought JP closer to Jawaharlal Nehru, and he became an important leader of the freedom movement.
• He also became associated with the socialist movement.

• He became a national hero when he scaled the high walls of the Hazaribagh Central Jail, with the help of trusted comrades, who made a human ladder to help him escape. Thereafter, he set up the Azaad Dasta in the Terai region of Nepal to resist British rule.

• He remains a “Lok Nayak” in popular esteem and is affectionately called JP.

• He was a freedom fighter of great courage and one of the pioneers of the socialist movement in the country.

• He galvanised support for the Bhoodan movement, worked relentlessly for the poor and the underprivileged.

• He became a symbol of the national conscience in the fight against corruption, anti-democratic conduct and repressive practices of Indira Gandhi’s government in the 1970s.

• He was a man of great intellect and ethical values and standards.

• His recent biography: The Dream of Revolution, authored by Bimal Prasad and Sujata Prasad.

• JP movement: The sheer force of JP’s personality had welded together disparate and diverse elements into a strong cohesive force and established the JP movement.

• He toured the country, awakened the people, suffered lathi blows himself but ensured that all of us follow his command, “Hamla chaahe jaisa hoga, haath hamara nahi uthega.”

JP’s life had many parts:

• His formative years.

• Evolution as a political leader.

• His Congress-socialist years; how he waged a guerrilla struggle against the British in the Terai region of Nepal.

• He grew from socialism to Sarvodaya, becoming the leader of resistance against a repressive, anti-democratic regime.

• This led to the conclusive defeat of the Indira Gandhi government in 1977 and the installation of the first-ever non-Congress government at the Centre.

After independence:

• Nehru was keen to involve him in the government but JP was not meant for power politics.

• He left the Congress Party in 1948 and initiated an anti-Congress Campaign.

• He formed the Praja Socialist Party (PSP) in 1952.

• He was posthumously conferred with India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna (1999).

Conclusion:

• JP was one of the greatest sons of India who personified ethics and morality in the public life of the country.

• Whether it was the possibility of becoming the prime minister or the president — both positions were within his reach on many occasions — nothing could deviate him from his chosen path to work for the people in the villages and awaken them.

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Prelims Questions:

Q.1) With reference to the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBMG) Phase 2, consider the following statements:

1. SthayitvaevamSujalam Abhiyan has focussed on liquid waste management by targeting construction of 1 million soak pits, retrofitting of toilets and ODF Sustainability.

2. Swachhta Samvads is an initiative of Union Ministry of Rural Development.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: A

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