11 Things you must know about socialist leader Jayaprakash Narayan

A significant day in Bihar history as it witnessed the birth of one of the strongest social reformer | JP

Jayaprakash Narayan, popularly referred to as JP or Lok Nayak, was an Indian independence activist, social reformer and political leader, remembered especially for leading the mid-1970s opposition  against Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, for whose overthrow he called a “total revolution”. The Patna airport is also named after him. The largest hospital run by the Delhi government and the teaching hospital of the famous Maulana Azad Medical College, Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Hospital, is also named after him. It was formerly called Irwin hospital. There is also a park in his name, situated on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, in New Delhi, just opposite to Maulana Azad Medical College. On August 1, 2015, the Chhapra-Delhi-Chhapra Weekly Express was renamed as “Loknayak Express” in his honour.  

  1. Jayaprakash Narayan was born on 11 October 1902 in the village of Sitabdiara in Chhapra district of Bihar, India.

  2. He had his early education distributed over his village and the city of Patna. He joined the ‘Bihar Vidyapeeth College’ founded by Dr. Rajendra Prasad and then went to the US for his higher studies. He studied sociology in the universities of Berkeley and Iowa.

  3. Jayaprakash Narayan joined the Indian National Congress on the invitation of Jawaharlal Nehru in 1929 and was mentored by Mahatma Gandhi after returning from the US.

  4. On the launch of QUIT INDIA Movement in 1942, he scaled the walls of Hazaribagh Central Jail and was carried on Yogendra Shukla’s shoulder for a distance of 124 kilometers.

  5.  On 8 April 1974, aged 72, he led a silent procession at Patna which was lathi charged. On 5 June 1974, Jayaprakash Narayan addressed a large crowd at Gandhi Maidan in Patna and declared a Total Revolution. In 1974, he led the students’ movement in the state of Bihar which gradually developed into a popular people’s movement known as the Bihar Movement. It was during this movement that JP gave a call for peaceful Total Revolution.

  6. Jayaprakash Narayan called for Indira Gandhi and the CMs to resign and the military and police to disregard unconstitutional and immoral orders. He advocated a program of social transformation which he termed Sampoorna kraanti, “total revolution“.

  7. Jayaprakash Narayan attracted a gathering of 100,000 people at the Ramlila grounds and thunderously recited Rashtrakavi Ramdhari Singh ‘Dinkar”s wonderfully evocative poetry: Singhasan Khaali Karo Ke Janata Aaati Hai.

  8. Indira Gandhi revoked the emergency on 18 January 1977 and announced elections. The Janata Party, a vehicle for the broad spectrum of the opposition to Indira Gandhi, was formed under JP’s guidance. The Janata Party was voted into power and became the first non-Congress party to form a government at the Center.

  9. Jayprakash Narayan was popularly referred to as JP or Lok Nayak (Hindi for The People’s Hero)

  10. He was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, in recognition of his social work.

  11. Narayan died in Patna, Bihar on 8 October 1979, three days before his 77th birthday, due to effects of diabetes and heart ailments.

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