'Loknayak' Jayaprakash Narayan's 115th birth anniversary

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Today India is celebarating 115th birth anniversary of Jayaprakash Narayan, popularly known as JP or Loknayak. He was a theorist and a political leader, who was responsible for the fall of Indira Gandhi's government in the mid-1970's.

Jayaprakash Narayan. Courtesy: @SidharthNSingh

JP, born in Sitabdiara, Bihar, would have turned 115 today. He was inspired by the ideas of Karl Marx when working and studying in Berkeley, California, 1922 onwards. On returning to India in 1929, JP, invited by Nehru and drawn by a speech by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad seeking participation in the freedom struggle, joined the Congress. A few years later, JP became one of the founding members of the Congress Socialist Party (CSP).

The Congress party had to face a humiliating defeat in 1977 for the first time due to his clarion call for 'Total Revolution'.

In a famous speech delivered in Patna's Gandhi maidan in 1974, during the emergency, JP said, " After 27 years of freedom, people of this country are wracked by hunger, rising prices, corruption-oppressed by every kind of injustice. It is a total revolution we want, nothing less."

Though he was the architect of Janata government formed in 1977, JP stayed away from power politics. Unfortunately, his idea of 'Total Revolution' could not be realised as the Janata government fell halfway through its term.

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