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Jayaprakash Narayan


Jayaprakash Narayan (JP) was an Indian freedom fighter and politician. He is best known for leading the “anti-Indira Gandhi” movement in the 1970s and calling for a peaceful Total Revolution.

Ramavriksha Benipuri, a nationalist friend and prominent Hindi literature writer, authored a biography on Jayaprakash Narayan.

Early Life

Jayaprakash Narayan was born in Sitabdiara village between Ballia District of Uttar Pradesh and Saran District of Bihar. Harsudayal Narayan, Jayaprakash Narayan's father, was a minor officer in the State Government's canal department and frequently travelled throughout the region.

Jayaprakash Narayan studied in Sitabdiara initially but later moved to Patna for high studies, at the Collegiate School. His essay, 'The Current State of Hindi in Bihar,' earned the school's best essay award. Later, Jayaprakash Narayan received a government scholarship to attend Patna College.


Jayaprakash Narayan was one of the first students of renowned Gandhian Dr Anugrah Narayan Sinha, a close comrade of Mahatma Gandhi, and was one of the first students of 'Bihar Vidyapeeth,' which was formed by Dr Rajendra Prasad for motivating young brilliant youths.

Jayaprakash married Prabhavati Devi in 1920. His wife was a passionate follower of Kasturba Gandhi and a liberation fighter in her own right. Prabhavati was the daughter of Brij Kishore Prasad, a lawyer and nationalist who was one of Bihar's prior Gandhians.

In 1922, Jayaprakash Narayan went to the United States, where he worked for tenure in order to support his studies in political science, sociology and economics at the University of California, Berkeley, University of Iowa, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Ohio State University. While studying under sociologist Edward A Ross at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he was a supporter of Marxism. He was obliged to forgo his aim to obtain a PhD degree due to a lack of funds and his mother's ailing health. While returning to India, Jayaprakash Narayan met Rajani Palme Dutt and other revolutionaries in London.

Political Career

Quit India Movement

At the request of Jawaharlal Nehru, Jayaprakash Narayan joined the Indian National Congress after returning to India in 1929. Mahatma Gandhi became his counsellor in Congress. He and his close friend and patriot Ganga Sharan Singh (Sinha) had a residence in Kadam Kuan, Patna.

The British imprisoned, detained and tortured Jayaprakash Narayan multiple times throughout the Indian independence movement. During the Quit India Movement, he rose to prominence.

For civil disobedience against British authority, Jayaprakash Narayan was imprisoned at Nasik Jail, where he met Ram Manohar Lohia, Minoo Masani, Achyut Patwardhan, Ashok Mehta, Yusuf Desai, and other national leaders.

Praja Socialist Party

He was appointed General Secretary of the Congress Socialist Party, or CSP, after his release (CSP). With Acharya Narendra Deva as its President, this was a left-wing organisation within the Congress. Following Mahatma Gandhi's death and independence, Jayaprakash Narayan, Acharya Narendra Dev, and Basawon Singh (Sinha) led the CSP out of Congress to form the opposition Socialist Party, which subsequently became known as the Praja Socialist Party.

Jayaprakash Narayan proclaimed in Gaya on April 19, 1954, that he would devote his life (Jeevandan) to Vinoba Bhave's Sarvodaya Movement and its Bhoodan campaign, which promoted land distribution to Harijans (untouchables). He gave up his land, established an ashram in Hazaribagh, and tried to improve the village's situation.

Sarvodaya Movement

Jayaprakash Narayan officially broke away from the Praja Socialist Party in 1957 to promote people's polity. By this time, Jayaprakash Narayan was certain that Lokniti needed to be nonpartisan in order to create Sarvodaya, a consensus-based, unfettered, participatory democracy. Narayan became a key figure in the Gandhian Sarvodaya movement's India-wide network.

Student Movement In Bihar

In the late 1960s, Jayaprakash Narayan and his wife rose to prominence in state politics once more. In 1974, he headed the student movement in the state of Bihar, which grew into the Bihar agitation, a popular people's movement.

Jayakash Narayan called for Sampurna Kranti on the 5th of June, the total revolution at a historic rally of students at Patna's Gandhi Maidan.

During this time, Jayaprakash Narayan and V M Tarkunde urged for a peaceful Total Revolution to protect and defend civil liberties.

Way Forward

The Praja Socialist Party, the Sarvodaya Movement, and even Jayaprakash Narayan spent the first 25 years of independence fighting for Jammu and Kashmir's self-determination. His most lasting contribution to the Republic was leading the drive to depose Mrs Gandhi, which triggered the Emergency.

Jayaprakash Narayan also authored a number of publications, the best of which is Reconstruction of Indian Polity. He championed Hindu revivalism, but he was criticised at first for forming the revivalism promoted by the Sangh Parivar.

In October of 1979, Jayaprakash Narayan passed away.

In 1998, India's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, was bestowed on Jayaprakash Narayan posthumously for his humanitarian service. In 1965, he received the Magsaysay Award for Public Service.

Later Life

In his honour, the J P University in Chhapra, Bihar, as well as the L N J P Hospital in New Delhi and the Jai Prabha Hospital in Patna, have been established. The Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, which is the capital's largest and best-equipped trauma centre, also honours his contributions.


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