Profiles of Indian Politicians
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Jayaprakash Narayan - popularly known as JP - was one of the great political leaders of modern India.|
JP was born in Sitabdiara village in Saran District of Bihar, one of the most backward states of India.
After studying in the U.S., JP returned to India to participate the freedom struggle against the British. He was imprisoned several times during India's freedom movement.
After India gained independence in 1947, JP turned his attention mostly to social service.
In 1974, disillusioned by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's policies and widespread corruption in the country JP launched the Total Revolution movement with students as the primary engine of his protest movement.
An incensed Indira Gandhi, not known for her tolerance of dissent, declared a state of Emergency and hauled off the frail JP and other top opposition leaders to jail.
It was not just Indians who were aghast at JP's incarceration. Several prominent westerners including E.F.Schumacher, A.J.P. Taylor, W.H.Morris-Jones, Kenneth Tynan and others took out a full-page ad in The Times of London on August 15, 1975 demanding JP's release.
After Jayaprakash Narayan's health deteriorated and his kidneys started to fail, he was released on parole by a government that was worried about the consequences should JP die in jail.
Indira Gandhi had to pay a heavy price for her undemocratic actions because the Janata Party, an opposition front of politicians, handily defeated Indira's Congress party during the 1977 Parliamentary elections and rode to power.
JP was married to Prabhavati Devi (1906 — 1973), who was a close associate of Gandhi's wife Kasturba Gandhi and Nehru's wife Kamala Nehru.
JP died on October 9, 1979.
Jayaprakash Narayan was awarded India's highest civilian award Bharat Ratna in 1998 posthumously. - Copyright SearchIndia.com.
The New York Times
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Laloo Prasad Yadav