JP Narayan and Congress Socialist Party
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In 1926, Sampurnand and Acharya Narendra Deva draw up a socialist agrarian program, under the aegis of UP Congress Committee (UPCC) and send it to the perusal of AICC. Jawaharlal Nehru got the AICC, to accept this UPCC’s Socialist Programme, in 1929.At the 1931, Karachi session of the Indian National Congress, socialist pattern of development was set as the goal for India and resolution on fundamental rights and economic programme was passed by AICC. According to Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, who drafted the Karachi resolution of AICC, the origin of this resolution was UPCC’s resolution of 1929.
During 1932 movement, many socialist-minded young men people like Jayaprakash Narayan, Minoo Masani, Achyut Patwardhan, Ashok Mehta, Charles Mescrenhas, Narayan Swami, M L Dantawala, N G Gorey and S M Joshi were lodged in Nasik Jail in 1932-33, in connection with Civil disobedience Movement. While in jail they all felt to form a Congress Socialist Party with in the Congress Party (INC) wedded to Marxism. At the same time a group of ‘left wing’ Congressmen disillusioned with the policy of Congress, met at Poona in July 1933 for the purpose of organizing a Socialist opposition group. They elected a committee to draft a constitution and programme which subsequently became known as the “Poona draft”. The meeting was organized by Purshottam Tricumdas, Yusuf Meherally, Smt. Kamladevi Chattopadhyay and Acharya Narendra Deva.
After this meet in Poona, Bombay Presidency Socialist Party, was formed and invited all those who believe in socialist ideology to attend the foundation conference of Congress Socialist Party (CSP) at Patna on 17TH May 1934. Earlier, in July 1931, Jayaprakash Narayan, Phulan Prasad Verma and Baba Ranodar Das (later known as Rahul Sankritayan) Abdul Bari, Ganga Sharan Sinha and Ambika Kanat Sinha had established the Bihar Socialist Party. There was also the Punjab Socialist Party whose leaders were Prof. Brij Narain, Jeevan Lal Kapur, later a Judge of Supreme Court, and Lala Feroz Chand.
Congress Socialist Party was founded in Patna (Bihar) on 17th May 1934, under the Chairmanship of Acharya Narendra Deva and draft proposals were circulated before the Foundation Conference at Patna. To draft the Party’s constitution, policy and programme a draft committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Acharya Narendra Deva and Jayaprakash Narayan as Secretary.
Following were the members of the committee. Prof. Abdul Bari, Purshottam Tricumdas, Minoo Masani, Sampurnanand, C.C. Banerji, Faridul Haq Ansari, Rammanohar Lohia, Prof. Abdul Aleem, N.G. Ranga.
The Draft proposals of Socialist programme circulated before the Foundation Conference at Patna, were sent to AICC for its approval. Congress Working Committee (CWC) at its meeting in Bombay on 17-18 June, 1934, approved this Socialist programme with some modifications. Socialists didn’t like it and Acharya Narendra Deva, Sampurnanand, Sriprakasa and Jayprakash Narayan issued a strongly worded statement from Benaras on 22’1 June, 1934.
JAYPRAKASH NARAYAN, popularly known as JP was born on October 11, 1902 at Sitab Diyara, India. He was married to Shrimati Prabhawati in 1920. JP educated at Patna Collegiate School and Patna College. He Left Studies to participate in non-cooperation movement, in 1921.He Went to California and Ohio University in the United States, for higher studies where he became a Marxist, took Master’s degree in Sociology from Ohio University. Upon his return to India in 1929, JP joined the Indian National Congress and attended Lahore Congress (AICC Session). In 1930,he participated in Salt Satyagrah and took responsibility of Labour Research Department of AICC in Allahabad.ln 1931, he worked as private secretary to Ghanshyam Das Birla briefly and later he was appointed Acting General Secretary of the Congress Party In 1932 and worked underground. In 1932 he was arrested first time and sentenced to a year’s imprisonment for his participation in the civil disobedience movement against British rule in India. Upon his release JP took a leading part in the formation of the Congress Socialist Party, a left-wing group within the Congress Party, in 1934, and became its first General Secretary. He was Member Congress Working Committee in 1936 and 1946.1P was imprisoned by the British again in 1939 for his opposition to Indian participation in World War II on the side of Britain. In 1940 he was arrested at Jamshedpur, released and again arrested and put at Deoli Camp Jail.
In 1942 JP made a dramatic escape from Hazaribagh Jail (Bihar) and for a short time tried to organize violent resistance to the government before his recapture in 1943.From 1934 to 1950, he was General Secretary of the Congress Socialist Party and Socialist Party respectively.
In 1948 he, together with most of the Congress Socialists, left the Congress Party and formed the Socialist Party and later Praja Socialist Party in 1953. Soon becoming dissatisfied with party politics, JP announced in 1954 that he would henceforth devote his life exclusively to the Sarvodaya and Bhoodan Yajna Movement, founded by Vinoba Bhave, which demanded that land be distributed among the landless. In 1957 he resigned from Praja Socialist Party’s ordinary membership and became President, All India Sarvodaya Conference in 1961.He Was Chairman India-Pakistan Reconciliation Group in 1962.Received Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1965.In 1971-73, he arranged surrender of dacoits in Madhya Pradesh and many infamous Dacoits of MP surrendered before him.
In 1974, Jayprakash Narayan suddenly burst on the Indian political scene as a severe critic of what he saw as the corrupt and increasingly undemocratic government of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and gained a following from students and opposition parties and launched “Sampoorna Kranti” (Total Revolution) Movement.
When Indira Gandhi was convicted by the Allahabad High Court of corrupt election practices, JP called for her resignation. Instead, she declared a national emergency on 26th June 1975 and jailed JP and several other opposition leaders. This was the first time when JP was arrested in Free India. In prison his health broke down. He was released after five months on 12 November, 1975 but never regained his health. When Indira Gandhi announced General Elections in 1977, JP Narayan advised and helped opposition parties to form Janata party and campaigned for its candidates. He died on October 8, 1979, in Patna (Bihar).