Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan is a politician, social worker, and freedom fighter. Jayaprakash Narayan, who considers social service as his religion, is called “Lok Nayak”. He was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1998. He was awarded the Magsaysay Award in 1965 for social service.
Jay Prakash’s life of childhood
Jay Prakash Narayan was born on 11 October 1902 in the Sitabadiyara village of Ballia district, situated on the border of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. His father’s name was Shri Harsu Dayal and his mother’s name was Smt. Phulrani Devi. Narayan’s father was a zilladar in the canal department in Arrah, Bihar. Narayan had one brother and two sisters, but his brother and one sister died of plague and cholera. The elder sister survived named Chandravati and after the birth of Narayana, a brother Rajeshwar and a younger sister Chandrakala was born.
Narayan’s early studies
Narayan started growing up under the pampering of his parents. At the age of about 6 years, he started going to the village school. He used to study diligently. After completing his studies in the village school, he went to Patna. There he was admitted to the collegiate school in Patna. Narayan started studying while staying in a hostel named Saraswati Bhavan. His heart was filled with compassion and generosity since childhood. The collegiate school teachers were impressed by his brilliance and generosity. In those days the headteacher of the school was Mr. Amjad Ali Khan. He was a great teacher. Along with the mental development of the students, he also paid full attention to their character building. In the presence of him, the seeds of patriotism and nationalistic thought were starting to germinate in Jayprakash.
In 1999, Jayaprakash passed the matriculation examination with first division. He got a scholarship because of getting good marks. After passing the matriculation examination, Narayan was admitted to Patna College for further studies. There he read a book on Mahatma Gandhi. In it, he read about Gandhi’s Satyagraha and his unique experiments in South Africa. Influenced by Gandhiji’s policies and ideas, he started expressing his views openly on politics, social reform, and independence. He formed a committee to express his views related to politics and social reform. In that committee, discussions were held about the political and social upliftment of the country.
His college life
One day Jayaprakash ji heard the speech of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. In that speech, he compared English education to poison. Impressed by his speech, Jayaprakash left the college the very next day. Influenced by Satyagraha, Jayaprakash Narayan started wearing Khadi. Gandhiji and some leaders established the National Colleges to keep the education of the students running smoothly who boycott the school colleges organized by the British Governments. Jaiprakash also took admission in one of these Bihar Vidyapeeth. Later, he passed the I.Sc examination with first division.
At the same time, Narayan was married to Prabhavati, daughter of Vraj Kishore Babu, a famous lawyer from Srinagar village of Saran. Due to her young age, Prabhavati did not go to her in-laws’ house. After the Gauna of Prabhavati, Narayan went to America and Prabhavati started living in Sabarmati Ashram. 8 October 1922, Narayan reached America. There were three months left for California University to begin its session. Then, Narayan started looking for some work for himself. There he met Sherkhan Pathan, a Hindustani foreman. With their help, Narayan got a job as a laborer in a fruit orchard.
His struggle periods
When the academic session of California University began, he got admission in the second year of the Faculty of Science. To meet the expenses of his studies, he worked in hotels from washing dishes to waitress. At the end of the second year, when the results came, he got an ‘A’ grade. But even after such a good grade, he could not enroll himself in the next session. Because the fees were increased significantly in the next session. Then, leaving that university, Narayan joined Iowa University. Here he studied chemical engineering for some time along with German and French languages. An eminent teacher of the same university started addressing Narayan as JP. Later his abbreviation only became popular.
After studying at Iowa University for a year, JP went to Wisconsin University. The vice-chancellor of this university was of socialist ideology, which also affected JP. During that time JP started leaning towards Marxism. In 1928, JP passed the BA examination from Ohio University with very good marks. He was awarded a scholarship of $30,000.
His revolutionary move
After that, he got the job of assistant spokesperson in the university. Along with teaching, he also got enrolled in an MA course. After getting the degree of MA, JP wanted to do a Ph.D. from the same but due to the news of his mother’s illness, he returned to India. After coming to India, he came to know that his wife Prabhavati had taken a vow of celibacy. JP also decided that he would observe a fast of celibacy along with his wife. Seeing this type of life of JP and Prabhavati, Gandhiji used to call them Ideal Newlyweds. JP’s family was burdened with debt. And so his mother died due to illness. After that, he started working with the famous industrialist Ghanshyam Birla.
After that Prabhavati also started actively participating in the freedom movement along with Gandhiji. Once a delegation from the India League of England came to India. By taking them to different cities of the country, JP showed the atrocities of the British directly. This brought great disrepute to the British government and it was furious. Then the government arrested JP in Madras in 1932. This was JP’s first arrest. He was released from prison at the end of 1933.
His work as a great revolutionary
After the situation improved, Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan was actively involved in the formation of the Samajwadi Party. Then, the Second World War started in 1939. Addressing a gathering in Patna, JP called for not supporting the British in the world war. In this sequence, JP made a direct challenge to the British power in Jamshedpur on 18 February 1940. Angered by this, the British government arrested JP. After his release from jail in 1940, he started preparing against the British along with Gandhiji and Subhash Chandra Bose. In disguise, they established secret organizations. Hearing the news of his activities, the British government arrested him again.
A few days later he was transferred to Hazaribagh Jail in Bihar. On November 8, 1942, after darkness fell on the day of Diwali, JP and five of his associates jumped the prison wall and fled. The British government announced a reward for the arrest of JP. At the same time, the Quit India Movement was announced. JP led the movement by roaming in different places in the country. When he left for Rawalpindi from Delhi, a British officer recognized him. He was arrested and subjected to severe torture. He was released on 11 April 1946.
Last moment of Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan
After the independence of the country on 15 August 1947, he started to strengthen the Socialist Party. Prabhavati died on 15 April 1972 due to prolonged illness. On 5 June 1974, JP gave the slogan of Samagra Kranti. On June 25, 1975, the Congress government declared an emergency and got JP arrested the very next day. When his health deteriorated after three days, he was admitted to the All India Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine, New Delhi.
After two days of treatment there, he was brought to Chandigarh. His health started declining steadily. Finally, on 7 October 1979, his health got worse. He died the next day. In this way, Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan, the wonderful brave soldier of the Indian independence movement passed away in the lap of Mother India forever.