DrDuring a panel discussion on a recently launched biography of Jayaprakash Narayan, senior writer and journalist Om Thanvi said it is important to discuss the role of Jana Sangh and the influence of RSS and other leaders on JP and the movement.
The book is titled The Dream of Revolution: The Biography of Jayaprakash NarayanWritten by Bimal Prasad and Sujata Prasad. Apart from the authors, the discussion was joined by historian and biographer Professor Rajmohan Gandhi, photojournalist Raghu Rai, author Naryani Basu, journalist and moderator Suhas Purker.
“There should have been a discussion about people from Jana Sangh and RSS, and the way young Jana Sangh leaders from that time – whether it was Sushil Modi or Ravi Shankar Prasad, could easily associate themselves with the movement, somewhere damaged JP’s image. Thanvi said that how RSS leaders relate themselves to these movements, whether it was the JP movement at the time, or Anna Andolan more recently, is a matter of debate.
“JP, the great revolutionary dreamer, is the best prime minister that India has ever had,” said the great journalist Ajit Jha, and almost everyone present nodded in agreement.
The 230-page book, according to Sujata Prasad, contains the DNA of her late father Bimal Prasad, a former Indian ambassador to Nepal, who was close to JP and had been working on editing the complete works of the freedom fighter before his death. Sujata said that she first tried to write the book in her father’s style but soon gave up because their writing style was very different, and she finished it in her own style. Prasad’s father passed away in 2015, after which she began working on the book.
“My father lived a life based on JP ideas… He was editing 10 volumes of JP’s complete works, something that colonized his consciousness. I also have memories of JP from my teenage days,” Sujata Prasad said.
According to Rahmohan Gandhi, who attended the discussion roughly from the United States, JP’s character jumped out of the book. “I welcome this wonderful book, which in less than 230 pages tells the story of an extraordinary man, a sharp thinker, a calm and persuasive speaker, and a daring revolutionary,” he said, describing Sujata’s writing style as “new.” He also pointed out a factual error in the book regarding the February 1946 Mutiny in the Royal Indian Navy.
prospects The magazine’s editor-in-chief Ajit Kumar Jha, who was also present at the discussion, disagreed with the barrage of left-wing criticism over JB’s life. “One criticism is that it was JP who brought the Gana Sangha into mainstream politics. If this were true, then the Gana Sangha would not be limited to just two seats in the Indian Parliament in 1984. This was almost 10 years after JP’s agitation began in Bihar. It was Both the CPM and even some sections of the CPI (ML) Bihar are JP supporters. It was the first time in India that a broad rainbow coalition could be seen – the left wing, the Jana Sangh and the socialists at the time,” Jha said.
Read also: The harsh truth is that Jayaprakash Narayan has let down his followers
divided by the end of JP
The book also mentions the sad death that JB suffered. Sujata Prasad wrote in her autobiography: “Striped of every trace of self-worth, Jaiprakash died a sad death.” It says, “His (JP) dream of revolution, which brought a powerful government to its knees, unfortunately is still just a dream.” However, many speakers disagreed with this “pessimistic end” of the book.
Ajit Jha said, “Historically, you should evaluate the book from a long-term perspective.. If we look at the politics of Bihar, its reorganization occurred due to JP in the last 30 years.. whether it was Lalu, Nitish, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Sushil Modi.. all These were JP followers… Congress vanished from the state altogether. It’s actually the result of the JP movement… In this sense, the dream is still alive.”
Rajmohan Gandhi echoed the same thing. “I see heroism in the way we left JP, his big dreams are what he symbolizes.”
Photojournalist Raghu Rai recalls his personal experiences with JP and his iconic photo lathe. “Where are these wonderful men whom we remember today and whose hearts we cry,” he said.
Ray recalled his association with the leader and highlighted JB’s kind and gentle personality, his fondness for journalists and his generous persona, which made him even speak of Indira Gandhi with respect during emergency days despite obvious ideological differences.
(Edited by Anurag Chobe)
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