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Jayaprakash Narayan, Indian National Congress and Party Politics, 1934–1954


  • Rakesh Ankit


Jayaprakash Narayan, better remembered for his exploits in the Quit India movement of 1942, social work in the 1960s and his call for a ‘Total Revolution’ in 1974, was also a leading Congress socialist between 1934 and 1948, as well as active in non-Congress socialist politics till 1954. An admirer of Jawaharlal Nehru, he was a vocal critic of Vallabhbhai Patel. A radical with pronounced leftist tendencies, he was a bête noire of an elite-based politics of capitalist, communitarian and majoritarian impulses. Twice a member of Congress Working Committee, he was repeatedly invited by Nehru to join his government after Patel’s death and was spoken of as Nehru’s successor in the 1950s. These somewhat overshadowed aspects of his political life, in comparison to his social leadership, make it an important prism of Congress politics, its culture of ‘control and consensus’ and characteristics of ‘continuity and change’ with the colonial state.

Suggested Citation

  • Rakesh Ankit, 2015. "Jayaprakash Narayan, Indian National Congress and Party Politics, 1934–1954," Studies in Indian Politics, , vol. 3(2), pages 149-163, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:indpol:v:3:y:2015:i:2:p:149-163

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