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Gujarat unrest inspired JP`s Bihar Movement that led to Emergency

Last Updated: Sunday, August 4, 2013 - 19:24

New Delhi: The student uprising against the Chimanbhai Patel government in Gujarat had inspired Jayaprakash Narayan`s `Bihar Movement` during the turbulent 70s that eventually led to the Emergency, according to official documents of the period.

In the youth of Gujarat, Jayaprakash saw the energy and the sparks for igniting a revolution in the eastern state that ultimately swept most of the nation.

A speech by the then Home Minister Brahmananda Reddi in Rajya Sabha on July 21, 1975 on the resolution for approval of the Proclamation of Emergency on June 26, establishes the chronological link between the two states and shows how Jayaprakash found an impetus from the "student movement" in the western state.

Reddi quotes JP, as Jayaprakash was popularly known, by invoking his statement in `Everyman`s Weekly` of August 3, 1974 in which he had said, "For years I was groping to find a way out. In fact while my objectives have never changed, I have all along been searching for the right way to achieve it. I wasted two years trying to bring about a politics of consensus. It came to nothing...

"Then I saw students in Gujarat bring about a political change with the backing of the people...And knew that this was the way out."

The speech, among other reports, are part of the Emergency-era documents accessed recently at the National Archives of India here.

One of the documents, a seven-chapter report dated July 11, 1975 and bearing the Intelligence Bureau label on the top cover, points to the Gujarat agitation, its implication on the `Bihar Movement` and how the latter became a precursor to the Emergency.

Under the firebrand JP, the agitation in Bihar took the shape of a `Total Revolution` and the initial demand for resignation of the then Ghafoor ministry in the state ultimately turned into a larger demand for dismissal of Indira Gandhi government.


First Published: Sunday, August 4, 2013 - 19:24
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