GURGAON – NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION – INDIA AUGUST 23 , 2013 10.45 P.M.
There was an innocuous news in the national newspapers last week . Subramanian Swamy merged his Janata Party with the Bharatiya Janata Party . There were some sarcastic remarks about the defunct party merging with BJP . Some chose to ignore the news . And some kept silence after initial taunt . But for me it opened floodgate of memories of some bygone era . Some cherished memories of my young days came to knock at my door . I became nostalgic and started remembering those eventful days in the history of our nation .
Raj Narain, a socialist leader, had filed a legal writ alleging electoral malpractice against Indira Gandhi in 1971. On 12 June 1975, Allahabad High Court found her guilty of using corrupt electoral practices in her 1971 election victory over Narain in the Rae Bareli constituency. She was barred from contesting any election for the next six years. Economic problems, corruption and the conviction of Gandhi led to widespread protests against the Congress ( I ) government, which responded by imposing a State of Emergency in the country . The rationale was that of preserving national security.
However, the government introduced press censorship, postponed elections and banned strikes and rallies. Opposition leaders such as Jayaprakash Narayan, Jivatram Kripalani and Morarji Desai were imprisoned, along with thousands of other political activists.
When the State of Emergency was lifted and new elections called in 1977, opposition political parties such as the Congress (O), Bharatiya Jana Sangh, Bharatiya Lok Dal as well as defectors from the Congress ( I ) , known as Congress For Democracy ( CFD ) joined to form the Janata party, which won a sweeping majority in the Indian Parliament. Raj Narain defeated Indira Gandhi at Rae Bareilly in those elections.
Constituent Parties of Janata Party
- Bharatiya Lok Dal
- Bharatiya Jana Sangh
- Congress (O)
- Congress for Democracy
- Congress (R) Rebels like Chandra Shekhar, Krishan Kant, Ram Dhan, Mohan Dharia, Chandrajit Yadav, Lakshmi Kanthamma
In the general election held after the end of the state of emergency in 1977, the Janata party defeated Congress ( I ) to form the first non-Congress government in the history of the Republic of India. I heard the news of formation of Janata Party , defeat of Indira Gandhi and the Congress on radio . I still remember , I didn’t sleep a wink , and kept on listening the news throughout the night . Even today I am unable to forget that feeling after listening that Invincible Indira Gandhi got defeated and the Congress will no longer going to rule us .
The Janata Party formed the government with Morarji Desai as prime minister. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who had become the leader of the Jana Sangh after Deen Dayal Upadhyaya’s death in 1967, was appointed as the external affairs minister in the new government.
The new Janata-led government reversed many Emergency-era decrees and opened official investigations into Emergency-era abuses. Although several major foreign policy and economic reforms were attempted, continuous in-fighting and ideological differences made the Janata government unable to effectively address national problems. By mid-1979, Prime Minister Morarji Desai was forced to resign and his successor Chaudhary Charan Singh failed to sustain a parliamentary majority as alliance partners withdrew support. Popular disenchantment with the political in-fighting and ineffective government led to the resurgence of Gandhi and her new Congress (I) party, which won the general election called in 1980.
The Janata government did not last long, though. Morarji Desai resigned as prime minister, and the Janata party was consequently dissolved.
Bharatiya Janata Party (1980-)
In 1980, the leaders and workers of the former Bharatiya Jana Sangh, founded the Bharatiya Janata Party with Atal Bihari Vajpayee as its first president .
Although the original Janata Party fragmented and eventually dissolved, modern political parties continue to invoke its legacy. Subramanian Swamy kept the name Janata Party , and was the National President of the party .
The irony of the situation or fate is that Bharatiya Jan Sangh members were forced to leave Janata Party on the pretext of dual membership . They chose to remain loyal to RSS ideology and left Janata Party and formed Bharatiya janata Party in 1980 . Quirk of the fate forced the same Janata Party to merge itself with the Bharatiya Janata Party . In August 2013, when the news came that the party was merged with the Bharatiya Janata Party , I just smiled .
Destiny plays strange games . Sometimes even bizarre games . BJP was formed after several swayamsevaks came out of Janata Party on the issue of dual membership and 33 years later , the parent body came and merged itself with the BJP .
Issue of Dual membership and the cacophony that followed , is finished forever . Socialists , who raised the issue , are extinct now . And last but not the least , Janata Party ceases to exist .
Very soon I am going to tell the tale of this bizarre chapter of our history to the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , which is known as Vidur’s Kreating Charakters and VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Theatre .
[ To maintain the chronological order of the events of formation of Janata Party , I relied on Wikipedia and quoted from it . I express my gratitude . ]
MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA
- Swamy merges Janata Party with BJP (thehindu.com)
- Subramanian Swamy’s Janata Party merges with BJP (ibnlive.in.com)
- Subramanian Swamy’s Janata Party merges with Bharatiya Janata Party (ndtv.com)
Filed under: Politics Tagged: | 1971 Parliamentary Election, Acting Institute, Acting Trainer, Allahabad High Court, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Bharatiya jan Sangh, Bharatiya Jana Sangh, Bharatiya Janata Party, Bharatiya Kranti Dal, Bharatiya Lok Dal, BJP, CFD, Chandra Shekhar, Chandrajit Yadav, Charan Singh, Chaudhary Charan Singh, Congress, Congress (R) Rebels, Congress (Urs), Congress For Democracy, Congress I, Congress O, Deoria, Devaraj Urs, Diction Trainer, Dual Membership, Hindi Teacher, India, Indian National Congress, Indira Congress, Indira Gandhi, J. B. Kripalani, J. P., Janata, Jay Prakash Narayan, Jivatram Kripalani, Kamal Nayan Chaturvedi, Krishan Kant, Lakshmi Kanthamma, Lok Nayak, Lok Nayak Jay Prakash Narayan, Maharashtra, Mohan Dharia, Morarji Desai, Mumbai, MUMBAI - MAHARASHTRA - INDIA, Politics, Praja Socialist Party, press censorship, Rae Bareily, Rae Bareli, Raj narain, Ram Dhan, RSS, Samyukta Socialist Party, Socialist Party, Subramanian Swamy, Swatantra Party, Swayamsevak, Utkal Congress, Uttar Pradesh, Vidur, VIDUR Acting Institute, VIDUR Club, VIDUR Editing Studio, Vidur on Twitter, VIDUR Theatre, Vidur's Blog, Vidur's Kreating Charakters, Vidur's Students