Janata Party Merges With BJP , An Era Ends


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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.

Indira Gandhi is elected as the first female P...

Indira Gandhi is elected as the first female Prime Minister of India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

Congress (Urs) leaders like Devaraj Urs joined Janata Party in the later stage.

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 .

Indian Prime Minister Morarji Desai in New Del...

Prime Minister Morarji Desai in New Delhi, signing the “New Delhi” declaration during a visit by US president Jimmy Carter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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 .

Português: O primeiro-ministro da Índia Atal B...

Atal Bihari Vajpayee. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Election Symbol of Bharatiya Janata Party

Election Symbol of Bharatiya Janata Party (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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 .

FULL EDITNG STUDIO

NEWS LETTER

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 . ]

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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125 Years of K. M. Munshi


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           FEBUARY 14 , 2013           11.25 P.M.

When in the beginning of January 2013 , President of India Pranab Mukherjee went to Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan headquarters in Mumbai and paid tribute to K. M. Munshi , I suddenly realized that my favourite icon , a freedom fighter and an extraordinary litterateur of India has completed 125 years of his existence .

K. M. Munshi

K. M. Munshi

I have read Hindi translations of almost all his novels . I particularly love his historical and mythological novels like ; Jai Somnath and Bhagwan Parashuram . During my adolescent years I was enamoured by his personality . His role and contribution in the re-construction of Somnath Temple is unparalleled . It speaks volumes about his character and determination that he could achieve this feat , though Jawaharlal Nehru was dead against the idea .

Book 2

Book

K. M. Munshi was born on 30 December 1887 in the town of Bharuch in Gujarat, and educated in Vadodara , where he excelled in academics. One of his teachers at Baroda College was Sri Aurobindo Ghosh who had a profound impression on him. Munshi was also greatly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Bhulabhai Desai, and Mohammed Ali Jinnah. After acquiring his degree in Law from the University of Bombay, he enrolled himself as an advocate in 1913 . About this time his first novel was being serialised in a Gujarati weekly.

Under Sri Aurobindo‘s influence, Munshi was attracted to armed rebellion against the British. He even learnt to make bombs, but when he moved to Bombay in 1915, he drifted towards the Home Rule Movement, and was later elected member of the Subjects Committee of the Indian National Congress in 1917. He started the movement for a Parliamentary wing of the Congress, and later became Secretary of the Congress Parliamentary Board in 1938. The same year he founded the well-known Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and Institute of Agriculture at Anand, Gujarat.

Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan - Mumbai

Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan – Mumbai

Munshi was an active participant in the Indian Independence Movement ever since the advent of Mahatma Gandhi. He joined the Swaraj Party but returned to the Indian National Congress on Gandhiji‘s behest with the launch of the Salt Satyagraha in 1930. He was arrested several times, including during the Quit India Movement of 1942. A great admirer of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Munshi served in the Central Legislative Assembly in the 1930s.

After the independence of India, Munshi was appointed diplomatic envoy and trade agent (Agent-General) to the princely state of Hyderabad, where he served until its accession to India in 1948. Munshi was on the ad hoc Flag Committee that selected the Flag of India in August 1947, and on the committee which drafted the Constitution of India under the chairmanship of B. R. Ambedkar. He and Purushottam Das Tandon were among those who strongly opposed propagation and conversion in the constituent assembly. He was also the main driving force behind the renovation of the historically important Somnath Temple by the Government of India just after independence.

Munshi served as the Governor of Uttar Pradesh from 1952 to 1957. In 1959, Munshi separated from the Nehru-dominated Congress Party and started the Akhand Hindustan Movement. He , along with Chakravarti Rajagopalachari , founded the Swatantra Party, which was right-wing in its politics, pro-business, pro-free market economy and private property rights. The party enjoyed limited success and eventually died out. Later, Munshi joined the Jan Sangh.

Being a prolific writer and a conscientious journalist, Munshi started a Gujarati monthly called Bhargava. He was joint-editor of Young India and in 1954, started the Bhavan’s Journal which is published by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan to this day. Munshi was President of the Sanskrit Viswa Parishad, the Gujarati Sahitya Parishad, and the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan.

Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan

Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Apart from founding Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Munshi was instrumental in the establishment of Bhavan’s College, Hansraj Morarji Public School, Rajhans Vidyalaya, Rajhans Balvatika and Panchgani Hindu School (1924). He was elected Fellow of the University of Bombay, where he was responsible for giving adequate representation to regional languages.

Besides being a politician and educator, Munshi was also an environmentalist. He initiated the Vanmahotsav in 1950, when he was Union Minister of Food and Agriculture, to increase area under forest cover. Since then Van Mahotsav a week-long festival of tree plantation is organised every year in the month of July all across the country and lakhs of trees are planted.

Works

Munshi was also a litterateur with a wide range of interests. He is well-known for his historical novels in Gujarati, especially his trilogy Patan-ni-Prabhuta (The Greatness of Patan), Gujarat-no-Nath (The Ruler of Gujarat) and Rajadhiraj (The Emperor). His other works include Jay Somnath (on Somnath temple), Krishnavatara (on Lord Krishna), Bhagavan Parasurama (on Parshurama), and Tapasvini (The Lure of Power) a novel with a fictional parallel drawn from the Freedom Movement of India under Mahatma Gandhi. Munshi also wrote several notable works in English.

Munshi has written mostly based on fictional historical themes namely

  1. Earlier Aryan settlements in India (What he calls Gaurang’s – white skinned)
  2. Krishna’s endeavors in Mahabharata kaal
  3. More recently in 10th century India around Gujarat, Malwa and Southern India.

K.M. Munshi’s novel Prithvi Vallabh was made into a movie of the same name twice. The adaptation directed by Manilal Joshi in 1924 was very controversial in its day: Mahatma Gandhi railed against it for excessive sex and violence. The second version was by Sohrab Modi in 1943.

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List of works

Novels

In Gujarati & Hindi languages :-

  • Mari Kamala (1912)
  • Verni Vasulat (1913) (under the pen name Ghanashyam)
  • Patanni Prabhuta (1916)
  • Gujaratno Nath (1917)
  • Rajadhiraj (1918)
  • Prithvivallabh (1920)
  • Svapnadishta (1924)
  • Lopamudra (1930)
  • Jay Somanth (1940)
  • Bhagavan Parashurama (1946)
  • Tapasvini (1957)
  • Krishnavatara (in seven volumes) (1970)
  • Kono vank
  • Lomaharshini
  • Bhagvan Kautilya
  • Pratirodha (1900)
  • Atta ke svapana (1900)
  • Gaurava kā pratīka (1900)
  • Gujarat ke Gaurava (1900)
  • Sishu aura Sakhi (1961)

Dramas

  • Brahmacharyashram (1931)
  • Dr. Madhurika (1936)
  • Pauranik Natako

Non-fiction

  • Ketlak Lekho (1926)
  • Adadhe Raste (1943)

Notable works in English

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