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Janata Party (1974–77): Creation of an all-India opposition

journal contribution
posted on 04.04.2019, 08:27 authored by Rakesh AnkitRakesh Ankit
© 2017 Jamia Millia Islamia. This article focuses on the interactions among four parties during 1974–77 that led to their combining to form the Janata Party, which represented a united opposition to the then Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi and her Congress government in January 1977. These inter-party exchanges remain an overlooked episode in the works on the Janata Party, when compared to its much written about the failure in government (1977–79). Forty years on, Janata Party’s formation continues to be understood as a natural and inevitable response to the imposition of emergency by Mrs Gandhi in June 1975. This article, instead, focuses on the engagements among the leaders of the Bharatiya Lok Dal (BLD), Congress (O), Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) and the Socialist Party (SP) before, during and after the emergency and contends that Janata’s creation was neither a foregone conclusion nor a straightforward process. Second, this coming together of disparate individuals owed more to the possibility of gaining power and personal inclinations than any political principles or policy impulses. Third, while Jayaprakash Narayan (JP) is rightly celebrated as the rival protagonist in oppositional politics to Mrs Gandhi, this article argues that there were limits to his leadership in forging the new party and there was no automatic evolution of the latter from the former. This article is based on the papers of JP and his secretary Brahmanand and, supplemented by other relevant material, shows an unheralded facet of an attempt, which might have come to power on hyperbole but its formation was hard work.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Politics and International Studies

Published in

History and Sociology of South Asia

Volume

11

Issue

1

Pages

39 - 54

Citation

ANKIT, R., 2017. Janata Party (1974–77): Creation of an all-India opposition. History and Sociology of South Asia, 11(1), pp. 39 - 54.

Publisher

© 2017 Jamia Millia Islamia. Published by SAGE

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Acceptance date

21/03/2016

Publication date

2016-08-04

Notes

This paper is in closed access.

ISSN

2230-8075

eISSN

2249-5312

Language

en

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Keywords

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