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Jayaprakash Narayan and Indira Gandhi, 1966-74: Before the rivalry

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journal contribution
posted on 28.09.2021, 10:17 by Rakesh AnkitRakesh Ankit
The all-encompassing duel between the clarion call of Total Revolution given by the Gandhian Jayaprakash Narayan (JP) and prime minister Indira Gandhi’s heavy-handed response to it by the imposition of Emergency in India in 1974-75 has dominated politics and political scholarship since. Their domestic clash has established many analytical prisms for contemporary public sphere in India namely personality politics versus people’s power, single party versus coalition grouping, electoral democracy versus authoritarian dictatorship and student/youth movements versus generational status quo. Simultaneously, it has also burnished their differences in a way that has served to bury their affinities and agreements and not only on obscure matters. This definite dichotomy is sought to be softened by this article, based on their correspondence, and complimented by other primary material, to sketch their consensus in an earlier period. It shows that before their break, on national issues like Nagaland, Kashmir and Bangladesh, the socialist JP and the statist Indira Gandhi exhibited complementary stands. This national nearness complicates their later adversarial politics on domestic issues, adds a dimension to our appreciation of the mid-1960s and mid-1970s and contributes to contemporary understandings of their respective place in narratives of the state against society in India.



  • Social Sciences and Humanities


  • International Relations, Politics and History

Published in

Studies in History


SAGE Publications


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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Dr Rakesh Ankit. Deposit date: 28 September 2021