Rare exhibition on JP

Jayaprakash Narayan

Jayaprakash Narayan  

FROM NON-violence to a revolutionary leader, from the Quit India movement to the clarion call for a total revolution and socialism, the life of Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan mirrors the colossal success and grand failure of the era he lived in.

Reconstructing the life and times of the man affectionately known as JP, as part of his birth centenary celebrations, the Central Department of Culture has organised an exhibition capturing the quintessence of his philosophy. If pieces of paper could recite a tale, this is lucid poetry.

With an extensive collection of photographs, documents, letters and personal correspondence derived from public records, archives and private collections, the exhibition provides a valuable insight into the events and circumstances that shaped one of Indian foremost leaders.

The exhibition has been divided into five sections- each with a distinct storyline and a thematic display associated with a particular period of his life. For instance, few people know he scaled a 17 feet wall to escape from Hazaribagh jail when incarcerated by the British or his invaluable role in the surrender and rehabilitation of the Chambal dacoits in 1972.

Secret documents like a 1934 CID report (Bihar and Orissa), an IB assessment (West Bengal) and rare manuscripts from the British government records have been displayed for the first time. Newspaper clippings from the underground press during the emergency are also included.

However, his correspondence with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the metamorphosis from an ardent nationalist to non- violence and back again to total revolution during the emergency is the highlight of the exhibition. And in a final swansong, he effectively summed up a lifelong struggle - "Politics at least under a democracy must know its limits.''

By Our Staff Reporter

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