| Historic past: Jaiprakash Narayan addresses a public meeting at Gandhi Maidan in Motihari on December 18, 1974. Telegraph picture |
Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Thursday paid tribute to Loknayak Jaiprakash Narayan on the patriot’s 110th birth anniversary and said JP’s presence in the present political scenario would have cleansed graft from the system.
Speaking at Sitab diara, the birthplace of the freedom fighter, 40km southwest from the district headquarters and 115km from Patna, Modi said: “Under the UPA government at the Centre, corruption has spread across the country. Under the present scenario, a 74-like agitation is required again.”
He was referring to the students’ movement of 1974 by Narayan. Popularly known as Loknayak, the social reformer joined the freedom movement and later raised his voice against the Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi.
The patriot was also honoured by academics on the foundation day of Jaiprakash University. The vice-chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University, Wardha, Vibhuti Narayan Rai, said: “Narayan, at the age of 72, mobilised youths and brought about an affirmative change. A staunch follower of Gandhi, JP always remained aloof and away from power.”
While speaking at the Senate Hall of the university, Rai said: “Had JP lived longer, he would have launched another agitation to unseat the people who have held the destiny of the country.”
Rai stressed that youths must not be followers of JP but rather inheritors of his legacy to give a constructive direction to the nation. “Today, when educational institutions are not imparting scientific awareness and disciples of JP are hobnobbing with communal forces, the youth are the only hope left,” he said.
Jaiprakash University vice-chancellor Ram Vinod Sinha presided over the function while Virendra Narayan Yadav, the head of the varsity’s Hindi department, conducted the event.
In Motihari, Jaiprakash Narayan was paid tribute at a number of functions organised by social organisations.
“During his address to students at Gandhi Maidan in December 1974, JP had advised youths to know the Constitution before launching any movement for change in the system of governance,” said Vinay Kumar Varma, the principal of MHK College.
“JP always stressed the need to struggle for change in the system rather than governance, as the change in system is never possible merely by changing administrations,” said retired prinicipal of LND College, Ram Pravesh Sharma.
Sharma said: “JP was always in favour of the dominance of people’s power over power of the state. It is shocking that despite the presence of JP’s disciples at the helm of power during the recent decades, the power of the public stands defeated.”