ERIC Number: ED196057
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The Contribution of Jayaprakash Narayan in Preserving Free Expression in India.
Merriam, Allen H.
India's policy of free speech suffered a severe if temporary setback in the 1970s. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared a 19-month state of emergency, during which 150,000 people were arrested, newspapers were censored, and dissent was essentially eliminated. A central figure in the confrontation with the Indian government over political suppression before and during the emergency was Jayaprakash Narayan, an outspoken advocate of socialism and a movement to create a classless society. Convinced that Gandhi's government was incapable of achieving the change he felt necessary, in 1973 he urged a peaceful struggle against hunger, unemployment and ignorance. In 1975, when Gandhi was accused of using government employees to aid her election campaign, Narayan tried to topple her government through mass civil disobedience. He was imprisoned in the ensuing emergency, having precipitated the very suppression he feared. He continued his opposition in prison until he was released because of a serious kidney ailment. When Gandhi failed to win reelection, Narayan helped to form the new government shortly before he died. His denunciations of tyranny, embodied most succinctly in his "Prison Diary," form an enduring testament to the values of free expression and civil liberty. (HTH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Gandhi (Indira); India; Narayan (Jayaprakash)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (66th, New York, NY, November 13-16, 1980).