CONTENTS:- Preface; 1. A ceaseless quest; 2. The problem of national integration; 3. Parliamentary democracy: pitfalls and safeguards; 4. Parliamentary to participatory democracy; 5. Total revolution; 6. India's world role;
Jayaprakash Narayan, it goes without saying, was one of the greatest political leaders and thinkers produced by India in the twentieth century. Although he neither sought nor held political power at any time, he played a most significant role in our political history in various ways. At the same time, he has left behind a rich corpus of ideas which, if properly understood and suitably applied, can help us in dealing effectively with some of the most serious problems faced by our polity today. The purpose of this book is to present those ideas to the reader in a simple and concise form. J P, not being an arm-chair political thinker, developed his ideas as part of his life-long quest for a social revolution ushering in freedom, quality and peace. This quest led him first to Gandhi, then to Marx and back again to Gandhi, without totally giving up the one for the other. This resulted in the evolution of a political philosophy based on a synthesis of Marxism, Gandhism and democracy. The first chapter of the book deals with this fascinating story and marks the steps in the evolution of J P's political philosophy. The next five chapters present J P's ideas under different heads. The six chapters are followed by two appendixes. Appendix A contains the text of From Socialism in Sarvodaya, written by J P in 1957. Appendix B contains the text of two letters written by J P to the leaders of Bangladesh, explaining his approach to planning and development and expressing his wish for an initiative by Bangladesh for the emergence of a South Asian community in the near future. This book, written by an acknowledged authority on J P will, it is hoped, serve as an introduction to the making of J P's vision as well as to the ideological legacy left by him.