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Janata Dal (Secular)

The Janata Dal (Secular) traces its roots back to the Janata Party organized by Jayaprakash Narayan that united all anti-Indira Gandhi parties under one banner for the 1977 national elections. Janata Dal was formed in Bangalore with the merger of the Janata Party with smaller opposition parties in 1988. In 1996, the party reached its pinnacle when Shri H.D. Deve Gowda became Prime Minister of India, heading the United Front (UF) coalition government. Janata Dal split into a dozen outfits — Gowda himself floating Janata Dal (Secular) in 1999. The party is recognized as a state party in the states of Karnataka and Kerala.

Janata Dal split in 1999 when some leaders left to ally with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance and form the Janata Dal (United) party. That party was led by George Fernandes, while H.D. Deve Gowda emerged as the leader of the Janata Dal (Secular). The 2004 elections in Karnataka witnessed the revival of the party’s fortunes with Janata Dal (Secular) becoming part of the ruling coalition in the state. Subsequently, party leader H.D.Kumaraswamy headed a popular coalition government in the state for 20 months.

The JD(S) retained a significant support base among members of the landowning and farming Vokkaliga caste in southern Karnataka, who constituted about 15 percent of the state’s population. At this age, I don’t have to become PM again, or CM... And I’m not here to make my son the chief minister... I will continue my struggle for the farmers, the poor and the downtrodden... Those who work against the party won’t be tolerated.” So spoke Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Deve Gowda on 02 July 2016. For a man who has been in politics for 55 years, and who was the chief minister of Karnataka and the prime minister of India, Gowda is in a political mess. The Janata Dal(S), the party that he had built and nurtured for 17 years with diligence, is slowly but steadily falling apart.

The father–son duo of ex-PM Deve Gowda and ex-CM Kumaraswamy claimed in March 2018 that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will be defeated in both Chamundeshwari and Badami Assembly seats. The Gowda clan has made elaborate plans to give a tough fight to Siddaramaiah, their one-time blue-eyed boy, in this election. According to family aides, they want to “avenge” the “humiliation” the Gowdas and their party has suffered at the hands of Siddaramaiah in the last five years.

“We are mobilising Vokkaligas and Veerashaivas against Siddaramaiah in a big way. Kumaraswamy has taken it as a matter of prestige. We will ensure that Siddaramaiah will have a tough time and he won’t be able to concentrate on rest of the state,” said a local JD(S) leader.

Prajwal, son of Gowda's elder son and senior JD(S) leader H D Revanna, openly demandedg a party ticket for the May 12 assembly elections. Gowda, however, has repeatedly maintained that only two members from his family - Revanna and Kumaraswamy – will be contesting the polls, in an attempt to wipe out the "father-sons party" label attached to the JD(S). Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda on 30 March 2018 said he will not be contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Jayaprakash Narayan has a unique position in the history of modern India as he has the inimitable distinction of actively participating in three popular movements of the country. He not only fought against the British colonial rulers through all his might and especially during Quit India Movement risking his life, but also led the movement against corruption, and authoritarianism in the Seventies while before that forays in the Bhudan Movement for almost one decade in the Fifties and Sixties to bring about massive social change through change of hearts.

During the Quit India Movement of August 1942 sterling qualities of Jayaprakash Narayan came to the fore. He along with Ram Manohar Lohia and Aruna Asaf Ali, took charge of the ongoing stir when all the senior leaders had been arrested. However, he also could not remain outside the jail for long time and was soon arrested under Defence of India Rules, a preventive detention law that did not require trial.

His commitment to the cause of poor did not diminish and this brought him closer to Vinoba Bhave’s Bhudan Movement. This was the second important phase of his life. Then in early seventies came the third phase when common man suffered from the maladies of unemployment, corruption and price-rise. In 1974, the students of Gujarat requested him to lead the Nava Nirman Andolan. The same year in June, he gave a call of peaceful “total revolution” from a public meeting in Gandhi Maidan in Patna. He exhorted the students to rise against corrupt political institutions and asked for a closure of colleges and universities for a year during which time he wanted the students to devote their time to rebuild the nation. It was this time in the history that he was popularly called “JP”.

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.

Growing public dissatisfaction over the Congress Party's performance led to the organization of a mass movement and political coalition around Jayaprakash Narayan, the 72 year-old veteran of India's independence struggle. By virtue of his stature, his moral and apolitical past, his adherence to Mahatma Gandhi's non-violent tactics, and the support of most opposition parties, Narayan posed the most formidable challenge yet to the Congress Party and Mrs. Gandhi personally. He articulated popular dissatisfaction and focused on the government's greatest vulnerabilities in a manner that no other political figure could hope to match.

Narayan's support came primarily from the urban middle class caste Hindus. He had yet to make inroads among the rural masses, the Muslims, and the scheduled castes which provide the crucial margins for Congress parliamentary majorities. Nor had he shown promise of being able to mediate the personal and ideological differences and resolve the competition over canclidates on which previous opposition coalitions had foundered. When Gandhi failed to win reelection, Narayan helped to form the new government. This movement finally culminated in the the victory of the “Janata Party” which formed the first ever non-Congress Government in the Centre in March 1977. He had the credit of bringing all the Non-Congress Parties under single umbrella of Janata Party.

Sachidanand, JP's secretary since 1957 said: "Unfortunately we are not even inching towards his dreams. Had JP not been crippled by his illness he would have taken steps to correct the deviant Janata Party." According to Sachidanand JP once told him in disgust: "Mein theek hota to inko pareshan kar deta." (If I had been well, I would have made trouble for them). Prime Minister Morarji Desai had once remarked sardonically: "The trouble with JP is that he wants to be a messiah."

JP was a man of many moods, restless, cranky, a diabetic, sometimes frightening morose, who held views that sometimes canceled out one another. On 08 October 1979 - Jayaprakash Narayan, 76, a widely recognized moral force in India's politics who led a movement that ousted Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1977, died of the effects of diabetes and heart ailment at his home in Patna, India. He had hovered between life and death, kept alive by an array of mechanical contraptions. The death of Jaya Prakash Narayan removes from the national scene the last of the prominent leaders who worked with Mohandas K. Gandhi. As a tribute to this modern revolutionary, the Government of India posthumously awarded him Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award of the country in 1999.

Deve GowdaHaradanahalli Doddegowda Deve Gowda (born 18 May 1933) was the 14th Prime Minister of the Republic of India (1996-1997) and the 14th chief minister of the state of Karnataka (1994-1996). Born into a farming family, he won his first seat in the Karnataka state assembly in 1962, rising to become Karnataka’s chief minister. In the late 1970s Deve Gowda rose in the Janata party and was an important figure in reuniting its successor, the Janata Dal party, after the original group splintered in 1980. Deve Gowda was instrumental in attracting to the party divergent castes. When the Congress party was defeated in the 1996 general elections and Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao resigned, Deve Gowda became prime minister of the United Front coalition government after BJP failed to form a government.

Shri H. D. Deve Gowda, a staunch crusader of socio-economic development and an ardent admirer of the rich cultural heritage of India, was born on May 18, 1933 in Haradanahalli village of Holenarasipura taluk, Hassan District in Karnataka. A Civil Engineering Diploma holder, Shri Deve Gowda plunged into active politics at the early age of 20 when, after completing his education, he joined the Congress Party in 1953 and remained a member till 1962. Coming from a middle class agrarian background and exposed to the hardships of farmer’s life, young Gowda vowed to become a fighter who would take up the cause of poor farmers, under privileged and oppressed sections of society.

Starting from lower strata of the democratic set-up, Shri Gowda ascended the political rungs gradually. He earned himself a niche in the minds of people while serving as the President of Anjaneya Co-operative Society and later as a member of Taluk Development Board, Holenarasipura.

Hoping to set right the inequalities prevailing in society, he always dreamt of an ideal utopian State. When just 28 years old, the youthful Gowda contested as an Independent and was a runaway success from day one when he first became a member of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly in 1962. An effective Speaker on the floor of the Assembly, he was acclaimed by one and all, including his seniors. Holenarasipur constituency sent him to the Assembly for three more consecutive terms i.e., the Fourth (1967-71); the Fifth (1972-77) and the Sixth (1978-83) Assemblies.

His service as the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, from March 1972 to March 1976 and November 1976 to December 1977, won him laurels. Shri Deve Gowda resigned his membership of the Sixth Assembly on November 22, 1982. As a member of the Seventh and the Eighth Assembly, he served as the Minister of Public Works and Irrigation. His tenure as Irrigation Minister saw the switching on of many irrigation projects. He resigned from the Cabinet in 1987 protesting against insufficient allocation of funds for Irrigation.

A crusader for freedom and equality, he earned the wrath of the powers that be at the Centre in 1975-76, and was imprisoned during the days of emergency. Shri Deve Gowda utilised this period of forced rest to enrich his knowledge through exhaustive reading. This, and the interaction between him and other stalwarts of Indian politics who were also jailed during that period, helped him mould his personality and perspective. He was a much more seasoned and determined person when he emerged out of his confinement.

Elected to Parliament from Hassan Lok Sabha constituency in 1991, he was instrumental in bringing the problems of the State – especially of farmers – to the forefront. He earned respect for his forthright espousal of the plight of farmers, in Parliament. He also earned a name for practising and upholding the prestige and dignity and Parliament and its institutions.

Shri Deve Gowda became the President of Janta party twice at State level and President of State Janata Dal in 1994. He was the driving force behind the Janata Dal’s rise to power in the State in 1994. He was elected as the leader of the Janata Dal Legislative Party and on December 11, 1994 he assumed office as the 14th Chief Minister of Karnataka. He then contested as a candidate from Ramanagar Assembly constituency and won by a thumping majority.

Shri Gowda is known for giving patient hearing to all shades of opinions and is equally at home with the elite when they come calling. Affectionately called the ‘son of the soil’ (dharti ke lal), he has proved to be one of the most ardent supporters of liberalisation with a human face.

In 1989, his group of the Janata Party fared poorly in Karnataka winning just 2 of the 222 Assembly seats it contested; Shri Gowda himself tasting defeat for the first time in his career losing in both constituencies he contested. He is therefore, no stranger to the fickleness of political fortunes. The defeat lent a sharper edge to his pursuit to regain lost honor and power, and spurred him to re-examine his own style of politics. He made friends in Karnataka and Delhi, and put aside his bitter feuds with political rivals. Shri Gowda is a person with a life style that is simple, a profile that is low, but assertive and effective.

Before his political initiation, Shri Gowda had been a contractor taking up minor works. The seven years that he spent as an Independent helped him observe party politics from outside. Ever a workaholic, he was always seen engrossed with books and periodicals in the legislature library. His re-election in 1967 gave him more confidence and in 1969 when the Congress split, he joined the Congress (O) headed by Shri Nijalingappa, which was in power in Karnataka then. But Shri Gowda’s big chance came after the rout of Congress (O) in the 1971 Lok Sabha elections. He emerged the leader of a truncated opposition hit by the Indira Gandhi wave.

The leadership of the Third Front (a group of regional parties and Non-Congress and Non-BJP combine) leading to Prime Ministership – came to Shri Gowda without him seriously aspiring for it. Shri Deve Gowda resigned as the Chief Minister of Karnataka on May 30, 1996 to be sworn in as the 11th Prime Minister of India.

Born to Shri Dodde Gowda and Smt. Devamma, Shri Deve Gowda is proud of his simple agricultural background. Married to Smt. Chennamma, the couple have four sons and two daughters. One of the sons is an MLA in Karnataka and another one was elected to the Lok Sabha.

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Page last modified: 17-04-2018 13:45:39 ZULU