Returning from the US in late 1929 as a supporter of Marxist theories, Narayan joined the Indian National Congress on the invitation of Jawaharlal Nehru in 1929; Mahatma Gandhi became his mentor in the Indian National Congress. He shared the same house at Kadam Kuan in Patna with his close friend and nationalist Ganga Sharan Sinha (Shrivastava). with whom he shared the most cordial and lasting friendship.
During the Indian independence movement he was arrested, jailed, and tortured several times by the British. He won particular fame during the Quit India movement.
After being jailed in 1932 for civil disobedience against British rule, Narayan was imprisoned in Nasik Jail, where he met Rammanohar Lohia, Minoo Masani, Achyut Patwardhan, Ashok Mehta, Yusuf Desai and other national leaders. After his release, the Congress Socialist Party, or (CSP), a left-wing group within the Congress, was formed with Acharya Narendra Deva as President and Narayan as General Secretary.
When Mahatma Gandhi launched the Quit India Movement in August, 1942, Yogendra Shukla scaled the wall of Hazaribagh Central Jail along with Jayaprakash Narayan, Suraj Narayan Singh, Gulab Chand Gupta, Ramnandan Mishra and Shaligram Singh with a view to starting underground movement for freedom. As Jayaprakash Narayan was ill then, Yogendra Shukla walked a distance to Gaya with Jayaprakash Narayan on his shoulders.
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