Ram Manohar Lohia is a common name which current generation people hear from the so called socialist politicians (Pseudos’) who work in disguise and enjoy their life in all luxuries and keep our backward and poor people in the same way so that they can take their name and win again in the future.
Ram Manohar Lohia was born on 23rd March 1910 to Hira Lal and Chanda in Akbarpur, Uttar Pradesh in British India. He graduated in BA from Calcutta University, and then traveled to Germany for his passion for higher studies. He knew English, German and French languages very well. He was also proficient in Bengali. Lohia became secretary for Indian students association in Berlin, Germany. In 1930, Lohia attended the League of Nations session with his friend Menezes. They booed Maharaja of Bikaner who was representing British India for League of Nations event. He returned from Germany in 1933 and took part in the country’s freedom struggle, inspired by Gandhiji. He associated himself with Congress in 1934 and was introduced to freedom movement by his father because of whom he got an opportunity to meet Gandhi. He also met Jawaharlal Nehru while in Congress party, with whom he had difference in many opinions. While Nehru considered leftist theory was essential to the freedom struggle in India, many others like Lohia were waiting for the socialist transformation of Congress. However, socialism died in congress along with Gandhiji in 1948. Lohia with other Congress Socialist Party (which was part of Indian National Congress) members left Congress party. He joined the Praja Socialist Party in the year 1952 as a member and later became the General Secretary and served the party till 1955. There were few conflicts which led to his resignation in the party. He went on to form a new socialist party and became the Chairman and Editor of its journal. His influence in the Parliament was not major, but his strong views were an inspiration to many new people who wanted to start their career in politics. By Lohia’s writings, we can understand that the main evil in our society is the attachment for the wealth and property. As long as there is property, personal attachment to the property cannot be removed. A person can own a property, but all the wealth and means of production in industry and agriculture must be nationalized.
Many current politicians (chief ministers/ deputy chief ministers) are inspired by Lohia. As the saying goes, “the character of a person should be judged by his behavior when he is in power”, let us take a look at how the so called socialist leaders behave when they are in power.
Firstly, Laloo Prasad Yadav, who was against congress when he started his political career, was born to a poor farmer family in the north-western part of Bihar as the second son to his parents. Laloo graduated in Bachelor of Law and Master in Political Science from B N College Patna. He got a job as a clerk in veterinary college, which he later left. Yadav entered in student politics as General Secretary of the Patna University Students’ Union (PUSU) in 1970 and became its President in 1973. In 1974, he joined Bihar Movement, a student movement led by Jai Prakash Narayan (JP) against rising prices, corruption and unemployment. He was anti congress all his early career of politics. He went to jail fighting against Congress during an emergency. He later turned out to be a casteist leader by which he also won the recent elections held in 2015. The person who called himself a socialist is also one of the mainly accused in the Fodder scam. Laloo was forced to step down as CM in 1997 July where he instated his Wife Rabri Devi as his successor and later he was convicted in the same fodder scam in CBI court in Ranchi, after which he came out on bail from Higher Court. If Ram Manohar Lohia were to be alive today, he would not have allowed Laloo to even take his name.
People use socialist movements to achieve their personal goals of getting power after which they forget about the poor and the downtrodden in the society.
Secondly, the current Chief Minister of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah, who calls himself a follower of Lohia ideologue is also in the Congress party, which Lohia had left saying the party was not a socialist one. Siddaramaiah holds a degree in Bachelor of Law from Mysore University. He was working as a junior under the lawyer, Chikkaboraiah, in Mysore and later taught law for some time. He entered politics in 1978 with Nanjunda Swamy, a lawyer in Mysore. He was asked to contest elections on the Bharatiya Lok Dal ticket from Chamundeshwari constituency and won as MLA and entered the 7th Karnataka Legislative Assembly in 1983.He later joined Jonathan party and became president of Kannada Kavalu Samiti set up to supervise the implementation of Kannada as an official language. In midterm polls in 1985 he was reelected from the same constituency and became minister for animal husbandry and veterinary services. He calls himself as an atheist and took the oath as CM in the name of truth. Coming to his latest controversy of wearing Hubolt diamond watch worth of 70 lakhs as published in many newspapers, he said it was a gift he had received and he did not admit the cost of the watch. As a socialist leader, he should have publicly disclosed the real cost and the person who gifted him the watch. He should have also told the people of Karnataka about the tax paid by him or the person who had gifted him a costly diamond watch. RTI filed by Marilingegowda Maali Patil showed the government had spent 4.78 lakhs to procure hand towels, bath towels, face towels, foot mats and pillow covers. Rs 4.79 lakhs were spent on purchasing bedding sheets, bed covers and blankets for the house. This shows how these politicians are following the socialism of Ram Manohar Lohia.
Ram Manohar Lohia’s famous pamphlet “25000 rupees a day”, in 1963, in which he wrote the spending of then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Nehru used to spend Rs 25000 a day where the majority of the people in the country spent 3 anna (less than 1/4 of a rupee) but Nehru explained, saying that India planning commission showed that the average daily income was more like 15 annas(a little under rupee) .
We have many leaders who started their political career calling themselves as socialists by taking the names of Jayaprakash Narayan and Ram Manohar Lohia. None of the so called socialists in the current day politics really work for the upliftment of people when they come to power. People should be cautious in believing the socialists who will later enjoy all the luxury in the name of poor and downtrodden. Educated people should start talking about the socialists in the country and educate common people about Ram Manohar Lohia and current day people who use Lohia’s name and live exactly the opposite way of Lohia’s ideals. Transparency is what people expect in the current day politics, which our leaders are failing to understand. With the current generation who is more active in Social media, it is not so easy to fool people without development for a long time. More opportunities should be created for the graduates who are passing every year in the country and make India a better place to live. People should also know about the ideals and vision of the leaders of our country before casting their vote. People should form small groups and discuss with local representatives, MLA and MP’s about the new initiatives which are implemented and the track the progress. This will definitely be a first step towards strengthening our democracy.