ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Rammanohar Lohia

The special section on Rammanohar Lohia (2 October 2010) provides very interesting material on the socialist thinker.

Yogendra Yadav’s article “What Is Living and What Is Dead in Rammanohar Lohia?” (including his editorial note) was a fine example of deep study, research and analysis and brought to light many a spects of Lohia’s thought process which had so far remained vague. However, the article also raises some questions which need to be answered. Yadav’s main criticism is that Lohia has given hints, thrown suggestions, sown seeds but has not expanded or developed them. This is despite Lohia’s confession about his inability to write a full-fledged book or treatise. Lohia’s inability was due to the excessive demands on his time. If you leave out the first 25 years of childhood and student life and the next 20 years spent in fi ghting the British regime, and serving jail sentences, Lohia got only 10 years to build a new party, train volunteers, fight elections, take part in Lok Sabha debates, work out a strategy to break the Congress monolith and a waken the masses. All this he did in spite of a lack of even the normal type of facilities like a comfortable house and ministerial assistants (he did not even have a fulltime typist). Lohia was not in a position to sit in a library, read, think and write like Marx or any university scholar. Circumstances forced him to act as a saint, seer and prophet, all at the same time. He cannot therefore be blamed for what he could not have done. Lohia could only paint a H ussain-type canvas. Moreover, there is a possibility that Lohia must have kept his expression deliberately vague like abstract painting so that the reader had to use his brains and not read mechanically. Besides, most of his writings are taped versions of his impromptu speeches.

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