was an exceptionally talented person. He had mastered different schools of social and
political doctrines. He was deeply influenced by thinkers of the West. Prominent among
them was Karl Marx. Gandhis' concept of Satyagraha had made a strong impact on India.
Lohia was impressed by the way in which millions of unarmed Indians fought the mighty
British. He advocated the realization of socialist ideals through Satyagraha. He firmly
believed that the differences between the haves and the havenots, the rich and the poor
could be resolved by nonviolent means. Huge mechanization may be useful in advanced
regions like Europe and America. India is a land of teeming, millions. The biggest problem
is to provide jobs for millions. Hence using small machinery is the only solution. There
are, of course, differences between Capitalism and Communism, but both rely on large-scale
use of heavy machines. Mere change of ownership does not bring about equality. The very
idea of mechanised industry should be changed. Such were Lohia's views.
Lohia had definite views regarding Indian languages. English is a language known to a
negligible minority. Hence Lohia strongly contended that it should no longer be used for
purposes of administration. In a democracy the language of the people should be the
language of the government. Only then the public can understand what the government does
and nobody will be at a disadvantage for not knowing English.
The regional language should be the medium of instruction in schools and colleges. It
is easier for children to learn through their own mother tongue. Spending several years to
teach English which is not our language is sheer waste of time. In spite of spending so
much time we are unable to master this language. People who know English begin to think
they are different from others. These people are parasites. English Language has created a
gulf between the intellectuals and the common man. So, the regional languages should be
used in all walks of life. They should be given priority in courts, in the bazaar, and in
all walks of life. These were the views of Lohia.
More than half of our population comprises women. Their condition is pathetic. Cooking
food, breeding children and being a slave to her husband -this is woman's fate. A woman is
not considered equal to a man, such is the blind belief sustained through the ages. The
law has guaranteed equality to women, but that is only on paper. Equality has not been
practiced. Hence jobs must be reserved for women in all walks of life. They must be freed
from the tyranny of homework. The latent talent of women should be brought to the
limelight. Society does not progress as long as women remain oppressed. Society must be
rid of deep-rooted beliefs and old practices. Beginning with women in villages every woman
should be given justice. Lohia strove for this cause. According to him the emancipation of
women was the foundation of social revolution; without this there can be no prosperity.
Lohia had earned fame as an expert in international affairs. He felt that India should
not join the camp of either Russia or America. She must remain nonaligned. This, however,
should not mean transferring India's approval from one country to another. It was his view
that the free countries of Asia and Africa should form a third force.
Men should not hate one another because of the color of the skin. Racial hatred is
treachery to mankind. All men are equal. Lohia was a firm adherent of this ideology. This
was why Lohia staged satyagraha in an episode involving racialist prejudices in a
restaurant in Jackson a town in America. He was arrested at the time.
In his life span of 57 years Ram Manohar Lohia suffered imprisonment twenty times. The
government of free India imprisoned him as many as twelve times. As a staunch believer in
satyagraha he felt it was his duty to fight injustice, whether it was on a small scale or
a big scale.
Lohia never had faith in violence. By nature as well as training he was nonviolent. He
abhorred destructive tendencies. He never lost patience. Time and again he made it clear
that nonviolence was not a facade for cowardice. It is our tradition as Indians to remain
gentle for a century and than to pounce like a tiger in a matter of seconds. He advised
people to hold their heads high always like human beings. He followed what he preached. He
never bowed to any force on earth.
"I prefer the spade to the throne" said Lohia. We should build up our nation.
Our country has a huge population. We do not have big machinery. But we have plenty of
manpower. Hence we must utilize it to the fullest extent. That will be possible only it
every one wields the spade. If every healthy person donates an hour's labor a day to the
cause of the nation, our country will soon be rich. In his life the spade and the prison
were like the two sides of a coin.