Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Early Life

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Early life

Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia was born on 23 March 1910 at Akbarpur in the present-day Uttar Pradesh,in a prosperous Vaishya family. His mother died in 1912, when he was just two years old, and he was later brought up by his father Hiralal who never remarried. In 1918 he accompanied his father to Bombay where he completed his high school education. He attended the Banaras Hindu University to complete his intermediate course work after standing first in his school’s matriculation examinations in 1927. He then joined the Vidyasagar College, under the University of Calcutta and in 1929, earned his B.A. degree. He decided to attend Frederick William University (today’s Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany) over all prestigious educational institutes in Britain to convey his dim view of British philosophy. He soon learned German and received financial assistance based on his outstanding academic performance, studying national economy as his major subject as a doctoral student from 1929 to 1933.

Lohia wrote his PhD thesis paper on the topic of Salt Taxation in India, focusing on Gandhi’s socioeconomic theory.

Some facts about Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia

  • He joined the Congress Socialist Party (CSP), the left wing of the Indian National Congress, when it was founded in 1934. Lohia worked as a member of the executive committee and also edited the weekly journal.
  • His vehement protests against enrollment of Indians in the Royal Army during World War II which landed him in jail in 1939 and again in 1940.
  • During Gandhi’s call of Quit India Movement, Lohia and his fellow CSP members, including Jayaprakash Narayan, put up resistance in stealth. For this, he was again jailed in 1944.
  • Lohia studied at Berlin University in Germany. During this time, he organised the Association of European Indians that would raise voice against British oppression in India.
  • He was jailed for writing an article ‘Satyagraha Now’ in Gandhi’s newspaper Harijan.
  • After Independence, Lohia founded an organisation called Hind Kisan Panchayat to help farmers with agricultural solutions.
  • He had also protested against the Portuguese government’s policy of restricted speech and movement of natives in Goa.
  • Lohia made Hindi the official language of India after Independence. He had said, “The use of English is a hindrance to original thinking, progenitor of inferiority feelings and a gap between the educated and uneducated public. Come, let us unite to restore Hindi to its original glory.”
  • Lohia is also famous for his remark against the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. He wrote a pamphlet named ‘25000 rupees in a day’ where he had said that the amount of money spent on the Prime Minister for a single day is much more than the poor country could afford.
  • Janavani Divas is a tradition that is celebrated in Parliament. This day is devoted to hearing the pleas and problems of the citizens from across India. It was primarily Lohia’s idea.