REVISITING RAM MANOHAR LOHIA: Challenges to the Theory and Practice of Alternative Socialism
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The present work – “Revisiting Rammanohar Lohia – Challenges to the Theory and Practice of Alternative Socialism” examines the specific contribution of Lohia to the idea of Indian socialism. It attempts to contextualize Lohia, his readings into Marx and Gandhi, and his skilful construction of an independent canon of political thought in India. Lohia was both a theoretician and activist in the freedom struggle of India. His political experience during the freedom struggle and in the independent India during its formative years prompted him to examine certain of the propositions of Marx and their direct applicability to Indian situation. His long association with Gandhi and his political action in the form of ‘civil disobedience’ further contributed to his theorization of ‘socialism’ and also its praxis. It’s not that his theory was without any challenges. Both the other forms of socialist thought already available in the world politics – Marxism and Nehruvian socialism in India, confronted Lohia’s nuanced native socialism. The globalized world order after 1980s also challenges his many economic premises. This work is an attempt in this context to place Lohia in a proper perspective.
Raghu Kumar is an advocate practicing in employment law in Hyderabad since 2005. Prior to that, he worked in Telecom department/BSNL for about two decades and was closely associated with trade union movement. He did his doctoral degree in law on the “Impact of Globalization on Industrial Relations in India” (A jurisprudential study) and was awarded Doctor of Philosophy in the year 2004 by the Department of Law, Osmania University, Hyderabad. He also did his MA in Philosophy. He published his first political work on Gandhi “Gandhi – A Hope in Despair” in 2020. He has also written about 30 articles in English and Telugu, published in various magazines, Janata, The Radical Humanist, Mainstream, India Forward, Frontier (Online), Triveni, Misimi etc. Many of his contributions on Gandhi, Lohia, Marx, B. N. Rau, and on nonviolence, politics, socialism, the Constitution of India and others are available at www.academia.edu, and www.lohiatoday.com. He also published two volumes of poetry in Telugu, one novel on personal reflections on parents and philosophy, and Telugu version of his book “Gandhi – Andhakaramlo AshaaJyothi” on Gandhi.