Ram Manohar Lohia (23 March 1910 – 12 October 1967) was an activist in the Indian independence movement and a socialist political leader. During the last phase of British rule in India, he worked with the Congress Radio which was broadcast secretly from various places in Bombay until 1942.
Ram Manohar Lohia was born on 23 March 1910 at Akbarpur, currently part of the state of Uttar Pradesh, India.[need quotation to verify] 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) overall prestigious educational institutes in Britain to convey his dim view of British philosophy. He soon learnt 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 was one of the founders of the Congress Socialist Party and editor of its mouthpiece Congress Socialist. In 1936, he was selected by Jawaharlal Nehru as the secretary of the Foreign Department of the All India Congress Committee (A.I.C.C), the highest body of the Congress Party. By the time he quit that responsibility in 1938, Lohia started to develop his own political standpoint by critically examining positions held by the Gandhian leadership of the Congress and the Communists who had poured into the CSP. In June 1940, he was arrested and sentenced to a jail term of two years for delivering anti-war speeches. Already released by the end of 1941, Lohia became one of the leading figures of the Central Directorate which clandestinely tried to organise the Quit India revolt, sparked by Gandhi in August 1942. Captured in May 1944, he was incarcerated and tortured in Lahore Fort. As one of the last high security prisoners, Lohia, together with Jayaprakash Narayan, was finally released on 11 April 1946.
As a member of the Congress Socialist Party Lohia joined with that party when it left Congress. He remained a member of the Socialist Party when it fused in 1952 with the Kisan Majdoor Praja Party to form the Praja Socialist Party. Unhappy with the new party Lohia led a split from it to reform the Socialist Party (Lohia) in 1956. He lost to Nehru in 1962 general election in Phulpur. In 1963 Lohia became a member of the Lok Sabha after a by-election in Farrukhabad (Lok Sabha constituency) and in 1965 merged the Socialist Party (Lohia) into the ranks of the Samyukta Socialist Party. The two socialist factions merged, split and re-merged several times. He won Lok Sabha general election of 1967 from Kannauj (Lok Sabha constituency), but died a few months later.
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