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Updated: November 15, 2010 02:25 IST

Gandhian L.C. Jain passes away

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The Hindu L.C.Jain

Well-known Gandhian and Magsaysay Award winner L.C. Jain passed away on Sunday following prolonged illness.

He was 85.

An economist, organiser, commentator and activist, Mr. Jain spent more than six decades of his life as an impassioned crusader for what Mahatma Gandhi called India's second freedom struggle — the fight against socio-economic oppression.

Known as a fierce opponent of overwhelming state control and an ardent advocate for social action, his efforts to keep alive the legacy of the freedom struggle through the intervention of civil society led to him being awarded the Magsaysay Award in 1988.

Mr. Jain is survived by his wife and two sons.

Much of the first phase of his entry into public life was spent working on cherished Nehruvian projects, but it was Gandhi who remained a beacon throughout his career, guiding and illuminating his responses.

It was this association that led him to accept one of his few forays into official life, as High Commissioner to South Africa, where he was plunged into that country's own struggles to build an inclusive society.

Mr. Jain subsequently became a member of the Planning Commission, where he served from 1989 to 1990.

The last years of his life were spent in documenting some of the struggles he had been associated with in a book called Civil Disobedience, which will be released on December 13. Mr. Jain also studied the growth of the Bhoodan movement.

While working on the book, he also put up a courageous fight against cancer. The cremation will take place at the Lodhi crematorium at 7.30 p.m. on Sunday. — PTI

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