Ram Manohar Lohia will ever be remembered as one of the greatest socialist leaders of the country, though those who claim to be his followers today were not following what he had stood for, writer U.R. Ananthamurthy said here on Tuesday.

He was inaugurating a public meeting to celebrate the birth centenary of the socialist leader at the Nalanda Auditorium here. Mr. Ananthamurthy said that Lohia was a leader with great convictions and immense courage to be unpopular with his views even on crucial socio-political issues. “Lohia, who was a known Gandhian, had questioned the decisions of Gandhi on several occasions. He was one of the hardest critics of Jawaharlal Nehru too. Some even called him a cranky politician for this reason,” he added. Ananthamurthy said that Lohia had a deep understanding of what development a country like India needed. “He was fully against any modernisation process modelled after Europe, because like Gandhi he also believed that the European model of modernisation was a disease,” he said.

Socialist leader M.P. Balakrishnan presided. Janata Dal leader M.P. Veerendrakumar and organising committee member E.K. Sreenivasan among others spoke on the occasion.

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