BOOK REVIEW

Anthology of essays

P.V.L.N. RAO

KRANTHADARSHI LOHIA: Essays compiled by Ravela Somayya, 101-Goda Nilayam, 555, Mayuri Marg, Begumpeta, Hyderabad-500016.

Rs. 100.

THIS IS a compilation of 39 essays on the veteran socialist leader, Ram Manohar Lohia (1910-1967), written by men of eminence such as Narla, Varavara Rao,Thampan Thomas, and Nandakishore Nandan.

Lohia's views on various issues are thought-provoking. To him Draupadi (determination), not Savitri(dedication), is the ideal woman. In an interaction with the renowned scientist Einstein, he said politicians were unwilling to come out of their mental shell. He also met Pearl Buck in Washington.

Many socialist leaders like Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Prasad, and George Fernandes, who drew inspiration from Lohia, played a pivotal role in the preservation of democratic values. In fact, Ram Naresh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh and Karpoori Thakur in Bihar, who belonged to the socially backward classes and became Chief Ministers, had a socialist upbringing. That Badrivisal Pitti, whose father lent money to Mir Usman Ali Khan, became a socialist leader, is a tribute to Lohia's dynamism.

In 1934, with Lohia in the vanguard, the Congress Socialist Party emerged a separate entity. As Foreign Affairs Secretary to Jawaharlal Nehru when he was Congress president in 1936, he had a significant role in defining the broad contours of the foreign policy India was to follow later as an independent nation. A valuable guide to politicians of the present generation.