M. N. Roy Jawaharlal Nehru



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RAM MANOHAR LOHIA

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    1. One-fourth of all governmental and plan expenditure shall be through village, district and city panchayats.

    2. Police shall remain subordinate to village, city and district panchayats or any of their agencies.

    3. The post of collector sball be abolished and all his functions will be distributed among various bodies in the district. As far as possible, the principle of election will be applied in administration, instead of nominations.

    4. Agriculture, industry and other property, which is nation­alized, will, as far as possible, be owned and administered by village, city and district panchayats.

    5. Economic decentralization, corresponding to political and vministrative decentralization, will have to be brought about through

    1. laximum utilization of small machines.1' Lohia argued that men would do mad things if their hunger for equality was not appeased. Industry must, therefore, be socialized and economy planned. Social ownership and control must be decen­tralized to the maximum possible extent.

    2. (a) Four-pillar State

    3. The world, liberal as well as poletarian, has hitherto known only the two-pillar state. Constitutional theories are being evolved and their elaborate applications continually reconstructed in order to achieve division of the state's functions and powers into its two limbs, the federating centre and the integrating units. But democracy, according to Lohia, can warm the "blood of r*" e common man only when constitutional theory starts practising the state of four limbs, the village, the district, the province, and the centre. Organically covered by the flesh and blood of equalities already indicated, this constitutional skeleton of the four-pillar state can bring to democracy joyous fulfilment."1' He also felt the necessity of creating a fifth pillar in the form of a world government. This is necessary for bringing about peace in the world. All those, who desire for a world peace through a world government, "must aspire to achieve a world view of equality and against class or caste or regional in­equalities."15

    4. Lohia was gradually convinced that the traditional and organized socialism was 'a dead doctrine and a dying organization'.1" In its place, he urged for a new kind of socialism. While discussing his 'New Socialism', he states that equality, democracy, non-violence,

    1. Ibid., p. 523.

    2. Ibid., p. 286.

    3. Ibid., p. 287.

    4. Quoted from Modern Indian Political Thought by Dr. V. P. Varma, Lakshmi Narain Agarwal, Agra (Third ed. 1967), p. 483.



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    2. GREAT POLITICAL THINKERS

    1. decentralization and socialism are the five supreme principles, not alone of India's politics but also of all world action. 'New Socialism' must aim at the attainment of these principles. With this aim in view, he outlined a programme which would gradually pave the way for the establishment of a 'New Socialism' in the world.

    2. First of all, Lohia tells in his Marx, Gandhi and Socialism, the socialist doctrine needs to be retold in terms of the simple truth that ail men are equal, not only within the nation but also among nations. When that happens it will change its traditional forms on practically every major score. In place of an increasing standard of living within national frontiers, decent and minimum living standards for all men in the world will be assured. In place of the alternatives between parliamentary and insurrectionary action, a balanced mix­ture of constitutional action and civil resistance, wherever necessary and possible, will be followed or practised. In place of halting and gradualistic reforms of property and income, socialization of all property except such as does not employ hired labour and the fixing of a top-bottom ratio in incomes will be brought about. In place of an international organization of unequal members, a comity of nations, equal in membership and executive and based on some sort of adult franchise, will be established and maintained. In fact, socialism must first achieve the union of mankind in the mind before it can translate that into practice.40

    3. (b) Seven Revolutions

    4. In the same book, Lohia states that today seven revolutions are taking place everywhere in the world. These revolutions are : 1. for equality between man and woman ; 2. against political, economic and spiritual inequality based on skin colour ; 3. against inequality of backward and high groups or castes based on long tradition, and for giving special opportunities to the backward ; 4. against foreign enslavement and for freedom and world democratic rule ; 5. for equality and planned production and against the existence of and attachment for private capital; 6. against unjust encroachments on private life and for democratic methods ; 7, against weapons and for satyagraha.19 According to him, the attainment of 'New Socialism' all over the world depends upon the success of these seven revolu­tions.

    5. World Union : The Fifth Pillar


      1. 18 Ibid., p. 531.

      Lohia urged all the socialist parties of the world to think in terms of an effective world union through world government. "No true internationalism can arise unless its votaries realize that the present crisis of foreign policy is a crisis of human civilization and that it can



    1. RAM MANOHAR LOHIA

    2. 187

    1. be overcome only by a union of minds all over the world that cuts across national frontiers and interests and is prepared to hold gene­ral principles even when they operate against one's own system of national or world alliances."1* Criticizing India's foreign policy he often remarked that India Government's foreign policy was more a glittering quilt of imaginary international achievements to cover up the poverty and misery at home than a genuine effort to create new world forces. Hence he advised India's socialism to keep in the fore­front of its international aims, India should dissociate from the British Commonwealth and continue unceasing efforts to build up a third system, which adheres to the principle of equal irrelevance between the two camps and refuses to put itself in alternative service of either. India's socialism must strive to put the simple truth that all men are equal and that they should form a single world of free association in doctrine as well as a foreign policy.

    2. Loh;a was a world-minded person who aspired for a true inter­national unity, yet he never disregarded the national interest. Like­wise, he was much influenced by Marx and accepted his theory of dialectical materialism, yet he recognized the significant role played by consciousness in shaping the human history. He advocated for the creation of an intellectual tool that would combine spirit and matter into an autonomous relationship.80

    3. Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia was a great socialist intellectual who did a vigorous thinking and inspired the Indian socialists to develop Asian outlook towards the problems of the day. His socialism, by and large, was based on humanistic foundations which sacrificed the interests neither of the individual nor of the society, neither of the state nor of the world.

    1. Ibid., p. 461.

    2. Lohia, Dr. R. M. : Aspects of Socialist Policy, Tulloch Road, Bombay, 1952, pp. 76-77.

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    2. SUN YAT-SEN (I 866-! 925)



    3. Birth and Course of Life

    4. Sun Yat-sen was a great Chinese nationalist, who freed China from its 4000-year-old servitude to absolute monarchy and whose ruling principle was "the Earth and the Universe belong to every­one". If the event of which he was the main architect—the Chinese Revolution of 1911—was not necessarily "the greatest event since Waterloo," as his second wife described it, he certainly brought his country out of the fifteenth century into the twentieth by his idealism and integrity.

    5. China, at the time of Sun Yat-sen's birth, was a feudalist coun-tiy. The Central Government and the people were separate entities, with little or no direct contact. The throne, which was under the control of Ch'ing (Manchu) dynasty, could not inspire virtue among {he people. Those who served under the throne resembled slaves in a decadent family. The government of Ch'ing dynasty was auto­cratic, corrupt and ineffective, and it was mainly responsible for the downfall of China. What was most needed then in the country was a political revolution. The forward-looking individuals who pro­moted China's adoption of Western methods in order to avoid a political revolution there were restrained by the conservatives. After the fiasco of the Sino-Japanese War (1894-95), their prestige could not be maintained any longer. Hence a political revolutionary force began to emerge.

    6. Sun Yat-sen was a born revolutionary who made up his mind as early as 1885 to overthrow the Manchu dynasty and shape a new China of his image. He was born on 2nd November 1866 in the district of Hsiangshan, Kwangtung. His father was Sun Tao-ch'uan ; his mother was a Yang. They had three sons. The eldest one was Te-chang , the second died prematurely ; Yat-sen was the youngest.

    7. Sun Yat-sen was born in a poor family which, for generations, had made a living through agriculture. While he played in his boyhood around the mud hut which was his home, he drank in soldiers' stories ol a strange revolutionary army of Taipings who fought the Chinese warlords under the banner of Christ, advocated monogamy, sought to abolish slavery, and believed in redistribution of the land. In 1883, while Sun Yat-sen was hardly seventeen, he rebelled against ancient customs of ancestor-worship and idolatry. He mocked at village superstitions and committed an act of sacrilege



    1. SUN YAT-SEN

    2. 189

    1. by insulting a wooden god. He was promptly banished to Hong Kong, and there he became a Bible student and a proselytizer for the Christian Church. At that time it was felt that the future Father of the Republic of China would become a Christian missionary. But gradually he became more and more appalled by his country's slave system under which families used to sell their daughters for prosti­tution and their sons into bondage.

    2. In 1886, a change came into Sun's life. He left his Church education and decided to i. unch himself into a medical career. He entered the Po-chi Hospital School at Canton, where he made friends with Cheng Shih-liang, a member of a secret society, the San-tien Hui (known among Occidentals as the Triad). But in the following year Sun was transferred to Alice Memorial Hospital, Hong Kong. There he became aquainted with Ch'en Shao-po, Lu Hao-tung and two others. They together discussed revolutions so much and so often that their relatives and friends in Hong Kong and Macao began to call them the Rebel Quartet. As early as 1885 at the age of nineteen, Sun Yat-sen remarked in his autobiography :

    3. "I began to make up my mind to overthrow the Ch'ing dynasty, and from that time on I was using the Po-chi Hospital School as headquarters for propaganda and using medicine as a medium for entering the world."

    4. Sun Yat-sen became a medical doctor in five years. While he was a medical student he had joined a secret revolutionary society and now, as Dr. Sun, he organized his first terrorist group, called the 'Dare to Die', and worked on a revolutionary plot, which was betrayed to the authorities. Consequently, his co-plotters were arrested and executed, but Dr. Sun could manage to get away. He began a long exile, during which he worked and planned towards fomenting revolution from abroad. He travelled to Hawaii, Britain and America, trying to raise funds to carry on his campaign to over­throw the imperialists then in power in his homeland.

    5. The Manchu Government in China put a heavy price for his arrest and in 1896 he was kidnapped in London and held prisoner in the Chinese Legation But his friend Sir James Cantlie came to his rescue. He moved the British Government to take up the case and as a result, Dr. Sun Yat-sen was released. While Dr. Sun was in confinement in London, he attracted a considerable public attention in England, although in China his reputation remained negligible. In China he was still considered a great monster with red eyebrows and green eyes.

    6. National Fermentation

    7. The following years were of a great national fermentation and preparation for the national revolution in China. In 1898 Dr. Sun Yat-sen advocated three main principles—Nationalism, Democracy and Socialism—which he proposed to apply in the fields of three



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    2. GREAT POLITICAL THINKERS

    3. SUN YAT-SEN

    4. 191



    1. main organs of Government, the executive, the legislature and the judiciary, as well as in the spheres of the civil service, the censorship, and in the impartial supervision of officialdom and of all public concerns. After the Boxer rising of 1900 he attempted to establish a democratic government to replace the Manchu regime, but his propaganda and plan were too sudden to be effective at that time and the revolution-in-exile proved abortive.

    2. Dr. Sun then decided to do much more spade work before he could hope to achieve success. As a result, the Chinese Revolu­tionary League was formed in Europe and Japan. Through this instrument Dr. Sun could recruit the support of a lage number of his courtrymen outside China. At this time Japan was the centre for Chinese students abroad. In 1899-1900, their total number was less than a hundred, but in the following two years the number increased to several thousand. In the spring of 1901 Cantonese students in Japan formed a Kwangtung Independence Association. They advocated that a declaration of independence from the Manchu Government should be made by the provincial authorities. Some Cantonese immigrants to Japan also joined the Association. Dr. Sun Yat-sen, who was then living in Yokohama, gave his whole-hearted support to the movement. Thus began a close relation between Dr. Sun and the Chinese immigrants abroad, which the former utilized to receive the support of the latter for the Revolutionary League. Besides, Dr. Sun worked out his programme for reform ancVrevolution in much greater detail and raised large sums of money to propagate his ideas inside China through a network of secret agencies.

    3. For several years the attempts at revolution had been made, particularly in Southern China. In April 1911 there was an uprising at Canton which although did not come about and the revolutionaries suffered a heavy blow by losing seventy-two active party workers and solid citizens (known as the famous seventy-two martyrs), the reaction to this fiasco was widespread. The fate of the seventy-two martyrs served to awaken the great majority of the Chinese people to the fact that all hope for China's future lay in the formation of a re­public rather than in a constitutional monarchy. It paved the way for final success of the October revolution of 1911.

    4. Revolution and the Aftermath

    5. When the Revolution in China became an accomplished fact, Sun Yat-sen was in the United States. The news reached him in Colorado, with the important additional item that one of his devoted supporters, Chiang Kai-shek, had been appointed Chief of the Army Staff. Dr. Sun left America and reached Shanghai on December 25. On December 29, 1911, he was elected as the President of the new Republic of China. He took over the charge of office on January 1, 1912 but he was not to remain in office for a long time. Although the republican revolution was led by Dr. Sun, the Presidency of the Republic ultimately fell to Yuan Shih-kai.

    6. From 1894 to 1911 there were three large political groups in China—the Radical Revolutionists, the mild Constitutional Monar­chists, and the realistic Yuan Shih-kai faction. The first of these three had clearly declared itself to be an enemy of the Manchu Government; the second wished to maintain a reformed version of the existing administration ; the third had not yet shown any clear-cut political inclination. The supporters of Yuan Shih-kai were primarily office-seekers. But they all gave unreserved allegiance to Sun Yat-sen who had succeeded in mobilizing enthusiasm for action, not only because of the integrity of his aims but also because he was able to present the new socialist ideology in an alluring form. Never­theless, the new Republic rested on extremely shaky foundations due to ideological differences between the parties. Sun Yat-sen's com­rades, who had supported him in his campaign of overthrowing the Manchu Government, could not realize that his revolutionary process was necessary for a nation seeking to change overnight from monar-chism to republicanism.

    7. The struggle for power within the Kuomintang (or the Repub­lican Party created by Dr. Sun Yat-sen) began at once, and no sooner had Dr. Sun founded his first Cabinet than he realized it was impossi­ble to unite the country under his presidency. Besides, he had no training as an administrator ; his great asset was as a propagandist for his cause. He was unhappy over the ways the political affairs in China were moving in. He thought that the infant Republic needed a president whom the people knew well and trusted fully and who could successfully conduct peace negotiations between the North and South of China for bringing both the'parts together. He, there­fore, resigned in favour of Yuan Shih-kai. The Father of the Republic declared in his speech at the time of resignation : "North and South are brought together by the abdication of the Emperor. Yuan promises to support the Republic. He is experienced in affairs of state, and a loyal believer in that democracy for which we have struggled for so long."

    8. But Yuan turned out to be more of a dictator than a democrat. He has been called by Dr. Sun's biographers "a Chinese Judas, an opportunistic traitor, a murderer and tyrannical monster opposing the advance of the people." They accuse him of tricking the hero out of the presidency. The policy of Yuan, who favoured the for­eigners at the expense of China, brought about a new trouble and resulted in the commencement of a prolonged civil war. Within a short period of one year the armies of Sun Yet-sen and those of Yuan faced each other. In this fight the forces of Sun Yat-sen were defeated and he was forced to take flight. Yuan declared himself Emperor in December 1915, but his triumph was short-lived. Yuan

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    2. GREAT POLITICAL THINKERS



    1. died in June 1916 and Dr. Sun returned to resume his constitutional government in South China.

    2. But as the country was plunged into anarchy and confusion and the North and South of China were divided, it was not possible for Dr. Sun to have an easy time and establish a stable government even in South China. He soon clashed with the army leaders in Canton, and once again he resigned. A military dictatorship followed, but was overthrown in 1921 when Dr. Sun was called in again. This time too he was not destined to enjoy much peace, for he soon quarrelled with the Geneial Chen Ch'iung-ming, who had restored him to power, and was driven yet again from his native province, taking refuge this time in Shanghai.

    3. China was completely broken up by a mass of warring factions. There were flare-ups in the North, in Peking, and in the Yangtse Valley. However, Dr. Sun was supported by his loyal devotee Chiang Kai-shek, and he managed to gather an army which defeated General Chen. From then on Dr. Sun was the acknowledged leader of his native Kwang-Tung province, although his rule did not extend much further than Canton.

    4. In 1924, the Chinese Kuomintang was reorganized under the guidance of Dr. Sun Yat-sen. According to Dr. Sun, there were two guiding principles in the reorganization of the Kuomintang : to reor­ganize the party so that it would become a powerful political organ with concrete platforms ; and to use the power of the political party to reconstruct the nation.

    5. Dr. Sun's Three Principles of the People

    6. Dr. Sun's doctrine of the Three Principles of the People was accepted as the political doctrine of the Kuomintang. Of these three principles, the principle of nationalism aimed at two things : the liberation of China by the Chinese people, and establishment of equal rights for all the races living in China. In support of the first aim of rationalism, the Kuomintang proposed to secure the recognition of the freedom and independence of China among the nations of the world. In support of the second aim of nationalism, i.e., equality of the Chinese with all the other races living in China, it was asserted that the Kuomintang would work for alliances and organized discus­sion of problems which concerned all. The Kuomintang solemnly declared that the party would recognize the right of self-determination for all the peoples in China and that following the defeat of the imperialists and the warlords and the establishment of a free and united Republic of China, every people in China would be allowed freedom of decision in joining the Republic.

    7. Of the Three Principles of the People, the principle of democracy was recognized by the Kuomintang as supporting not only many indirect rights but also the specific rights of election, initiative,



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    1. referendum and recall. The exercise of these rights is described in Sun's Five Power Constitution, which provides for the separation of powers. This system of government avoids the defects of other modern parliamentary governments and also corrects the weaknesses of the traditional Chinese civil service examination system.

    2. As to the third of the Principles of the People, the principle of livelihood for the people comprises two major aims : equalization of landholdings and regulation of capital. It was specifically mentioned that the state, in order to achieve these aims, must regulate the ownership, use and purchase of land as well as taxes on land. Such regulations would implement the principle of equality in property rights.

    3. We will further understand Dr. Sun's political philosophy if we go through the Manifesto of the Kuomintang, brought out in 1923. The Manifesto clearly stated that the rights of the people were the basis of the state and that the people's livelihood, and not the wealth of the few, should be the primary concern of the state. The Mani­festo further said that the ideas of nationalism, democracy and social­ism had brought about revolutionary changes in modern Europe and in America and these ideas had now spread to eastern Asia. After the overthrow of the Manchu dynasty and the establishment of the Republic of China, many people thought that the period of destruction had ended, that reconstruction should begin at once, and that a cons­titutional government should be established immediately. But as the purpose of the Revolution of 1913 failed and the hopes of the Chinese people were belied, it was thought necessary to reorganize the Kuomintang, the Chinese Revolutionary Party.

    4. Dr. Sun and his party did not approve of the present parliamen­tary system since elections based on class distinctions offer ready opportunities for abuse of power by the privileged few. To establish a genuine democracy he advocated a system of universal suffrage and the abolition of elections based on distinctions of class and property. He was of the opinion that either through public assembly or through universal ballot the people should exercise the rights of initiative, recall and referendum. To assure the economic security of the nation Dr. Sun maintained that the state should re-examine all fiscal matters, control the currency issues, and readjust the national debt. He also wanted the state to improve the working conditions, and gradually to bring about equality of status between employer and employee. He was in favour of equality of opportunity for both men and women.

    5. These were the aims which Dr. Sun and the Kuomintang put forth before the Chinese people. Dr. Sun's three main principles of nationalism, democracy and socialism served as the basis of the Kuomintang and it was on these principles that the Revolutionary Party (Kuomintang) worked to reorganize the Chinese nation. But as



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    2. GREAT POLITICAL THINKERS

    1. the founder of these principles, Dr. Sun, died in 1925 (March 12, 1925), they could not be translated into action.

    2. China's civil war raged on long after the death of Sun Yat-sen until, in 1946, a National Government was formed and headed by Chiang Kai-shek but that too had a short life and was overthrown by the communists in 1949. In October of that year the People's Republic of China was proclaimed, with Mao Tse-tung as its head.

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