On 26th June 1962, Dr. Lohia expounded the Saptkranti theory in Nainital. He said the 20th century has two characteristics: first, it is the most ruthless era of the world; and second, the extent no era has fought against injustice as this era did. This era, on the one side, has steered cruelty to a larger extent, and on the other side, it created the desire for justice also. He mentioned about the killings of 60 lakh people in Congo and massacre of 50 lakh Jews by Hitler.
This slaughtering has not stopped even today. Iraq and Afghanistan were destroyed by US bombarding, as once Japan was ruined in the Second World War. The only difference was the use of non-nuclear bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan, while atom bombs were used in Japan. Even today the killing of innocent people in Gaza by Israel is going on. There are continuous deaths by ethnic violence in many African countries. This kind of violence is noticeable from Chechenya (Russia) to Lhasa (Tibet).
Lohia regarded the divide of rich and poor as the first issue of his revolution. He said that there are at least 10 lakhs hierarchies in terms of income and social respect in the Indian society. Here, the downtrodden are satisfied merely by the fact that someone exists who is more deprived than them. He had said that the common man, that is the poor of this country will not understand revolution or equity rather will regard the politics of lip and tip service. If this is the case, then this world can never be changed. But, as the time passes people are bound to see the other side of the coin. He raised the issue of global and national inequality. An average American produces 14.000 Rupees every year where as an Indian produces just 400 Rupees. He highlighted inequality in the cost, agricultural value, factory produce and rights.
He always quoted two economists in his speeches. Adam Smith had given the theory that in a country, yield is increased by the division of wages. Just like that on a global scale, yield is increased by division of labor. Every country specializes in some sort of work but when any two start exchanging the work, both benefit from it. Dr. Lohia said that this theory had a flaw because it benefits developed countries and harms underdeveloped or undeveloped countries. He rejected this theory. Dr. Lohia commented on the theory of famous economist Keynes that international trade is profitable for this world only when there is no unemployment and complete employment in every country. Lohia said that it is not sufficient to just say that unemployment must not be there. Rather, it is imperative that employment must be such that delivers almost the same yield. He explained this as follows: to produce the commodity of value ten billion Rupees, if an average English, German or US citizen works for ten crore or ten billion hours, then an Indian works ten billion to fifteen billion hours for this. Although, the value of international trade remains same for all, but the exchange happens between one hour labour and ten hours. People who say that the Indian, Chinese, Sri Lankan or South American work less is wrong. We work more. After all which Englishman works more than an ordinary Indian rickshaw puller? The fact is that, there labor is more systematic.
He said that labor division theory of Adam Smith or global labor division on the basis of complete employment as propounded by Keynes was humanistic but it favored the British. Similarly, the theory of international trade benefiting all will only be success if the yield of labor in every country will be almost the same, calculated not in monetary terms but according to hours of work in a country.
Speaking on national inequality, he drew the contrast between 50 paisa earning of an agricultural labor and one lakh of Birla per day. Twenty five to thirty thousand Rupees is daily wasted on this country's Prime Minister. He said that nowhere has been such a strong leap forward in inequality as in India. He said that in Russia and US, inequality between the income of primary teacher and a University teacher is at most three times which means a daily difference of 70-200 Rupees. But, here a primary teacher gets two rupees daily where as a vice chancellor of a University gets around 200 rupees daily.
Today we find that the value earned by a farmer of this country by virtue of rates fixed through price commission is thirty rupees only, whereas a lowest central government employee earns daily three hundred and twenty five rupees after the sixth pay commission recommendations followed. We find a stark contrast between 70 crore people who earn 20 rupees per day on the one hand and Ambani family having assets of five lakh crore rupees which earns one lakh rupees per second. There are numerous violent and non-violent struggles against national and global inequality today and they were present in those times also. Dr. Lohia had said that in the next five years, the struggle between rich and the poor will take a critical turn. It has to be examined that this struggle has reached at which stage today? UN has prepared millennium development goals. World Bank is also running various programs in the name of poverty eradication. We are being shown that the World Trade Organization will remove poverty through free trade, but reality is that the capital accumulation is much more than ever in this world today. World's half of the resources are in the hands of Fortune 500 companies. But the fight against poverty has not reached its goal even today. Deepening inequality has become a critical question today in this world.
Lohia regarded the injustice laid down by the upper castes on the lower as an important issue. He said that the class is a compartmentalized form of caste whereas caste is the class made flexible. Speaking about the worker's increased wages in Europe, he said that despite the increased wages and better living conditions, the ratio of contribution in the national produce between workers and the executives is unchanged. Flexible caste or class is present throughout the world. Dr. Lohia aimed at eradicating the rotten caste system. Dr. Lohia had also shown his commitment in this direction which is reflected in the correspondence between him and Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar between 1955-1957. He also gave his views on the formation of Republican Party of India and policies-programs of Akhil Bhartiya Pariganit Jaati Sangh before that. On the untimely death of Dr. Ambedkar, he wrote a letter to Madhu Limaye saying that Dr. Ambedkar was a great figure for him in the Indian politics and was equal to any great upper caste Hindu after Gandhi. Dr. Ambedkar was a scholar. He was courageous, free minded and was a stable personality. He could have been shown as the icon of India's strength to outside world. He said, "I want that India's lower caste people think about the last four decades politics rationally. I would like that they regard Dr. Ambedkar as their icon of respect and learning, ignore his vices and accept his free mindedness, and regard him not only as the leaders of Harijans but as a statesman of the whole country". But this never happened. Ambedkarite organizations limited him as the leader of Dalits, not as the leader of India.
Member, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Birth Centenary Celebrations Committee
Shaheed Kisan Smriti Kuteer
Station Road, Mooltaapi