New Delhi, March 22 (ANI): The centenary celebrations of Indian freedom fighter and great socialist political leader Dr. Rammanohar Lohia will start from March 23, which happens to be his 99th birth anniversary.
Former Defence Minister George Fernandes writing in the 'Journal of Socialist Thought and Action', termed Dr. Lohia as the " greatest socialist leaders of the world."
"Dr. Lohia epitomised in his life the essence of Gandhian and democratic socialist thought and action."
Fernandes, however, expressed regret on the degradation of Lohia principles in today's political arena.
"The tragedy lies in the fact that they (Lohia followers) lack unity and reperesent various strands of his philosolphy...Some self-acclaimed Lohiavadis have accumulated wealth worth billions of rupees through unscruplous means and some have set up new landmarks in corruption as well as the politics of casteism, criminalisation and heredity," he writes.
Fernandes condemned the media focus towards official celebrations on this occasion. With a view of maintaining Dr. Lohia's authentic legacy, Fernandes along with other Lohia supporters would celebrate his birth centenary separately.
Fernandes, in an attempt to unite the 'true Lohiavadis', has made an appeal to all genuine socialists to join in his celebrations.
"We do not want to stand with those who enjoyed power and performed such works that were not in consonance with Lohia's ideas. Ours is a humble attempt to unite true and active followers of Dr. Lohia," Fernandes writes.
Dr. Lohia was born at Akbarpur in Uttar Pradesh's Faizabad district on March 23, 1910.
He did not want his followers to observe or celebrate his birthday, since his birthday coincided with the day of martyrdom of three of the country's finest revolutionary freedom fighters - Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru, who were executed by the British rulers in Lahore Jail on March 23, 1931 when he was 21 years old.
Lohia followers are divided into different interest groups - the first category is the 'Heretic (Kujat) Gandhivadis' who use civil disobedience to resist injustices. The second category is 'Governmental Gandhivadi' and the third category is the Monastic (Mathi) Gandhivadi.
On the occasion of Dr. Lohia's birthday, Governmental and Mathi Lohia followers are organising celebrations, while Kujat Loia fiollowers are organising a separate programme. (ANI)