ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Indian Socialists and Their Legacy

The principles and programmes that the socialists formulated over 75 years ago still seem relevant in today's India. Perhaps, if they had not splintered into so many factions and so frequently, they might have succeeded in implementing some of their plans and may have had greater impact in resolving part of the inequalities and inequities in our society.

Democratic socialists have always been at the forefront of game- changing political movements in India. Be it the 1942 Quit India Movement, where Jayaprakash Narayan (JP), Rammanohar Lohia, Aruna Asaf Ali and Achyut Patwardhan emerged as heroes, or the 1967 Anti-Congress Samyukta Gatbhandhan experiment propagated by Lohia that was perhaps the first serious attempt at overthrowing the monolithic Congress, or the JP movement forSampurna Kranti or total revolution in 1974 that spread throughout the country, giving Indira Gandhi sleepless nights, or the underground and jail-bharo andolan during the Emergency, or the formation of the Janata Party that brought the first non-Congress government to power at the centre in 1977, the socialists were central in all these endeavours.

There is also perhaps no political organisation in India, barring the Congress that has had such luminaries at its helm—JP, Lohia, Acharya Narendra Deva, Patwardhan, Minoo Masani, Kamladevi Chattopadhyay, S M Joshi, N G Goray, Ashoka Mehta and later Madhu Limaye, Karpoori Thakur, Chandrashekhar, George Fernandes, Raj Narain, Mrinal Gore, Madhu Dandavate.

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