was a leader but a man of simple living. He disliked ostentation. His personal belongings
were few. He never paid much attention to his attire. Once while he was on tour he opened
his suitcase to find all his shirts were torn. New shirts had to be brought from the
market. Lohia never bothered about his needs.
One terrible curse of our country is caste.
There are many rungs in the caste system. Any one who has wealth or belongs to one of
the higher castes or knows English can prosper. But there are millions in this country who
are not so fortunate.
The Government should reserve sixty per cent of jobs for women and people belonging to
backward communities. The same policy should apply to places in political life. This was
the firm stand of Lohia.
Equality of opportunity - this is a sound principle. But when people who have been
oppressed for ages are asked to compete with people belonging to forward communities the
latter are bound to succeed. Hence it is but right that those who are backward should be
given special opportunities. Lohia based all his programs on this doctrine.
From times immemorial there has been a gulf between profession and practice in India.
Lohia stressed the need to bridge this gulf between word and deed. Henever owned any
property. Until he became a member of the Lok Sabha he never had any income. His friends
and well wishers looked after him.
His house in Delhi was always open to the party workers.
Lohia was returned to Lok Sabha from Kanoz constituency in 1967. In September 1967, he
underwent an operation. But he never recovered from it. On the 12th of October 1967 Lohia
breathed his last.