A New Swarajya

In the launch edition of Swarajya, circa 1956, C Rajagopalachari made a compelling argument for the need of a “gadfly-Weekly-paper” that is governed by a sense of “Truth and public welfare”.

In an article titled “Value of Frank Criticism”, Rajagopalachari — founder of Swatantra Party and popularly known as Rajaji–stated that “great governments benefit by criticism, without which they are bound to deteriorate in self-complacency and unchecked self-will”.


Evolution of Liberalism in India

Liberalism is distinguished by its focus on the primacy of the individual in all spheres of human life—political, economic, and social. Individual well being is the standard to assess suitability of norms, customs, policies, and institutions. As Adam Smith’s invisible hand or Friedrich Hayek’s spontaneous order theory demonstrates there is no conflict between pursuit of self-interest and social good.


We the people of free India

This day, 55 years ago, India achieved political independence from the British state, but she still awaits economic and social independence from the Indian state. But, I am not sure whether we have even genuine political independence.

Many of our laws are of the British time, some even unmodified. The Official Secrets Act keeps citizens away from their democratic government as it kept the subjects beneath their British rulers.


Morality of the market

I am writing this column on Dhanteras, the beginning of the five-day festival of Deepavali. (Dhan: wealth and Teras: the thirteenth day of the month of Ashwin). It’s the day when Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth is worshiped. Dhan is celebrated by purchasing new clothes, utensils, and ornaments, and in villages by decorating cattle, the main form of wealth.


Unwanted and illegitimate?

The tenth anniversary of India’s liberalisation program came and went. Mostly unacknowledged and uncelebrated, like that of an unwanted child, a child forced upon by the unpleasant circumstance that one rather not remember. It’s not just unwanted but also illegitimate. The father prime minister has disowned it. Even after ten years of birth, its intellectual, political, as well as bureaucratic parentage is in debate.