May 29, 2019

Opinion | The contemporary relevance of Swatantra Party’s liberal view

In this Mint article, Niranjan Rajadhyaksha looks at the contemporary relevance of the Swatantra Party's liberal view as the party's 60th anniversary is around the corner.


"It will soon be 60 years since a group of political leaders unfurled the flag of dissent against the Nehruvian consensus of their age. The decision to establish the Swatantra Party was announced at a public meeting in Chennai on 7 June 1959, to provide a liberal alternative to the ruling Congress. Its first national convention was held in Mumbai a few weeks later. The Swatantra Party had emerged as the biggest opposition party in India by 1967. It flamed out soon after."


He further discusses the party's ideals


"The Swatantra Party was not a libertarian group. Masani wrote in his 1960 essay that some measure of state enterprise and regulation was inevitable in the 20th century. The 21 founding principles of the party, a remarkable document, includes this sentence: “The party stands for the restriction of state enterprise to heavy industries such as are necessary to supplement private enterprise in that field, such national services as Railways and the starting of new enterprises which are difficult for private initiative.""


Read the full article here.


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