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Liberal political activity in India

over the past 120 years


Supporting Material


For a historical perspective, click here

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Definitions of key words





Indian National Congress, 1885-1920s

Congress was founded by staunch, nationalist liberals, like Gokhle. Almost the entire leadership of the Congress till mid-1920s was liberal. Sometime in the 1920s, the agenda of the Congress was taken over by socialists like Nehru and Netaji, forcing liberals to move into a separate platform. Gandhi remained essentially a great liberal. He was opposed to government taking over ownership of property. He wanted to bring responsible business and local self-government.


National Liberal Federation of India, 1919-1945

Ray T. Smith


Swatantra Party, 1959-1973

Founded by Rajaji; merged with B.K.D. led by Charan Singh

21 Principles of the Swatantra Party

The 21 Principles Word document. From The Swatantra Party – Victory in Defeat. Rajaji Foundation, 2002.


H.R. Pasricha

The Swatantra Party – Victory in Defeat. Rajaji Foundation, 2002. Purchase the book from freedom@vsnl.com


Minoo Masani

  • On the Swatantra Party Word document (from ‘Freedom and Dissent’ published by Democratic Research Service– permission obtained)


On Rajaji and Swatantra Party (1)


On Rajaji and Swatantra Party (2)

  • Chapter 14: The last years Word document – from "Rajagopalachari. A Biography" by C.R. Narasimhan (son of Rajaji). Radiant Publishers,  1993.  (permission not yet obtained)


S.V. Raju (1974) (on the death of the Swatantra Party)

The Notional Alternative  Word document – from Freedom First, Sept. 1974  (permission obtained)


Howard L. Erdman


Swatantra Bharat Party, 1994-   

Farmers for Freedom

New farmers movement: Sharad Joshi  

Swatantra Bharat Party


Urban liberals demand a liberal political alternative, 1998-2003


Gurcharan Das


Parth Shah


Sanjeev Sabhlok


Jayaprakash Narayan (Lok Satta)

Delivered as the Narla Memorial Endowment Lecture on December 1, 1998

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Reference Section

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Publications/ Notes

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Other Manifestos


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The Free Citizen; the Fair Society

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Long Term Vision

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Major Concerns

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Plan of Action

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Code of Conduct


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Thought for the Day

         Go, India!!



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