Satish BysanyArchiveAbout

My views on economy, society and politics

[NOTE: ‘Liberal’ means different things to contemporary Europeans and Americans, but I’m speaking from an Indian perspective and I do not bother with the history and context of liberalism in the West. Glossary of political ideologies]

Today the word ‘liberal’ is considered derogatory because of its association with the dynastic, left-leaning, pseudo-secular Congress party. Its leader Nehru believed in Fabianist socialism. Indira Gandhi was responsible for undemocratic dictatorial inclusion of the words socialist and secular in the Constitution. By socialism it was meant Soviet-inspired, anti-capitalist License Raj. “He [Nehru] did not seem to accept that capitalism was necessary for the economic development of India”. Contrary to what “secularism” actually means, for Congress ‘secular’ means reservation system based on religion and caste, and minority appeasement. Congress opposes Uniform Civil Code because it is afraid of losing the Muslim votebank. It is due to such socialist policies that the economy suffered stunted growth until the economic liberalization in 1991, after the collapse of the USSR. On the other hand, we have the right-leaning, Hindutva-oriented Bharatiya Janata Party. Thus, we have mostly two choices: democratic-socialism of the Congress or the national-, social-conservatism of the BJP.

Left-liberal (or just ‘liberal’) generally means social liberalism. However, I do consider myself a liberal, specifically right-wing liberal, whose ideals do not fit into either BJP or Congress. Clearly, I cherish the fundamental rights like equality, freedom, etc. My take on various issues can be summarized thus:

Much of these thoughts align with classical liberalism and are inspired by Indian liberal thinkers like Dadabhai Naoroji, C. Rajagopalachari and Minoo Masani. Naoroji was the first one to write a book on how the British were draining wealth from India, pushing us into poverty. Masani’s Liberalism (pdf) is a good intro as well. Swarajya and Freedom First magazines seem to resonate with me. Indian liberals have their own site with info on historical thinkers – though they seem to have both left-wing and right-wing liberals and even libertarians. Probably you’ll enjoy reading Free Your Mind (pdf).

There aren’t many Indian political parties which profess such ideology. There used to be Swatantra Party, but today I’ll probably vote for Loksatta Party. Similarly, I would vote for FDP.The Liberals of Switzerland, Progress Party of Norway, Moderate Party of Sweden, Kokoomus of Finland (both of which are members of European People’s Party Group).

TL;DR: I consider myself a right-wing, conservative liberalist (not to be confused with liberal conservative). In other words, individual liberty > economic development > social justice. Anyways such labellism is used for personal attacks and identity politics. For one, I do not care about such political correctness.

These views are dependent on time (2018), place (India) and circumstance (Modiji) and thus subject to change without notice :)

I leave you with some food for thought.