The Swarna Bharat Party (SBP), India’s only Liberal Party, registered in 2014, held the annual conference of its National Executive at Delhi on July 30, 31 and August 1, 2016.
SBP is committed to defending liberty and promoting prosperity.
Mr. Sanjeev Sabhlok (I.A.S. – resigned), currently economist with the Government of Victoria, Australia, is one of the founders and driving force of SBP. He, along with Mr. Anil Sharma, a consultant residing in London participated in the conference with other National Executive members from Delhi and various parts of India.
The National Executive discussed, in depth, the current political situation in India and concurred that India urgently needs a strong national liberal political party to steer the country. All existing political parties are different shades of communism and socialism.
The Swatantra Party, founded in 1959 by C. Rajagopalachari, Minoo Masani and N. G. Ranga was the last liberal party in India. In 1967, it won 44 seats in Parliament (incidentally the Congress also wins 44 seats in the general elections of 2014) and Masani was elected as the acting Leader of the Opposition. Unfortunately, the Swatantra Party voted to dissolve itself in 1974. However, Masani, S. V. Raju and others kept the Swatantra flag flying by keeping the Maharashtra unit of the Swatantra Party which exists on paper to this day.
The Swarna Bharat Party has rightly voted for Mr. Naozer Aga, one of the two surviving members of the Swatantra Party (Maharashtra) to be the first National Mentor of SBP. Mr. Aga actively participated in the Conference sharing his views and experiences from the past.
SBP is now taking the Swatantra Party’s efforts further and wishes to emulate the Swatantra Party.
a) in State funding of elections, so that competent candidates can contest elections without entering into any quid pro quo arrangements with their financiers or using black money, as is currently the case.
b) that as the Government should be for, and is the Servant of the people, and not their Master, all appointments of senior government officials should be done on performance contract basis only. Article 311 of the Constitution, which protects tenured public servants, needs to be amended.
c) that the Government must not interfere in the freedom of ownership, occupation and speech of the people. Government should handle and focus only on the key functions of defence, law and order, justice and infrastructure. It must ensure equality of opportunity, including need-based direct support to the poor. SBP supports social justice.
SBP will contest elections wherever possible. Efforts are under way in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan and will soon spread to other parts of the country.
SBP also decided to embark on leadership; membership and fund raising drives and appeals to all Indian liberals to support its effort in bringing about a total rapid change (not slow, incremental reform) needed for India to reach its potential.
Ancient India was a liberal high flying Sone Ki Chidiya.* Socialism in India has brought the vulnerable sections of the people of India to their knees, in comparison with other similarly placed nations in 1950s, which took to the path of liberty, decades ago.
Liberalism is the long overdue need of the hour for India. For more details, please visit SBP website www.swarnabharat.in
Mr. Aas Mohammad, an IT engineer based in Delhi was invited as an observer at the National Executive Conference of SBP. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Freedom First issue of March 2015 carried the Executive Summary of Sone Ki Chidiya’s Total Reform Agenda. Please refer to Freedom First archives on its website www.freedomfirst.in