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This article gives an overview of liberalism in India.


Soon after Indian independence, Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari (informally called Rajaji), began to see the risks to India of letting Nehru's fervor for socialism go unchallenged. Rajaji parted ways with the Indian National Congress in 1957 and formed the Swatantra Party which supported classical liberal principles and free enterprise.[1] Since then, many new thinkers such as S. V. Raju, Sharad Anantrao Joshi, Barun Mitra, Lok Satta Jayaprakash Narayan, Parth J. Shah, Gurcharan Das, and Sauvik Chakraverti, Raghavendar Askani, Venkatesh Geriti, among others, have emerged on the Indian liberal scene, contributing to the debate on freedom in India, and advancing classical liberalism.[2][3]

Economic liberalisation

Main article: Economic liberalisation in India

India's first attempt at economic liberalisation was carried out in 1966 as a precondition to an increase in foreign aid.[4]

The economic liberalisation of 1991, initiated by then-Prime Minister of India P. V. Narasimha Rao in response to a balance-of-payments crisis, did away with the License Raj and ended many public monopolies, allowing automatic approval of foreign direct investment in many sectors.[5][6]

Liberal organisations
Prominent Indian liberals

List of current liberal parties

Classical liberal parties

Modern or left-liberal parties

List of defunct liberal parties

Classical liberal parties

See also


  1. ^ Rajagopalachari, C. "Why Swatantra?". No. 16 July 2016. Mint. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Evolution of Liberalism in India". Centre For Civil Society. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Classical liberal-reformer-activist-empowering-youth-for-a-better-india". Bookofachievers.
  4. ^ Mital, Ankit (24 January 2016). "India and liberalization: There was a 1966 before 1991". Mint. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  5. ^ "India's industrial reforms of 1991: The inside story". 6 August 2016.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ "Everything about Manmohan Singh's Epochal Budget that marked the beginning of economic liberalisation".((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ Saar, Larissa (16 October 2020). "Interview with Venkatesh Geriti from Swatantrata Center in India". Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  8. ^ "Jayaprakash Narayan: Fixing Governance With Reforms And Economic Freedom". Forbes India.
  9. ^ Verhofstadt, Dirk. "Liberalism is the best Cure for Poverty". Archived from the original on 12 October 2006. Retrieved 17 August 2008.
  10. ^ Fotopoulos, Takis (October 2004). "Why an Inclusive Democracy? The multidimensional crisis, globalisation and inclusive democracy". The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy. 1 (1). Retrieved 21 May 2008.
  11. ^ "Lok Sabha Elections 2014: Know your party symbols!". Daily News and Analysis. 10 April 2014. Founded in December 1997, the Biju Janata Dal or the BJD is a regional political party of India. Having split from the larger faction Janata Dal, the party stands by democracy and liberalism.
  12. ^ Emiliano Bosio; Yusef Waghid, eds. (31 October 2022). Global Citizenship Education in the Global South: Educators' Perceptions and Practices. Brill. p. 270. ISBN 9789004521742.
  13. ^ Jha, Giridhar (25 November 2019). "Maharashtra Govt Formation: BJP's Return Into Ring Makes Scene Murkier". Outlook. Retrieved 27 December 2019.
  14. ^ Das, Gurcharan (2002). The Elephant Paradigm. Penguin. p. 244.