India has not had many advocates of liberty. Rajaji, who founded Swatantra Party in 1959 to oppose socialism, was one of them. He said, “I want an India where talent and energy can find scope for play without having to cringe and obtain special individual permission from officials and ministers, and where their efforts will be judged by the open market in India and abroad”.
The following extract from his 1 August 1959 speech perhaps best summarises his vision:
The ruling party must be replaced by a party that will respect the freedom of the individual. The Swatantra Party stands for this freedom. It stands for individual initiative and enterprise. State initiative, except where it is conceded to be necessary, amounts to compulsion. Compulsion kills initiative, and regulation kills interest and responsibility. We want all policies to be based on faith in the people as the moral foundation of government, discarding compulsion. Taxation is not, as some persons wrongly imagine, ruled out by our doctrine of freedom.
QUOTATIONS OF RAJAJI
- The land ceiling is “a child of sadism” – Rajaji
- Socialism … is pure Statism’. Its believers imagine that ‘wisdom resides only in the State’ – Rajaji.
- The laws of production are laws of nature and hence not alterable. …The “State” cannot produce, it can tax or hinder or encourage, BUT NOT PRODUCE’. – Rajaji
- Great shout has been raised over big favourtism in the distribution of licences and permits. The system is the root of poison and is bound to lead to corruption’. – Rajaji
- Production in India is running a three-legged race or a gunny bag race, the Government’s interventions and clampdowns being the handicaps’. – Rajaji
- In India … honest men [are] engaged in the difficult tasks of production or trade’ but face ‘ruin at the hands of officials, ministers, and party bosses’. – Rajaji
- I want an India where talent and energy can find scope for play without having to cringe and obtain special individual permission from officials and ministers, and where their efforts will be judged by the open market in India and abroad’. – Rajaji
- I want … the government reduced to its proper functions’. – Rajaji
- I want security for all owners of property, land or other forms of acquisitions, without Damocles’s Sword hanging over them threatening expropriation without payment of just and full compensation’. – Rajaji
- I want an India where the budget of the Centre does not cause inflation and soaring prices’. – Rajaji
- I want the spirit of compassion and benevolence to have free play and not stifled by State schemes of monopolizing all welfare by over-taxation and over-centralization’. – Rajaji
- Law is not whatever is enacted by the majority community, it is something that rests on permanent principles and is inherent in the conscience of a community. . . [T]he authoritarian notion that the will of the majority in parliament is a law . . . is a debasement of the rule of law.” Rajaji
Some articles in the media regarding Rajaji