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Saturday, November 22, 2003

An incipient liberal awakening in India

Last Thursday, I attended the second Minoo Masani Memorial Lecture at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan auditorium in Chennai, organised by the Indian Liberal Group (ILG). The speaker was N. Vittal and he spoke on "Corruption mocks at liberalisation" (I will post a summary of the lecture separately). The ILG seems to be fairly well organised and I plan to become a member of the ILG myself, but they are apolitical in the sense of not formally being or wanting to be a political party.

For a couple of years, I have been thinking about the need/opportunity for a new political party with a liberal stance driven by a new set of people outside the current political class. After learning about the ILG, I did a little bit of googling and came across a very interesting "business plan" (ppt - 350 kb) for a new political party in India - a liberal party.

There is in fact quite a comprehensive web site already up for the Liberal Party of India, which is yet to be launched. This initiative is being driven by Sanjeev Sabhlok and the India Policy Institute.

A workshop and seminar are planned for early January 2004 to propose "India's liberal political strategy: 2004 and beyond" for consideration and as a lead-up to the launch of the political party.

It is encouraging to seem some activity towards building a liberal movement in India.

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