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Category: Swarna Bharat Party

Who gives people any right to impose a cashless society? Do they own society?

There has been some talk of a cashless society for India. I ask these people to provide me proof that their DNA is different to ours, and that they have any innate right to tell us what how we transact with others. Whether a “society” choose to use cash or digital mechanisms to transact, is none of the business of government.

Demonetisation can be at best an accompaniment to a fundamental set of reforms that attack the causes of black money and corruption. It is not a solution in itself, and the costs and benefits of demonetisation generally do not add up. In like manner, the idea of cashless society is not a goal for SBP. Instead, it is a position that a society may achieve through the preferences of millions of people acting in their own interest. The objective of being a cashless society or not, is not relevant to any consideration of free action and small government.


High quality research on use of cash in India: Why our area doesn’t seem to be going cashless

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Are you in London in mid June 2017 and want an update on the progress of political liberty in India?

I’m considering my first (and likely last) visit to London on Thursday 22 June and Friday 23 June 2017 to meet people interested in liberty in India. Some initial plans have been agreed for the evening of these two days, leaving me free during the day to meet a few selected persons.

I could, if there is justification for it, stay a further day in London on Wednesday 21 June 2017. However, I need this information in the next few days in order to finalise flight bookings.

Let me know asap at



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I think India is a banana republic. Indians think India is a super power. Who is right?

If you had asked me 25 years ago, I’d have said that India is doing fine. Even the smallest pocket of cleanliness was considered excellent, even a microscopic improvement was an occasion to celebrate, to feel proud.

But all this ended when it became clear to me that we had grossly underperformed compared with the rest of the world. I not only spent considerable time outside India but spent six years in universities abroad studying how countries develop, how the economy works.

By 1998 it became clear to me that one had to do something about this. Too many people were suffering due to basic problems with India’s governance system and bad policies.

I started looking very closely at the causes of India’s governance failure, based both on standard economic theory but more importantly, on the basis of my experience inside the IAS – a first hand experience of the total corruption of all ministers and most bureaucrats. There had to be an explanation for this. And there was. In February 1998 I started working on a manifesto that would contain governance and policy solutions for India. When I returned to India in 1999, I tried to meet interested persons to test their appetite in forming a political party that would take the message of liberty and governance reforms to the people.

Today, the difference in my perception of India and the perceptions of Indians about India has diverged even more dramatically. I find it impossible to understand why people continue to live in the most shanty hovels and filthy environment, and face innumerable problems in their daily lives, and yet say that India is doing well. Super power, they call it! I call it a banana republic.

Unless Indians are willing to open their eyes to the possibilities before them, they will never be interested in finding out the causes, and therefore the idea of changing them will not work.

So the first step is to show Indians the mess they live in and that it can be changed quite dramatically with a different governance system.

For that I prepared preliminary slides that could be used to develop a message for the people.

Sharing it. Please download and provide suggestions. – PPT | PDF

The key issue at the moment is the need to increase expectations of the people. If people are satisfied with bare survival from day to day, then of course, they will remain in that condition for ever.

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Swarna Bharat Party’s President asks Mr Modi why he is doing nothing to eliminate the causes of corruption

Press release by SBP.

National Press Release – to be released across India [Word version]
3 November 2016 – for immediate release

Mr Sanjay Sonawani said that Swarna Bharat Party had explained to Mr Modi on 26 August 2016 about how he can eliminate the causes of corruption. Under the design of India’s governance system, only the Prime Minister has the power to initiate the reforms to eliminate the causes of corruption.

However, Mr Modi has chosen to do nothing. He is continuing to follow the same system that UPA followed and that all other PMs have followed since independence. This system is unfortunately designed for corruption. As a result, corruption continues to flourish at all levels.

SBP is made aware every day about the rampant corruption that is breaking the back of the people. The poor are being forced to pay bribes to get ration cards. Public sector banks are looting the taxpayer through bogus loans backed by corrupt politicians. And all government programs (e.g. NREGA, “Skill India” etc.) are known only for one thing: total corruption.

Mr Sonawani said that Mr Modi must implement two key reforms most urgently.

First, we all know that candidates in elections spend crores of rupees of black money, both to bid for a party ticket (tickets are auctioned by the major parties at prices of Rs.4 crores or more) and for campaigning. Why then, would any elected politician not be corrupt? Those who get elected seek to recover their costs, with compound interest. We have a democracy only in name. Honest and competent people are blocked by the system. We therefore only get corrupt people as our Ministers.

The solution is to minimise candidates’ losses during elections. SBP has a proven solution for this. All candidates must be reimbursed an amount, say, Rs.20 per valid vote cast. This will allow honest candidates a chance to contest elections since they will be able to recover at least some of their costs.

Second, India’s bureaucracy was created for colonial masters. It is designed not to be accountable to the people of India and has become a major cause of corruption. SBP has a solution for this. Senior officials should be appointed on hire-and-fire contracts that ensure total alignment with performance. Such contracts should dispense with any unnecessary red tape that dilutes accountability. Officials must lose their jobs (not just be transferred) for non-performance. All India Services, which have choked the life of the country at every level, must go.

There is much more, and details are provided in SBP’s manifesto. Mr Sonawani asked the people to put pressure on Mr Modi to implement these reforms, else corruption levels of India will get even worse by 2019. The question is: do the people want good governance or are they happy with India being one of the world’s most corrupt countries?

Notes for Editors
SBP is India’s only liberal party, committed to defending liberty and promoting prosperity.

Sanjay Sonawani (Pune), National President, +91 9860991205
Alok Kumar (Ghaziabad), National Vice President and President UP State Unit, +91 9999755334

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Swarna Bharat Party’s position on the Uniform Civil Code

National Press Release – to be released across India [Word version]

1 November 2016 – for immediate release

Mr Sanjay Sonawani, President of Swarna Bharat Party, India’s only liberal party, has lodged the party’s  response to the Law Commission’s questionnaire on the uniform civil code (UCC). The response is available on the party’s website (

Unfortunately, Article 44 of the Constitution has become a proxy fight for religious dominance. SBP does not agree with the concept of a UCC as it is commonly understood. The question before us is not be whether we should have a UCC but what is the legitimate role of government (our servant) in the affairs of citizens.

A government’s role in our lives must be limited to minimising or addressing real harm. A government can only step into personal relationships between citizens as a registrar of property rights or of any long term relationships; as an entity that clarifies property rights and enforces them; and as an entity that prescribes and enforces minimum standards of accountability where any physical harm is involved.

Accordingly, just as it is legitimate to establish a minimum age for marriage, SBP believes that it is a legitimate role for the government to set minimum standards regarding personal relationships in matters where harm might otherwise arise (e.g. adoption, maintenance of children and unemployed spouse after divorce, etc.). These standards could also include reasonable minimum requirements on the process of signing up to (or revoking) long term personal relationships: for instance, minimum “time for reflection” for marriage and divorce.

A government can also lay down a standardised set of processes for of marriage or divorce, should people wish to choose such a standardised process. However, it is not the job of government to comment on (leave alone codify) processes prescribed by different religions or cultures in regard to personal relationships, to the extent these processes comply with minimum standards. Religious freedom and freedom of conscience are paramount for a free society; subject to no harm being caused through such freedom.

SBP does not agree with the concept of Directive Principles of State Policy since a Constitution should limit the government’s role and powers and focus on citizens’ fundamental rights. Policy matters should remain the domain of elected governments. The party is also committed to repealing all parliamentary laws that identify or attempt to codify specific religions.

The state and religion must be kept separate at all times. A government must focus on its core functions, not dabble with the personal beliefs of its citizens so long as they do not physically harm others.


Notes for Editors

SBP is India’s only liberal party, committed to defending liberty and promoting prosperity.


Sanjay Sonawani (Pune), National President, +91 9860991205

Alok Kumar (Ghaziabad), National Vice President and President UP State Unit, +91 9999755334

t UP State Unit, +91 9999755334

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