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Category Archive: Swarna Bharat Party

Let’s overthrow the last vestiges of feudalism. Scrap the Bharat Ratna and “national” awards.

Only in a feudal society is a "king" superior to the "commoners", the "plebians".

In a FREE society the king is the SERVANT and citizens the MASTERS.

The custom of national awards 

It is grossly inappropriate for our servant to pick amongst the citizens to give them an "award" using taxpayer's money.

I have no issues with gallantry awards for armed forces/ police nor for awards for those who serve the government as EMPLOYEES. But the idea that our servant can pick "winners" amongst the vast multitude of citizens is obnoxious and insulting. This is clearly a case of over-reach.

Swarna Bharat Party is committed to abolishing the Bharat Ratna and all "national" awards, including awards for literature, song and dance. Let private organisations decide such things. These are not the business of government.

DRAFT POLICY (FROM SKC AGENDA

Government awards only for public servants

Our servant, the government, has no role to pick winners amongst citizens, except as a direct employer. To that extent, gallantry awards for the armed and police forces, and awards to public servants for significant contributions, are within its scope. No other award is within the scope of a government. 

We will abolish the Bharat Ratna and all other awards including literary and arts awards. Citizens are free to use their private money to form organisations to give out any awards they wish. Such private recognition is also far more rewarding than recognition by politicians, using other people’s money.

 

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Modi’s socialist agenda on full blast. Now he wants to further increase protectionism.

Modi is continuing the socialist Indian system, unchanged. EVERYTHING is continuing "as is". There is no plan to reform anything. Forget any change to the rotten bureaucracy, he has come out against rail privatisation. And FDI in retail. And his "dissolution" of the Planning Commission was a farce. 

Now he wants Indian businesses to be protected from competition: Make in India gets govt push, depts told to source locally

I ALWAYS said Modi/BJP was a hardcore socialist, close to a communist (maybe not as bad as Arvind Kejriwal). But he deceived a lot of people, who are hopeful he will change things. I'm afraid they're going to have to learn their lessons quickly, else five more years will be wasted. 

We need to activate and significantly ramp up India's only genuine classical liberal party: Swarna Bharat Party.

All liberals should join SBP at the earliest.

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Rowan Atkinson has blasphemed Christ. Let’s kill him, shall we? (to my Muslim commentator friend)

A good commentator friend on this blog has been persistingly quizzing me on blasphemy laws. I, the ill-informed man that I am, oppose any role for the state in blasphemy. He believes it harms people's emotions, hence we should prohibit blasphemy. Or something to that effect. See the discussion in the comments section of this blog post.

But I just came across (by sheer accident – no, my Christian friends, I was not actively searching for it) the following blasphemous act of Rowan Atkinson.

Why, this is scandalous! How dare Mr. Bean speak thus of Christ?

Let's kill him, shall we? – my question is addressed to Shadab. Bring out a saw…

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On a serious note, I'm publishing the current draft freedom of speech policy of Swarna Bharat Party:

Freedom of speech is the lodestar of liberty. Without it no other liberty exists.

When Lillian Gobitis Klose refused to salute the U.S. flag as an act of conscience, Justice Robert Jackson’s said: ‘If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.’

Freedom of speech is not always pleasant to hear. It can be used by obnoxious people or those we entirely disagree with. But the free society believes that it would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it. Defending freedom of speech means also defending the speech rights of people one profoundly despises.

A mature democracy therefore insists on absolute freedom of speech. USA set the example for the world in this regard through the First Amendment to its Constitution. That example has not been exceeded to date for it is simple and comprehensive. It states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The American First Amendment is not outcome-dependent. The US Government is barred from restricting speech no matter any good results that would result from the restrictions. The dangers of allowing the government to restrict speech overwhelmingly outweigh whatever benefits accrue from such restrictions. The USA will never have Nazis and fascists in power, not because America is free of racism or authoritarianism, but because, when a crazy idea is discussed freely and openly, that idea is can also be refuted freely and openly. The more any idea is suppressed, the stronger it becomes.

This was all we needed in the Indian Constitution. Unfortunately, that’s not what we got in the original Constitution. And by now these rights have been so badly diluted that we no longer have free speech protections in India. As a result, India’s press freedom ranks 140 out of 181 nations in the world.

India must have absolute free speech on the lines of the Americans. Nothing less will do. The only restrictions would relate to actual harm (when it is no longer speech), such as direct threats or direct incitement of violence or libel that commercially harms others. And, of course, it is reasonable to expect time-based programming (e.g. on TV) for appropriateness of the audience.

India has a proud heritage of free speech, open discourse and tolerance. Unfortunately, during British rule we lost much of this openness and have never recovered. Draconian laws like s.153A and s295A of the Indian Penal Code pander to fundamentalist delusions and threats. Many more draconian laws are now rampant across India. These must go.

To achieve absolute freedom of speech in India:

  • We will introduce a Constitutional amendment that assures Indians the free speech rights that the citizens of the USA enjoy.
  • We will repeal all laws that curtail freedom of speech (e.g. s.153A and s295A of IPC and s.66 of the IT Act that makes certain online comments an offence) or allow bans or censorship. The colonial provisions of sedition and blasphemy in our laws are entirely inconsistent with free speech. We will amend s.124A of IPC to check the misuse of sedition by state authorities against political malcontents. The amendment will incorporate the Supreme Court’s interpretation in 1962 that, no matter how much the accused spreads ‘disaffection’ against the government, sedition can’t be invoked unless he incites people to violence.
  • We will revoke all bans, e.g. on books and movies, except those involving libel and a direct threat or direct incitement of violence. We will also democratise broadcasting services (TV, radio) on payment of market-determined fee for spectrum.
  • We will abolish the Censor Board. The market can readily supply any necessary rating agencies (e.g. a film industry body) to classify films for viewing suitability by age. Adult Indians do not need a government to tell them what they will nor not watch. If a government functionary in a Censor Board presumably does not fall into depravity by viewing a film before it is censored, it is preposterous to suggest that Indian adults will become depraved or violent by seeing it. Indians must be accountable for their violent actions, regardless of whether they have watched a movie or read a book.
  • We are dedicated to internet freedom. The internet offers a communication system uniquely free from government intervention. We will remove regulatory barriers to internet innovation and prevent any unnecessary interference with new technologies. We object to the governance of the internet by any governmental or intergovernmental organization.
  • We will review laws regarding national symbols and the flag to bring them in consonance with freedom of speech. The rights of citizens – who may choose to express their dissent in loathsome but peaceful ways – are more important than the rights of a nation to its symbols. Symbols do not trump freedom of thought and of conscience. 
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Fund raising appeal: Rs. 3 lakhs to set up systems and office for Swarna Bharat Party. Please commit funds.

Date of fund-raising appeal: 9 December 2014

Swarna Bharat Party is happy to announce that:

1. After being after registered in June 2014, it was decided after a 5-day workshop in July 2014 to activate the party. 

2. We obained the PAN number (AALAS5994H) in November 2014.

3. Bank account is expected to be opened in the third week of December 2014 after a key office bearer returns to Delhi from Bihar.

We are proposing to launch the party's presence in electoral politics in the forthcoming Delhi elections. The key objective of this initiative is to introduce the SKC agenda to India, and to get good people to start looking at India's national liberal party.

To activate the party we have hired a professional website desigher to prepare a fully revamped professional website. We are also doing background work to establish an accounting and membership system. Thereafter we will set up an office in Delhi – including a person employed to manage day to day affairs.

These costs are tightly managed, and members are contributing in kind (and of course, time) to the extent they can. However, we also need to raise funds to meet these costs, including the costs of initial marketing of the party.

We have estimated that a minimum of Rs.3 lakhs is needed at this stage, to set us up for the next three months. Thereafter, we'll review and issue any further fundraising appeal.

At this stage we are only seeking commitments. SBP will call on the committed funds after its bank account is opened. We expect to call upon the committed funds by the third week of December.

Please do not commit to donate if you are not an Indian citizen. NRIs can donate but not OCIs/ PIOs. The amount donated to SBP is allowed as deduction under Section 80GGC of the Income-Tax Act. Please note that we are committed to publishing names of donors (and city but NOT the detailed address, phone number or email ID). 

Any funds raised above Rs. 3 lakhs will be retained by the party for future work. 

PLEASE CLICK THIS to complete a short form to make your commitment. Or visit http://goo.gl/forms/yC7kajJnvH

YOUR SMALL CONTRIBUTION WILL ADD UP. TOGETHER WE WILL CHANGE INDIA.

[Source]

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Revised brochure for Swarna Bharat Party: 28 September 2014

A slightly revised SBP brochure has been published today. Please provide your thoughts.

DOWNLOAD

Word: http://swarnabharat.in/Documents/SBP-Brochure.doc

PDF: http://swarnabharat.in/Documents/SBP-Brochure.pdf 

TEXT PROVIDED BELOW. Please share this blog post widely.

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Swarna Bharat Party

A party committed to your liberty – and prosperity

India’s governance is in shambles but most existing parties have let us down. India’s governance failure is systematic but our major parties are part of the problem by refusing to implement reforms, pandering to caste and religion and to the lowest common denominator. Claiming socialist goals of helping the poor, they subsidise the rich and are hands-in-glove with corrupt businesses. Crony capitalism is rife. And our politicians are actively blocking the voice of the people through numerous anti-free speech laws. No one in the elected assemblies of India speaks for our freedoms.

In this doldrums of under-performance, China is fast rushing ahead of us in many fields and poses a strategic threat. We urgently need to get our act together to become a major power committed to human rights and liberty. We will soon have the world’s largest population. We need to quickly become the world’s greatest nation in every way, before totalitarian and medieval ideas now on the ascendant pull us down into the level of many of our Middle Eastern and Asian neighbours.

Swarna Bharat Party

Swarna Bharat Party was created on 1 June 2013 (and registered by the Election Commission on 19 June 2014 ) by a group of classical liberals led by the Freedom Team of India (FTI) to fill a deeply felt void in Indian’s political offerings. We came to the regrettable realisation that virtually none of the current existing political parties in India are capable of providing corruption-free governance that will ensure freedom, equality of opportunity, rule of law, and justice to every citizen of the country. This realisation was the outcome of over a decade of searching for solutions to India’s disappointing performance and quality of life.

We believe SBP has an excellent constitution but are open to total restructuring of the constitution should we receive better ideas.

As far as policies are concerned, we are keenly aware that without addressing the basis flaws of our electoral and bureaucratic system, no genuine change can occur. We fully support the Sone Ki Chidiya (SKC) total reform agenda, being created under the aegis of Sone Ki Chidiya Federation, which is managed by FTI. We believe the SKC agenda has assembled world-best policies, and we are committed to working with the Federation to improve the agenda. We will work with the people of India to demand reforms that are both desirable and feasible. We are aware that reforms need to be suitably transitioned so there is minimal disruption to society.

It is time to bring sanity into Indian politics.

SBP rises well above religion, regionalism and caste. We are a nationalist classical liberal party: committed to India and liberty. Our aim is to bring Rabindranath Tagore’s dream of Heaven of Freedom, Gokhale’s and Tilak’s dream of Swaraj, Sardar Patel’s dream of a strong and powerful India, Gandhi’s dream of non-violence (of the strong: for the weak have no other option) and Rajaji’s and Minoo Masani’s dream of liberal government – to India. In doing so we appeal to India’s long held traditions of scientific temper, open debate, free speech, and tolerance.

We are determined to make India once again a Sone Ki Chidiya. We are committed to fight for your liberty and to ensure every Indian gets a real chance to make his or her dream a reality.

Activating the party from August 2014

Despite registering the party, we were not keen to activate it, should any other alternative be found. There was great hope in July 2014 that all liberal parties will agree to a process to merge. But that hasn’t happened – yet.

But given absence (at the moment) of any common liberal platform which those who are committed to liberty can join, it has been decided in late July 2014 to activate SBP. We remain acutely aware of the need for all liberals to come together. Unless India’s various small liberal parties merge and jointly undertake national-level actions, they cannot impel real change. It remains our hope that in the near future SBP and other liberal parties will come together on a common platform with a common agenda. We hope that the Sone Ki Chidiya reform movement will create an agenda acceptable to all classical liberals of India.

Once all liberal parties agree to a common agenda and principles of democratic functioning, total transparency, and ideological clarity, we can work out ways to merge under one umbrella.

National Executive

SBP’s initial national executive committee has evolved from the 5-day meeting in late July 2014 and has started functioning as an initial body for the party. There are around 20 people on the national executive. The plan for SBP is the following:

1. We are getting our PAN number and opening our bank account.

2. We are preparing a new website.

3. We are trying to build a membership system.

4. We are trying to build an accounting system, with accounts being as public and transparent as possible.

Only after the membership system is established can we give formal membership to members. Further, only after the basic systems are established can we start various state and local branches.

In the meanwhile the Delhi branch has been started with the process for building up the party country-wide being conceptualised. Liberals from Delhi are invited to come on board.

Join Swarna Bharat Party

Although Swarna Bharat Party is very small at present, it represents the GREATEST IDEA IN THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF INDIA: our liberty and prosperity. Please lend your support to build India’s most modern and ambitious political party. You can indicate your expression of interest by visiting http://swarnabharat.in/membership/. Someone will get in touch with you.

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Update re: Swarna Bharat Party’s activation and plans

As many of you are aware, it was decided in late July 2014 that Swarna Bharat Party be activated, given absence (at the moment) of a common liberal platform which people like me and others from FTI can join. It was a great desire in my mind for the July workshop earlier this year that all liberal parties agree to a process to merge. But that didn't happen. 

So we'll now activate SBP and take it forward, with a view that sometime in the near future other liberal parties can come together on SOME common platform, with a common agenda.

SBP's national executive evolved from the 5-day meeting in late July 2014 and has started functioning as an initial body for the party. There are around 20 people on the national executive.

The plan for SBP is the following:

1. We are now getting our PAN number and opening our bank account.

2. We are preparing a new website.

3. We are trying to build a membership system. 

4. We are trying to build an accounting system, with accounts being as public and transparent as possible. 

Only after the membership system is established can we give formal life membership to all members. Further, only after the basic systems are established can we start various state and local branches. 

In the meanwhile a Delhi branch has been started. Those of you from Delhi can now get involved. 

Separately, the SKC agenda is being prepared for printing (1000 copies or so) by end-2014.

We are keen and would like to get all liberal parties in India to come together through the SKC agenda. Once all liberal parties sign up to the common agenda, we can work out ways to merge under one umbrella. Without coming together as a team, the liberals of India are unlikely to make any impact on politics for a long time to come.

I request all liberal parties to carefully review the SKC agenda and approve it in writing, so we can put their party's name in the printed version later this year.

Please indicate expression of interest in joining this party by visiting http://swarnabharat.in/membership/.

 

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