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Category: Swarna Bharat Party

Position of the Swarna Bharat Party on One Rank One Pension (OROP)

SBP has had an internal discussion (some research is still underway) and consulted fairly widely.  The Sone Ki Chidiya agenda is being amended to reflect the SBP position. [Download the agenda from here]

The following current text has been superseded:

Till the broader machinery of government is restructured, reformed and recalibrated, we will include a member from the armed forces in the Pay Commission. This is a temporary measure however, since going forward we will institute an entirely separate pay system for the defence forces to deal with issues specific to the armed forces. The new system would deal with the right incentives and accountability, in addition to cadre review, emoluments and questions often raised, such as about any minimum tenure as commanding officer as condition for promotion. (We believe in merit-based processes. Duration of tenure does not always lead to competence.)

Also, separately, SKC agenda states (and will continue to state): “A wide range of other reforms, including the end of all pensions and replacement with general contributions to a public superannuation scheme, will be introduced. Transitional arrangements and grandfathering clauses will ensure that no current entitlement is reduced.” [This para text will continue to remain in the agenda]

For the liberty of Indians to be ensured, we need a very strong defence force. Whatever is necessary needs to be done to ensure that India is able to attract a continuing flow of high quality talent into the armed forces.

We will immediately establish a separate Pay Commission for the armed forces that financial compensation for our soldiers is sufficient to attract the best talent and ensures a highly selective process of promotions. In particular, it would be expected that senior defence personnel are paid on par with senior management in the private sector. There will, however, be no link between salaries in the armed force and civilian sector, particularly since all senior civilian officials will be on short term contracts, with salaries negotiated based on need.

One of the things that matters to potential recruits is what happens to them after their retirement (which is generally at a relatively early age in the defence forces). The party believes that pension must not be a right, and people must personally save for their old age requirements.

To create such incentives, we will ensure that standard requirements are imposed to ensure that an amount (say, 10 per cent or higher if so chosen by the employee) of employee’s salaries is compulsorily deposited into private superannuation funds that can be managed as desired by the employees. No funds will be allowed to be withdrawn from such superannuation funds without a critical exigency or achieving the retirement age (say, 60 years).

As such, our party will draw a firm line on all new hires, who will not receive any defined benefit pension, but shall instead receive annuities based on their contributions during their active service/employment.

There would, however, be a fixed and defined pension for war widows. Also, all retired defence personnel will be able to transition to other jobs (since there will be no tenured civil service, and all jobs will be open to competition at all times). They would not receive any pension initially but if they fail to get any job after trying, they shall be provided a veterans supplement.

For all defence forces recruited under a defined pension model, the pension system would be equalised. In effect, we will have One Rank One Pension for the Defence forces. Equalisation shall not apply to any other government services’ or PSUs’ defined pensions.

The party would like to offer support for OROP, fully aware that this is going to be extremely expensive to the country. The issue is a result of bad policies in the past, and fixing it by directly equalising pensions is not the most efficient option. However, the decision has already been taken by the BJP government and we believe the government will find funds to deliver this policy. We would like to link the OROP support with the hope that all concerned will actively support a much wider range of governance system reforms, e.g. the abolition of IAS and all other tenured services; the abolition of pensions for all new recruits; and radical restructuring the defence forces to reduce intake at the lower levels (soldiers) and increase the use of technologically competent people who can use robotics, drones, and other high-tech equipment.


SBP supports OROP but only as an exception and a one-off case; and because BJP government has committed to it.

Going forward, however, we want a radical reform of the entire pay and pension system of the entire bureaucracy and armed forces.

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India needs clear headed and articulate liberal leaders

These are extracts from a couple of emails I wrote recently:

Liberty does not (yet) resonate with the people of India, who can’t make the link (which is complex) between liberty and integrity/prosperity. It is the job of leaders to show them how this works; else they are going to remain in medieval backwardness for ever.

The key is political leadership. We need to find and build leaders who will engage with the people directly on this issue. No amount of ‘think tanks’ will help. No amount of people writing against socialism on blogs will help.

The “masses” are a readily available audience, but leaders to explain things to them are very scarce. I’m not looking for full time leaders – that will come much later. What is needed are people who devote part of their time to promoting political liberty.

The few leaders of India who believe their job is it make liberty realistic in India have worked together over the past few years to create (and register) India’s first liberal party: Swarna Bharat Party.

Even if you are an OCI (Overseas Indian Citizen) like me, you can join SBP. This is the only registered party with a specific provision for OCIs to take membership (although they can’t contest elections).

Anyone who joins SBP and wants to be a leader at some level must also join FTI – the team of liberal leaders. That’s to ensure the leadership team works closely together and understands each other. We have some extremely challenging debates within the team.

SBP party is about freedom, with the American declaration of independence coming close to articulating the underlying Lockean philosophy. Plus the First Amendment (absolute freedom of speech).

Gokhale and Ambedkar were the more sophisticated classical liberals in Indian history. Rajaji’s Swatantra came closest to this approach – by opposing Fabian socialism.

The task of Gokhale, Ambedkar, Rajaji and Masani (and I’d argue, Chanakya) is an ongoing one. There is no party in India today (except SBP) that is focused squarely on liberty.

SBP does not believe in the welfare state. There are now (for the first time) tiny social democratic parties that advocate a modicum of economic liberalism but want a strong big-government welfare state. E.g. Lok Satta, Liberal Democratic Party of Prodyut Bora). SBP is committed to directly eliminating absolute poverty (see SKC agenda). That’s part of social insurance for extreme events, not part of any welfare.

Note that while asking for minimal intervention by the state even in social affairs, there is no intent in SBP to remake nature. We do not support gay marriage, for instance, but some fostering rights could be provided under supervision; or as evidence emerges from various global experiments in this area.

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Record of actions/ PILs against socialism in India’s preamble/ ROP Act

This is a placeholder, in preparation of a possible PIL.

SV Raju's 1994 petition for Swatantra Party Maharashtra that was denied registration by ECI

Details here.

2005 private members bill in Rajya Sabha by Sharad Joshi

Details here.

2007 PIL against 42nd Constitutional amendment and ROP Act requirement

In 2007, Good Governance India Foundation lodged a PIL questioning the validity of Section 2 of the Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act, 1976, by virtue of which the word “Socialist” was inserted in the Preamble of the Constitution. 

Download a Word version of the PIL.

The petition was dismissed. Download the judgement and other details here.

Report in Economic Times

Look at socialism in broader perspective: Supreme Court
Jan 9, 2008

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to entertain a suggestion in a PIL which had sought deletion of the word "socialist" from the Constitution. The word "socialist" was added through the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution.

A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Justice R V Raveendran and Justice J M Panchal said, "Why do you (petitioner) take socialism in a narrow sense defined by (the) Communists. In broader sense, it means welfare measures for the citizens. It is a facet of democracy."

The court was hearing a PIL seeking direction to delete the word "socialist" from the Preamble to the Constitution on the ground that it was originally not there, and addition of the word amounted to re-writing of it.

"It hasn't got any definite meaning. It gets different meaning in different times," the bench observed.However, it agreed to hear the PIL which also sought to strike down the provision of the Representation of People Act (RPA) requiring a political party to adhere to socialism for being recognised.

The court will look into the issue of derecognising political parties which have wrongly shown allegiance to socialism in their manifesto despite their contrary objectives.The court, after hearing the contention of the petitioner, issued notices to the Centre and the Election Commission.

"It is contrary to the Constitution and to its democratic foundations that political parties be called upon to swear allegiance only to a particular mindset or ideology," said senior advocate Fali S Nariman, appearing for the petitioner, Kolkatta-based NGO Good Governance India Foundation.

Mr Nariman said, "Introducing the word 'socialist' in the Preamble breaches the basic structure and it is wholly inconsistent." "The attempt to deliberately tunnel the collective view in one ideological direction is also a grave breach of the liberty provisions of the Constitution," Mr Nariman said, seeking direction to strike down Sec 29A of the Representation of People Act.

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed as withdrawn a writ petition challenging the validity of Section 2 of the Constitution (42nd Amendment) by virtue of which the word ‘socialist’ was inserted in the Preamble to the Constitution.

The petition, filed by the Good Governance India Foundation, also challenged the validity of Section 29 A (5) of the Representation of the People Act, which was inserted by way of Section 6 of the RP (Amendment) Act, 1989 making it incumbent upon every political party registered in India to pledge allegiance to the socialist ideal, failing which such a party would be rejected from registration.

A three-Judge Bench comprising Chief Justice of India S.H. Kapadia and Justices K.S. Radhakrishan and Swatanter Kumar, after hearing senior counsel Fali Nariman, Solicitor-General Gopal Subramaniam for the Centre and counsel Meenakshi Arora for the Election Commission permitted the petitioner to withdraw the petition saying that the issues raised would be left open and decided as and when the situation arose.

Mr. Nariman submitted that the 42nd Amendment, evolved in the climate of national Emergency, violated the basic structure of the Constitution. Prior to the amendment, the Preamble read as follows “We, the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a sovereign democratic republic.” After the amendment, the Preamble read: “We, the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a sovereign socialist secular democratic republic.”

So far no political party has challenged this and every one has subscribed to it: Justice Kapadia

More reports on the case: India a socialist nation? SC says keep the tagIndia – a `socialist secular democratic republic'?  | An Analysis Of The Indian Socialist MovementSocialism and the Supreme CourtSC notice to Centre, EC | "Socialism" in Preamble: another perspective

New Delhi, January 8
The Supreme Court today issued notices to the Centre and the Election Commission on the validity of the 42nd Constitutional Amendment defining Indian State as a proponent of “socialism” effected by the Indira Gandhi government during the Emergency.

The effect of the Amendment in Article 1 “Preamble” of the Constitution made in 1976, declaring India a “socialist” state had resulted in insertion of section 29A(5) in the Representation of People Act (RPA) that made it mandatory for the political parties to swear by “socialism”.

Noted constitutional laywer Fali S. Nariman, challenging the Amendment on behalf of an NGO, Good Governance India Foundation, said it was against the basic structure of the Constitution.

Taking cognisance of Nariman’s strong arguments on a vital constitutional question, a Bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justices R.V. Raveendran and J.M. Panchal, issued notices to the Centre and the EC, seeking their replies.

By inserting the word “socialist” in the Preamble by Parliament on a move by the then government, had, in fact, changed the whole character of the Constitution, which had never aspired to force the ideology of “socialism” or any other ideology on political parties in a democratic set-up sought to be established by the framers of the Constitution, Nariman argued.

During an interesting argument, the Bench put various questions on the political ideologies to Nariman and the noted constitutional expert said even Dr B.R. Ambedkar had “specifically” explained the reasons for “non-inclusion” of the world socialist in the Constitution when it was approved.

Section 29A(5) of the RPA makes it mandatory for all political parties to swear by “socialism” under the effect of the 42nd Amendment. “It is hypocritical for the political parties who do not believe in it. It is a live issue for a vast section,” he argued.

Therefore, the question needs to be defined by the Supreme Court whether the insertion of word “socialist” in the Preamble of the Constitution does not amount to tampering with its basic structure.

“The political philosophy in a democracy has to change with the change in circumstances and passage of time,” Nariman said.

When the court said why it should be looked in “narrow” sense and why a “wider” perspective not be given to it, Nariman said: “A permanent doctrine cannot be fixed for the political parties in a democracy”.

The court, after his forceful argument, issued notices only on two out of the four reliefs sought by the Foundation.

Of the two, the first prayer sought striking down Section 29A(5) of the RPA to the extent that makes it mandatory for political parties to adhere to the policy of socialism.

The second prayer sought derecognition of all political parties who have “wrongly" sworn allegiance to the socialist ideals “contrary” to their objectives as evident from their manifestos, political speeches and the common-minimum programmes.

2013 PIL seeking a definition of socialism

PIL seeking definition of socialism quashed
Rosy Sequeira, Aug 18, 2013

MUMBAI: To give a precise definition of "socialism" would be extremely difficult, said the Bombay high court dismissing a PIL which urged it to direct the Centre and six political parties to define the word "socialist" in the Preamble to the Constitution . The court told the petitioners—opposed to the government's liberal policies —that it is Parliament's prerogative to enact a law. 

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha heard a petition by activist and trade union leader Subhash Sawant and businessman Ajay Mafatlal for restraining the respondents—including Congress, BJP, CPI , CPI (M) , NCP and BSP—from supporting and espousing "action and inaction" contrary to the object of the word "socialist" . 

The petition relied on Dr B R Ambedkar's words—on November 15, 1948, before the Constituent Assembly—that by stating in the Constitution that the social organization of the State shall take a particular form, is taking away the liberty of people to decide what should be the social organization in which they wish to live. 

Their advocate Bhavesh Parmar argued that in spite of Dr Ambedkar's words, "socialist" came to be added to the Preamble by the 42nd amendment in 1976. He said once the word "socialist" has been added to the Preamble, the respondents cannot take any action or inaction contrary to its object. "Decisions like disinvestment of government holdings in public sector undertakings would run counter to the object for which the word "socialist" was incorporated in the Constitution . Similarly, the decision regarding permission for FDI retail in the country would also be contrary to the socialism," said Parmar. 

In the November 15, 2013, order, the judges said the petition is "clearly misconceived" . They said in the Balco case, the Supreme Court while considering the challenge to the disinvestment policy observed it is not for the court to consider the relative merits of different political theories or economic policies. Also, that while the court has the power to strike down a law on the ground of want of authority, it will not sit in appeal over the policy of the parliament in enacting a law. 

The judges said while Parmar does state that the Directive Principles of State Policy embody the ideals of socialism , it is not open to HC in a PIL to direct the respondents to define "socialism". They said any endeavour to define socialism would bring to one's mind celebrated words of eminent Fabian socialist, C E M Joad that "socialism was like a hat which had lost its shape because too many people had worn it".

Status of the Preamble

Note that the Preamble is not an integral part of the Indian Constitution, as decided by the Supreme court of India in the BeruBari case. In re Berubari Union case, the Supreme Court held that the Preamble is not a part of the Constitution. It is only "a key to open the mind of the makers" which may show the general purposes for which they made the several provisions in the Constitution; but nevertheless the preamble is not a part of the Constitution, therefore "it has never been regarded as the source of any substantive power. Such powers embrace only those expressly granted in the body of the Constitution and such as may be implied from those so granted if necessary. However, if the terms used in any of the articles in the Constitution are ambiguous or are capable of two meanings, in interpreting them some assistance may be sought from the objectives enshrined in the preamble and construction which fits the Preamble may be preferred.

Berubari case was relied in C. Golaknath v. State Of Punjab case and it was held that the preamble sets out the main objectives which the legislation is intended to achieve.

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Message from Swarna Bharat Party to all Indians (and republishing my banned post against Justice Kait)

​Swarna Bharat Party is proud of Shreya Singhal's unrelenting efforts to get rid of the draconian s.66A of the IT Act.

SBP is the ONLY party that has consistently spoken against this draconian law.
But this is not the end of the journey for freedom of speech in India. It is only the beginning.
We remain committed to:
1) introducing a Constitutional amendment that assures Indians the free speech rights that the citizens of the USA enjoy;
2) abolishing draconian laws like s.153A and s.295A of the IPC;
3) amending s.124A of the IPC to check the misuse of sedition by state authorities against political malcontents or opponents;
4) abolishing the Censor Board; and
5) reviewing laws regarding national symbols and the flag to bring them in consonance with freedom of speech.
To make India a genuinely free country, express your interest in joining Swarna Bharat Party (
Some of your may recall, some time ago a sitting Delhi High Court Judge issued a notice under s.66A to me to remove my post against his absurd comment that he would block Facebook like China does. 
I was forced – by this draconian action against me – to wipe out my post from public view (I marked it private). To ensure the judge didn't get a free ride, I thereafter wrote a strongand vigorous post against his actions (
He did not bother to respond. The man doesn't believe in reason or discussion. Only coercive force.
Given this draconian law has now been struck down, I have now re-published (reverted to public view) my original blog post. I wrote something in that post – in a matter of minutes, as I usually do – that needed to be said. It is sad that so few Indians spoke their mind, already being tyrannised by this draconian law. 

Remember: we are not obliged to be nice to those who destroy India's liberty. There are kings in the West who lost their neck for their oppressions. We can only be nice to nice people. Tyrants deserve to be attacked with all our might.

My original post was a strong protest against TYRANNY. Tyrant Kait responded with greater tyranny. Shame. 

I'm glad that Justice Kait has been shown to be an IMPOSTER. This judgement shows clearly why he was wrong. And no amount of tyrannical actions by him – now – can make him right. I'm willing to take him head on, now. if he dares issue me a "contempt of court" or other such notice. I'm sick of these tyrants.

But note that I was just one of the TENS OF THOUSANDS of Indians tyrannised by this totalitarian law. Many have been jailed in India. 
It is a shame that there is NO other political party in India that even remotely bothers for liberty. We are the last bastion of liberty in India. And lawyers like Shreya Singhal. India owes a debt of gratitude to Shreya Singhal. I can't thank her enough for bringing life back to this miserable, dying country – a country the soul of which had been crushed by 65 years of socialism and tyranny.
Please share this email widely. Let us invite India's BEST TALENT on board. 
We have a lot of work to do to liberate India from tyrannical governments and "judges". Shreya's work tells us that EACH ONE OF US COUNTS. Rise and be counted.
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