Thoughts on economics and liberty

Liberalism in India – a reading list

S.P.Aiyar wrote perhaps the best article on Indian liberalism that I’m aware of: The Concept of Liberalism and its Relevance for India (I published it online at the India Policy Institute around 20 years ago).

But there are many other readings worth looking through. I’m listing a few of these – in no particular order:

Nehru’s views about India’s pre-independence Liberal Party

Mahadev Govind Ranade’s writings: full text/ PDF/ Word, and some writings about his work

Sharad Joshi’s writings.

Whiggism in India by GANESH PRASHAD Banaras Hindu University, published in Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 81, No. 3 (Sep., 1966), pp. 412-431. Word version.

Liberalism in India by Manish, G. P.; Rajagopalan, Shruti; Sutter, Daniel; White, Lawrence H., Econ Journal Watch . Sep2015, Vol. 12 Issue 3, p432-459. 28p. Word version.   (I take a particularly dim view about this article – very poor scholarship).


History of Classical Liberalism in India


B.R. Ambedkar – a great Indian classical liberal

Ambedkar’s Buddhist liberalism and rejection of communism

India is inherently classical liberal, NOT socialist

Gandhi, a liberal during illiberal times

Raja Ram Mohun Roy (India’s first classical liberal) was also the first MAJOR opponent of caste


Francisco Luís Gomes

Wikipedia entry Liberalism in India

Sanjeev Sabhlok

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2 thoughts on “Liberalism in India – a reading list
  1. Arun Jetli

    Bourgeois liberalism based on empericist philosophy lacking historic analysis and having a judeo Christian understanding of human beings. You take a weak link in India namely caste system and tear it apart. What happened to classical material conditions and how culture is built. how about Indian logic systems that deal with induction and do not rely on reputation as the west does. your moralistic approach needs substantiation. Ram Mohan Roy was a MccCauley worshiper, Marx was right that morality is a bane. You are importing the western narrative under the guise of science, The debate between faith and reason is western. When did the east ever criticize any scientific concept , that is why East Asia progressed so fast. The judeo-christian Moslem world is a laggard and that includes India that was controlled by theocrats for 600 years. The theocrats who stopped all research in mathematics, epistemology and monistic mindest in favor of Doxa, namely opinion of the ruling class.
    Would love to debate, if you are serious. And yes the British education system is ineffcint and meant for slaves. It is based on fear and crude Skinnersist behaviorism.

    Aristotle was espoused Plato rejected.
    Whether a country needs socialism or capitalism or something in between or none of the above is secondary to its material conditions it does not come out of bible or Adam Smith, or even Ricardo or Marx. Due diligence is required. Incidentally , science means only one thing, Due diligence, nothing else .Science is not a closed system