Thoughts on economics and liberty

Category: Politics

Why Sharad Joshi had to join NDA in 2004 – in his own words

I stumbled upon a rich mine of old emails from the 2004-2005 period. I’ll post a few of these as they are of historical interest.

From: “Sharad Joshi” <>
To: “Sanjeev Sabhlok” <>,
“Rakesh Wadwa” ,
“Raj Cherubal” ,
“Parth J Shah” <>,
“Nitai Mehta” ,
“Manvendra Kachole” ,
“Madhu Kishwar” ,
“Jayaprakash Narayan” ,
“Gurcharan Das” ,
“Bibek Debroy” ,
“Bhupinder Singh Mann” ,
“Ashok Desai” ,
“Antony Joseph” ,
“Raghunathdada Patil”
Cc: “Seetha Parthsarath”
Subject: SBP Decision to join NDA
Date: Mon, 8 Mar 2004

Dear Colleagues,

I have seen Sanjay’s & Seetha’s detailed reactions on the decision of SBP to
join the NDA. I am gratified at the great sense of appreciation they have
shown of the extremely difficult and complex situation that I have faced
during the last month or so.

Barun Mitra has written to me expressing his strong objections to the
decision. He was, in any case, opposed to my accepting the Presidentship of
the SBP and thought that it was all a scheme of one particular group to
destroy me.

On the 26th January 2004, the National Executive Committee of the Swatantra
Bharat Paksha gave me the full authority to decide the political strategy of
the SBP in the coming elections. This was followed by letters from quite a
few members wishing to distance themselves from the responsibility of a
member of the National Executive. There was no response to my appeal for
funds. In fact, some of those who promised specific help have not being

The option of the SBP going it alone was, consequently, closed.

Of the two major National alliances one has not shown any alacrity in coming
to any understanding. This is probably because the SBP’s position on the
separate Vidarbha is poison to it. The two major constituents of the NDA
have made some concessions on the score. In my judgment, they could not do
better than that. (Please, see attached Press Note.)

I am far from happy about the seat sharing but the process of negotiations
will continue for another 15 days and we hope to improve our share.

In all these tractations, I had the advantage of continuous consultations
with Shri. Raghunathdada Patil, member NE and President SBP, Maharashtra,
Adv. Vamanrao Chatap, member NE and Shri. Laxman Wadale, President, Shetkari

The SBP National President’s office has started functioning at
D-59, Hauz Khas,
New Delhi – 110016
but would be working only intermittently till such date as the SBP can
afford, at least, a minimal staff of 3 persons, their salaries & perks and

The lack of funds and support on propaganda would make attainment of the
objective of 6% vote in 4 states plus 4 seats in Lok Sabha a distant dream.
My objective, now, is to make it possible, at least, by the next round of

I would submit a detailed report to the National Executive Committee of the
SBP at the earliest opportune moment.

Thanks with regards.

Yours sincerely,

– Sharad Joshi
National President
Swatantra Bharat Paksha
Vill. & Po: Ambethan, Tal. Khed
Dist. Pune (M.S.)
India – 410501
Phone: 91 2135 252295
Fax/Phone: 91 2135 252354
Website: <>

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RSS has changed its previous extreme position regarding Muslims being second class citizens

I shared my TOI post on RSS with a few RSS leaders. One of them wrote back: “First RSS never advocated that India should be Hindu only country. In this connection I shall request you to go through the question answers sessions given by PP Mohan Bhagwat ji in September 2018 at vigyan bhavan – RSS Conclave, Vigyan Bhawan”

I had in mind Golwalkar’s sayings such as this which make clear that he wanted Muslims to be second class citizens of India.

Anyway, I scrolled through the video and find that from around 48 minutes, there is indeed a change in mind by RSS on the Golwalkar issue.

In particular, Bhagwat is saying that RSS has changed. It is not copying Golwalkar entirely and that the kinds of thoughts I’m citing are no longer part of RSS’s approach.

There are other things (e.g. Gauraksha) on which I strongly disagree with Bhagwat, but I’m happy to note that RSS is an actually evolving organisation. That means the changes I’ve suggested might ultimately get incorporated in some way – thereby helping India.

At the moment I feel that RSS has taken India back to the medieval era. We do not want the kind of backward India that RSS wants. We want a far superior India.

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Why is liberalism so weak in India?

My FB post:

1) 1959-1974: Rajaji’s fightback against Nehru’s socialism failed because his advocacy was quite weak (although politically the most successful to date). He did not really understand capitalism and the country was too ignorant to understand his arguments. Nehru had flooded the country with socialist “intellectuals” in universities.

2) 1974-1984: Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan began to develop a modest opposition to socialism but nothing really came of it. Sharad Joshi had started his work but his educational task had just begun. Virtually no one ever spoke against socialism. I recall at the LBSNAA (1982-84) listening to what can best be described as garbage economics. No one understood the price system. Till today not more than a handful of Indians understand the price system.

3) 1984-1991: Subroto Roy had published his monograph in IEA, against socialism (it is a good document). He was a tiny voice. He got in touch with Rajiv Gandhi and even wrote parts of the Congress manifesto but obviously Rajiv was an economics illiterate and did nothing.

4) 1991-2004: Even though Narasimha Rao was forced to liberalise, he didn’t understand any economics. Sharad Joshi’s writings were among the few to oppose socialism. Think tanks like CCS and Liberty Institute started. My work on India Policy Institute started. My attempt to start a liberal party in 2000 failed.

5) 2004-2013: In 2004 I organised a conference which led to Sharad Joshi becoming MP. Not an ideal situation since he had to beg support from NDA, but that’s the best that could be done. But having realised the impossibility of the task I took up a non-political strategy from late 2005 (book/ Freedom Team). There was a feeble attempt by JP of Lok Satta but he’s not quite a liberal, and became a Modi beggar. Modi ignored him, so he seems to have effectively shut down his party.

6) 2013-now: The 2012 Ramdev interaction led me to form Swarna Bharat Party (this would have been impossible without the efforts of Anil Sharma who came on the scene in 2006). It has successfully done the paperwork to contest four seats so far, of course with very few votes. That’s because the soil of India remains barren for liberty and good governance. Religious, caste, class issues and other local confusions continue to prevail. Neither major party has any interest in liberalism or reforms. All are thoroughly corrupt, so India remains a Turd World country, quite disgusting for visitors (the local people seem to have adjusted “happily” to the filth).

One must add that Sharad Joshi’s Swatantra Bharat Party continues to operate, although very weakly. The bright spot is Shetkari Sanghatna, the only farmers movement in the world that advocates liberal reforms.

Conclusion as at May 2019: It will require a large set of leaders educated in economics and liberalism to change India. SBP’s job remains, at this early stage, to educate. But political education must take place politically – therefore SBP must continue to fight politically. Education must flow through politics.

Expect a very long journey that will be measured in decades, not years.

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