Thoughts on economics and liberty

Tag: Rajagopalachari

K.M.Munshi – a stalwart of Swatantra Party

K.M.Munshi, the founder of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan was also a founding member of Swatantra Party. He was committed to key classical liberal principles as is evident from his article (below) published in 1960 in "Why Swatantra" (I had scanned it from the hardcopy sent by S.V.Raju to me a few years ago).

However, Munshi's preference for support for Hindu culture by the state and his preference for Hindi's role at the national level saw him ultimately move to Jan Sangh which was not liberal in economic policy but more compatible with his cultural views. Indeed, as this essay shows (particularly its second half), he had not fully understood the ideas of freedom. Despite that, in 1960 this essay was surely path-breaking – at a time when few people in India even remotely understood the idea of freedom. 

To Restore Fundamental Rights
From, “Why Swatantra,” 1960, by K.M.Munshi
 
The Congress leaders loftily ask the Swatantra Party as to what it positively stands for. Like the Pilate, they ask the question and do not wait for the- answer.
 
The Swatantra Party stands, first and foremost, for the restoration of freedom and democracy in our country which the Congress is doing its best to undermine. We want to breathe freely. We want to possess and enjoy our earnings without government dictation. We want freedom to organise ourselves without bureaucratic direction.
 
We want, in the words of Gandhiji, to ‘feel that we are the makers of our own destiny’ and not clay to be moulded at the will of the Congress supermen. We want independence which comes, as Gandhiji said, ‘not. by the acquisition of authority by a few but by the acquisition of the capacity by all to resist authority when it is abused.’ Again, in his words, we want to ‘educate the masses to a sense of their capacity to regulate and control authority.’
 
The Congress has lost the right to speak as a democratic body. It has reduced all democratic processes to a farce. The Congress is no better than an inverted pyramid. Its annual session is a propaganda stunt like the regimented rallies in totalitarian countries; even the services of cinema stars are being requisitioned to buttress its attraction. The delegates have only one function: to admire the leaders and set the seal of approval on the A.I.C.C. resolutions.
 
The A.I.C.C., in its turn, dutifully rubber-stamps the resolutions of the Working Committee. The Working Committee is nominated by the president; the president is chosen in accordance with the wishes of the leader. We know the fate of a Congress president who a few years ago dared to think independently.
 
The Parliament is dominated by the Congress Party, the Party by its leader. The last irresistible and independent voice in the Cabinet was hushed when Maulana Abul Kalam Azad died. And the super-Cabinet of the country — the nominated Planning Commission — is always there to bring errant ministers to heel.
 
The National Development Council of Ministers-many of them dependent on the Congress bosses for their tenure-has also arrogated to itself equal powers of a super-Cabinet. This was evident when the Council at its recent meeting swore by State trading in foodgrains despite the fact that the outgoing Food Minister had categorically admitted the failure of State trading and the incoming Food Minister had expressed grave doubts about its suitability.
 
Democracy can only function through the existence of mutually-respected political parties with a national outlook. But that is not the view of the Congress. Anyone who disagrees with the rubber-stamped views of the Congress is dubbed a ‘reactionary’ or an ‘obscurantist’. He is branded ‘out of date’, not modern; ‘static’, not dynamic. Any person even in the Congress or in its Parliamentary wing who dares to differ is openly snubbed. Even an ex-Judge of the Supreme Court enjoys no immunity, though he may enjoy the luxury of a private apology. The P.S.P. is ‘unpractical’; Jan Sangh is ‘communal’; the Swatantra Party is ‘feudal’, and the Press, no sooner it dared to raise its voice against the vicious trends in the Congress, is the ‘voice of vested interests’ or in the retracted version, ‘run for profits’ and, in substance, therefore, venal. Only the Congress, entrenched in enormous power and patronage and with the resources of the State at its disposal, can be right!
 
When climbing to Heaven in mortal body, Sahadeva, one of the Pandavas, fell on the way,
Dharma Raja said, ‘He fell because he thought he was the wisest of men’.
 
* * * 
The Swatantra Party next wants to restore the fundamental rights enshrined in our Constitution, which the Congress has whittled down. The right to property is on its way to become extinct; the fundamental right in this connection has been reduced to a shadow.
 
Even taxation is expropriatory. During the last seven years, indirect taxation has been so oppressive that the common man is denied even the necessaries of life through soaring prices. At several levels the taxation far exceeds the income. A man with a dividend income of Rs. 1 lakh a year pays income-tax and wealth tax of Rs. 82,471; has to live on his own capital and pay in addition an expenditure tax. The attempt in substance is to kill private industry and private property at the same time.
 
The fundamental right to carry on business is being extinguished under various pretexts. One has to be a businessman to know how at every step his right to business is circumscribed, crippled or throttled. The big business was the enemy so far; the small trade is now the enemy. State trading is to substitute the bureaucrat for the trader and the latter will swell the ranks of the unemployed, helplessly seeking Government support.
 
Gandhiji said: ‘Self-government means continuous effort to be independent of Government control, whether it is foreign Government or whether it is national.’
 
The so-called democracy of the Congress would mean controls on all spheres of life. Every one has to depend upon the State. Every property has to go into the hands of the State. Every man has to be helpless before the mighty State. We are fast approaching the Servile State of Fascism implied in the diktat of Mussolini: “Everything for the State; nothing outside the State; nothing against the State.” And the State belongs to the political bosses.
 
Not an Act is passed by the multitude of legislatures in this country but imposes upon the people greater regimentation, operated through an ever-increasing bureaucracy. Even education, culture and religion are threatened in State after State by a mad passion for improving us out of our national traditions, values and ideas. And for that purpose, octopus legislative measures, with well-drilled majority in the legislatures, translate the will of a few into a prison house for all.
 
Now has begun the invasion of the rural structure, the most powerful bastion of a free people. By one Bill after another, now on the legislative anvil, the agriculturists are being reduced to a new shudra class of submerged people. Their income in most cases, whatever be the effect of inflation and whatever be the cost of prices, will not exceed Rs. 3,600 per year for a family of five working hard throughout the year.
 
In order to support these measures, even class hatred is openly declared to be inevitable by some Congress leaders. Gandhiji was emphatic: ‘In India, class-war is not only not inevitable but it is avoidable if we have understood the message of non-violence.’ But those who claim to wield power in his name have use only for his name, but no use for his creed!
 
Punjab was once a highly deficit State. It has now become highly surplus in foodgrains due to the labours of its progressive farmers. They have contributed their initiative, drive and money, mostly raised on the pledge of family ornaments, to reclaiming waste lands, buying tractors, sinking tubewells and levelling lands. But they are now to be expropriated; their crime was that they responded to the call of the nation for producing more food. They will now be forced to give up their lands beyond the miserable minimum at which the ceiling has been fixed and consign their tractors to a junk pile.
 
Prof. Otto Schiller, a world authority on cooperative farming, in a recent interview in the Statesman, condemned co-operative farming. He is the latest to add his expert voice to Charan Singh’s unanswerable logic. But our power-intoxicated politicians remain unshaken in their resolve to reduce farmers to serfdom.
 
Though co-operative farming is being soft-pedalled of late, it still remains the sinister end of Congress policy. We are told that no compulsion is going to be used to induce farmers to join farming co-operatives. This is either a cruel joke or a dangerous delusion. If all amenities are preferentially given to service co-operatives and denied to individual family farms, would it not be the most invidious form of compulsion?
 
Look at the facts. In Bombay, by law, 34% of farmers could be expropriated if 66% decide upon a co-operative society. There is also a Bill before the Bombay Legislative Assembly (Clause 30) providing that if any farmer is unwilling to surrender his land, the Collector, with the previous approval of the Government, will be entitled to acquire it. This is the non-compulsion of the Congress brand!
 
We are told that the farmer would be free to leave a farming co-operative even after he joins it. This again is a cruel joke. No sooner is a farming co-operative formed, it will borrow large sums of money from the Government and the banks. In fact, the Government will be entitled to recover its dues like land revenue. How can an individual farmer, one out of a hundred, be free to take back his land so heavily burdened? In substance, he will become the serf of the supreme landlord, the State. There will be a new economic feudalism of the worst type, against which there is going to be no relief and no appeal.
 
But that is not enough. The Conference of State Ministers of Co-operation which met at the end of July 1959, among other things, recommended: ‘Prompt action should be taken to secure deterrent punishment to the delinquents. To ensure this, it is necessary that
 
(1) a small cell be created in the Registrar’s office to look after this work;
(2) a junior Co-operative Officer be posted in districts to look after this work’.
 
And the ‘cell’ in this context can only be a cell –watching over the ‘free voluntary’ co-operatives which the Congress Government will bring into existence!
 
The people are led into complacency by the promise that co-operative farming is not coming for three years. The reason is very clear. The service co-operatives handled by the Congress and lavishly supported by the State are expected to be the instruments for winning the next elections. Then, they believe, it will be easy to get a ‘mandate’ from the electorate to introduce universal co-operative farming.
 
If anyone is foolish enough to think that the Nagpur resolutions have been given up, that the rural structure is out of danger, that family farming is going to have a chance under Congress rule, he is living in a fool’s paradise.
 
* * * 
What is the Swatantra Party’s economic programme?- they ask. It is laissez faire, says a Congress spokesman. The man who says so has not read our fundamental principles or does not know what laissez faire means.
 
The Swatantra Party’s policy is based on the Gandhian dictum that ‘all administration should be done by popular will; everything should go from bottom upwards. Democracy will break under the strain of apron strings; it can exist only on trust.’
 
The cardinal problem of India to which the Swatantra Party has addressed itself is how to meet the basic needs of the people to make their lives worth living.
 
We stand for an economic programme for the common man to secure him social justice and equality of opportunity; to fulfil the basic needs of the people, viz., food, water, housing and clothing, as the first charge on the State; and to provide adequate safeguards for the protection of labour and against unreasonable profits, prices and dividends.
 
The Congress claims to have been building up a social welfare state. But the stark fact is, it has hopelessly failed to provide the people with adequate food, water, housing and clothing.
 
In spite of ten years’ rule, the Congress still asks us to tighten our belt, so that ‘unborn’ generations can enjoy prosperity. Such an attitude is criminally heartless. It cannot help to expand our economy. It has naturally not evoked any enthusiasm among the people.
 
Let us have a closer look at the achievements of our social welfare experts since they embarked on socialising policies. The per capita income in 1957-58 showed a decline to Rs. 276 from Rs. 284 at 1948-49 price level in the preceding year. It is far behind Ceylon which has a per capita income of Rs. 500.
 
For a population of 400 million, we should have about 80 million houses, but we have only 15 million pucca houses. In spite of demand for more and more houses, the Congress Government could create conditions for having only 125,000 houses built per year. In U.S.A., with a population of 40% of India’s, a million and a quarter houses are constructed every year. In the last decade, our socialists have seen to it that we built not more than a million and a quarter houses. And ask any man who has built a house under what stifling conditions and regulations he has had to work.
 
What have these ‘social welfare experts’ done with regard to clothing? We have a textile industry, the second largest in the world and yet our per capita consumption of cotton cloth (including handloom and powerloom production) is only 16.8 yards against 60 yards in U.S.A., 35 yards in Japan and 29 yards in U.S.S.R. In their insatiate greed for taxes, the Government raised the excise levy on cloth from Rs. 45 crores in March 1956 to Rs. 72 crores in September of that year. This led to the closure of mills and consequent large scale unemployment; it made cloth oppressively expensive for the common man.
 
And what about food? It is the primary requirement of man; it forms 45 to 80% of the budget of a family. Freedom from foreign food, therefore, is the only basis of our economic freedom. Our “social welfare experts’ have, however, completely betrayed that trust.
 
The recent food situation in Bengal is a grim example of it, if one were needed. The food prices are soaring higher and still higher, thanks to the Nasik Security Press ; the people are cheated in the value of their money to finance prestige projects of the State. But, whatever the oppressive nature of food prices, the Government must take their sales-tax even from the poorest!
 
Between 1952 and 1959, the food imports have cost the nation as much as Rs. 948 crores, and the quality of food available is far below the minimum standards required for the health of the nation. The only remedy which the Government know is to spend crores and crores of money on spectacular schemes and make us more and more helpless in the matter of food through controls administered by a corrupt bureaucracy. Is this social welfare?
 
These are the "great" economic achievements of the Congress Government, trumpeted on a hundred platforms. No wonder that the Congress, at the election, got only 32 per cent of the votes of the people. It will not get even that percentage next time.
 
The aim of the Swatantra Party, therefore, is clear: it wants to restore free democracy and real parliamentary control to the people ; to meet, as the first charge, the elementary needs of the common people, viz. food, water, housing and clothing at easy prices ; to stimulate private initiative to create employment opportunities; to destroy the weedy growth of corrupt and inefficient bureaucracy ; to place the security of India beyond the grasp of ambitious World Powers, so that we can stand fearless before the world.
 
The Swatantra Party has to be made strong and effective to rescue the common man from being regimented, impoverished and enslaved by the totalitarian devices of the Congress.
 
To quote the words of our great poet Gurudev Tagore: “A cause as great as India’s should not be “dependent on the will of a single master.”
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The 21 Principles of the Swatantra Party (1959)

Some years ago I had scanned and extracted these principles from the book, The Swatantra Party – Victory in Defeat by H.R. Pasricha. Rajaji Foundation, 2002, and published them on the internet. Here these are, on this blog. By and large an excellent set of principles. I could dispute a few of them, but otherwise classical liberal. Do read these carefully, and let us discuss if you believe these are flawed.

Had India followed these principles, it would have been a super-power far bigger than USA by now, and an ethical super-power at that. But Indians chose Nehru and his godchildren (and children/ grandchildren/ greatgrandchildren/ greatgreatgrandchildren etc.), and see what you get today – the most unfree corrupt nation in the world. But even today Indians haven't woken up.

THE PRINCIPLES

1. The Swatantra party is pledged to social justice and equality of opportunity for all people without distinction of religion, caste, occupation or political affiliation.

2. The party holds that progress, welfare and happiness of the people depend on individual initiative, enterprise and energy. The party stands for the principle of maximum freedom for the individual and minimum interference by the state consistent with the obligation to prevent and punish anti-social activities, to protect the weaker elements of society, and to create the conditions in which individual initiative will thrive and be fruitful. The party is, therefore opposed to increasing state interference of the kind now being pursued.

3. The party holds that the state would foster and utilities the sense of moral obligation, the pride, satisfaction, and fulfillment felt by individual in serving others which are inherent in our tradition, instead of adopting legislative or other forms of compulsion which commence with want of faith in the people and are consummated in the serfdom of the governed under the official machine, in an omnipotent state controlled by a political party voted to power. The party, therefore, adheres to the principle of trusteeship adumbrated by Gandhiji.

4. The Party holds that the policies of government should be founded on faith in the people and not on state compulsion and the encouragement of hatred and conflict between class and class, expropriation, repudiation of obligations and the conferment of more and more powers on the officials of government at the expense of the freedom of the citizens.

5. The party stands for every effort being made to foster and maintain spiritual values and preserve what is good in our culture and tradition, and avoid the dominance of a purely materialist philosophy of life which things only in terms of the standard of life without any reference to its content or quality.

6. The party holds that steps should be taken to remove the pervading sense of uncertainty that has been created by the present policies of the government and its varying forecasts of future plans, leading to the drying up of initiative and enterprise in land, shop and factory alike. The party holds that a sense of stability and incentive for individual effort can be restored only by strict adherence to the fundamental rights and guarantee specified in the Constitution as originally adopted in respect of freedom of property, trade and occupation and just compensation for any property compulsory acquired by the state for public purposes.

7. The party holds that in the policies adopted for national development, priority must be assigned to the basic needs of the people, namely, food, water, housing and clothing.

8. The party believes that every citizen has a fundamental right to educate his children according to his choice and in a free atmosphere untrammelled by official directives and that the state should afford facilities for such education without discrimination. 

9. The party holds that the paramount need is for increasing food production and that this is best attainted through the self-employed peasant proprietor who is interested in obtaining the highest yield from his land. The party believes in an intensive program of agricultural improvement by promoting the material and psychological inducements for greater production without disturbing the harmony of rural life. The party holds that there should be no disturbance of ownership, management and cultivation of land, but believe in a more effective programme than is being followed at present in respect of irrigation and the supply of material, implements, credit and marketing facilities. 

The party believes in the need for giving every kind of help to agriculture but is opposed to cultivation through organizations which reduce price ownership to an empty paper-title and which bring into being a loose kind of multiple ownership which is certain to sap the incentive of the farmer and his family, reduce output, and take us to a collective economy with official management. It is firmly opposed to collectivization and bureaucratic management of the rural economy. 

The Party takes note of the dissatisfaction amongst the rural population that adequate attention has not been paid to their needs. It holds that the level of life of the rural prople should be improved by removing all such impediments as are likely to stand in the way of their attaining a high standard of life and by taking all steps necessary for the purpose in particular for maintaining a reasonable and steady price for agricultural produce, which is parity with other prices.

10. In industry, the party believes in the incentives for higher production and expansion inherent in competitive enterprise with adequate safeguards for the protection of labour and against unreasonable profits, prices or where competition does not secure the necessary corrective. The party stands for the restriction of state enterprise to heavy industries such as are necessary to supplement private enterprise in that field, such national services as Railways and the starting of new enterprises which are difficult for private initiative. 

The party is opposed to the state entering the field of trade and disturbing free distribution and introducing controls and official management with all its wastefulness and inefficiency. 

The party believes that in the field of production, the free choice of the producer and the consumer must be given basic place and importance.

11. The party stands for the preservation of the freedom of the small and self-employed artisans, craftsmen and traders who are in danger of losing their occupational opportunities by reason of the policy of statism. These persons perform a great, widespread and inexpensive function in our society, and their gradual extinction will be a national misfortune and add to our unemployment problem.

12. The party stands for great thrift in public expenditure. It holds that taxation should be kept at such levels as will not interfere with reasonable living standard for the people, both rural and urban, and which while being necessary and sufficient for the carrying on of administration and such social and economic services as are taken up by the state, is yet not so high and exacting or so ubiquitous as to prevent capital formation and private investment.

13. The party is opposed to a programme of development based on crippling taxation, abnormal deficit financing and foreign loans which are beyond the capacity of the country to repay.

14. The party is opposed to all policies that lead to excessive inflation, high prices that reduce the value of savings, endowments and fixed incomes, and which create undue hardships for the present generation in the hope of a distant gain.

15. The party believes that the cost of public administration should be reduced considerably. It stands for integrity and efficiency in the services. It is against the expansion of the bureaucratic machine, with a hierarchy of officials asked to do work which is best done by citizens and private agencies, resulting in unproductive waste of national resources.

16. The party believes that the state will best serve the nation by encouraging and affording facilities for a decentralised distribution of industry and by limiting its own regulatory function to the prevention and punishment of anti-social activities wherever called for.

17. The party stands for the creation of opportunities for full and lasting employment in all sectors of life. It stands for a programme of all-round industrialization with a view to developing national resources and reducing unemployment. It believes in a balanced development of capital goods, industries, organized consumer goods industries and rural industries that afford supplementary employment in small scale processing of the products of agriculture.

18. The party stands for a fair deal for labour, whether in the field, factory or office and for correlating to wages, increased productivity and for workers' right to organize for the purpose of collective bargaining. It stands for harmonizing the interests of capital and labour when they get into conflict.

19. The party is opposed to any form of pressure being put on officials to deflect them from the course of fair and just discharge of duties without discrimination. It stands for the rule of law, an independent judiciary, and for the full play of powers of judicial review given to the courts by the Constitution.

20. The party shall in all matters keep before itself the cardinal teaching of Gandhiji, maintaining faith in the people and in the efficacy of truth non-violence.

21. The Swatantra party holds that democracy is best served if every political party allows freedom of opinion to its members on all matters outside the fundamental principles of the party. It, therefore, gives its members full liberty on all questions not falling within the scope of the principles stated above.

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The Swatantra Party – Victory in Defeat: a review

This is a guest post by Vishal Singh, an FTI member. Here's a short note he wrote in  Towards a Great India magazine of 15 September 2009, pointing out some of the lessons to be learnt from the failure of Swatantra party.

==BY VISHAL SINGH==

I recently read the book ‘The Swatantra Party – Victory in Defeat’, by H. R. Pasricha. I write this article from the point of view of what lessons can be drawn from success and failure of Swatantra party. I will focus more on the failures, as that has more value to the current and future liberal parties.

.

 

Swatantra party believed in the principles of liberalism. It had many great leaders like Rajagopalachari, Minoo Masani but still the party is no more today.  What made a party which stood for individual liberalism die down? After reading the book I can think of the reasons of the downfall of Swatantra Party. I need to add that my understanding about Swatantra party is limited and I may be well wrong in my analysis.

• Ideology Acceptance – Swatantra party's core ideas were based on liberalism, which reflected in the 21 principles of the party. It is a question whether the ground workers really understood and believed in liberal ideology. It attracted the Rajas who were feeling threatened by Congress socialism. Many joined because they were threatened by the politics of the day. 

As opposition to Congress party was the main focus, Swatantra party joined hands with right wing forces. The key point for the Swatantra party became opposition to congress and the ideology probably took a back seat. For every organization the binding force should come from within rather than opposition of another organization.

• Leadership Pipeline – There were outstanding leaders in Swatantra party but it can be questioned whether Swatantra party had the infrastructure to produce more leaders as time went by. There have been instances cited in the book where people changed their views when it was learnt that Rajagopalachari – the tallest Swatantra party leader did not support it. Leaders need to stick their neck out even when they face opposition.
 
The challenges which Swatantra party faced will always be there for any liberal party. How does one convey the message of liberalism? The masses think of Capitalism (punjivad) as exploitation. The majority of middle class is not interested in the politics of the day. Socialistic policies of the last 60 years have pushed many people into poverty. The poor masses are now being trapped in the NREGA and welfare schemes. Sarkar is indeed mai baap for the poor today. There is a challenge today in conveying the message of less government and of individual responsibility. I do not have answers to these challenges but I think that one needs to slowly and steadily build a liberal organization. There will be a time in near future when liberalism will be accepted by masses.
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The Swatantra Party – Victory in Defeat

Many years ago I had made some notes about why Swatantra Party failed (it only got 44 seats in the Parliament), based primarily on Col. H.R.Pasricha’s book, The Swatantra Party – Victory in Defeat. These notes were first published in 2003 by the India Policy Institute as part of a strategy pack for a 2004 workshop, and later in Towards a Great India 15 September 2009.  (To understand these notes better, please read the book.)

Lesson No.1 : Liberals are no different to other human beings, and we should be humble and accept our individual limitations

Gandhi too had many preconceived notions; the one difference was that he had less of them than others and was willing to continuously learn. He wrote in Community Service News, September — October, 1946, "I have great concern about introducing machine industry. The machine produces too much too fast, and brings with it a sort of economic system which I cannot grasp. … as we grow in understanding, if we feel the need of machines, will certainly have them. … we shall introduce machines if and when we need them." He kept saying that he was a seeker for the Truth and was happy to be corrected. Obviously one man can only learn so much in one lifetime so we can understand why he could not understand the capitalist system of Adam Smith. If he could find the time to understand it, he would have surely changed his views.  
 
Liberals will need to build a political organisation that is based entirely on rigorous thinking, and complete equality.  
 
Lesson No. 2: Never tolerate a person on the Executive Council who does not challenge any view that the person does not agree with. Just because someone says so, does not make a thing true. Even Masani made such an appeal, that eventually destroyed the party. At page 79 Pasricha says, "Mariswamy, the general secretary of the Madras party, was arguing against the alliance [Grand Alliance of 1971] fairly cogently, when Masani interrupted with the remark that Rajaji was in favour of the alliance. A sudden, dramatic change came over Mariswamy. He stopped in midstream and abjectly announced that he withdrew his remarks unreservedly and totally. It struck me as extremely peculiar that the leader of the National Executive level should so abjectly withdraw his considered opinion merely at the mention of Rajaji's opinion. This is a small illustration of the type of leadership the Swatantra party was able to scrounge. Subservience to autocratic "rule", real or perceived, is a more natural state of man than democracy, particularly in India.  Never accept a sheep or 'yes men'.
 
Lesson 3: Nip the evil in the bud
At page 130, Pasricha talks of Masani being "fed up with the state of indiscipline in the party." At page 36, Pasricha points out how the Jan Sangh nipped in the bud any deviationist by expelling him from the party. People who discriminate against women, Harijans, Muslims, etc., etc., need to be blocked at the doorstep, but if they manage to infiltrate, they need to be expelled at the first opportunity. 
 
Lesson 4: Build party workers
Nobody in the party seemed to be bothered about building a set of workers who would proselytise. Apostles were in very short supply. A corps of trained, devoted workers, functioning under the direct control of a centre, could have sown the gospel far and wide and counteracted the prevailing socialistic rhetoric." "No attempt was made to formulate a detailed scheme for the training of cadres." (p.115) The party clearly did not have a strategy for the long-term. It was dependent on Rajaji in more ways than one.
 
Lesson 5: Do not contest elections until fully ready
Repeatedly, Pasricha shows the ill-judged keenness of state leaders as well as National leaders to contest elections well beyond the capacity of the party to organise. Resources need to be spent strategically and very prudently. Recklessness and haste can only destroy. That is one more reason to have ‘big picture’ strategy to be continuously reviewed.
 
Lesson 6: Never consort with parties the do not have the same principles
The moment the party compromises its fundamental principles, it is as good as dead. We are liberals. We do not provide Indian citizens with a hodge podge of policies – strictly liberal only.
 
Lesson 7: Ensure rigorous audit of the party
Tendency of state units to be highly factionalised, based on feudal or caste principles. All the demerits of existing political parties began to rapidly emerge in the State units of the Swatantra party including financial irregularities. A rigorous audit of party membership, funds, processes, etc., is essential for the party to not deteriorate "around the fringes".
 
Lesson 8 : Place a significant membership fee
By putting a low membership fee, wealthier individuals with political ambitions are able to enroll a significant number of dumb followers by paying for their fees.  
 
Lesson 9: The importance of allowing joint stock companies to fund political parties.
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