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S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Welcome focus on core competence Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... Wanted: a second airport for Chennai A professional at the helm of IRDA... Tough task taking states together Which side are you, Montek? F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? Kulandai was a giant Haul over the coal Sweeter prospects for sugar China invests in India Quality silica from Neyveli The rise and rise of KCP Tax agriculture Small units prefers to remain small... Polls and promises EVM is tamper-proof Solar, solar everywhere … Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy The nuclear option Fortune for Indian Airlines TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Solar thermal shines… Paytm karo... Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai For whom the bell tolls? Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Shipping woes of Chennai companies WTO Meet: resolved to meet again A more liberated TN… No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Put expensive assets created to use... Nuclear power at the nucleus All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Fuel for thought The Swadeshi Trump Multi-faceted Venkat Recognition to role of NBFCs.... The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ Editor's Says An enemy’s enemy is a friend Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V TELANGANA at last…BUT Shanti and Sadhana through Music Tribute CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Robber barons everywhere Quality education through the PPP mode Rahman at CIC A friendly business group Align crops to agro climate endowments… Airlines in India: cost and space GNS - 100: our first subscriber Fortune 500 review Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Welcome GST Cutting the nose to spite the face No Maha Koottani in TN... How Air-India loses customs... PC’s preference for professionals A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Muffled voices for merit… Medical costs hit the roof... Cement prices continue to rise… L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Adharma of opposition politics For whom the MIDS bell tolls? The brown list of Venkitaramanan Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Strengthen the base... Demise of a media baron... 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Chennai devastated Gas is the way forward Gay abandon in pricing The Jan Dhan bonanza Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals Vibrant Gujarat Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik A think tank for Chennai London, London Narayan Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked Pharma – overdose of copying Preserving for the future Tatas moving out of urea production... Road development slows down Boy, can you beat these? Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks ONGC at KG Basin Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Readers' Mail Five star activism stalls development activity Music happens Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel Should we change the official year? Delhi returns to BJP Tatas moving out of urea production... GM Technology at last! 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Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Building loyalty through the stomach Revving up the manufacturing sector Kudos to NDTV... Intellectual of rare qualities Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Revive development banks... Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! The Gulf aviation boom B H Kothari - a tribute A welcome initiative by the judiciary Modi storms Silicon Valley Auto components surge… Breaththrough in malaria control Marketing expert Balagopal is no more TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership The sea- saw battle continues... Modi and the lady More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Engineering seats go abegging West Bengal: mindless malignancy IPL type auction for VCs? Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Come elections, come advertisements... Funding the un-funded
 
S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal

For several years I have been suggesting experts on budget to work on a model budget and present it for discussion and consideration around December/January. For several years, noted jurist N A Palkhivala reviewed the salient features of a budget, post its presentation. His addresses drew large crowds and in quick time evolved as a regular talk show in several cities. With the advent of the news television, this circus shifted to the mass media as a form of entertainment and also attracted lot of sponsorships and revenues through advertisements.

I was, therefore, happy this subject receiving attention at the hands of SV Raju (SR), Editor, Freedom First, Honorary Secretary of the Indian Committee for Cultural Freedom and a past President of the Indian Liberal Group. Over a decade ago, he assembled 20 budget specialists including economists, senior retired civil servants and other public-spirited at Nashik. These laboured to produce a draft liberal budget and presented it to the policymakers.

Raju was Executive Secretary of the Swatantra Party for 14 years between 1959 and 1973 and worked closely with Rajaji and Minoo Masani (He authored a political biography of Masani). The Freedom First, now on its 64th year of publication, was a strong platform for liberal thought.

Raju found a kindred soul in Prof S Radhakrishan. He worked along with SR in the project for economic education. I remember the several meetings this project organised in Chennai presided by Raju. Self-effacing and humble, Raju never intruded the viewpoints of the speakers. Former Finance Secretary K P Geethakrishnan, who lent his expertise in the formulation of the liberal budgets, traced the early years of Raju at Coonoor, his shifting to Mumbai and getting deeply immersed in the liberal movement.

In my visits to Mumbai, I have been dropping in at Army Navy Building that housed the Freedom First office of Raju. The octogenarian, himself of frail health, was taking great care of his ailing wife. Raju was greatly concerned over the failure to cultivate a sense of bi-partisanship in the political arena. He suggested that the Speaker of the Parliament should not be from the ruling party or the major opposition. He suggested that these parties should, before the elections, agree on a person with sound training, wisdom and discipline (preferably a retired judge or jurist) to be elected Speaker. He used to ruefully remark that even Nehru did not encourage bipartisanship and referred to his contemptuous rejection of Swatantra Party’s support on the basis of its coming from “a right reactionary party of farmers and rich businessmen.”

Raju was the author of several books on democracy, liberalism, elections… His biographies on Masani and M R Pai and the several essays on the Swatantra Party are reference papers on liberal thought. His recent demise is a blow to liberal thought.

 

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