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B H Kothari - a tribute Cutting the nose to spite the face Excel Generators provide the vital back-up …and of a popular trade leader Russi Mody – a tribute Nuclear power at the nucleus IAS invades NDDB... More Shakthi to Das’ elbow CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health A glass full of corruption Welcome GST Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Make standards certification mandatory... Another Indian music maestro at the UN Plummeting profits of PSBs The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more A yen for wastage… Gay abandon in pricing Build close rapport with business leaders The nuclear option Airlines in India: cost and space TIAM turns a full cycle PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals A welcome initiative by the judiciary Marketing expert Balagopal is no more Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... The why of tax incentives Come elections, come advertisements... 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The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Intellectual of rare qualities Quality silica from Neyveli Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Sweeter prospects for sugar The balancing act Tatas moving out of urea production... Parliament in paralysis... Fortune for Indian Airlines Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Preserving for the future Valli, they are more marginalised Shipping woes of Chennai companies CII projects higher growth… EEC at the National Media Centre Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked Solar thermal shines… Demise of a media baron... Things happen by accident and not by design... A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science For whom the MIDS bell tolls? 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Sweet news for TN sugar mills GNS - 100: our first subscriber Should we change the official year? There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! He continues the focus on social amelioration Moily’s bold thrust The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Waning interest in public discussions… Contrarian cousins When the President was rendered homeless… Protest masters... More heat than light The star of Spencers is no more Convulsions in The Hindu Solar, solar everywhere … Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Tough task taking states together SoA @ 80 Where is Rajaji? Funding the un-funded TELANGANA at last…BUT Modi and the lady Silver Years of Madras Musings F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ Small units prefers to remain small... Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Why this malaise in medical education? Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Align crops to agro climate endowments… He saved millions from starvation... Fortune 500 review S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist Increasing non co-operation of state leaders When small is no larger beautiful.. A rich pool of talent not utilised…. A more liberated TN… Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad The sea- saw battle continues... Tribute How Air-India loses customs... Building loyalty through the stomach More tributes to GR Permanent secretariat for TN GIM The brown list of Venkitaramanan Gas is the way forward R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital Tax agriculture Polls and promises Which side are you, Montek? Adharma of opposition politics Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Rahman at CIC Editor's Notes Delhi is distant… TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector A friendly business group Revive development banks... Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research West Bengal: mindless malignancy Telangana in top gear… Tatas moving out of urea production... Computation of GDP – conundrums continue TGS- The king storyteller All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Towards speedy justice Where a state respects its litterateurs… Mu Sigma – is no more Boy, can you beat these? An enemy’s enemy is a friend Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria ONGC at KG Basin Robber barons everywhere Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Vibrant Gujarat Kulandai was a giant For whom the bell tolls? Mersal magnified MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Editor's Says Tribute – M V Murugappan Delhi is distant A proud Madrasi Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel No engine for this car Quality education through the PPP mode S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Engineering seats go abegging
 
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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