Three great Indian liberals

I have been delighted the last weeks to hear that my former colleagues in India are doing so well in campaigning for liberal ideas there. Spreading liberal ideology is not easy in a country that still believes in state control and socialism, even if more rhetorical than practical. The liberal think tank Centre for Civil Society (CCS) has been at centre for three people and good friends who now have earned international recognition. Here they are:

1. Parth J. Shah, founder and president of CCS, came second in a video contest arranged by the Milton Friedman Foundation in a well spoken video presentation of his use of Friedman’s ideas of school choice in India. The School Choice Campaign at CCS (where I worked in 2010) is direct result of Shah’s inspiration.

2. Baladevan Ranganjaru, founder and director of the liberal think tank India Institute, and formerly at School Choice Campaign too, received a special mention for Young Institute at Atlas Network for his team who worked in the Indian state of Bihar, finding over 1000 small budget private schools which changed the education planning at regional level.This comprehensive and innovative approach has provided a huge body of easily appreciable evidence that the local government under reports private school contribution to justify its monopoly.

3. Baishali Bomjan, associate director of Asia Centre for Enterprise (ACE) at CCS and Atlas Network, is launching a new initiative to implement liberal ideas into business in India. ACE will encourage students, faculty, and young professionals in journalism and media, economics and humanities, as well as various forms of art to promote liberal initiatives across India and Asia. Those who have already decided to work in the field of social change shall be introduced to liberal approach and get support for their initial projects through seed capital grants, and get help to convert them into viable programs and institutions in their own right.

I am very glad that these great Indian liberals have been honored. Indian liberalism has not always been so well supported and little in known about the liberalism of Mahatma Gandhi, yes even he ! – and C. Rajagopalichari for instance. To keep up with the emerging discussions on liberal politics, economy and ideology, visit the blog Spontaneus Order.

Shabash mere dosts ! Well done friends !!


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