Event Information

Swatantra: Principles, People, Politics

Event Date: 09 Dec 2016; Time: 10:00 am –  6:30 pm
Venue: Auditorium, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library

Swatantra Party, founded in 1959 by C. Rajagopalachari, was India’s first and only national political party to advance principles of social justice, free enterprise, personal liberty, secularism, and individual rights. Advocating a ‘politics of ethics’, the party featured the voices of prominent liberals such as Minoo Masani, N G Ranga, Piloo Mody, and offered the only substantive alternative to Nehruvian socialism and the monolithic ‘Congress Party system’ which had emerged post-Independence. After securing substantive electoral victories through 1960s—emerging as the single-largest opposition party in the fourth Lok Sabha (1967-71)—the Party disintegrated in the early seventies, following Rajagopalachari’s withdrawal from politics and demise. Through its brief but strong tenure of 15 years, the party exercised wide reach throughout India, and exerted significant pressures on issues ranging from industry to foreign policy.

 Swatantra Party was a significant and unique intervention in the larger narrative of modern Indian politics, and merits sustained engagement from scholars and intellectuals today. Upon procurement of over 27,000 pages from the defunct Swatantra Party's offices in Mumbai, Centre for Civil Society aims to store the archive at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. The launch of the archive is marked with a day-long Conference on Saturday, 9 December, 2017 at the Auditorium, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library on the eve of C. Rajagopalachari's birth anniversary.

To know more about the panel, and conference schedule, view the Conference Concept Note.

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For details contact:
Arushi Vats (arushi@ccs.in)
+91 9811575503