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Airlines in India: cost and space Telangana in top gear… Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai How Air-India loses customs... Excel Generators provide the vital back-up When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Muffled voices for merit… Kinetic Karnataka More heat than light A professional at the helm of IRDA... Plummeting profits of PSBs Strengthen the base... Protest masters... An enemy’s enemy is a friend When the President was rendered homeless… Where a state respects its litterateurs… The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways A yen for wastage… Sweeter prospects for sugar The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu The few handicaps... No engine for this car Should we change the official year? A proud Madrasi Secularism and anti-Hinduism For whom the bell tolls? Polls and promises Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Tough task taking states together Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks Build close rapport with business leaders GM Technology at last! Valli, they are more marginalised Wanted: a second airport for Chennai The nuclear option GNS - 100: our first subscriber SoA @ 80 For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Increasing non co-operation of state leaders B H Kothari - a tribute Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Poor quality of university VCs Where is Rajaji? When Ratan Tata visited SRM Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities West Bengal: mindless malignancy Cutting the nose to spite the face Return to king coal for urea... A think tank for Chennai The rise and rise of KCP Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! Solar, solar everywhere … When online building permits work…. …and of a popular trade leader Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital Making ‘my Amaravati’... Welcome focus on core competence Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt The sea- saw battle continues... Come elections, come advertisements... Rahman at CIC Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Banning booze... Boy, can you beat these? All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V Preserving for the future Pharma – overdose of copying Tatas moving out of urea production... Roaring Ro-Ro facility Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ The brown list of Venkitaramanan L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Parliament in paralysis... PC’s preference for professionals Recognition to role of NBFCs.... 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Nuclear power at the nucleus The Gulf aviation boom Editor's Says Wise Presidents Small units prefers to remain small... More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Readers' Mail Noble nonagenarians... Funding the un-funded IPL - no surprise this scam China invests in India Shanti and Sadhana through Music Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Engineering seats go abegging The power-full Hindujas Breaththrough in malaria control The rise and fall of Annamalai University Road development slows down More tributes to GR Tribute – M V Murugappan Quality silica from Neyveli Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? Quality education through the PPP mode TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Robber barons everywhere L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… A more liberated TN… Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked Haul over the coal When small is no larger beautiful.. He saved millions from starvation... Contrarian cousins Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik CII projects higher growth… Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals Waning interest in public discussions… Sweet news for TN sugar mills Multi-faceted Venkat More Shakthi to Das’ elbow There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Five star activism stalls development activity He continues the focus on social amelioration Mersal magnified Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet London, London Narayan Things happen by accident and not by design... Delhi returns to BJP Kulandai was a giant Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! 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Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Marketing expert Balagopal is no more A welcome initiative by the judiciary Tribute Another Indian music maestro at the UN Why this malaise in medical education? When nations steal growth from one another… Revive development banks... A glass full of corruption Revving up the manufacturing sector An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL Solar thermal shines… ONGC at KG Basin Building loyalty through the stomach Computation of GDP – conundrums continue EEC at the National Media Centre Fortune for Indian Airlines Which side are you, Montek? Moily’s bold thrust Modi storms Silicon Valley Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Welcome GST Delhi is distant Shipping woes of Chennai companies Streamlining mandatory third party cover The Jan Dhan bonanza Music happens Maximising the micro pricing …
 
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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