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Swatantra: Principles, People, Politics


Auditorium, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library


09 December - 03 February

10:00 am -06:30 pm


The aim of the conference is to revisit the foundations and principles that the Swatantra Party and its stalwarts stood for and understand its relevance in contemporary society, economy and politics.

​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. Advancing a ‘politics of ethics’, the party offered the only substantive alternative to Nehruvian socialism and the monolithic ‘Congress Party  system’ which had emerged post-Independence. Over the past few months, we have procured the party documents (over 27,000 pages) and are partnering with Nehru Memorial Museum and Library to preserve and host these papers in their institution to make these available for public access.   

Schedule for the Day:

1030-1100 | Introduction to the Conference and Opening Remarks

1100-1300 | Panel 1: The Role of Swatatra Party in Indian Politics and Key Stalwats

1300-1400 | Lunch

1400-1530 | Panel 2: Envisioning State: An Alternative Vision

1530-1600 | Break

1600-1730 | Panel 3: Building a Liberal Political Party: Challenges and Opportunities

1800-1900 | Dinner Talk

1900-2100 | Dinner