What does it mean to be a Liberal in India

“What Does it mean to be a Liberal in India”. To find answers to this query, the South Asian Regional Office of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) in cooperation with the Centre for Civil Society (CCS) and the Students for Liberty (SFL) organized a nation-wide essay writing competition.

We were overwhelmed by the response to our call for contributions. Assisted by a group of eminent Indian Jury members, we selected the very best 19 essays for publication in this book.  

“This is an extraordinary book with very remarkable writings of young Indians. It will make the reader aware of the challenges but also the huge opportunities for liberal transformation in the biggest democracy on earth”, says FNF’s Regional Director Dr. Ronald Meinardus, the editor of the book.

The 140-pages tome is now available for a free download. Click on the link below to download.


 What does it mean to be a Liberal in IndiaPDF  1.23 MB

From the back cover:

“Liberalism in India may be characterized by just three words: Pseudo, exclusive and misunderstood”, writes one of our authors. This collection of essays wants to unravel the misunderstandings. Young citizens share their views on what it means to be a liberal in India – a nation in the midst of historic transformation affecting all spheres of life and leaving many in search for a suitable political paradigm to guide the way into the future.

Does liberalism hold the answers? And: What is liberalism in an Indian context? Our 19 prize winning authors share their thoughts on these queries and touch on different aspects affecting their lives: Politics, the economy, society and religion, sexuality and morality, to name but the most important.

As an antithesis to dogmatism, liberalism does not provide one-fits-all solutions to the challenges of humanity. Also in this book, you will note the intellectual diversity of India’s vibrant liberal discourse. Bridging the plurality of ideas and positions is the conviction that freedom of the individual stands as the cornerstone of all liberal aspirations.

Written by
Swatantrata Center
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