Who is a Liberal?

A Liberal person supports individual freedom in both Economic and Social lives. By freedom, we mean lesser restrictions from the government.


Government is an entity that people have created to manage few collective requirements of the society. Allowing that government to control more and more aspects of our lives is counter-intuitive. Legitimate areas for govt intervention include security, justice, foreign relations, maintenance of public records, regulation of industries, managing natural resources, and protection of forests and environment.

A Liberal person is against socially conservative restrictions and opposes government intervention in unnecessary areas of business, like those listed below.

Socially Conservative Restrictions

  • Govt restrictions on Freedom of Speech (Article 19(2) of the Constitution).
  • Prohibition of alcohol.
  • Ban on Cow Slaughter and restrictions on people’s food habits.
  • Criminalisation of Gay, Lesbian and Transgender relationships (Sec 377 of IPC).
  • Ban on Religious Conversions.
  • Bans on books, movies and documentaries.
  • AFSPA which overrides people’s legal rights during Army deployment.

Economically Conservative Interventions

  • Government acquisition of private land, to help private companies.
  • Support for Subsidies – Food, LPG, Fertiliser, Electricity, Water
  • Govt run schools, RTE, School Vouchers – funded by taxes or forcing other parents to pay by way of higher fees.
  • Ban on private companies in city bus service and railways – Indian Railways, BMTC/BEST are govt monopolies.
  • Restrictions on Auto-rickshaw ownership.
  • Restrictions on News – bans on FM news and terrestrial TV/Radio broadcast
  • Opposition to Foreign Direct Investment in Indian companies.

So, are you Liberal?

This short article was originally published on a newsletter edited by Loksatta Party. Reproduced here with permission from the author.

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