What is Swarajya?
Swarajya is a 58-year-old independent media start-up. We are a new-age media company with a rich and storied legacy.
What is this rich and storied legacy?
In 1956, journalist Khasa Subba Rau with the patronage of C Rajagoplachari “Rajaji”, India’s last Governor-General, freedom fighter and statesman hailed by Mahatma Gandhi as his “conscience keeper”, launched a weekly magazine called Swarajya.
Swarajya was intended to convey the founders’ quest to translate the joy of freedom not only from foreign rule, but full freedom as defined and promised by the preamble of our constitution.
Swarajya represented the first coherent intellectual response to Nehruvian socialism and the ever expanding Big State in newly independent India.
What did Swarajya stand for?
Despite the odds stacked against it and long before it became fashionable, Swarajya championed individual liberty, private enterprise, the minimal State and cultural rootedness. Explaining the magazine’s mission in its early days, Rajaji wrote:
“There is before the country the great problem of how to secure welfare without surrendering the individual to be swallowed up by the State, how to get the best return for the taxes the people pay and how to preserve spiritual values while working for better material standards of life. This journal will serve all these purposes.”
So what is the new Swarajya or Swarajya 2.0 about?
Rajaji’s words remain as true as ever, especially now! Swarajya will be an authoritative voice of reason representing the liberal centre-right point of view.
In its second coming, Swarajya remains committed to the ideals of individual liberty unmediated by the State or any other institution, freedom of expression and enterprise, national interest, and India’s vast and ancient cultural heritage.
Swarajya will be a big tent for liberal right of centre discourse that reaches out, engages and caters to the new India in a manner that’s not arcane, abstruse, arrogant or self-referencing.
The founders of the 21st century Swarajya merely see themselves as custodians of the legacy of Rajaji.
Why Swarajya now?
The battles that Rajaji and his colleagues fought through the pages of Swarajya are relevant, in fact more so, even today.
Irrespective of the changes in government, India remains by and large a populist nanny state where the State makes choices on behalf of the citizens, and socialism permeates most layers of policymaking. This has resulted in our institutions and India itself remaining weak socially, politically, economically and culturally rootless.
With the world’s largest number of aspiring young citizens, it would be a travesty if India’s tryst with destiny were to continue to be subverted. The world’s attention will again be on India and this time it must not squander the opportunity to give all its citizens a quality and dignity of life that they deserve.
It is time to break free of the ideological shackles of the past and gain Swarajya.
What will Swarajya’s focus areas be?
Swarajya’s focus will be on what we have identified as the Social, Political, Economic and Cultural (What we refer to as SPEC) life of India.
So, how will this be done?
Swarajya will have two avatars to begin with—a digital daily and a monthly print magazine. It will reach out, inform, engage and energise the concerned and thinking reader through easy to read commentary, analysis, research, satire and opinion. It will use the tools of the 21st century, like tablet and smartphone versions and provide daily commentary, blogs, insta-opinions, interactive multimedia content, podcasts, videos and lots of other web exclusives. All this in addition to the monthly print version.
What is Swarajya’s mission?
The new Swarajya’s primary focus would be to channelize the positive impulses of an overwhelmingly young nation towards confidence and punch commensurate to its true heft. Socially, Politically, Economically and Culturally. Swarajya would be at the vanguard of the new Indian renaissance.
Who are the people behind Swarajya?
Our team is led by two veteran media professionals who serve as our Editorial Directors.
Sandipan Deb. An IIT-IIM graduate, Sandipan has been instrumental in the conception and launch of three of India’s most interesting magazines. He was the founding Editor of Open magazine, Editor of Financial Express and Managing Editor of Outlook.
R.Jaganathan. Popularly known as Jaggi, was previously the editor-in-chief of all Network18 publications including the online news website FirstPost.com and Moneycontrol.com as well as Forbes India. Jaggi was instrumental in scripting the trail blazing success of FirstPost and building it as of India's most successful digital outlets He has previously edited publications such as The Financial Express, Business Standard, Daily News & Analysis, and Businessworld.
Our Advisory Board
Swarajya has also constituted an Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) which will guide, criticise and provide a strong intellectual bulwark to the organisation. Its members would provide strategic advice and insights to the editorial team on ways to nurture an intellectually diverse, vibrant liberal centre-right conversation.
Current members of the EAB include:
Jerry Rao, a strong advocate of liberal centre right thought. He is the founder and former CEO of IT giant MphasiS, and was head of Citibank’s Global Technology Development Division. He is currently the Executive Chairman of Value and Budget Housing Corporation (VBHC), an affordable housing venture which he founded in 2010.
Surjit Bhalla, Princeton economist who has been associated in the past with Rand Corporation, the Brookings Institution, and the World Bank. He runs the emerging markets asset management firm Oxus.
Swapan Dasgupta, Oxford historian, veteran journalist and an authoritative voice from the Indian right.
Manish Sabharwal, Chairman of Teamlease Services, India’s largest staffing and training firm. A Wharton MBA, he serves on various state and central government committees on education and employability
Bibek Debroy. (Currently Standing out) Permanent Member of Niti Aayog- Govrment of India’s new think tank replacing Planning Commision
Will Swarajya be affiliated to or support any political parties?
No. Swarajya will be a fiercely independent, ‘big tent’ of right liberal ideas. We will not be politically partisan.
We stand for certain principles such as individual liberty and enterprise, free markets, a small State, openness, and cultural rootedness that is mindful of India’s diversity. It is not a mouthpiece of any political party or individual.
Of course, our commentary may at times be supportive of some whose convictions converge with ours. But, as you know, retweets do not equal endorsements.