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Issue No.: 576 | June 2015


I am deeply grieved and shocked to learn of the sudden passing away of my dear friend, Raju. He was a dignified person, always holding high values and totally devoted to the cause of promoting freedom and protecting the rights of the citizen. Publishing Freedom First, a rare publication of outstanding quality was a testimony of his total dedication to the cause. He was indeed a true friend, always helpful in all situations. I associate myself with all of you in this hour of grief and pray that his soul may rest in peace.

D. N. Patodia, Gurgaon

I have just read the very sad news about Raju. I knew that he had been ill but never expected this. My heartfelt condolences to the entire Freedom First family.
Kunwar Sinha, Mumbai

It is with deep regret to know of Mr. S. V. Raju’s sudden demise. On behalf of the liberal group in Guntur, I express my condolences. He was a good friend and advisor to me for the last twenty years since I knew him. I learnt from him a lot about indian politics and the Swatantra Party. His death is a great loss to the propagation of liberal ideology.
Dr. L.S.N. Prasad, Guntur

The passing away of Shri Raju is indeed very sad. I thought he was out of the woods. The news of his demise comes as a bolt from the blue! His whole life was devoted to the cause of liberalism in India. I came to know him in the late 1960s, thanks to my illustrious colleague and friend at the University, the late Dr. S. P. Aiyar. The struggle against the Emergency brought me close to the two liberals of repute. The void at Freedom First is simply difficult to imagine.
Dr. B. Ramesh Babu, Hyderabad

There are those who walk in the shadows of great leaders, and it is only with their passing that one realizes how great was their own contribution. Mr. Raju was one such. He was in many ways the true successor to Rajaji and Masani. He devoted his life to keeping the flame of the liberal institutions alive that these great leaders had set up. For me, Mr. Raju was a mentor and guide. He initiated me into the ideals of the liberal movement. Every time I met him, I returned with admiration and respect for the untiring energy, clarity of thought and dedication. He shared generously his time and knowledge. Despite his age and increasingly frail health, he kept up a gruelling work schedule that would put many of us to shame. Systematic, methodical and humble, he worked every single day to archive the learnings of the past and make these available to future generations. Though he never hesitated to take a position and was clear and unambiguous in his views, he was the archetypal Liberal, always accepting of another’s viewpoint and defending to his death the freedom of the individual. I shall feel his loss very deeply.

Meera Sanyal, Mumbai

Raju was a giant among men, though he never gave anyone the impression that he was among the best minds in this country. He had a self-effacing quality about him, but when he began narrating incidents and his interactions with people, you were suddenly confronted with the expanse of Raju’s contacts and knowledge. He used to talk about a case he had filed before Mumbai High Court where he had posed the question "Can any citizen swear by a Constitution which says that the country is secular and socialistic?” The courts have not dared consider the merits of the question, he used to tell me with a twinkle in his eye. If they do, it will compel a rethink on the belated insertion of these words into the Indian Constitution. The question remains relevant even today. He was an amazing man. I shall miss his presence, his warmth and his guidance.
R. N. Bhaskar, Mumbai

Like several others of my generation, I feel unfortunate that I could "discover” Raju only in India’s post-reforms era, albeit I had heard about him, but never got acquainted with him till then. Thereafter, I have been singularly blessed that he involved me in the preparation of four Liberal Budgets and some other programmes and studies of the Indian Liberal Group. That was the time I came to know more about this great human being, his complete dedication to the cause of the Swatantra Party and his two great idols – Rajaji and Minoo Masani. He sustained his dream of reviving the Swatantra Party in India’s evolving political milieu, but that has proved to be in vain. He was always so passionate about projecting and propagating "appropriate” political economic liberalism for this country. For many of us, he was a friend, philosopher and mentor in the true sense of the term. It will be an immense loss to the already fragmented liberal movement in this country – it is going to be orphaned!

Sunil S. Bhandare, Mumbai

Very sorry to get the sad news of the demise of Mr. Raju. He was a great friend of the family and a delightful person also. We all will miss him.
Gita R. Pai, Mumbai

Deeply saddened to hear of the passing away of Mr. Raju. I still remember the meeting I had with him for discussing about Papa’s biography. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.

Shyamsunder Pai, Mumbai

It’s very sad news. Our last link with the epoch of Chakravarti Rajagopalachari is lost. I still remember Raju scanning through very small prints of Freedom First through eyes that were taking no more strain.

Sharad Joshi, Pune

I am very sad and shocked to know that Mr. Raju is no more with us. It is a huge loss for us. I have always admired his intellectual ability, administrative competence and human values. May his work and principles give strength to his colleagues to bear this cruel blow of destiny.

Dr. Usha Thakkar, Mumbai

Mr. Raju was a stalwart of Freedom First and a familiar face in the corridors of Army and Navy Building. We have been neighbours in our respective offices for years and I have watched how tirelessly he worked. His qualities will live on.
Radhika Sabavala, The Marg Foundation, Mumbai

This is a sad day of losing a friend who motivated me to join the faculty of SIES, who encouraged me to write comments on the legendary Minoo Masani, a friend whom I looked upon as a Beacon in this community work, always a hope to the ships in troubled waters – so many pleasant memories of a fine Gentleman. He shall always be near to my heart.
Bhal Patankar, Mumbai

The world has lost a dedicated person who was very clear about his values and prepared to fight against all odds.

Minocheher Damania, Mumbai

I knew Mr. S. V. Raju for over two decades. I have seen him as one of the few who held unflinching loyalty to liberal social mores and a free economy that drives the spirit of people to better their economic lot. He lived in a country that is ruled by politicians that hardly subscribed to his beliefs. I am not sure whether he went out of this world disappointed with the state of affairs in the country.

People like him are a few and would hold a candle for a small minority that still believes in a liberal social and economic world.
Ranga Kota, Hyderabad

Eighty-one years old and frail, S. V. Raju was Rajaji’s conscience keeper and conscience of the Swatantra Party. He saw and served the party with distinction from its inception in 1958 till his last day on 19th May 2015. In Mr. Raju’s death, the Swatantra Party has lost its most faithful and able "JAWAN”. The Swatantra philosophy lives on. Men may come and go, parties may live or not, the spirit lives on and on. Successive governments during the last two decades have implemented the economic and political philosophy of the Swatantra Party. Our country’s progress is the result of this adoption. The Jawan is no more and yet the "Amar Jyoti” lives on and on.

Dharmendra Nagda, 
Mahendra Oza, S. Ramachandran,
 The Matunga Unit of Swatantra Party






Other Articles in this Issue


In this issue ...


Tribute to S. V. Raju

Nurturing a Tradition

Jehangir Patel

Fond Reminiscences of our dear Editor ...


Raju and Freedom First

Ashok Karnik

Remembering Raju

Firoze Hirjikaka

Guntur Remembers Raju


Tribute to S. V. Raju



The National Scene

NDA’s Management of the Economy – More of the Same

Ranga Kota

Agrarian Crisis – Rural Distress – and All That

Sunil S. Bhandare

Rahul Resurgent

Firoze Hirjikaka

The Year That Was ...

H. R. BapuSatyanarayana

The Rural Perspective

Agriculture and Rural Indebtedness - VIII

R. M. Mohan Rao

Point Counter Point : Every issue has at least two sides


Ashok Karnik

Being Salman Khan

Ashok Karnik

Farmers’ Suicides

Ashok Karnik

Foreign Relations in the 21st Century

Modi Goes to China: Development at Home and Peace on the Border

B. Ramesh Babu

ISIS - A New Threat

Ashok Karnik

Dawood’s Return?

Ashok Karnik

Swastika: Whose Symbol Is It Any Way?

Nitin G. Raut

The Swatantra Party in Gujarat - A Historical Perspective

The Swatantra Party in Gujarat: A Shooting Star (Part II)

Usha Thakkar
The journal of the Indian Committee for Cultural Freedom
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