Freedom First
Freedom First

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Freedom First, the Liberal Monthly, was founded by the late Minoo Masani, author and MP, at a time when free India was just five years old, World War II had ended and the Cold War had begun. As a participant himself in India’s freedom struggle he shared the vision of the leaders who had led us to freedom that, with independence, our country would launch towards the winning of a new world - the creation of a new society, secular in its foundation, ensuring liberty of thought, belief and action and the realization of economic and social justice for all the citizens of the free republic.

This vision Freedom First, has steadfastly adhered to, even when it was politically incorrect or ‘unpopular’ to speak up for liberal values not to mention liberal economics. Our primary aim has been and continues to be to inform, analyse and educate our readers whether, on the real nature of Soviet Communism ( which collapsed with the fall of the Berlin Wall), its inhuman treatment of dissent; of the fifth column that it created in the form of communist parties organised internationally including India; issues of governance; the onset of corruption as the licence-permit-quota-raj tightened its stranglehold on the economy; the Planning Commission which was patterned on the Soviet Gosplan and which inevitably led to wrong priorities e.g. the emphasis on heavy industry to the neglect of rural India in general and agriculture in particular; a lopsided foreign policy in the guise of non-alignment but pro-Soviet Union in content; and the growing trend towards too much government and too little citizenship. The list can go on.

All these were issues that came up for discussion in the pages of Freedom First. These articles spread over 577 editions in about 18000 printed pages reflect the times they were written by men known for their integrity and competence. In February 2009 we marked the 500th issue with a selection of 40 articles. There was much appreciation and demand for copies and this special edition is almost out of print.

Freedom First has been in continuous publication barring a period of six months in 1975-76 when we shut down rather than submit to pre-censorship and filed a petition with the Bombay High Court. Freedom First which was then being edited by Minoo Masani won the petition which was argued by Mr.Soli Sorabjee and this story is told in the pages which we now seek to preserve.

We believe Freedom First archives will be a boon to scholars and to those who wish to know the story of India after independence unfolded from a liberal perspective and will be of considerable historical and research value.

 

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