In India people often get confused between who is liberal and who is not liberal. For example, people with leftist mentality of the like to call themselves liberal. Even people who support political parties like the Congress and to an extent even the casteist parties like the Samajwadi Party without hesitation post about being liberal. In fact, everybody but the people from the Right ideology can call himself or herself liberal without being contradicted.
Liberalism, as this article by Mehnaz Merchant rightly says, is about being open to all thoughts, lifestyles and ideologies, whether you personally agree with them or not.
Who exactly is a liberal? The first rule of liberalism is tolerance to different points of view. The second rule? Openness. The third: rejection of feudalism, casteism and communalism.
How do our politicians and opinion-makers fare when we apply these criteria? Most Indian Left-leaners call themselves liberals. But the Left is a didactic ideology. It resists change. It brooks no ideological dissent. India’s Left politicians still hanker after the Soviet economic model which has been discredited by every country except North Korea. Even China, the Indian Left’s old lodestar, has embraced free markets since 1979 when Deng Xiaoping changed the course of Chinese economic history.
In 1979, still under economic controls, Chinese GDP was $ 182 billion. Indian GDP in 1979 was $ 227 billion.
Cut to 2015.
Chinese GDP is $11.21 trillion, Indian GDP $2.31 trillion.