Pragati - The Indian National Interest Review (ISSN 0973-8460] is a publication on strategic affairs, economic policy and governance. It is published by the Indian National Interest an independent, non-partisan, non-profit community of individuals who claim are committed to promoting awareness and education of public affairs.
It claims to advocate economic freedom, realism (international relations), an open society, a culture of tolerance and good governance. The first issue was published in April 2007. As of December 2007, the community edition was available for subscription free of charge.
The inaugural editorial lays out the magazine's mission:
In a land of over a billion minorities, the Indian republic—which owes its existence to the loftiest moral struggle in modern times—presents the best hope for the well-being and development of all its citizens. The survival, security and strengthening of the Indian nation and its institutions, therefore, is not only a matter of supreme moral consequence, but of immense human importance. Frequently imperfect application, repeated attempts at its perversion and creeping cynicism about its effectiveness must not prevent us from recognising that the Constitution of India offers an enlightened way for us to organise our society and ensure the greatest welfare of all citizens. Surely this is something worth defending. We at The Indian National Interest community strongly believe so. Ergo, this publication.
Writers at Pragati and Indian National Interest encourage liberal economics and what they call "liberal nationalism":
The upshot is that the state is necessary for the practical enjoyment of individual rights and freedoms. The survival and security of the state—often termed “the national interest”—is directly connected to the ability of citizens to enjoy their freedom. Put in another way, the “national interest” is the well-being and development of all its citizens. To enjoy freedom in practice, the individual gives up some of it to the state. The state, a nation-state in India’s case, exists to ensure the rights, freedoms and well-being (yogakshema) of its people. So ensuring the survival and security of the Indian state—by maximising its relative power internationally—is wholly consistent with allowing its citizens to live in freedom.
The publication's political and economic outlook can be defined as a neo-liberal, nationalist, to the point of being right wing. This is what one of their resident bloggers had to say about proselytization in India:
Offstumped Bottomline: There is a legitimate case for limits on Proselytization based on the concept of collective good of the majority community. Indian “progressive liberals” who swear by western notions of Human Rights and Individual Freedom to argue against this case are injecting their dogmatic prejudices while ignoring ancient Indian values of pluralism and accomodation that saw many a minority community from Parsis to Syrian Catholics thrive.
Offstumped Bottomline: It is heartening to see the Merchant of Death - Narendra Modi emerging as the principal opposition’s primary voice on the War on Terror.
The above view reflects an ambivalence on the issue of individual freedoms and support for controversial right wing politicians criticised by international bodies. Pragati and INI has been critical of human rights organisations, who they see as acting against the interests of the state. This, Pragati argues is detrimental to the interests of the human rights organisations themselves.
Members of the group have published opinion and commentary articles in leading English language newspapers of India such as Mint (WSJ/Hindustan Times), Indian Express, and Mail Today.
The sources of funding for Pragati are not declared.
- See section Outlook
- [http://acorn.nationalinterest.in/2008/09/04/on-liberal-nationalism/ Acorn (2008) On Liberal Nationalism 4 Sep Online
- The Case against Proselytization, from the blog Offstumped 29 Aug, 2008 <accessed 31 Aug, 2008>
- War on Terror - Time for Pre-emption, from the blog Offstumped 3 Sep, 2008 <accessed 3 Sep, 2008>
- Human Rights Watch (2002) India: Gujarat Officials Took Part in Anti-Muslim Violence
- Sandeep Balakrishna, Salil Tripathi & Rohit Pradhan (2008) 'Getting human rights right' Pragati Issue 15, June online, Accessed 31 Aug 2008