July 16, 2014 Print

Freedom is caravanning across India by way of the Centre for Civil Society’s annual “Freedom Caravan” program. Freedom Caravan is an internationally recognized platform for debate and discussion on various issues of social importance; it will visit 11 colleges in five Indian states in July. This year’s theme, “Who creates wealth”, invites debate on issues such as the reason behind India’s inability to tap into its abundant human and industrial resources, and reasons behind India’s economic, social and political handicap. The central discussion will address the vital question, “Why is India poor?”, urging participants to debunk perennial myths about the causes of poverty and prosperity and dig deeper to examine the root causes of the problem. Breakout sessions include discussions on “Creation of wealth through trade and comparative advantage”, which will include an interactive discussion and market stimulation aimed at exploring the benefits of voluntary exchange, and “How markets work”, which will include a discussion of the “demonic” perception of a free market and whether a market that promotes individual pursuit of self interest might benefit society as whole. Freedom Caravan also hosts the World’s Smallest Political Quiz, which ranks students’ attitudes toward freedom on two scales: personal and economic freedom. Participants’ answers are used to categorize students into five categories: Authoritarian, Leftist, Conservative, Centrist and Liberal. The quiz has proven to be a very useful tool in engaging students, sparking interesting conversations on the role of the state and civil society. The primary motive of Freedom Caravan is to urge the youth to understand and express their opinions on current social issues and encourage discussion and debate about the foundations of a free, prosperous and just society. Centre for Civil Society is working to motivate future leaders to become agents of social change in their communities.