Rothbard in the Indian Supreme Court

In a Supreme Court of India case concerning that country’s tyrannical Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, the dissenting judge, S. H. Kapadia a judge cited Rothbard:

Mr. Murray N. Rothbard, an eminent educationist and Professor in Economics, in his Book “Education: Free and Compulsory” [1999, Ludwig von Mises Institute, Auburn, Alabama] cautioned that progressive education may destroy the independent thought in the child and a child has little chance to develop his systematic reasoning powers in the study of definite courses. The Book was written after evaluating the experiences of various countries, which have followed free and compulsory education for children for several years. Prohibition of holding back in a class may, according to the author, result that bright pupils are robbed of incentive or opportunity to study and the dull ones are encouraged to believe that success, in the form of grades, promotion etc., will come to them automatically. The author also questioned that since the State began to control education, its evident tendency has been more and more to act in such a manner so as to promote repression and hindrance of education, rather than the true development of the individual. Its tendency has been for compulsion, for enforced equality at the lowest level, for the watering down of the subject and even the abandonment of all formal teaching, for the inculcation of obedience to the State and to the “group,” rather than the development of self-independence, for the deprecation of intellectual subjects.

The opinion was delivered in New Delhi on April 12, 2012.  Rothbard’s influence continues to spread, and his name keeps popping up in the most interesting places!


  1. “the dissenting judge, S. H. Kapadia, cited Rothbard”

    No, the lone, Rothbard-citing dissenting judge on the three-judge panel that upheld, 2-1, the constitutionality of applying the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act to private, non-aided schools, was actually justice K S Radhakrishnan. Chief Justice Kapadia delivered the majority judgment, which “stated that the Act will not be applicable on unaided private minority schools, and boarding schools”.

    See notes 35-37 in the article from … WiKapadia … on the Act linked in the post above, one of which posts the full judgment and the full dissent.

Leave a Reply