Former Reserve Bank of India Governor and renowned economist Raghuram Rajan on Saturday warned that any attempt to turn a large minority into “second class citizens” will divide the country.
Rajan was speaking at the 5th conclave of All India Professionals Congress, a wing of the Congress party in Raipur.
“In this age of geopolitical turmoil, it will weaken us and also make the country vulnerable to foreign meddling,” Rajan said.
Rajan further pointed out that the ongoing crisis in Sri Lanka was an example of what happens when a country’s politicians try to deflect a job crisis by targeting minorities.
“It does not lead to anywhere good,” he said.
The economist also said that there is a notion among some quarters in India that its democracy holds back economic development and that we need a strong, even authoritarian, leadership with few checks and balances to grow.
“I believe this argument is totally wrong. It is based on an outdated model of development that emphasizes goods and capital, not people and ideas,” Rajan said.
Rajan went on to say: “The under-performance of the country in terms of economic growth seems to indicate the path we are going on needs rethinking. Indeed for about a decade, probably since the onset of the global financial crisis, we haven’t been doing as well as we could. The key measure of this underperformance is our inability to create the good jobs that our youth need.”
India’s future lies in strengthening its liberal democracy and its institutions, and not in weakening them, he said.