Updated: September 22, 2014 1:14:45 am
Asserting that India does not need to follow Chinese model for a rapid economic progress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he has a “clear roadmap” to channel people’s entrepreneurial nature towards achieving 8 to 9 per cent growth rates for a longer period.
The Prime Minister also hoped China, which has been aggressive in the matters relating to the South China Sea and the East Sea, would accept global laws and play a cooperating role as Beijing does not want to stand isolated.
Asked by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria if the Prime Minister felt the pace of development in China was faster because of its authoritarian rule and slower in India due to its democratic set up, Modi said, “If China is one example, then democratic countries provide another example. They have also grown fast. You can’t say that growth is not possible because of democracy. Democracy is our commitment. It is our great legacy, a legacy we simply cannot compromise. Democracy is in our DNA.”
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When pressed further, the PM said, “See, I have seen the strength of democracy. If there were no democracy then someone like me, Modi, a child born in a poor family, how would he sit here? This is the strength of democracy.”
On comparison with China on the economic front, he replied, “India does not need to become anything else. India must become only India. This is a country that once upon a time was called ‘the golden bird’… If you see the details of the last five or 10 centuries, you will see that India and China have grown at similar paces. Their contributions to global GDP have risen in parallel, and fallen in parallel.
“Today’s era once again belongs to Asia. India and China are both growing rapidly, together. That is why India needs to remain India.”
“It is my absolute belief that Indians have unlimited talent. I have no doubt about our capabilities. I have a lot of faith in the entrepreneurial nature of our 1.25 billion people. There is a lot of capability. And I have a clear road-map to channel it,” Modi replied to a query that can India achieve 8 to 9 per cent growth rates that China has done consistently for 30 years.
Asked about China’s behaviour in the South China and the East sea that has left many of its neighbours worried, he said, “India is different… We can’t run our country if we get worried about every small thing. At the same time, we can’t close our eyes to problems. That’s why India maintains that we are now in a different era. We are not living in the 18th century. China is also a country with an ancient cultural heritage. Look at how it has focused on economic development. It’s hardly the sign of a country that wants to be isolated. It wants to stay connected. That is why we should have trust in China’s understanding and have faith that it would accept global laws and will play its role in cooperating and moving forward.”
On Russian annexation of Crimea, he said that India feels that efforts need to be made to sit together and talk, and to resolve problems in an ongoing process.
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