‘Our system doesn’t value time and that’s one weakness that worries me a great deal’
When I was a student at Cambridge University about 50 years ago, I attended a lecture by one of my best teachers, Lord Nicholas Kaldor. In that lecture that he delivered after visiting China, on the capitalist revolution in the light of Keynesian economics, the conclusion he made was that there is no technical necessity for any system to do better than the other, for socialism to do better than capitalism or vice versa. It all depends on the mindset of the people who make the key decisions of a nation — the mindset of its politicians, businessmen and media barons, the mindsets of the trade unions.
I think we have crossed many hurdles but we still have many hurdles to cross. India is a country of enormous possibilities. We have only scratched the surface. But I draw comfort from the fact that if you look at our top 10-15 business houses and firms, I think many of them didn't exist in 1991. Narayana Murthy is the prophet of that era which began in 1991.
That task is still not complete. India has to be a bigger industrialised nation. India has to be a big trading nation. People do not recognise that on a per capita basis we are not well-endowed with natural resources. And if we have to overcome this scarcity of natural resources, we have to be a major trading nation of the world. And if we have to be a major trading nation of the world, we have to be a major manufacturing nation of the world.
The industrial revolution in England transformed England — it took away surplus population from agriculture to manufacturing. The same process has been underway in East Asia, South East Asia and in China. In all countries, manufacturing has moved forward.
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