New Delhi, November 27: Former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan said governments need to listen to people to reduce the possibility of mistakes rather than taking actions solely based on demands from their supporters.
“It is worrying. It is often people, who appeal to a certain segment of society, have a very strong following. What happens then is that the potential for mistakes increases. You are not listening to the broader electorate. ‘These are the people who elected me and I am going to listen to their will and wishes.’ And you take countries down the wrong path sometimes,” Rajan said, the Times of India reported.
On the issue of “illiberal democracy, he said, it is worrying and this system needs to be tackled. “Illiberal democracy is not only function of leader, function of system which cowed out very easily to strong leader… the press, the business group, all of them tend towards bowing even though there are exceptions because their interests are all aligned,” Rajan said in a recorded interview played at the Times Lit Fest 2017.
He added that said the short-term political solutions to the job reservation issue can damage the fabric of the country. He made a strong case for broad-basing economic growth and generating more employment opportunities. “The only way to solve this is to broad-base economic growth. We need to focus on that as the ultimate solution rather than emphasise grievances… (they are) politically in short-term very convenient but have potential to bring apart the fabric of this country.” Rajan said.
“It (populist nationalism) has a potential to damage. I would define very simply as the majority community feeling aggrieved that it is being discriminated against. It exists across the world. It exists in India also. There are often underlying issues, for example an issue of job,” Rajan said.
Several communities in India have started protesting to press for reservations because they unable to find jobs, he said, adding that it is very important to tackle underlying economic issues, including unemployment.
Rajan also said that India is a vibrant democracy and it has to be seen as a strength. “Growth in democracy is much more stable unlike authoritarian rule. It is beneficial because it tends to be egalitarian. It tends to take people along with. Democracy gives right, allows people to protest,” he said.
With inputs from PTI