India, The Dialectics of Development and Democracy
“I think the central issue before India at 66 years from its declaration of independence is that, whereas at the start we assumed that both democracy and development are desirable and can be secured together, increasingly we are facing a dilemma of democracy and development. An the reason for that is, that as our economy grows faster and faster – as it has been doing particularly in the last decade – we discover that higher growth leads to wider inequalities…and that a lot of the development process involves disruption. This is illustrated by the fact that about 65 million tribal Indians have been displaced as a result of development based on attempting to discover minerals and loose timber. In these circumstances democracy – which has become a grounded reality in India – has to find an answer in reconciling the growth of GDP with its impact on the people,” explains Mani Shankar Aiyar, an Indian MP and former diplomat and minister, interviewed at our Venice-Delhi Seminars 2012 at the Giorgio Cini Foundation in Venice, Italy.
Mani Shankar Aiyar is a former diplomat, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha), India; Chairman, Expert Committee, Panchayat Raj Institutions, Delhi
Interview by Nicola Missaglia
Videomaker: Ruben Lagattolla
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Discover the September 2013 Issue of Seminar magazine, with contributions from the Venice-Delhi Seminars 2012