India could be China if it was less democratic: Mahathir
Former Malaysian prime minister Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad said on Friday that India could be China in terms of its economic development if it was less democratic. Mahathir said though democracy is the best form of government, it is not the easiest to govern because people do not understand the limitations of democracy.
He added that India needs a much stronger central government and lesser power to the states to meet the present challenges.
Mahathir also said that close market has slowed down India's growth. He said that though India has been a democracy for a long time but it has a socialist leaning which comes in the path of growth. Mahathir also said that democracy does not always ensure stability and prosperity.
It is important for the world to understand the limitations of democracy, Mahathir said.
Speaking on the challenges of change in the 21st Century at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi, Mahathir said that the present challenges faced by the world has its roots in the last century. The countries which chose the capitalist economies grew better than the socialist economies. He said that the capitalist economies defeated the command economies but later destroyed themselves due to their greed. He gave the example of Western nations at this point.
Mahathir took the example of three important nations Russia, China and India to explain his point. He said when Russia faced challenge, it changed its economic and political path which led to lot of disruptions and the country could not grow and develop. Regarding India, Mahathir said that closed econoy hindered India's growth but it still did better. China, he said, has grown the fastest since it has brought change in its policy.
He said that China was more careful than other and so it changed its economic system and retained the political system. China's system did much better and the country has become factory of the world and even the capitalist countries today look towards China.