Sanjaya Baru Quotes

  1. An important instrument of economic policy-making in a market economy is credible, consistent, and timely communication.
  2. It would be wrong to see the re-making of Asia, much less India,as a revolt against the West. Asia has indeed been re-built on the ruins of colonialism, but not on the ruins of all that the West has come to represent.
  3. While free trade purists have always rejected regional and plurilateral trading arrangements, the WTO’s charter chose to be pragmatic and regarded RTAs and FTAs as building blocks of, rather than barriers to, the multilateral trading system.
  4. A trilateral initiative by the U.S., China, and India in the Gulf, aimed at facilitating a resolution of historic problems in the region, would benefit global growth and stability.
  5. Few in Europe imagined the incompetence and dishonesty of Greek economic managers would bring the entire European project into question.
  6. Family business management is a discipline that has evolved from an art into a science. The market for this line of education has been created by the growing recognition of family-run companies that shareholders are demanding greater clarity on issues ranging from succession to the management of wealth and the distribution of profits.
  7. While history has its limitations in shaping contemporaneous and forward-looking strategic choices, it does shape popular perceptions.
  8. If U.S. mistakes in the Middle East helped Putin raise Russia’s global profile, China’s missteps and hubris in East and Southeast Asia, once called Indo-China, have opened up new spaces for India’s profile to be raised.
  9. A politician normally flatters you in your face and criticises you behind your back.
  10. Rajiv Gandhi could have certainly attempted to form a Congress-led coalition government in 1990.
  11. There is no denying the fact that China has been able to convert its economic might into commercial and technological capability.
  12. I have been visiting China since 1995.
  13. In India, too many people do not write memoirs, but Natwar Singh and P. C. Alexander did.
  14. While the World Bank is an inter-governmental institution, drawing its funds from member governments and run by a board of directors nominated by member governments, its policies have increasingly become sensitive to civil society pressure and NGO agendas.
  15. Bharat Nirman was a development programme aimed at stepping up public investment and public-private partnerships in the construction of rural roads, drinking water supply, rural telecommunication, rural housing, and minor irrigation.
  16. When national policy becomes hostage to regional interests, the federal government becomes paralysed and would be unable to act in the larger national interest.
  17. Every university has its problems. The issues range from lack of amenities, plagiarism, poor quality research, sexual harassment, faculty moonlighting, and faulty and biased recruitment.
  18. If the World Bank does not alter its shareholding structure to reflect the shifts in global distribution of income and economic power, its role may get marginalised as regional institutions fill the vacuum.
  19. If Iran seeks to meddle in domestic Indian politics by creating disaffection among the Shias of Uttar Pradesh, what better way to counter that by reminding all concerned that while the Shias maybe an important vote bank in U.P., they constitute only 10 per cent of Indian Muslims, while the Sunnis account for an overwhelming 90 per cent.
  20. The challenge of leadership in a plural democracy is to construct policies that ensure political stability, social equity, and economic progress on the basis of a widely shared ethical and cultural foundation.
  21. Unlike other flagship programmes, which have been left with unpronounceable acronyms, like MGNREGA and JNNURM, Bharat Nirman struck a popular chord.
  22. Angela Merkel is no Konrad Adenauer or Helmut Schmidt.
  23. Real power in the modern world is determined by a nation’s economic capabilities, not just the nuclear warheads it stores.
  24. The G-20,with all its inadequacies, is a mixed group of the world’s rising and risen powers.
  25. To be sure, China is nowhere as powerful as the U.S., but it has acquired the ability to impose its will on individual nations around the world. From Australia to Germany, South Africa to South Korea, political leaders are careful not to rub China the wrong way.
  26. Like war, economics is more an art than a science.
  27. The new era of bottom-up politics has had politically paradoxical consequences in China. While it has made the system of governance more participatory, it has made the central government less authoritarian and, therefore, more bureaucratic and cautious.
  28. Civil servants and government functionaries do not write memoirs because they hope to get more government jobs or assignments.
  29. I think many people grow on the job.
  30. The UPA’s strategy of ‘inclusive growth’ remains the foundational pillar of economically, politically, and socially sustainable development.
  31. In some ways, Mr. Modi’s foreign policy is a continuation of Dr. Manmohan Singh’s, and in some ways, it could be that Mr. Modi was repossessing all the non Nehru-Gandhi leaders of the Congress.
  32. Public universities are the lifeblood of modern democracies.
  33. Just as the policies and programmes for development have to adhere to the law of the land – respecting the basic principles underlying the Constitution – so, too, must the idea of Hindutva.
  34. The World Bank is a shareholder-driven organisation, and as in all such organisations, the majority of shareholders would want a manager of their liking at the top.
  35. Unlike China’s growth story, which has been built on the strategy of creating excess supply, the Indian growth story has been built on the strategy of responding to incentives generated by excess demand. Which is why a certain degree of inflation is built into the Indian growth process.
  36. As Asia’s rising powers seek to sustain growth and ensure stability, energy security has moved to the forefront of Asian geopolitics.
  37. Obama’s starting point was not as low as Manmohan Singh’s starting point, and Obama’s rise was not as sharp.
  38. Indeed, China may never acquire the geo-political influence and reach that Great Britain enjoyed in the 19th century and the United States of America did in the 20th, even though it may have already surpassed the geo-economic clout the two major powers enjoyed in the heyday of their empires.
  39. Policies that aim to promote the livelihood security of the people – promoting employment, improving the nutritional status of children and women, expanding educational opportunities, and providing affordable healthcare – would be the first charge on the budget of a developmental state.
  40. Indian politics has a way of taking a curious turn and surprising the wisest of pundits.
  41. It is inconceivable that the rise of Asia could happen without the rise of the Indian subcontinent.
  42. The people of India and Arabia have interacted across the waters between them for thousands of years.
  43. For too long have many of us in India imagined a future in which the country would rise, leaving the rest of the subcontinent behind. This is neither possible nor warranted.
  44. In the 1990s and the first decade of the 21st century, regionalism was seen as a building block of globalisation.
  45. Hyderabad is a truly pan-Telugu metropolis that has come to accept the mix of Telangana’s dakhni culture and the coastal region’s Andhra culture.
  46. Given the stake that both the U.S. and Europe have in stabilising and sustaining global growth, their policies should be aimed at ensuring China, India, and other newly industrialising Asian economies can take up the slack created by the slowdown in OECD economies.
  47. Any sustained rise in the price of oil will hit the Indian economy hard.
  48. Wen Jiabao and Hu Jintao put together are no Deng Xiaoping.
  49. Like wildebeest and zebra migration across the Serengeti, investment managers and consultants, too, have a habit of running together and, every now and then, changing direction.
  50. India’s difficulties in negotiating an FTA with both the ASEAN and E.U. are a reminder of the importance of multilateralism.
  51. I do believe it is true that the people of India regard the prime minister as the most important political leader.
  52. The reason a Congress-led coalition didn’t happen in 1990 was because it is entirely possible that Rajiv Gandhi himself wasn’t sure how the Congress party would evolve in that context.
  53. On the upswing of an economic cycle, workers, consumers, savers, investors, and entrepreneurs imagine a future that is brighter than the past. On the downswing, they imagine a future dimmer than the past.
  54. A common language doesn’t soothe dry tongues and thirsty throats.
  55. With new oil and gas discoveries, Africa’s energy exporters will have to invest in defence capability and work with other Indian Ocean powers to ensure security of sea lanes.
  56. India is a complex country.
  57. China and Germany are important geo-economic powers that have been able to bolster their geo-political and even military power, thanks to the opportunity provided by their geo-economic rise.
  58. Policies aimed at attracting more foreign investment into India would naturally be a part of an external stabilisation strategy.
  59. The Indian voter will not shy away from sacrificing in the national interest. If the voter is convinced that high oil prices are a national challenge and that the government is doing its best to deal with the challenge, the voter would be willing to bear the burden.
  60. Ups and downs are par for the course and very much a feature of the Indian growth process.
  61. Continent-wide nations require continent-wide leaders whenever they are in crisis. The ‘idea of Europe,’ much like the ‘idea of India’ was the construction of such continental leaders.
  62. A major concern of some of us who were not sympathetic to the separate Telangana movement was with respect to the future of Hyderabad.
  63. I think the government lost control over fiscal policy in UPA-2. But it is possible to suggest that the momentum of the populism of UPA-1 did the damage when the economy slowed down, but government spending could not.
  64. As fiscal constraints impinge on defence and diplomacy, governments find themselves increasingly homebound, even if diplomats happily travel to summits.
  65. For China, the GCC countries have emerged as a major market for Chinese manufactured goods and food exports.
  66. For all the criticism I’ve been showered with – people calling me a betrayer, a backstabber – frankly, the only criticism I have of Manmohan Singh is that he weakened the office of the prime minister, and he brought down the dignity of the office.
  67. Shoji Ito was an Indophile like no other Japanese economist I have known. During the 1990s, he would frequently visit India to keep pace with the changes in the economy. We would always meet and have long conversations about India, Japan, and the world. Unfortunately, Ito-san died early.
  68. Crises are inherent to market economies, but managing them is the key to political success, and the media plays a vital role in getting the policy message across.
  69. It is unfair to constantly allege that Manmohan Singh’s only unfulfilled desire is to visit his birthplace in Pakistan and that his Pakistan policy is defined by this obsession.
  70. The ministries of finance and industries and commerce require modern-minded, transparent, and efficient leadership.
  71. Strategic autonomy is not secured by merely asserting one’s independence: it is secured by creating mutually beneficial interdependencies.
  72. Battles, on the military and the economic front, are first lost in the minds of the strategists for want of ideas before they are lost on the battleground for want of armoury.
  73. Unplanned urbanisation can create urban chaos and trigger urban violence.
  74. China has, without doubt, become an economic superpower.
  75. Prime ministers with full majority have behaved differently from each other. Jawaharlal Nehru was a leader who ruled by consensus while Indira Gandhi was considered more unilateral in her approach.
  76. David Cameron is no Margaret Thatcher.
  77. The world may view India more benignly, but it does more business with China. It courts China; it needs China. Look at the genuflecting Europeans and the fork-tongued Americans!
  78. During the 1990s, when India opened up to foreign investment, Japan was so mesmerised by the China opportunity that it chose to yield market space across a wide swathe of industries to South Korean competitors.
  79. Ordinary people understand that the rich and powerful bully the poor and meek.
  80. I have not broken any promises, but I have full freedom to say or write about what others have said to me during my tenure in the PMO.
  81. On climate change, Russia’s interests are aligned with the West rather than the South.
  82. If development is defined in social and economic terms while Hindutva is defined in cultural terms, it should be possible for the BJP to construct a political platform that is reassuring to a large majority of Indians and is respectful to the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
  83. On many key global economic issues, Russia’s loyalty is divided between the West and the South. As an energy exporter, it stands opposite energy importing China and India. As a commodity trader resisting the influx of cheap Chinese manufactures, its interests in the WTO clash with those of many of the developing economies.
  84. There are any number of socially relevant causes that publicly minded individuals may feel strongly about. In a democracy, it is for the government of the day to legislate laws to deal with such issues. Not for courts to issue advisories and declare criminal what may often be normal economic activity protecting livelihoods.
  85. If wars were won by superior technology alone, the United States would not have been vanquished in Vietnam or waylaid in Afghanistan.
  86. The 1990s was not just Japan’s ‘wasted decade,’ it was also a wasted decade for the India-Japan relationship.
  87. Telangana is not like Jharkhand or Chhattisgarh, nor even like Haryana. Apart from the language it shares with the rest of Andhra Pradesh, it is today more integrated economically into the state as a whole.
  88. Many people in public life are not good campaigners.
  89. Few disagree with the view that the 21st century will witness the return of Asia to the centrestage of global economic activity.
  90. The liberal fiscal spending of the 2004-08 period was made possible both by rising government revenues and national income growth and by relative comfort on the external side. After 2009,these pillars of growth began to wobble. By 2012, they were shaking.
  91. Karan Thapar is an endangered species. They don’t make them like him anymore. True, thousands have gone to the Doon Valley School after him, as indeed to Oxford and Cambridge universities. But Karan Thapar is more than the sum of his upbringing. He’s a gentleman journalist.
  92. All economically well-off nations have used what has been dubbed ‘cheque-book diplomacy,’ and China does so, too. Apart from funding government-to-government lending, China has also been able to create global companies and global brands that have contributed to Chinese soft power.
  93. While ideological blinkers blind one to change that one does not wish to see, statistics and opinion surveys, too, have their limitations in a complex polity like India.
  94. If the Asian financial crisis had the impact of accelerating China’s rise, the transatlantic financial crisis has had the effect of accelerating Germany’s rise.
  95. While UPA2’s handling of immediate foreign policy challenges can be criticised, it would be difficult to challenge the long-term relevance of the principles that define the Manmohan Singh Doctrine.
  96. Economically, the business development of the greater Hyderabad region has made the city integral to the state.
  97. When I was in the PMO, Digvijaya Singh used to call me whenever he wanted to see the PM. He used to go through me. He is under compulsion to criticise me, but I am under no compulsion to criticise him.
  98. Adversity is the mother of enterprise.
  99. Africa is experiencing rising rates of growth, but will growth get translated into development?
  100. The role of the media in economic management is not often recognised even by professional economists. Politicians, however, ignore this at their own peril.

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