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Narayana Murthy: India 'stalled' during UPA-era, today there is respect

The former Infosys chairman said there was a time when most Westerners looked down upon India. But today, there is a certain level of respect for the world's fifth largest economy.

Narayana Murthy: India 'stalled' during UPA-era, today there is respect
First Published Sep 24, 2022, 11:08 AM IST

In a damning indictment of the United Progressive Alliance-era government, Infosys co-founder N R Narayana Murthy has lamented that the Manmohan Singh government stalled economic activities in India. At the same time, Murthy expressed confidence that young minds can make India a worthy competitor to China.

Murthy made the remarks while interacting with students and young entrepreneurs at the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad on Friday. Talking about the transformation witnessed since the end of the UPA era, the former Infosys chairman said unlike earlier, when Westerners looked down upon India, today, the world's fifth largest economy commands a certain level of respect.

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In response to a query about where he saw India in the future, Murthy recalled, "I used to be on the board of HSBC in London (between 2008 and 2012). In the first few years, when China was mentioned two to three times in the boardroom (during meetings), India's name would be mentioned once. But unfortunately, I don't know what happened (to India) afterwards. (Former PM) Manmohan Singh was an extraordinary individual and I have tremendous respect for him. But, somehow, India stalled (during UPA-era). Decisions were not taken, and everything was delayed."

He further said, "So, I think it is your (young generation) responsibility to make people mention India's name whenever they mention any other country's name, particularly China. I think you people can do that."

Murthy said that the economic reforms of 1991 when Manmohan Singh was the finance minister and the present Narendra Modi government's schemes like 'Make In India' and 'Startup India' had helped the country gain ground.

"When I was of your age, there was not much responsibility because not much was expected from neither me nor India. Today, there is an expectation that you will take the country forward. I think you people can make India a worthy competitor of China," said Murthy.

The Infosys co-founder said that in just 44 years, China had left India behind by a huge margin. "China is unbelievable. It (Chinese economy) is six times larger than India. In 44 years, between 1978 and 2022, China has left India behind so much. Six times is not a joke. If you make things happen, India will get respect similar to what China is getting today," Murthy said. 

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