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Pluralism is India’s message: Manmohan

Tuesday 2 August 2005

``If India succeeds, we will have lessons for the rest of the world’’

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DEMOCRATIC INDIAN: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh releases Nobel laureate Amartya Sen’s book The Argumentative Indian in New Delhi on Monday. At the function, the Prime Minister said the world looked up to India as a laboratory for democracy. Recalling his recent visit to the U.S., he said President George Bush marvelled at the fact that a country of one billion was seeking its salvation through democracy. - Photo: V. Sudershan

``When I went to Washington, I came to know of this in a way not known to me before; how much the world looks up to India as a laboratory for the success of a democracy’’, Dr. Singh said, launching the book ``The Argumentative Indian’’ written by Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen here.

The Prime Minister recalled the way U.S. President George Bush introduced him to wife Laura Bush: ``Laura do you know of any other country of one billion people trying to seek its salvation in the framework of a democratic polity?" The country had 150 million Muslims, but not one of them joined the ranks of the Al-Qaeda. "So, it is a deep sense of pride that I have,’’ he said adding that the country had to practise tolerance and respect diversity, which is its heritage. India’s message to the world was that diversity and pluralism were the ways of the future.

Lauding Dr. Sen’s book, he said: ``This is the book for all Indians to read because if India is to retain its place in the 21st century, it can be only along the pathway illuminated by Sen and others. ``If India succeeds, we will have lessons for the rest of the world. After all, we are one-sixth of humanity and if one-sixth humanity makes up its mind, our influence is going to be felt more and more in the comity’’, Dr. Singh said.

Recalling his association with Dr. Singh, the author said that if the Prime Minister of the world’s largest democracy had found time to release this book, ``things must be getting better in the world’’. - PTI

See online : The Hindu

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