Replying to a question on India often being called a "noisy democracy" at an industry body CII event here, the noted economist said India despite its huge diversity and varied traditions and cultures, has stayed as a single cohesive unit.
        
Quoting economist Jagdish Bhagwati, Panagariya said that Bhagwati told Singapore's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, in response to his comment on India being a noisy democracy, that "You hear the noise, I hear the music".
     
"This says it all. Just think about it, Europeans, with far less diversity than India, today are still struggling to become a single state. The whole movement towards a single Europe is ridden with so many difficulties.
        
"Even as a single monetary union there are fears that Greece might drop out of this union and tomorrow Spain might drop out of this union," he said.
     
He added that quite contrary to that, with much greater diversity in India, the country has stayed as a single nation. "And not only have we stayed together, but the nation has grown over time. Because in today's noise we tend to forget that in 1950s and 1960s when you go back there were so many separatist movements based on language, etc," he noted.
       
On the way ahead, he said: "So I see it as a huge success of India's democracy. I think I will not have it any other way. In the long run we will see our growth rate in the next 15-30 years return to the rate of 8-10 per cent."

 

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