To attract foreign direct investment, which is key to the construction and modernisation of the infrastructure sector and manufacturing, the Congress MP stressed on the need to maintain the pluralistic character of the country.

Before India tries to leverage its soft power to increase its standing in the world, Tharoor said first there is need to fix the problem at the domestic front.

"For us to be credible as a nation that enjoys and wields soft power, we have to fix our domestic problems first. The truth is that we have to do enough to keep our people, healthy, well and secure not just from jihadi terrorism, Progress is being made but not enough to reach everyone," Tharoor said in his keynote address to the Harvard University's annual Indian convention 2016.

"If on one hand, we go around saying Make in India, Startup India and Digital India and want to attract foreign investors, we can't do so if we are condoning hatred in India at the same time," Tharoor cited in reference to the flagship schemes launched by the Narendra Modi-led government.

"It is not good when people in the ruling party make outrageous statements against Minorities. These are not good because they undermine the soft power of India," Tharoor told the students in the packed Harvard Business School auditorium.

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