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Institutions should shed prejudices, says FM

Chidambaram says institutions of governance must not discriminate, reports Gaurav Choudhury.

business Updated: Dec 16, 2007 03:05 IST
Gaurav Choudhury

Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday said institutions of governance should not discriminate against different sections of the society if India were to emerge as a strong and self-sustaining nation.

"This country will hold together only if we give everyone a stake in the future of India. We cannot build an inclusive society, unless every institution of governance consciously sheds its biases and prejudices that work for every section of the people," Chidambaram said at the "Entrepreneurial Summit" organised by TiE and consulting firm KPMG in the Capital.

The Finance Minister said to build an inclusive society and a “giant economy” it is imperative to ensure that there were no social divisions. He, however, said India today faces challenges, which are as huge as they were at the time of independence, but the nature of these challenges have changed.

"We can build a giant economy, but that will be divided and strife-torn, if vast sections feel alienated, or discriminated or neglected or exploited," Chidambaram said.

Citing an example he said, "There were riots in a city in one of the states of India a few years ago. We found to our great dismay that people on two-wheelers, in cars, joining other looters to loot shops. Why would anyone who owns a car or a two-wheeler join looters to loot shops," Chidambaram said.

“If vast sections of the society feel alienated, India cannot be built as a strong nation”, he said. “Parts of urban India are, of course, affluent. South Delhi, but certainly not outer Delhi. Nariman Point, but certainly not the slums of Mumbai. South Madras, but not North Madras,” he said.