I am prepared to take risks for India: Manmohan | india | Hindustan Times
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I am prepared to take risks for India: Manmohan

The Prime Minister quoted Machiavelli to say that "there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things".

india Updated: Aug 17, 2006 21:28 IST

Saying that only history will judge whether he has been a strong or weak prime minister, Manmohan Singh on Thursday quoted Machiavelli to say that "there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things".

In his marathon reply to the debate on the Indo-US nuclear deal in the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of Parliament, the prime minister said, "India must be prepared to think big about its future and be prepared to change the old order of things, if necessary, in order to achieve its goals."

Quoting Nicole Machiavelli, the 16th century Italian statesman and philosopher whose dictum has become a metaphor for placing political expediency over morality in the pursuit of the larger goal, Manmohan Singh said the "reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order..."

Saying the sweeping economic reforms he introduced in 1991 when he inherited a bankrupt government laid the foundation for India's present economic growth, Manmohan Singh quoted Machiavelli, from his famous treatise in "The Prince", to say "that on every opportunity for attacking the reformer, his opponents do so with the zeal of partisans, (while) the others only defend him half-heartedly..."

Again quoting a former finance minister, TT Krishnamachari to say that "tigers were on the prowl on the streets of Delhi" in a tongue-in-cheek reference to his political detractors, the prime minister said: "I am aware of the risks (associated with changing the status quo), but for India's sake I am prepared to take risks."

"Who'll say what I did then (in 1991) was wrong," he asked, saying he was criticised then, from both the left and the right of the political spectrum for allegedly selling off the country's interests to the Americans.

Again alluding to the criticism from leftists and rightists to the Indo-US deal, Manmohan Singh said he was convinced that the country was traversing the right path with the July 2005 civil nuclear agreement and that history will vindicate his stand and New Delhi's policies.