India can rise again, equal China: Narendra Modi

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 22 2014, 03:31am hrs
Narendra ModiIf you see the details of the last five or ten centuries, you will see that India and China have grown at similar paces, says Narendra Modi. (Reuters)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India has a chance to rise again as a global economic power and suggested that it could match with China and he has a "clear roadmap" to channelise entrepreneurial capabilities of country's 1.25 billion people.

"This is a country that once upon a time was called 'the golden bird'. We have fallen from where we were before. But now we have the chance to rise again. If you see the details of the last five or ten centuries, you will see that India and China have grown at similar paces.

"Their contributions to global GDP have risen in parallel, and fallen in parallel. Today's era once again belongs to Asia. India and China are both growing rapidly, together," he told CNN in an interview.

On comparison with China, he added that India does not need to become anything else and must become only India.

Modi said he had a lot of faith in the entrepreneurial nature of India's 1.25 billion people and "I have a clear road-map to channel it".

On being asked if he ever wished to have some of the authority the dictatorial regime in China had, he said democratic countries have also grown and if there were no democracy then someone like him, born in a poor family, would not be sitting here.

Asked what he would like to tell people as his accomplishments one or two years later, he said the trust people have should never break.

"See the biggest thing is that the people of the country have faith. That trust should never break. If I can win the confidence of the people of India, not from my speeches, but by actions, then the power of 1.25 billion Indians will come together to take the country forward," he said.

When asked if India is concerned over China's behavior in the East China Sea and the South China which has worried many of its neighbors, Modi said we should have trust in China's understanding and have faith that it would accept global laws and will play its role in cooperating and moving forward.

He, however, added that we cannot close our eyes to problems, saying We are not living in the eighteenth century.

Modi in his first interview after taking charge as Prime Minister said China's focus on its economic development is a sign that it does not want to be isolated.

"This is an era of partnership. Look at how it (China) has focused on economic development. It's hardly the sign of a country that wants to be isolated," he said.

Ahead of his visit to the US, Modi said it was possible for the US and India to develop a genuinely strategic alliance.

"I have a one word answer, and with great confidence I say - yes. Let me explain - there are many similarities between the US and India. If you look at the last few centuries, two things come to light - America has absorbed people from around the world, and there is an Indian in every part of the world. This characterises both the societies.

"Indians and Americans have co-existence in their natural temperament. Now yes, for sure, there have been ups and downs in our relationship in the last century. But from the end of the 20th century to the first decade of the 21st century, we have witnessed a big change. Our ties have deepened. India and the USA are bound together, by history and culture. These ties will deepen further," he said.

Asked if he feels there is a genuine desire from Washington to try and upgrade the relationship with India substantially, the Prime Minister said relations between India and America should not be seen within the limits of just Delhi and Washington.

"It is a much larger sphere. The good thing is that the mood of both Delhi and Washington is in harmony with this understanding. Both sides have played a role in this," he said.

On criticism that India has not been really active regarding Russia's actions in Ukraine and asked for his views on its annexation of Crimea, Modi said a lot of people want to give advice in the world but they too have sinned in some way.

"There is a saying in India that the person who should throw a stone first is the person who has not committed any sins. In the world right now, a lot of people want to give advice. But look within them, and they too have sinned in some way... Efforts need to be made to sit together and talk, and to resolve problems in an ongoing process," he said.