Obama hails India’s economic reforms

Monday, November 8, 2010

NEW DELHI - American President Barack Obama Monday hailed India for proving sceptics wrong by surmounting overwhelming odds post-independence and becoming a model to the world.

Obama also underlined that India built itself on sturdy foundations of ancient civilisation of science and innovation besides a fundamental faith in human progress since its independence in 1947.

“And despite the sceptics who said that this country was simply too poor, too vast, too diverse to succeed, you surmounted overwhelming odds and became a model to the world,” he said during his address to MPs from both houses of parliament.

Appreciating New Delhi’s efforts to reform its economy in 1991, he said: “Instead of resisting the global economy, you became one of its engines - reforming the licensing raj and unleashing an economic marvel that has lifted tens of millions from poverty and created one of the world’s largest middle classes.”

The US president also hailed India’s progress and development.

“In your lives, you have overcome odds that might have overwhelmed a lesser country. In just decades, you have achieved progress and development that took other nations centuries,” he added.

“And now you are assuming your rightful place as a leader among nations. Your parents and grandparents imagined this. Your children and grandchildren will look back on this. But only you - this generation of Indians - can seize the possibility of this moment,” Obama said.

During his 45-minute address, Obama also spoke of the success of green revolution of the 1960s.

“Instead of slipping into starvation, you launched a green revolution that fed millions. Instead of becoming dependent on commodities and exports, you invested in science and technology and in your greatest resource - the Indian people. And the world sees the results, from the supercomputers you build to the Indian flag that you put on the moon,” he said.

Lauding India’s unique unity in diversity, he said: “Instead of succumbing to division, you have shown that the strength of India - the very idea of India - is its embrace of all colours, castes and creeds. It’s the diversity represented in this chamber today.”

Filed under: Economy

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