K. N. Raj : Democracy and development

IN April 1950, a young economist was sent to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to explain why he had proposed a slow growth rate for the country’s economy in the draft of the First Five Year Plan. At 26, K.N. Raj was barely out of the London School of Economics (LSE) and, as the only professional economist in the Planning Commission, had recommended that new India should “hasten slowly” for two decades, while economists in neighbouring China were talking about a `Great Leap Forward’. Nehru was sceptical: How long would it then take independent India to achieve its ambitious goals? Raj replied: “If you have to choose between democracy and a fast rate of development, what will you choose, Sir?”

K. N. Raj on “democracy and development”

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About Dilawar

Graduate Student at National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore.
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