Prime minister Manmohan Singh in his inaugural address to the 12th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here on Wednesday tried to assure the Indian expatriate community that all was well with India and that the noise in the country about the government is part of a vibrant democracy.
Singh in his characteristic diplomatic language said there is a perception outside the country that India is losing the “momentum of the last decade” and that this is “amplified by the political contestations here in India, which are inevitably louder in the election season that is now on the horizon.”
Conceding that there has been a slowdown in economic growth, he pointed to the reassuring fact that savings and investment rates are “still over 30% of the GDP”.
The delegates, however, were not interested in the traumas and anxieties of the government. Susai Benjamin, Sydney lawyer who is a delegate, said that prime ministers should not just give lectures and go away but the delegates should be able to questions him sharply through efficient moderation. He said the NRIs were interested in discussing the problems they face outside the country.