BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Monday told an audience in the US that it would be a mistake to consider India as merely a market.
"It is a mistake to consider these emerging counties (like India) only as markets. Are they simply markets? Can we change our terminology? They are emerging growth centres! These nations are blessed with immense potential for human resources and in terms of being cost-effective," he said, addressing the audience at 'Global Emerging Markets Forum' event in Washington via video-conference from his residence in Gandhiangar.
Modi, who has been denied visa by the US after the 2002 riots, has addressed conferences there via video conference in the recent past.
The Gujarat chief minister said that Indian rulers cannot take the people for granted any longer.
"In India we have come at a stage when people are not ready to be fooled."
On democracy, he said that it has got its own defects, but it is the best system for a country as diverse as India.
"Most high-performing countries of the world are democracies, all have passed through feudal and agrarian societies and authoritarian regimes.
"(We) Have seen authoritarian systems and democracies. People's own government in a democracy is the best possible system, though it has limitations but nothing (is) greater.
"Problem arises when a disconnect occurs... We take government as providers and people as beneficiaries. This prevents people from being active participants. Once we correct this, democracies can deliver the results," he said.
The mantra of the Gujarat government is 'Gujarat's growth for India's growth', he said, noting that things have changed in other states too.
Modi also said that people could be convinced to accept hard decisions that help in the long term. "People are ready for bitter pills, only that they want an assurance that what is happening is for their greater good."