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Manmohan Singh Bats for Open Economy, Criticises US and China Over Protectionism

In a rare display of ideological harmony, the Constitutional Club in New Delhi was thronged with seasoned politicians from multiple political parties across states. The reason for the gathering was, newly appointed AICC spokesperson Reddy’s book, Ten Ideologies — The Great Asymmetry between Agrarianism and Industrialism.

Rounak Kumar Gunjan | News18.com@Rounak_T

Updated:August 8, 2018, 9:09 AM IST
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Manmohan Singh Bats for Open Economy, Criticises US and China Over Protectionism
Former PM Manmohan Singh at the book launch of Jaipal Reddy’s book, Ten Ideologies — The Great Asymmetry between Agrarianism and Industrialism, at the Constitutional Club in New Delhi on August 7, 2018. (Photo PTI)
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New Delhi: Architect of economic liberalisation in the country and former PM Manmohan Singh is wary that trade war between the US and China has taken the sheen off globalisation rendering a situation as serious as "terrorism and climate change”.

“Industrialisation has led to countries thinking only about their economies. The US’s and China’s policy of protectionism is not good for global trade and development,” said Singh on Tuesday, speaking at the maiden book launch of long-time colleague and senior Congress leader Jaipal Reddy.

In a rare display of ideological harmony, the Constitutional Club in New Delhi was thronged with seasoned politicians from multiple political parties across states. The reason for the gathering was, newly appointed AICC spokesperson Reddy’s book, Ten Ideologies — The Great Asymmetry between Agrarianism and Industrialism.

Former Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh was the chief guest for the evening. Speaking at the event, he highlighted the fallouts of industrialisation and propagated the idea of an open economy.

He was joined by former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, former vice-president Hamid Ansari, Delhi’s former CM Sheila Dixit, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and other senior Congress leaders, including Jairam Ramesh, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, P Chidambaram and former Janta Dal colleague Sharad Yadav.

This is the fourth book launch within a few months by a Congress-man. Preceding this, were P Chidambaram, Jairam Ramesh and Hamid Ansari.

The idea of an open economy was also pitched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the plenary session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.

“Countries are being self-centred. Globalisation is losing its original essence. This is as big as terrorism and climate change. Globalisation is slowly losing its lustre,” said Modi at Davos

Meanwhile, Reddy also used the platform to send strong signals to the ruling NDA government ahead of the 2019 polls.

While speaking at the same event he said, “The political situation is same as that was in India in 2004. I was the spokesperson then and I am now as well.”

People are passing through an “anti-intellectual mood” and there is a disappearance of ideological debates in the current political discourse, added Reddy.

Currently, nationalism and capitalism are dominating the discourse in India and in the world, said Reddy.

Referring to the ruling BJP government, he said its ideology was based on nationalism.

“I do not think they have a strong economic ideology. Their ideology is nationalism which is nothing but communalism. Their ideology is based on religion. Nationalism has both a positive and negative side.”

However, he added that the book was written at an “academic level” and he did not want to bring the current political debate in the picture. “I have deliberately kept a distance from the Indian reality.”

All the 10 ideologies mentioned in the book are of modern origin and are a global phenomenon. “More than 500 years ago, there was nothing like nationalism.”

Reddy’s book takes a historical approach to the 10 ideologies of nationalism, democracy, liberalism, capitalism, evolutionary socialism, revolutionary socialsim, feminism, environmentalism, nuclear pacifism and globalism. He also gives a thorough account of the four movements of Renaissance, humanism, reformation and scientific revolution.

He said his electoral defeat gave him the time to pen down the ideologies that have always been in his mind.
| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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