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Home > Business > Pravasi Bharatiya Divas


'India is like a Banyan tree'

Josy Joseph in New Delhi | January 09, 2003 23:45 IST

Minutes after Nobel laureate Amartya Sen enthralled audience at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, Rajat Gupta, CEO of Mckinsey, and business guru Professor C K Prahalad took to the stage.

Gupta compared India to a Banyan tree, which "grows in a particular way".

He said Indians abroad should be like the roots of a Banyan tree. As the roots mature the mother tree gets more support. And India's cultural diversity, sense of belonging and other Indian values make the canopy. He said Banyan is also one of the longest living trees in the world.

Prof Prahalad said he thinks of Mahatma Gandhi as a strategist who 'broke all traditions'. Having realised that he could not beat the British with force, 'he unleashed the force of ordinary people', Prahalad said, calling on the Indian government to imbibe lessons from non-resident Indians and people of Indian origin.

He said just as Gandhi understood freedom, 'we [PIOs/NRIs] have a different view of India'.

He said an economic growth of 6 or 8 per cent is not enough if India wants to be a modern nation by 2020. "We have to invent new ways, let us change the paradigm."

Prahalad said India should have the ability to reinvent and 'we have to continuously struggle to change'.

"In my view Indianness is very clear: it is being the best of breed, it is about personal excellence," Prahalad said.

He wrapped up invoking Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar: "Even if fate will otherwise, perseverance and hard work will succeed."



Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

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