India a shining example of democracy: Blair

Tony Blair, who took Indo-British ties to a new level during his 10 years as Prime Minister, believes that India is a shining example of a nation that is "genuinely democratic".

Last Updated: Sep 02, 2010, 18:42 PM IST

London: Tony Blair, who took Indo-British
ties to a new level during his 10 years as Prime Minister,
believes that India is a shining example of a nation that is
"genuinely democratic" even as it develops and faces several
challenges.

In his remarkably candid memoir titled `My Journey,`
Blair mentions the growing economic power of India several
times, and credits himself for foreseeing the growing
importance of China and India to international agreements.

In his book has become a best-seller across the
country, Blair writes: "Three years out of office have given
me time to reflect on our system of government and to study
other system. I have no doubt democracy is the best system.

"And India remains the shining example of a large
nation, still developing, that manages to be genuinely
democratic".

Since democracy depends on institutions, rules and
culture to work effectively, Blair says that China, unlike
India, "will only be ready for simple democracy at a certain
point in development".

On economic matters, Blair writes: "India needs less
bureaucracy and less state power, not more".

Recalling that he upgraded the G8 to a new level by
inviting India and other emerging powers during its meeting in
Birmingham in 1998, Blair writes that China and India are
vital to any international agreements.

He writes: "I looked at G8 and this was before the
economic crisis in 2008 and realised that there was no way
it could survive.

"China, India, Brazil and others would demand a seat
at the table; and if they didn`t get one, they would get their
own table.

He adds: "I saw the danger for Europe of a G2: US and
China. And then, if we weren`t careful, a G3: US, China and
India. Or a G4: US China, India and Brazil. And so on.... As
the new economies emerge, we have to compete. How? By brains
and skill, by moving up the value-added chain. By working
harder. By competing on merit, on ability".

Blair writes that climate change is a global challenge
and the solution is global agreement.

He writes: "The agreement requires developing and
developed nations China and India, America and Europe to
agree. Their national interest lies in a collective bargain.
"That bargain won`t work unless it is fair to
countries at different stages of development".

Stating that geopolitical power was changing in this
age of globalisation, Blair writes that China, India, Brazil,
Russia and in time Indonesia, Mexico and others "demand
rightly to be treated as equals and partners".

"But, to state the obvious, they do not all share the
same interests or views".

PTI