You speak of triple play in the book, quoting Nandan Nilekani: growth in domestic markets, growth in world economy through migration, rise of outsourcing. MNCs in India have come in which pay salaries that would enable people to have the same standard of life as they did abroad. But do you think India could ever offer the same quality of life, where someone would be safe taking the tube at midnight, or wouldn’t risk falling off an incomplete bridge, or into a manhole?
You know, it’s not that good going back in the night on the tube in London – it can be quite unpleasant, for drunks on the train and law and order problems!
I think there are different aspects to the quality of life here and in the West. Yes, I do think in this country, in general terms, if you talk about safety of people and things like that, policing is something that needs to be radically reformed and improved, and it’s an aspect of bad governance and corruption. Everyone knows that the police are corrupt, sadly.
But I see no reason why India should not have proper policing, and that would deal with that problem to a large extent. And certainly, I wouldn’t put Delhi as anywhere near top in global terms as dangerous to people going out at night and that sort of thing. In some ways, the quality of life here is much better than it is in Britain – I think the socialising, people getting on with each other, is different here and better here in many ways. So I wouldn’t say it’s all on the side of the West, or perhaps I’d be living there! (Laughs)
Image: A cashier counts currency notes inside a bank in Amritsar.