‘Hitler provided Germany with extremely effective administration – the trains ran on time, as did the trains during our own Emergency in 1975-77’ said Raghuram Rajan 23rd Governor of the Reserve Bank of India at DD Kosambi Ideas Festival.
When Dr Raghuram Rajan, Governor, Reserve Bank of India, was invited to DD Kosambi Ideas Festival held on February 20, 2015 in Goa, Dr Rajan donned the cap of a Professor in the field known as political economy and gave an extraordinary speech titled Democracy, Inclusion, and Prosperity, in which, among other things, he also made some observations that have already set tongues wagging:
Strong governments may not, however, move in the right direction. Hitler provided Germany with extremely effective administration – the trains ran on time, as did the trains during our own Emergency in 1975-77. His was a strong government, but Hitler took Germany efficiently and determinedly on a path to ruin, overriding the rule of law and dispensing with elections. It is not sufficient that the trains run on time, they have to go in the right direction at the desired time. The physical rail network guiding the trains could be thought of as analogous to rule of law, while the process by which consensus is built around the train schedule could be thought of as democratic accountability.
But why do we need both rule of law and democratic accountability to keep strong government on the right path? Would democratic accountability not be enough to constrain a dictatorial government? Perhaps not! Hitler was elected to power, and until Germany started suffering shortages and reversals in World War II, enjoyed the support of the majority of the people. The rule of law is needed to prevent the tyranny of the majority that can arise in a democracy, as well as to ensure that basic “rules of the game” are preserved over time so that the environment is predictable, no matter which government comes to power. By ensuring that all citizens have inalienable rights and protections, the rule of law constrains the majority’s behaviour towards the minorities. And by maintaining a predictable economic environment against populist democratic instincts, the rule of law ensures that businesses can invest securely today for the future.
Reference : Scroll.in
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