Democracy unleashes entrepreneurship

Harvard Professor Tarun Khanna has written this letter to the editor of The Economist

SIR – In the aftermath of the Congress party’s stunning victory, India’s new government should not forget that the BJP’s “India Shining” electoral campaign was on to something (“Sonia: and yet so far”, May 22nd). While the world has focused on the rising success of the Indian entrepreneur, this is a symptom, rather than the definition, of what is truly shining in India.

Democracy is India’s greatest strength and attraction, and it was much in evidence during the recent electoral process. Democracy and the freedom it engenders has resulted in the property rights that have unleashed entrepreneurship far beyond the well-publicised Indian software industry to include sectors like biotechnology, advertising and film. This can serve the very poor that swept the new government to power. The coalition should thus take care to enhance its commitment to markets, not curb it. [The Economist]

Khanna was among the first public champions of the link between democracy and entrepreneurship and his article in Foreign Policy magazine [alternate link] created quite a stir.

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