Resurgence of nativism, protectionism in West disturbing: Manmohan

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New Delhi : Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said that resurgence of "nativism and protectionism in the West is a disturbing trend" and the "old and tried approaches may not suffice".

"Building goodwill and peace among nations is of paramount importance," he said after releasing a book, "Ten Ideologies - The Great Asymmetry between Agrarianism and Industrialism", authored by his former Cabinet colleague S. Jaipal Reddy.

Singh said that in the process of writing the book, Reddy brings out that the "divisions based on race, religion, caste or colour are products of the historical periods, but cannot be accepted by holistic reading of history".

"While alluding to the beginnings of the Industrial Age, the author has pointed out that the historical foundations for the new era were provided by China, India and West Asia, both in ancient times and medieval period," said Singh addressing the audience at the Constitution Club of India.

"The technologies borrowed from the East helped the West in having the Renaissance, Reformation, Scientific Revolution etc. It was these intellectual movements which stimulated historical changes and new schools of thought. They were all happening at about the same time," said Singh.

Singh further said: "The resurgence of nativism and protectionism in the West is a disturbing trend. Old and tried approaches may not suffice. We should not hesitate to think afresh.

"While doing so, the paramount thing is to build goodwill and peace among nations. In this context, the conflict of mindsets of Agrarian and Industrial eras that Sri Jaipal Reddy focuses upon is relevant."

Singh also said he was reminded of his Cambridge days as he went through the book.

"As I went through the book and came across the ideas of masterly thinkers, I have been reminded of my own Cambridge days.

"It is like going back to basics. I have enjoyed this refreshing experience and benefited by it. I am happy to note that Jaipal Reddy is trying to build a new approach to meet the current crises in the world. This is what we should focus on," he said.

Praising Reddy, Singh further said: "Although he has been a professional politician, he has proved to be an intellectual as well. I hope and trust that this will set a new trend in Indian politics."