"I think we are in the middle of a social crisis," Abhijit Banerjee said.
Nobel laureate economist Abhijit Banerjee told NDTV today that India is in the middle of a social crisis" and "these forces which have been unleashed have to be reined in".
Asked how much does India's social fabric impact the economic growth, given the communal tension, Mr Banerjee, in an exclusive interview to NDTV, said, "I think it makes an impact".
Talking of the current portrayal of India in the western media, he said: "I do think the spin is not in our control. And I think the spin matters because people in the end are not so passionate about India per se. They are just looking for a safe destination for investment. And when the story slightly sours they pull their money".
Reading about the events of India in the western media, "I feel as an Indian -- I feel a little bit defensive almost. It is really so bad?" Mr Banerjee told NDTV.
"I think we are in the middle of a social crisis and these forces which have been unleashed have to be reined in. And if they aren't they will eventually clearly hurt us," he added.
Right now, India, he indicated, has an advantage – that the world is passing through a difficult stage.
"We want a place that is reliable and stable and the world doesn't have too many of those, so we are not too badly relatively," he said.
"There are not many big countries which are stable right now. And there is a lot of uncertainty about many big countries as of now. So I think once the world stabilises, we really need to shape up and show that we are, in the end, stable, we are humane, we are all the things we should really lay claim to," he added.