Stop gloating over GDP, focus on governance: Murthy

For a country and a press accustomed to gloating about GDP growth figures and taking these as a measure of achievement, N R Narayana Murthy, founder and chief mentor of Infosys Technologies, has some much-needed advice - stop focussing exclusively on 8 or 8.5 per cent growth, look at the sorry state of affairs on the governance front, he said at a seminar on governance in New Delhi.

Drawing a contrast between the success of the private sector and the decay and corruption in the government sector, he said, ''In areas where public governance is involved, we have hardly made any progress.''

Murthy said the politicians and bureaucrats are trapped in a colonial mindset. ''They feel they are the masters and there is no need to show fairness and transparency,'' he said.

Murthy, seen as an ideal businessman by many, owns less than 5 per cent of the total shares of Infosys. He will step down as chairman of the company in 10 days.

While admitting to some exceptions, he noted many of the leaders and bureaucrats were completely out of touch with the dynamics of the current world. ''Once I was with a senior bureaucrat discussing how badly our high school students had performed in an international competition and he said, 'We must stop participating in such competitions','' Murthy said.

The outdated mentality of the political class, he said, is accentuated by an equally apathetic population, which has almost accepted corruption and inefficiency. ''For over 1,000 years, the government belonged to someone sitting either 2,000 miles or 4,000 miles away.