India's prestige as a democratic nation remains shining despite the prophets of doom. Biden has invited the Philippines and Nigeria to the Summit in what is seen as controversial moves, but NATO allies Turkey and Hungary have been left out again. He wants to return the United States to global leadership and throw up a challenge against Russia and China.
New Delhi: Living up to his image, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had something new to offer on the table at the first Summit for Democracy hosted by US President Joe Biden.
Sources said at the main Leaders' Plenary Session of the first Summit for Democracy, and during the closed-door Session, Mr Modi emphasized the need for democratic countries to deliver on values "enshrined in their constitutions."
Perhaps showing a renewed confidence in India, "As a special gesture, Modi was invited to participate in the main Leaders' Plenary Session of the first Summit for Democracy hosted by US President." The closed-door session saw interventions from 12 countries, including India.
He stressed that principles of democracy should also guide 'global governance'-something given a miss in the running of the United Nations.
PM also underlined that, given technology's ability to impact democracy positively or negatively, technology companies should contribute to preserving open and democratic societies.
The Prime Minister said that the democratic spirit, including respect for the rule of law and pluralistic ethos, is ingrained in Indians. "The Indian Diaspora carries it too, thereby contributing to economic well-being and social harmony of their adopted homes."
The President of the European Commission, Ms. Ursula von der Leyen hosted the second Leaders' Plenary Session.
On Friday, PM Modi will deliver India's national statement. This will be open to the public.
At the Plenary session, Mr Modi also recalled that exactly on this date 75 years ago, India's Constituent Assembly had held its first session. He highlighted "India's civilizational ethos" as one of the original sources of democracy.
The Summit is being hosted virtually by the US President wherein Mr Biden – smarting from his flip-flop in Afghanistan – is making a case for America to take a leading role in bolstering democracies.
Biden mission is clearly against the rise of two autocratic hegemony – Russia and China.
In his remarks, President Biden has said the US would "lead by example", that is, invest and improve its own democracy in the US and support 'partners' worldwide. "This is the defining challenge of our time," media reports said, quoting Mr Biden.
One can guess Biden's agenda. Taiwan has been invited while China, Turkey and Russia were missed out on the list.
According to a report in The New York Times, the mega-event has "become a focus of criticism around the world, as well as from US activists concerned about the fissures within America's own democratic system."
In what is seen as controversial moves, Biden has invited the Philippines and Nigeria, but NATO allies Turkey and Hungary have been left out again.
Earlier this year, Biden had said that he would return the United States to a global leadership-a clear challenge to the polity being pushed by Beijing and Moscow.
The Biden administration's move to invite Taiwan to the Summit has certainly left China anguished. Beijing says the 'democratically governed island, Taiwan' is its own territory. Experts say the Summit's first-of-its-kind gathering is a test for President Biden, who has faced credibility challenges since the fiasco in Afghanistan.