Emphasising that democratic spirit is integral to India's civilisational ethos, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that centuries of colonial rule could not suppress the democratic spirit of the Indian people.
"Elected republican city-states such as Licchavi, Shakya flourished in India as far as 2500 years back. The same democratic spirit is seen in the 10th Century's Uttaramerur inscription that codified the principles of democratic participation," said PM Modi virtually while addressing the Summit for Democracy organised by the US President Joe Biden on Friday.
Stressing that these "democratic spirits and ethos had made ancient India one of the most prosperous," he said, adding, "centuries of the colonial rule could not suppress the democratic spirit of the Indian people."
“It again found full expression with India's independence and laid to an unparallel story in democratic nation-building over the last 75 years," he added.
It is a story of unprecedented socio-economic inclusion in all spheres, the Prime Minister said, emphasising, "It is a story of constant improvements in health, education and human well being at an unimaginable scale."
The India story has one clear message to the world that democracy can deliver, that democracy has delivered and that democracy will continue to deliver, PM Modi said.
Underlining that structural features like multi-party elections, independent judiciary and free media are important instruments of democracy, he said that the basic strength of democracy is the spirit and the ethos that lie within our citizens and our societies.
"Democracy is not only of the people by the people for the people but also with the people and within the people, " PM Modi added while addressing the summit, which US President Joe Biden kicked off on Thursday (local time).
The summit focused on challenges and opportunities facing democracies and provided a platform for leaders to announce both individual and collective commitments, reforms, and initiatives to defend democracy and human rights at home and abroad.