At a time when efforts are on in certain quarters to debate on the virtues of ‘dynastic hereditary’ in certain political parties, PM Modi has said that there are many historical references in ancient India where the “rulers were not hereditary”.
Epic ‘Mahabharata’ has stated long before that citizens’ first duty is choosing their own leader, PM Modi said, addressing the Summit for Democracy through video conferencing on March 29.
“There are also many historical references to Republic States in ancient India, where the rulers were not hereditary. India is, indeed, the mother of democracy,” he said.
PM Modi said the idea of elected leaders was common in ancient India, long before the rest of the world. He said the sacred Vedas speak of political power being exercised by broad-based consultative bodies.
PM Modi asserted that despite the many global challenges, India is the fastest-growing major economy today.
“This itself is the best advertisement for democracy and the world. This itself says that democracy can deliver,” he said
PM Modi also said that democracy is not just a structure; it is also a spirit. “It is based on the belief that the needs and aspirations of every human being are equally important. That is why, in India, our guiding philosophy is “Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas”, meaning striving together for inclusive growth”.
He maintained, “Whether it is our effort to fight climate change through lifestyle changes, to conserve water through distributed storage, or to provide clean cooking fuel to everyone, every initiative is powered by the collective efforts of the citizens of India”.
Moreover, he said, during Covid-19, India’s response was people-driven. “It is they who made it possible to administer over 2 billion doses of Made in India vaccines. Our ”Vaccine Maitri” initiative shared millions of vaccines with the world”.
PM Modi pointed out was also guided by the democratic spirit of ”Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” – One Earth, One Family, One Future.
The conference is an initiative of US President Joe Biden. The move is seen as a global effort of Washington to restore ties with its allies.
“I believe this is the defining challenge of our age and, today, we can say with pride that the democracies of the world are getting stronger, not weaker. Autocracies of the world are getting weaker, not stronger,” Biden said.
Kenya’s President William Ruto said that democracy-building was essential to the growth of developing nations. “This is our path to sustainable development”.
Biden made a $690 million pledge to support programs around the world to stage free elections and advance independent media, as well as bolster action against corruption.
The first summit saw the US pledge $424 million. The Biden administration is also set to announce a joint effort with around ten partners on guiding principles for how governments should use surveillance technology.