Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said India is the mother of democracy, adding that the idea of elected leaders was a common feature in ancient India, long before the rest of the world.
“India is, indeed, the mother of democracy. The idea of elected leaders was a common feature in ancient India, long before the rest of the world. In our ancient epic, Mahabharata, the first duty of citizens is described as choosing their own leader,” PM Modi said at the leader-level plenary of the second Summit for Democracy.
This year’s multi-day Summit for Democracy is being co-hosted by Biden, as well as the leaders of Costa Rica, the Netherlands, South Korea and Zambia. After a morning introduction on Wednesday, Biden will lead a virtual summit event in Washington that’s focused on democracy delivering on global challenges, CNN reported.
PM Modi said: “Our sacred Vedas, speak of political power being exercised by broad-based consultative bodies. There are also many historical references to Republic states in ancient India, where the rulers were not hereditary.”
“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 added.
“Whether it is our effort to fight climate change through life-style changes, to conserve water through distributed storage, or provide clean cooking fuel to everyone, every initiative is powered by the collective efforts of the citizens of India,” PM Modi said.
Further, addressing the leader-level plenary, PM Modi 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. Under our ‘Vaccine Maitri’ initiative, millions of vaccine doses were shared with the world.”
It was also guided by the spirit of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ — One Earth, One Family, One Future, he said.
“There is much to say about the virtues of democracy, but let me say just this: India, despite the many global challenges, is the fastest growing major economy today. This itself is the best advertisement for democracy in the world. This itself says that Democracy Can Deliver,” PM Modi said.