Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday called for furthering cooperation among democracies, expressing India’s readiness to share its expertise in holding free and fair elections and in enhancing transparency in all areas of governance through innovative digital solutions.
”We must also jointly shape global norms for emerging technologies like social media and crypto-currencies, so that they are used to empower democracy, not to undermine it,’ he said in India’s ‘‘National Statement’’ at the ”Summit for Democracy” convened by US President Joe Biden. Over 100 world leaders participated in the virtual summit.
By working together, he said democracies could meet the aspirations of their citizens and celebrate the democratic spirit of humanity. India was ready to join fellow democracies in this endeavour, he said.
Modi said he was proud to represent the world’s largest democracy at the summit. ”The democratic spirit is integral to our civilisation ethos. Elected republican city-states such as Lichhavi and Shakya flourished in India as far as 2500 years back. The same democratic spirit is seen in the 10th Century “Uttaramerur” inscription that codified the principles of democratic participation,” he added.
This very democratic spirit and ethos had made ancient India one of the most prosperous. Centuries of colonial rule could not suppress the democratic spirit of the Indian people. It again found full expression with India’s independence, and led to an unparalleled story in democratic nation-building over the last 75 years, he noted.
The PM said India’s story was that of an unprecedented socio-economic inclusion in all spheres. ”It is a story of constant improvements in health, education, and human well-being at an un-imaginable 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,” he added.
He observed that the structural features like multi-party elections, independent judiciary, and free media were important instruments of democracy. However, the basic strength of democracy was the spirit and ethos that lay within citizens and societies. ”Democracy is not only of the people, by the people, for the people but also with the people, within the people” he said.
Modi noted that different parts of the world have followed different paths of democratic development. There was much the democracies could learn from each other. ”We all need to constantly improve our democratic practices and systems. And, we all need to continuously enhance inclusion, transparency, human dignity, responsive grievance redressal and decentralization of power,” he said.