External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday said that democracy is perceived as a global aspiration because India chose to be a democracy at the time of her Independence.
The foreign minister pointed out that as the world transformed and rebalanced from the era of a very “Euro Atlantic” view there was a need for a debate and a conversation on practices and beliefs and cultures which are relevant to how a democracy is actually executed and improved. Urging for a debate on democracy, Jaishankar speaking at an Observer Research Foundation (ORF) event in Sydney said that there is a “need for debate and conversation on democracy.”
“Now, in a changing world, obviously there will be new conversations and among the conversations we are seeing is there are those of the importance of values of beliefs of ideologies,” Jaishankar said.
“I speak with modesty that the fact that democracy is perceived as a global aspiration, it is because India chose to be a democracy at the time of independence,” Jaishankar said.
“Because of being the first and the largest country which was decolonising, India chose a difficult democratic path and then despite decades of adversity and limited resources, stuck to that part. India stuck to that path when other democracies questioned the viability of that path. Today India is at the very centre of the debate that we must have on democracy. There are practices, beliefs and cultures which are relevant to how democracies are actually executed and improved,” he added.
He said that a whole debate between democratic countries and pluralistic societies, and those who are not, comes out of those conversations.
Addressing a session with Australian Minister Chris Brown at the [email protected] Dialogue, Jaishankar said, “Mr Soros is an old, rich opinionated person sitting in New York who still thinks that his views should determine how the entire world works…such people actually invest resources in shaping narratives.”
“People like him think an election is good if the person they want to see, wins and if the election throws up a different outcome then they will say it is a flawed democracy and the beauty is that all this is done under the pretence of advocacy of open society,” the External Affairs Minister said in response to a question.
“Now, if I could only stop at old, rich and opinionated, I would put it away, but he is old, rich, opinionated and dangerous,” Jaishankar said.
Soros had in his remarks at the Munich Security Conference this Thursday said, “Adani is accused of stock manipulation and his stock collapsed like a house of cards. (Narendra) Modi is silent on the subject, but he will have to answer questions from foreign investors and in Parliament.”
The Raisina Sydney Dialogue discussed the Australia-India relationship, and how the two countries can further deepen their close collaboration and contribution to a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific.
The event Raisina @ Sydney organised by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) and the Observer Research Foundation witnessed ministerial and high-level government representation, industry and civil society participation as well as leading regional thinkers on geopolitics, technology and economics.
Early this morning Jaishankar delivered his keynote speech at the event.
With India chairing the G20, Raisina @ Sydney is billed as a G20 outreach event that leads into the G20 Ministerial meeting on March 1 in New Delhi. The event is aimed at bringing together and building momentum for two of Indo-Pacific’s influential foreign policy, security and technology dialogues–the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi from March 2-4 and The Sydney Dialogue on April 4-5.
Sydney Dialogue is an annual summit of cyber and critical technologies to discuss the fallout of the digital domain on the law and order situation in the world.