India home to idea of elected leaders much before rest of world: PM Modi
In a virtual address to the Summit for Democracy, 2023, Modi also said every initiative of his government is powered by the collective efforts of the citizens of India.
NEW DELHI: Describing India as the mother of democracy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the country has become the fastest-growing major economy despite many global challenges and this proves that democracy can deliver.
In a virtual address to the Summit for Democracy, 2023, Modi also said every initiative of his government is powered by the collective efforts of the citizens of India. “India, despite the many global challenges, 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.
Modi was speaking at the second Summit for Democracy, co-hosted by US President Joe Biden, Costa Rica President Rodrigo Chaves Robles, Zambia President Hakainde Hichilema, the Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte and South Korea President Yoon Suk Yeol.
“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,’’ said the PM.
PM Modi also cited the examples of Vedas and said they too spoke about political power being exercised by broad-based consultative bodies. Modi spoke in a session hosted by South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol.
“There are also many historical references to Republic states in ancient India, where the rulers were not hereditary.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,’’ PM Modi added. During the course of his speech, Modi highlighted the narrative of the government saying that democracy is not just a structure, it is also a spirit. “Democracy 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.
In a four-minute speech, the PM highlighted India’s efforts at climate change which were brought about through lifestyle changes that included conserving water through distributed storage and clean cooking fuels.
"Whether it is our effort to fight climate change through lifestyle changes, to conserve water through distributed storage or provide clean cooking fuel to everyone, every initiative is powered by collective efforts of citizens of India. During COVID-19, India’s response was people-driven,” the prime minister added.
He also threw light on how India believed in reaching out to others as was visible during the outbreak of the pandemic. “India’s response to Covid-19 was people driven and they 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 which was guided by the democratic spirit of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’’ - One Earth, One Family, One Future,’’ he added.
(With inputs from PTI)