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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

PM: Democratic spirit, respect for law ingrained in Indians

He was speaking in a closed-door session, where he was invited to participate in the main Leaders’ Plenary Session hosted by US President Biden.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi |
Updated: December 10, 2021 10:08:20 am
Modi will deliver India’s national statement on Friday. (File)

Participating in the first Summit for Democracy convened by US President Joe Biden, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that democratic spirit, including respect for rule of law and pluralistic ethos, is ingrained in Indians, it is learnt.

He was speaking in a closed-door session, where he was invited to participate in the main Leaders’ Plenary Session hosted by US President Biden.

The session saw interventions from 12 select countries, including India, sources said.

This virtual summit envisages participation of leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector. As the world’s largest democracy, India has commended this innovative initiative, sources said. India has always stood ready to share its experiences with fellow democracies, a source said.

Modi will deliver India’s national statement on Friday.

In his remarks, the Prime Minister is learnt to have recalled that exactly on this date, 75 years ago, India’s Constituent Assembly had held its first session. He highlighted India’s civilisational ethos as one of the original sources of democracy.

Emphasising that democratic spirit is ingrained in Indians, he is learnt to have said that the Indian diaspora carries it, too, thereby contributing to economic well-being and social harmony of their adopted homes.

Modi emphasised the need for democratic countries to deliver on values enshrined in their constitutions. “He also outlined sensitivity, accountability, participation and reform orientation as four pillars of Indian democratic governance,” a source said, quoting the Prime Minister’s speech. “He stressed that the principles of democracy should also guide global governance; and that given technology’s ability to impact democracy positively or negatively, technology companies should contribute to preserving open and democratic societies.”

Pakistan skipped the Democracy Summit. Biden has invited 110 countries to the virtual summit on December 9-10. Pakistan’s all-weather ally, China, has also not been invited for the event.

Islamabad’s decision is understood to be in reaction to the US inviting Taiwan instead of China, which was against the “One China” policy pursued by Islamabad.

China on Thursday accused the US of “weaponising” democracy and attacked the Biden administration’s initiative of the Alliance for the Future of the Internet, saying it is aimed at maintaining America’s cyber hegemony.

Those invited from the Asia-Pacific region include India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Pakistan, Maldives and the Philippines, but not Bangladesh

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