India had democracy before rest of world, says PM Narendra Modi

New Delhi, India: On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted that India had a longstanding tradition of democracy, with the idea of elected leaders being a prevalent feature in ancient India even before other parts of the world.

He proclaimed that India was the “mother of democracy” and cited the Mahabharata, an ancient Indian epic, which outlines the first duty of citizens as the selection of their own leader. PM Modi made these comments during the leader-level plenary of the second Summit for Democracy.

The multi-day event, co-hosted by leaders from Costa Rica, the Netherlands, South Korea, and Zambia, includes a virtual summit led by President Biden in Washington focused on democracy’s ability to address global challenges.

According to PM Narendra Modi, the Vedas, which are sacred texts in India, mention political power being exercised by consultative bodies, and there are also historical references to republic states in ancient India where rulers were not hereditary.

He emphasized that democracy is not only a structure but also a spirit that is based on the belief that every individual’s needs and aspirations are equally important. The guiding philosophy in India is “Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas,” which means striving together for inclusive growth.

PM Modi further stated that every initiative in India, such as combating climate change through lifestyle changes, water conservation through distributed storage, or providing clean cooking fuel to everyone, is powered by the collective efforts of Indian citizens.

During the leader-level plenary, PM Modi mentioned that India’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic was driven by the people, which enabled the administration of over 2 billion doses of Made in India vaccines.

India’s ‘Vaccine Maitri’ initiative also shared millions of vaccine doses with other countries. He also stated that India’s response was guided by the principle of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,’ which translates to One Earth, One Family, One Future.

PM Modi further added that India is the world’s fastest-growing major economy despite facing several global challenges. This, in itself, is the best endorsement of democracy, and it shows that democracy can deliver.

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