Modi says democracies must jointly shape global norms for social media, crypto-currencies
New Delhi, December 10, 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said democracies must 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.
In his statement at the Summit for Democracy, hosted in the virtual mode by US President Joe Biden, he pointed out that different parts of the world had followed different paths of democratic development.
"There is much we can 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.
Pointing out that he represented the world's largest democracy at the summit, Modi said the democratic spirit is integral to India's civilizational 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. 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 said.
"It is a story of 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 said.
The Prime Minister said structural features like multi-party elections, independent judiciary, and free media are important instruments of democracy. "However, the basic strength of democracy is the spirit and ethos that lie within our citizens and our societies. Democracy is not only of the people, by the people, for the people but also with the people, within the people," he said.
"In this context, today's assembly provides a timely platform for furthering cooperation among democracies. India would be happy to share its expertise in holding free and fair elections, and in enhancing transparency in all areas of governance through innovative digital solutions.
"By working together, democracies can meet the aspirations of our citizens and celebrate the democratic spirit of humanity. India stands ready to join fellow democracies in this noble endeavor," he added.