India has become fastest-growing major economy despite challenges: Modi

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday virtually addressed the US ‘Summit for Democracy’ at a leader-level plenary.

Democracy is not just a structure, it is also a spirit, Modi said
Democracy is not just a structure, it is also a spirit, Modi said. Photo courtesy: YouTube/PMO India

During his address, PM Modi – who was the second speaker at the summit- hailed India's democracy and the “collective efforts of the citizens of India”.

He said that India has become the fastest-growing major economy despite many global challenges and this proves that democracy can deliver. 

Speaking during the 'Leader-level Plenary on Democracy Delivering Economic Growth and Shared Prosperity' session hosted by South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, and co-hosted by US President Joe Biden, Costa Rica President Rodrigo Chaves Robles, Zambia President Hakainde Hichilema, and Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte, he said 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. Our sacred Vedas, speak of political power being exercised by broad-based consultative bodies. There are also many historical references to Republic states in ancient India, where the rulers were not hereditary.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," he said.

Democracy is not just a structure, it is also a spirit, Modi said and added that it 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.

"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 the collective efforts of the citizens of India," the Indian PM said.

He stated that during COVID-19, India's response was people-driven. 

"It is they who 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," he said.