“We Indians Are Extremely Confident About Our Democracy”: EAM Jaishankar

“We Indians Are Extremely Confident About Our Democracy”: EAM Jaishankar

India is currently witnessing a “deepening of democracy, a much broader representation in politics and in leadership positions and in civil society of people who are much more confident about their culture, language and beliefs”, S Jaishankar said

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday said that Indians are “extremely confident about our democracy” and nobody would trade democracy for an alternative form of governance. He also defended the criticism of the Modi government and said that there is a political effort to depict the current government in a ‘certain way’.

In an interaction hosted by former US national security adviser HR McMaster for Hoover Institution of Stanford University, Jaishankar said there is a difference between “concocted” political imagery and its actual governance record.

“When you come down to real governance judgments, you find that there is a difference between the political imagery that has been concocted and actually the governance record out there,” Jaishankar said.

“I think you should take it for what it is, which is really politics at play. You can agree with it, you can disagree with it but I would certainly see that very much as part of a political effort to depict our current government in a certain way, and obviously, I have a very profound difference with that,” the Foreign Minister added.

India is currently witnessing a “deepening of democracy, a much broader representation in politics and in leadership positions and in civil society of people who are much more confident about their culture, language and beliefs”, he said.

The External Affairs Minister also said that “these are people who perhaps are less from the English-speaking world, less connected to other global centers”. He added, “So there is a difference. I think sometimes that difference is judged politically, harshly and it is often used to create a certain narrative.”

He cited multiple successful elections and smooth transition of power as “proof that democracy is working”

On India-US Relations, Vaccinations

Appreciating that the relation between Washington and New Delhi has evolved, Jaishankar asserted that the India-US relations are one of the major in the world.

“I think our relationship has come a long way. It is, today, one of the major relationships in the world,” he said.

“My own sense is that in Washington today there is a real appreciation of the potential of this relationship … and it’s true of New Delhi as well,” he said, adding that there is a greater need and challenge for countries to work together effectively in a multipolar world.

When asked how countries, like the Quad members, could continue to work to preserve their competitive advantages, Jaishankar warned that countries pursuing national interest above everything else will cause problems.

“We can’t have a world which is part vaccinated and part neglected, because that world is not going to be safe. ‘How do we get through the global challenges in a global way?’ I think that’s the big question,” he said.

India has, in recent weeks, received hundreds of millions of dollars worth of assistance from the U.S. government and American private sector as well as assistance from other countries, including oxygen concentrators, PPE, medicines, and vaccines, to help it fight a destructive second wave of COVID-19.


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