I bring you the greetings of 1.4 billion people of India.
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 There are also many historical references to Republic states in ancient India, where the rulers were not hereditary.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.
Democracy is not just a structure; it is also a spirit. 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”.
Whether it is our effort to fight climate change through life-style 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.
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.
This was also guided by the democratic spirit of ”Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” – One Earth, One Family, One Future.
There is much to say about the virtues of democracy, but let me say just this: India, despite the many global challenges, is the fastest growing major economy today. This itself is the best advertisement for democracy in the world. This itself says that Democracy Can Deliver.
Thank you, President Yoon, for chairing this session.
And thank you, to all the distinguished leaders for your presence.
Thank you very much.