NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday called for united efforts to shape global norms for emerging technologies like social media and cryptocurrencies so that they are used to “empower democracy, not to undermine it”.
In a virtual address at the Summit for Democracy hosted by US President Joe Biden, Modi said India would be happy to share its expertise in holding free and fair elections.
He also said that “democracy is not only of the people, by the people, for the people but also with the people, within the people.”
The prime minister said the structural features such as 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,” he added.
“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,” the prime minister said.
“We must also jointly shape global norms for emerging technologies like social media and cryptocurrencies, so that they are used to empower democracy, not to undermine it,” he said.
Modi began by saying that he is proud to represent the world’s largest democracy at the summit.
“The democratic spirit is integral to our civilisational ethos,” he said.
The prime minister said 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 unimaginable scale,” he said.
“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 added.