Is India really the ‘Mother of Democracy’?

Delivering an address at the UNGA, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that he is proud to represent a country that is regarded as the mother of democracy. The PM’s words have triggered a debate on whether India indeed has an ancient history of practising democracy.

Author and columnist Harsh Gupta Madhusudhan says that democracy may indeed have strong Indian roots. “The links to the ancient Republican era in India may be tenuous, but so are between ancient Greece and the US. Message is clear: democracy is universal, may even have unacknowledged and strong Indian roots,” he argues. 

Author and Vedic expert Dr David Frawley observes, “India as the world’s largest democracy has more elections than any other country in the world. Narendra Modi has won or guided his party to victory in more elections than any other leader in the world. He spoke at the UN with this conviction and trust in democracy.”

On its part, the government is amplifying the PM’s message in every possible way. Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri tweets, “A powerful & landmark message to the world by PM Modi at the 76th session of UNGA. PM underlines India’s strong & robust tradition of democracy which has drawn strength from our nation’s diversity.”

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