Democracies should shape social media, cryptocurrencies, says PM Modi

The Prime Minister said different parts of the world have followed different paths of democratic development and there is much to learn from each other.

December 10, 2021 07:03 pm | Updated 09:35 pm IST - New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the Summit for Democracy, on December 10, 2021. Twitter/@BJP4India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the Summit for Democracy, on December 10, 2021. Twitter/@BJP4India

Democracies should jointly deal with social media and crypto currencies, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Official Intervention at the Summit for Democracy convened by U.S. President Joe Biden.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Modi said India is the largest democracy in the world which has 2,500-year-old democratic traditions and proposed to share India's democratic experience through digital solutions. 

“We must also jointly shape global norms for emerging technologies like social media and crypto-currencies, so that they are used to empower democracy, not to undermine it,” said Mr. Modi in his Official Intervention.  The Summit for Democracy was convened by President Biden to strengthen democracy around the world.

Opening the summit on Thursday, President Biden announced the establishment of the Presidential Initiative for Democratic Renewal that will provide foreign assistance initiatives.

The initiative will be powered by $424.4 million and will be aimed to support free media, fight corruption, strengthen democratic reforms, for use of technology for democracy and for defence of free and fair elections. 

Mr Modi said democracy has taken various shapes across the world and that there is a need to work on the democratic practices and symptoms adding, “Different parts of the world have followed different paths of democratic development. There is much we can learn from each other. We all need to constantly improve our democratic practices and systems. And, we all need to continuously enhance inclusion, transparency, human dignity, responsive grievance redressal and decentralisation of power.”

Mr Modi referred to the civilisational tradition of democracy in India citing the ancient city states under the Lichhavis and other people that flourished in India during the late Vedic and Buddhist period and continued to the early medieval period. He said democratic traditions had made ancient India the “most prosperous”.  

“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,” said Mr Modi.

Prime Minister Modi said India would be happy to share “expertise” in organising “free and fair elections” and in increasing “transparency in all areas of governance through innovative digital solutions”.

“Democracy is not only of the people, by the people, for the people but also with the people, within the people,” said Mr Modi. 

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