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May 18, 2024

India: A Beacon of Vibrant Democracy, Lauds White House

India, hailed as one of the most vibrant democracies in the world, received commendation from the White House for its exemplary democratic process. During a news conference on Friday, White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby highlighted the significance of India’s democratic engagement, especially in light of the ongoing elections where over 969 million voters are participating.

“Not too many more vibrant democracies in the world than India. And we applaud the Indian people for exercising, you know, their ability to vote, and to have a voice in their future government. And we wish them well throughout the process, of course,” Kirby remarked, emphasizing the importance of the electoral process in shaping the nation’s future.

Kirby was responding to a query about the current Indian elections, a massive democratic exercise involving one million polling stations and the election of 545 members of parliament. With thousands of candidates representing 2,660 registered political parties, the scale and inclusiveness of India’s elections are a testament to its robust democratic framework.

Further elaborating on the strengthening ties between India and the United States, Kirby noted that the relationship has particularly flourished under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership during the Biden administration’s tenure. “Our relationship with India is extremely close and getting closer,” Kirby stated, reflecting on the enhanced cooperation and mutual initiatives launched in recent years.

He referred to the recent State visit as a milestone in bilateral relations, marking the initiation of various collaborative projects in critical emerging technologies. Additionally, Kirby highlighted the strategic significance of the Indo-Pacific quad, of which India is a key member, underscoring the joint efforts to bolster regional security and cooperation.

“The people-to-people exchanges and the military cooperation we share with India illustrate the dynamic and active partnership we have. We are grateful for Prime Minister Modi’s leadership,” Kirby added, recognizing the multifaceted nature of the India-US alliance.

When questioned about President Joe Biden’s views on India and Japan in terms of inclusivity, Kirby clarified that the President’s comments were meant to underline the inclusivity and participatory nature of democracy in the United States. “The president was making a broader point here about the vibrancy of our own democracy, here in the United States, and how inclusive and participatory it is,” Kirby explained, distancing the President’s remarks from any notion of xenophobia.

The White House’s commendation of India’s democratic vibrancy is a recognition of the country’s commitment to maintaining a participatory and inclusive political process. The ongoing elections, with their immense scale and diverse representation, exemplify India’s dedication to upholding democratic values.

As India and the United States continue to deepen their bilateral ties, the shared democratic ideals and collaborative efforts in technology, security, and cultural exchange pave the way for a stronger partnership. The acknowledgment of India’s democratic spirit by the White House not only reinforces the bond between the two nations but also celebrates the power of democracy in fostering global cooperation and progress.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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