Rahul Gandhi, prominent leader of the Indian National Congress party, asserted that Indian democracy is not only an internal matter but also a "global public good" with far-reaching implications. Speaking during his ongoing six-day tour of the United States, Gandhi emphasized the critical role of democracy in shaping the world and underscored the need to protect it.
Addressing a news conference at the National Press Club, Gandhi stated, "It's our job, it's our business, and it's our work to fight the battle for democracy in India. But the thing to remember is that Indian democracy is a global public good. Because India is large enough that a collapse in democracy in India will affect...will have an impact on the world."
Gandhi acknowledged that the issue of democracy is primarily an internal matter for India but urged global stakeholders to recognize its broader significance. He emphasized the commitment of the Congress party to safeguarding democracy in India and assured reporters, "We are going to win."
During his tour, Gandhi also addressed the India-US relationship, advocating for a broader and more comprehensive partnership beyond defense ties. He highlighted the strengths India brings to the table, including democratic values, technological expertise, and a highly educated population. Gandhi urged both countries to jointly champion productivity and prosperity within a democratic framework, countering the non-democratic vision offered by China.
In response to questions about the rights of minorities in India, Gandhi stressed that the country already has a robust system in place, although it has been weakened recently. He highlighted the importance of upholding the rule of law and protecting independent institutions to foster a democratic conversation that addresses such concerns effectively.
Regarding press freedom, Gandhi expressed its crucial role in maintaining a healthy democracy, stating, "Press freedom is very, very critical for a democracy. I mean, one should be open to criticism. And one should listen to criticism, and that's the feedback loop that builds democracies."
(With PTI Inputs)