George Soros comments on Indian democracy: New Delhi hits back at US billionaire


Soros spoke about a “democratic revival” in India in his remarks delivered at the 2023 Munich Security Conference (ANI)

As US billionaire George Soros criticizes Indian democracy, the Indian government tells him the Euro-Atlantic vision no longer dominates the world. What does New Delhi’s reaction reflect?   

Our Bureau
New Delhi/Sydney/New York

US billionaire investor George Soros has sparked a major row in India. With his remarks on Indian democracy and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the hedge fund owner and philanthropist is facing a major backlash in India – from the government as well as opposition parties.

On Saturday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar George Soros as an “old, rich opinionated person” who still thinks that his views should determine how the entire world works. Addressing a session with Australian Minister Chris Brown at the Raisina@Sydney Dialogue, Jaishankar said, “Mr Soros is an old, rich opinionated person sitting in New York who still thinks that his views should determine how the entire world works…such people actually invest resources in shaping narratives.”

“People like him think an election is good if the person they want to see, wins and if the election throws up a different outcome, then they will say it is a flawed democracy and the beauty is that all this is done under the pretense of advocacy of open society,” the external affairs minister said.

Soros had in his remarks at the Munich Security Conference this Thursday said, “Adani is accused of stock manipulation and his stock collapsed like a house of cards. Modi is silent on the subject, but he will have to answer questions from foreign investors and in Parliament.”

Terming Modi and Adani as “close allies,” whose “fate is intertwined”, the 92-year-old billionaire investor said, “This will significantly weaken Modi’s stranglehold on India’s federal government and open the door to push for much-needed institutional reforms.” “I may be naive, but I expect a democratic revival in India,” Soros said in his remarks delivered at the 2023 Munich Security Conference.

In his remarks at Sydney, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar calls George Soros as an “old, rich opinionated person” who still thinks that his views should determine how the entire world works (ANI)

In Sydney, Jaishankar today said, “When I look at my own democracy, I’ve today a voter turnout, which is unprecedented, electoral outcomes which are decisive, electoral process which is not questioned. We’re not one of those countries where after elections, somebody goes to arbitrate in court.”

“Mr Soros said India is a democratic country but he doesn’t think the Prime minister of India is a democrat. He earlier accused us of planning to strip millions of Muslims of their citizenship which of course didn’t happen, it was a ridiculous suggestion,” the external affairs minister said.

Globalization, Jaishankar said, allows seamless opportunities but also allows narratives to be shaped, money to come in, and organizations to get about their agenda.

Hitting out at Soros’ comments, Jaishankar said, “If you do this kind of scaremongering…millions of people will be deprived of citizenship. It actually does real damage to the societal fabric because somebody out there believes you. You create that kind of fear psychosis.”

Meanwhile, BJP lashed out over Soros’ comments. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Union Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Irani on Friday slammed Soros said that the man who broke the Bank of England and a man, who is designated as an economic war criminal, has now expressed his desire to break the Indian democracy.

She added that Soros wants a government that is pliable to his needs for making his nefarious plans successful. “It is evident from his statements that he has pronounced funding over one billion dollars to target leaders like PM Modi. This is significant,” The Minister said during the conference.

She said, “Those who support Soros need to know that democracy has prevailed in India and continues to do so and as a party worker of the BJP, I can say that these designs to weaken Indian democracy will be met by the might of India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

S Jaishankar also said that democracy is perceived as a global aspiration because India chose to be a democracy at the time of her Independence. The foreign minister pointed out that as the world transformed and rebalanced from the era of a very “Euro Atlantic” view there was a need for a debate and a conversation on practices and beliefs and cultures which are relevant to how a democracy is actually executed and improved. Urging for a debate on democracy, Jaishankar speaking at an Observer Research Foundation (ORF) event in Sydney said that there is a “need for debate and conversation on democracy.”

Reacting to George Soros’ criticism against Modi and raising questions on Hindenburg Research’s report on industrialist Gautam Adani, senior Congress and former leader P Chidambaram said that he disagrees with most of what George Soros had said in the past and he does not agree with most of what Soros says at present.

Chidambaram tweeted, “I did not agree with most of what George Soros had said in the past and I do not agree with most of what he says now. But to label his remarks as an “attempt to topple the democratically elected government in India” is a puerile statement.” Soros at the Munich Security Conference on Thursday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be weakened by the stock woes of business tycoon and alleged close ally Gautam Adani, “opening the door” to a democratic revival in the country.

In a series of tweets from his official account on Saturday, the leader said that the people of India will determine who will be in and who will be out of the government of India and added, “I did not know that the Modi government was so feeble that it can be toppled by the stray statement of a 92-year-old rich foreign national.”

During the CAA protests, Soros accused India of planning to strip millions of Muslims of their citizenship (File photo)

But Bharatiya Janata Party hit back at Congress for backing Soros’s statement that Narendra Modi may dodge answering questions about Gautam Adani in Parliament and in India but he cannot escape from foreign investors. BJP National Spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla asked why senior Congress leader Praveen Chakravarty tweeted the statement ‘attacking Indian democracy’.

The BJP leader further said that by doing so, the Congress had become a vector, which pushes and peddles the insidious agenda of George Soros, who aims to destabilize and demonize Indian democracy.

But distancing himself from George Soros’s statement, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said a democratic revival in India depends entirely on the Congress, Opposition parties and the electoral process and that it has nothing to do with billionaire investor George Soros.

At the moment, it seems there are few takers of Soros’ advice on Indian democracy in India. 

Who is actually George Soros?

Billionaire investor George Soros has given away more than USD 32 billion of his personal fortune to fund the Open Society Foundations’ work around the world, according to

Under his leadership, the Open Society Foundations have supported individuals and organizations across the globe fighting for freedom of expression, accountable government, and societies that promote justice and equality, according to the website. The foundations have also provided school and university fees for thousands of promising students. According to the website, Soros has experienced such intolerance firsthand. Born in Hungary in 1930, he lived through the Nazi occupation of 1944-1945, which resulted in the murder of over 500,000 Hungarian Jews. His own Jewish family survived by securing false identity papers, concealing their backgrounds, and helping others do the same, the website said.

As the Communists consolidated power in Hungary after the war, Soros left Budapest in 1947 for London, working part-time as a railway porter and as a night-club waiter to support his studies at the London School of Economics, it added. In 1956, he emigrated to the US, entering the world of finance and investments, where he was to make his fortune.

In 1973, Soros launched his own hedge fund, Soros Fund Management, and went on to become one of the most successful investors in the history of the US.

On Soros’s Open Society Foundations, Abhijeet Iyyer Mitra, author at South Asian Voices and a journalist, tweeted on Friday, “Find every Indian citizen / OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) / PIO (person of India, origin) / NGO (non-government organization) funded by, or in any way associated with @OpenSociety and you’ll find the vectors of regime change in India.”

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