Eric Garcetti calls India one of the most vibrant democracies


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US Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti was speaking at an event organized by the Council on Foreign Relations, a top American think-tank, when he told the audience that 10 years from now India is going to be a vibrant democracy as it is today in terms of free and fair elections. He dismissed concerns being raised in certain quarters about democracy in India and observed that in many ways Indians are better than the Americans.

“Again there’s things that probably are worse and there’s things that are better. They have a law, you can’t go more than 2 kilometers to vote. So there”ll be one guy who lives in the mountains as a monk (at) someplace. They will walk for two days to bring the voting machine, execute the vote,” he said, responding to a question expressing concerns over the status of democracy in India.

“You have a lot of leaders there who have come worked, been educated here, have an affinity. There’s a huge positive polling of Americans. I told the president before the state visit that Americans poll better in India than Americans do in America. They like us more than we like ourselves. That’s rare in the world today,” Garcetti said, adding that Poland is the only other country that comes close. This is a huge advantage for the US, he said.

“… If you don’t know state governments in India, which are as powerful as the centre and are run by opposition parties, and there’s plenty of criticisms you can make, too, about other parties that have been in power. If you look at history in India, there’s not been some golden era where everybody’s rights have been respected,” Garcetti said.

“America’s role is to stand up for the principles and the values that we have, to never retreat from those and talk about them. But is the relationship only that and those points of conflict? Absolutely not. It would be bad diplomacy, it would be bad policy. But in my heart, 100 percent, I believe, not only will this still continue to be one of the world’s most vibrant democracies,” Garcetti said.

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an American think tank specializing in US foreign policy and international relations. Founded in 1921, it is an independent and nonpartisan nonprofit organization.

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