Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said, the contribution of Asian democracies to global discourse needs to enhance rapidly with their rise in economic and political stature. He also stressed that democratic values are rooted in Hindu and Buddhist civilisations. The Prime Minister made these comments in a video message he posted on Twitter for the fourth edition of ‘Samvad’, a symposium being held in Tokyo, Japan. The theme of the symposium is “Shared Values and Democracy in Asia”.
Mr. Modi further said, openness, and not dogma, and engaging in philosophy, and not ideology are among our shared heritage of democratic spirit. He said, this philosophical and cultural heritage of dialogue in the two most ancient Asian faiths, Hinduism and Buddhism, helps promote better understanding. He said, mutual accommodation and respect help democracy.
The Prime Minister said, core values of Asia, including consideration for others, self-restraint and mutual respect, find their historical origin in emperor Ashoka’s edicts 2,300 years ago. Mr Modi said that historical evidence from Tamil Nadu during the reign of Raja Raja Chola in the 10th century suggests that a detailed system of voting and election was in vogue long before even the Magna Carta two centuries years later. He said, democracy is not just a system of voting and its core values of self- restraint and mutual respect make it function for the benefit of all.
Japenes Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also spoke in the programme. He said, Buddhism played a significant role in forming ideological foundation of Japan, therefore, this is a common heritage of both India and Japan. The first edition of ‘samvad’ was held in Delhi, second in Tokyo and third in Yangon.