July 12, 2022
Patna: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday asserted that India was the “mother of all democracies”, drawing upon the legacy of ancient republics like Vaishali, and expressed satisfaction over the nation’s march towards becoming a “mature democracy”. Modi made the remark at a function here organised on the occasion of centenary celebrations of Bihar Assembly as part of which he unveiled a commemorative pillar, planted a sapling of ‘Kalpataru’ tree and laid foundation stones of a guest house and a library.
“India is a democracy because we believe in saamanjasya (harmony)….. We are often told that India is the largest democracy. I would like countrymen to remember that we are not just the largest; India is the mother of all democracies,” Modi said.
Expressing delight over being “the first prime minister to have visited the Assembly of Bihar”, Modi recalled that the state was home to Vaishali, said to be the oldest republic in the world.
“Many people say that democracy came to India because of western influence. By doing so they undermine the legacy of Bihar,” said Modi, recalling events like Champaran Satyagrah of Mahatma Gandhi to make his point.
“It is not a mere coincidence that the centenary celebrations of assembly premises are being held simultaneously with the Amrit Mahotsav (75th anniversary) of the Independence,” said the PM.
He also stated that the nation was “on its way to becoming a mature democracy” which was evident from “better attendance of lawmakers inside Parliament and state assemblies” and “discarding of obsolete laws”.
Modi also spoke of the “glorious past” of the state Assembly, which became the first in the country to bring in a zamindari abolition law and reservation for women in panchayats.
The PM’s address was preceded by speeches of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha and Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav.