Using I-Day speech, Modi brushes aside criticism, asks why live by ‘certificates of world’

His comment was significant as his government, in the past, drew flak from other nations, as well as international organisations
Last Updated : 15 August 2022, 17:06 IST

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Monday, called upon people to stop relying on assessment from foreign individuals and entities to assess the state of affairs in the nation. His call to action was made even as the United States underscored that its relations with India was based on shared democratic values and commitment to freedom.

Modi said: “Brothers, how long will the world continue to give certificates to us? How long will we live on the certificates of the world?”

The prime minister was addressing the nation from the rampart of Red Fort after hoisting the national flag marking the 76th Independence Day of India.

His comment was significant as his government, in the past, drew flak from other nations, as well as international organisations, over perception that India was backsliding on democratic values, human rights and freedom of speech and religion.

The US, earlier this year, let known that it was monitoring some “recent concerning developments” in India, including “a rise in human rights abuses by some government, police, and prison officials”.

US President Joe Biden, in his message on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Independence of India, subtly recalled India’s democratic foundation.

“As people around the world, including nearly four million proud Indian-Americans, celebrate the 75th anniversary of India’s independence on August 15, the United States joins the people of India to honour its democratic journey, guided by Mahatma Gandhi’s enduring message of truth and non-violence,” he said in a statement released by the White House.

Biden noted that India and the US were also celebrating this year the 75th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two “great democracies”.

“India and the United States are indispensable partners, and the US-India Strategic Partnership is grounded in our shared commitment to the rule of law and the promotion of human freedom and dignity,” said Biden, adding that the “vibrant Indian-American community” in the US had made it “a more innovative, inclusive and stronger nation”.

Modi used his Independence Day speech on Monday to dismiss the criticism by the US, Europe and other foreign nations and entities over perception of erosion of democratic values in India.

“Under no circumstances should we try to look like others,” he said, wondering: “Shall we not set our own standards? Can a country of 130 crores not make an effort to exceed its standards?”

The US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in its latest report released in Washington D.C. on April 25 reiterated its 2020 and 2021 recommendations asking the Biden Administration to designate India as a ‘Country of Particular Concern’ in view of the drastic downward turn in the religious freedom in the south Asian nation

Published 15 August 2022, 10:47 IST

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