Press Trust of india

World democracies at crossroads, need to be strengthened: Clinton

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Mumbai, Mar 11 : Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said democracies around the world were at a crossroads and the need of the hour was to strengthen them.

Urging India to become more active and involved in the future of Asia, Clinton said much of the continent’s future will be written by its people.

Democracies around the world, including US and India are at the crossroads. It should be of concern not just for governments and political leaders, but also business leaders, media and ordinary citizens, Clinton said while delivering a keynote address at the conclusion of the India Today Conclave here yesterday.

“Our shared future in the 21st century and beyond will be written to a great extent in Asia and much of the future of Asia will be written in India not only by the Indian government, but by the states across India and most importantly by the 1.3 billion people living here,” she said.

“I firmly believe that India needed to be more active and involved in the future of Asia. India is making leaps in science and technology, enhancing human knowledge and innovation. In United States, one third of the startups are led by Indian Americans,” she said.

She added that the world is counting on India’s leadership on climate, human rights and other issues.

“India-US friendship remains rooted in shared values and vision. India and United States stand for free nation and free market. We believe in democracy, pluralism, opportunity and innovation. These beliefs are more important today than they ever have been.

“We face similar economic challenges and threats of terrorism and nuclear proliferation, new threats of robotics and artificial intelligence, job creation, threats to our security from cyber warfare. The kind of threats that are subtle, but increasing to democracy itself from rising authoritarianism and false weaponised information,” she said.

Stating that women and young people need to join politics, she said she was working on it in the US.

“We need many voices for speaking up for fundamental rights, speaking out against racism, sexism or any attempts to normalise bigotry. We need to make sure that democracies in India and the US do not give way to anger, resentment and disappointment,” she said.

During the interactive session, she said this is the time for people from all walks of life to come together and defend democracy and make it more effective.

Clinton also said India has a special place in her heart and people’s lives were enriched by India’s gift to the world like scientific innovation, arts, fashion, food, films and Yoga.

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