Time for India to spread democracy: Ibrahim.
THE time has come for India to play a larger role in the spread of democracy, says Malaysian Leader of Opposition Anwar Ibrahim. Addressing the India Today Conclave 2012 gathering, he said Indian democracy and judiciary is praiseworthy but its tentativeness in imparting such values to countries in its extended neighbourhood is disappointing. " The debate over choosing between the Indian model and the Chinese model is due to the failure of democratic values.
Given half a chance, people will choose democracy, whatever its limitations may be. What happens in India, its ramifications are far greater than what you envisage," Ibrahim said at the ' From Dictatorship to Democracy: The Triumph of the People' session.
The former Malaysian deputy prime minister underscored the rapid strides made by India and Malaysia's neighbour Indonesia-- which transformed itself into a vibrant democracy after decades of dictatorship. But he also held out a note of caution: " These nations face corruption and abject poverty. The leaders can be excused for a decade but not centuries." Asked if democracy is one of the biggest seeds of corruption, he said, " Democracy works if the institution is strong." A strong votary of free media, Ibrahim emphasised that greatness lies in total commitment to free expression. " You have a free media and I think political leaders do not really like that," he said, adding in jest, " I agreed to speak at the India Today Conclave for air- time on TV." Leader of Pakatan Rakyat, the Malaysian three- party Opposition coalition, Ibrahim pointed to his solitary confinement of six years from 1998.
" When I talk about democracy, I talk with passion and conviction because I know what it means not to be free. I know how it feels to be tried by a judiciary that is under the executive." No stranger to India having visited the country several times, Ibrahim gave the conclave audience a taste of his Hindi. " Mohabbat. Pyar.
Zindagi. That's enough to survive!"
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