ADLA Video Series 2020: Why Democracy Matters? - www.kas.de
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Why Democracy Matters?
KAS PDA: Why do you think democratic values and principles are important for your country?
Mr. Astik Sinha: India is home to one-seventh of humanity. It is the birthplace of four major religions of the world. It is also where hundreds of languages are spoken. Whether judiciary and media are fiercely independent. Where the armed forces are headed by civilian leadership. In fact, the President, the Prime Minister and the Speaker have all been from different religious groups over the years. In fact, in the world’s largest democracy, elections are held through electronic voting. Democracy for us in India is not just a word in the constitution, it is a way of life.
KAS PDA: In your context, what do you think are the main challenges to democracy?
Mr. Astik Sinha: I think an ill-informed citizen who cannot differentiate between fact and fiction, who spreads misinformation knowingly, purposely, or sometimes unknowingly, and in this age of social viral media that spreads like wildfire; and that affects the well-being of the community and the health of democracy all around, I think that is a great challenge that we need to gear up to and tackle as a community, society, and country.
KAS PDA: As a young leader, what can you do to ensure that you become and remain a democratic leader?
Mr. Astik Sinha: As a young leader, as a democratic leader, as an individual we have power in our hands, you have power in your hands. Your smartphone, with a click, with one single click you can create, connect, innovate, with communities, societies, and individuals around the world. Or you can use that same click to create chaos, confusion, and division. We are like sparkling minds that can light up conversations and communities. Or, we could be the fire that ignites and divides society and brings turmoil and chaos. I mean the choices are ours.
Disclaimer: This interview excerpt is taken from the ADLA Video Series 2020 project which aims to seek for answers on the question "Why Democracy Matters?" from the KASYP alumni country representatives. The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed are those of the interviewee do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. Any insights expressed in this content do not intend to hurt any individual, community, or organization.