Indians Will Take Care Of Their Own Democracy: US Ambassador Eric Garcetti

Indians Will Take Care Of Their Own Democracy: US Ambassador Eric Garcetti

Garcetti said that democracy is a daily plebiscite, and the need to define democracy not just during election day, but the times in between.

Anahita AhluwaliaUpdated: Friday, May 24, 2024, 02:23 PM IST
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US Ambassador Eric Garcetti speaking to Free Press Journal consulting editor Afrida Rahman Ali. |

Mumbai: US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti has said that Indians will take of their own democracy 'Indian institutions, the Indian people'.

Speaking to Free Press Journal consulting editor Afrida Rahman Ali at an event organised by the US Consulate General here, Garcetti in response to a question on the charged political atmosphere and communal nature of campaigning, he reaffirmed his faith in India protecting her own democracy.

“I reinforce that Indians will take care of their own democracy — Indian institutions, the Indian people. It certainly isn’t my place to come in and tell you how to run a democracy,” he said.

Celebrating dissent as integral to democracy, the U.S. envoy commented on India’s ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

He added, “Democracy is a daily plebiscite. It’s not just on election day that we define a democracy: it’s the times in between. Everyone — whether they’re ethnic minorities, religious minorities, women, the
youth, the poor — must all feel that they have an equal stake in the democracy. We invite criticisms on where we can do that better, and try to promote that value around the world.

”Addressing growing unrest and widespread protests on university campuses, he noted the importance of peaceful protests in upholding the values of freedom that America prides itself on, emphasizing that for Indian students “they’re nothing to worry about.”

Ambassador Garcetti reassured Indian students that America is committed to striving to serve them better, “we will take care of them”. From various programmes that ease cultural acclimatisation to creating avenues for mental health help, the United States is warm and welcoming to all Indian students.

With students rushing to apply for F-1 Visas (Academic Student visa) ahead of colleges starting this fall, the Biden administration’s top diplomat dismissed concerns over eligible students being denied their visas. He asserted the US’ commitment to welcoming Indian students, highlighting that “Indians are the number one source of international graduate students in the US, one in four foreign students is Indian.”

As a result, the US Embassy has taken many steps to reduce appointment times to meet the unprecedented demand. “We’ve reduced wait time by 75 per cent. Every single eligible student applicant received their visa on time last year,” he added.

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