Indians better than Americans in many ways, says US Ambassador Eric Garcetti, dismisses concerns about democracy

US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti said that he was confident that 10 years from now India is going to be a vibrant democracy as it is today in terms of free and fair elections.

Livemint
First Published10 May 2024
US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti. File photo
US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti. File photo(Mohd Zakir)

The US Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti, has dismissed concerns about democracy in the country and asserted that Indians are better than Americans in many ways.

Garcetti made the remarks on Thursday while speaking at an event organised by the Council on Foreign Relations in New Delhi, newswire PTI reported.

Garcetti on democracy in India

According to PTI, the Biden administration's top diplomat also said that he was confident that “10 years from now, India is going to be a vibrant democracy as it is today in terms of free and fair elections”.

Responding to a question expressing concerns over the status of democracy in India, the US envoy also spoke about how the voting machine is taken in the mountains for one person so he can cast his vote.

"Again, there's things that probably are worse, and there's things that are better. They have a law, you can't go more than two kilometers to vote. So there'll be one guy who lives in the mountains as a monk (at) someplace. They will walk for two days to bring the voting machine, execute the vote," he said.

Also Read: 'Unfounded accusations…': Russia says US ‘complicating’ Lok Sabha elections, disrespecting India

About election system

The US envoy said that during election times in India, people check trucks to ensure that nobody has cash going around.

"There's probably walk-in money, as they call it in some cities here in the United States, Philadelphia, that's like a tradition where cash kind of gets you votes and things like that. So, I've been impressed with certain things they do that are better than us."

Meanwhile, Garcetti also said that there are things that they keep their eyes on. "I just disagree that we don't speak out about them."

"We put them out. It's not the only thing. I mean, some people want us to only say that. But this is too important a relationship to spend all day long only saying that over and over. You're not going to get anything else done. It'll become a self-fulfilling prophecy that they will not be close to us. Whereas where we find the common ground, which I think is really human to human, very deep," PTI quoted Garcetti as saying.

Also Read: Gurpatwant Singh Pannun case: Russia backs India says US 'trying to make it harder to have parliamentary election'

US envoy on state governments and centre

“... If you don't know state governments in India, which are as powerful as the centre and are run by opposition parties, and there's plenty of criticisms you can make, too, about other parties that have been in power. If you look at history in India, there's not been some golden era where everybody's rights have been respected,” Garcetti added.

Also Read: America is not yet declining but appears willing to let itself down

On India-US relations

“I 100 percent believe we can trust this relationship. It's going to be one of the defining relationships of the 21st century, the US and India together,” Garcetti said.

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