Date From : Jun 01, 2019To : Jun 02, 2019

It needs to be restated that notwithstanding its voluminous contribution to the causes of democratisation and good governance in its neighbourhood and far off regions, world’s largest democracy doesn’t yet have an official policy on democracy support. This has prompted scholars and democracy watchdogs to label India as a “reluctant or hesitant promoter.” Why is India wary of “open democracy support” despite its record in maintaining its democratic institutions since Independence in 1947? Importantly, the word ‘democracy’ is amiss in India’s foreign policy.

Is it not time for the region’s democratic powerhouse to have its own official agencies equivalent to USAID (US) or DFID (UK) to anchor its external democratic assistance? Would not an official policy help India plan and improve the nature and quantum of its contribution to aid liberal democratic order and help soar up its soft power appeal better? Needless to say, sheer demographic weight and geopolitical ambitions/rising economic profile demand India play a more visible and assertive role in defending values and promote its own unique democratic models?

It is against this background, Observer Research Foundation, Asia Democracy Network (ADN), Seoul, with the Madras Management Association (MMA) for the Chennai leg of the multi-city discourse propose to hold a brainstorming on the above questions (but not limited to these) so as to identity ways and means to help India’s policy makers. Overall, the proposed exercise endeavours to build much required momentum on India’s external democracy support.


M.K. Narayanan, former National Security Advisor, Government of India

Niranjan Sahoo, Senior Fellow, ORF, New Delhi

P.S. Raghavan, Chairman, National Security Advisory Board (NSAB), Government of India

Sathiya Moorthy, Senior Fellow & Director, ORF, Chennai

Suhasini Haidar, National Editor & Diplomatic Editor, The Hindu

S.D. Muni, Professor Emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

T.S. Krishnamurthy, former Chief Election Commissioner, India

Vinitha Revi, independent researcher, Chennai

Find the programme here.

The timing of this event is from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Venue Address

MMA Management Centre, Chennai