Council for International Peoples Friendship, Sudanese Indian Friendship Association and AlZaiem AlAzhari University jointly organized a symposium at the University hall in Khartoum (North), Bahri on Monday 9th June’14. The title of the symposium was ‘Democracy in India’ and the speaker was none other than the Ambassador of India to Sudan His Excellency Sanjay Kumar Verma.
The Ambassador started with the definition of Democracy as given in the preamble of the Indian Constitution which is Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic India. Many misunderstand Socialist as Communist but here it means equality of resources and wealth. Secular in India means all inclusive. The Ambassador endorsed the point made by the announcer Prof. Abdelgadir Hamid AlFadil to explain India’s secularism by saying that India is Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Jain, and Parsi. Democracy in India also means Justice (not to be mistaken for judiciary). It is social, economic and political justice which means equality of status, opportunities; liberty of thoughts, expression, belief, faith and worship. The Ambassador gave an example that in India people can stand up in a corner and speak of non governance without being invalidated.
Mr.Verma spoke about the structure of the Parliament, the functioning of the Election Commission. It was interesting to learn that 64% of the voting population (840 million) is below the age of 30. This makes India the youngest country in the world. While talking about the process of elections the Ambassador mentioned that the first election in Sudan was conducted under the guidance of Sukumar Sen an Election Commissioner from India. The recent elections held in India were the first time in the world with 100% usage of Electronic Voting Machines. These machines replaced trillion plus pages of paper which was environment friendly and the results were announced faster. While responding to a journalist from a local newspaper in the symposium, Ambassador offered to share India’s experience from its Constitution and Election Commission and assist Sudan in this matter with what suits best for the country.
The Ambassador also spoke about bilateral relations stating that Sudan will always remain in focus in terms of institution building, capacity building in human resources and in industry. He added that Investment is the best way to prosper for a country like Sudan which brings in technology and management. In the recent CII Africa Conclave the
robust delegation from Sudan discussed $ 86 billion worth of projects with India.