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Biden administration avoids all chances to criticise Modi govt on human rights, says Politico

The US-based publication criticises India's foreign policy pursuing its 'national interest’ and having it both ways — joining the US against China & buying cheap gas from Russia.

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New Delhi: The Biden administration foregoes every opportunity to criticise the Narendra Modi government in India, argues US-based publication Politico.

In the article, Politico’s senior foreign affairs correspondent Nahal Toosi, and national security reporters Alex Ward and Matt Berg argue that the most recent example of this apparent immunity to the Indian government came Thursday, when Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, who was in New Delhi, dodged questions on human rights abuses in the country. 

Responding to questions on human rights violations in India and rising concerns over threat to democracy, Blinken said, “We have to continue to hold ourselves to our core values, including respect for universal human rights, like freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly — which makes our democracy stronger.”

Blinken also stressed that the US isn’t perfect either. However, the US Secretary of State  added that he “regularly raises such topics” with his Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar.

The writers argue that such conciliarity statements are due to the view in Washington D.C. that India is a critical counter to China.

“US is often reluctant to publicly say anything that might undermine this convenient alliance, even if it harms the administration’s narrative of standing up for human rights and democracy worldwide, human rights advocates say,” adds Politico.

The writers have also criticised India’s foreign policy focused on its “national interest”. Arguing that India has been able to join the US against China, while also buying cheap gas from Russia. “It’s easy to have it both ways when both countries need you.”

Further, officials at the US State Department seem to be tired of the “kid-glove” treatment being given to India, the story adds.

An unclassified cable from the US Embassy, accessed by Politico, references the recent tax survey on the BBC office in India. 

“What was striking about the cable… how it avoided any real analysis or direct conclusions from US diplomats. Instead, it recited basic facts and relied on the voices of outsiders, such as opposition politicians or Indian journalists, to raise critical points,” the writers argue.

(Edited by Anumeha Saxena)

Also Read: Blinken backs Modi’s line on multilateralism in crisis, but says there are ‘workarounds’ 


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