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Reviving CAA-NRC issue could force Biden to criticise Modi govt: British journalist Edward Luce

Financial Times columnist Edward Luce says while Biden has had the smoothest start to a presidency in a long while, he still faces challenges on domestic and foreign front.

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New Delhi: If Prime Minister Narendra Modi revives his agenda on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the Joe Biden-led US administration will be under pressure to criticise India, said renowned British journalist and columnist Edward Luce while speaking at the Girish Karnad Memorial Lecture for 2021 Friday.

Luce was responding to a question on whether US President Joe Biden will raise concerns about CAA-NRC and the situation in Kashmir, as he has done in the past, or will these concerns be swept under the rug as Washington looks towards New Delhi to counter Beijing.

“I think a lot depends on the Citizenship Amendment Law and related National Registry (NRC). If these are revived, after the farmers’ protests recede and Modi’s back to master his agenda … if he (Modi) does revive these with a vengeance, it’s going to create a lot of pressure on the Biden administration to criticise India,” said Luce. “Ditto with Kashmir,” he added.

Though, there is a sense that “Americans tend to preach and Indians don’t like it”, he added.

Luce is the US national editor and columnist at the Financial Times and previously worked as the speechwriter for the US Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers during the second Clinton administration. He is also the author of books such as ‘The Retreat of Western Liberalism’ (2017), ‘Time to Start Thinking: America in the Age of Descent’ (2012), and ‘In Spite of the Gods: The Strange Rise of Modern India’ (2007).

The virtual event, hosted by Bengaluru-based New India Foundation, was held in honour of Karnad, the late playwright and actor. ThePrint was a digital partner for the event.


Also read: Biden as president will be good for India, perhaps not that good for Modi


‘Biden faces challenges on domestic, foreign fronts’

Speaking on ‘US Politics: Why here and where from here’ during the virtual event, Luce assessed Biden’s first seven weeks in office, calling it the “smoothest opening to a presidency that I can remember”.

He compared it to Trump’s “rolling chaos”, Barack Obama facing the controversial Tea Party protests and Bush passing an unpopular tax cut in his early days and then having to deal with the 9/11 terror attacks.

Luce added that Biden was lucky to have entered office at a time when Covid-19 cases began to reduce and the vaccines received emergency approval.

However, he pointed out that the new US president could face challenges on the domestic and foreign front.

“The populist moment in American politics is by no means over,” remarked Luce, adding that this will be the domestic challenge. The 74 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump and still believe there was widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election are waiting for Biden to “slip”, he said.

He also took a dig at Biden’s ‘America is coming back’ slogan by quoting Greek philosopher Heraclitus. “You cannot step into the same river twice. The river that Biden got out of in 2016 as vice president to the outgoing Obama administration is a very different river to the one that he has stepped back into. Trump has roiled the waters.” He also pointed out that Trump remains the 2024 candidate of choice for most Republicans.

On the foreign front, Biden faces the challenge of “misplaying the US-China relationship”, said Luce.

He explained that democratic ideals are at the core of Biden’s foreign policy which may complicate matters because while this may seek to ensure China does not “ride roughshod” over global rules in its rise as a global power, it will also mean holding other allies to high democratic values. “And I think India is a very good example [of this complication],” he added.

Luce also criticised the US’s record of promoting democracy abroad by citing its failure to democratise Cuba for decades and the ongoing Afghanistan war.

(Edited by Manasa Mohan)


Also read: US President Biden had a ‘normal’ inauguration, but it really wasn’t normal


 

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Present Government of INDIA is not at all disabled like previous Government. They much more capable to handle all types of instabilities. What ever is happening is what 130 crores people want them to do.

  2. What ever it may be India is sovereign democratic nation it has it’s own stand and US or USA has non of it’s business to interfere in India’s laws.

  3. What ever it may be India is sovereign democratic nation it has it’s own stand US or USA has non of it’s business to interfere in India’s laws.

  4. Biden is not elected leader of India.
    Secondly, If not CAA MRC then WE MUST pass Anti-Extremism Bill like France and persecute Radical Islamist

  5. Bharath is a sovereign nation. We don’t need approval of anybody to make a law, Other than the parliament, supreme court and the president of bharath.

  6. Safeguarding the national interests is of utmost priority to any nation and my dear Bharat can’t and need not bean exception. Also the media in bharat must deal with vital issues like CAA and NRC in a responsible manner keeping in mind the national interests.

  7. India is an autonomous contry. For the fear of somebody’s criticism, it will not change its policy. Ifln the interest of their own trade and commerce they cannot afford to neglect Indian market.

Comments are closed.

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