The recent state visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US is a reminder of the complex and often contradictory relationship between the two countries. On the one hand, there is a strong strategic and economic rationale for the US to court India. India is a rising power with a large and growing market, and it is seen as a key partner in the US’s efforts to counter China’s growing influence in Asia.
On the other hand, there are serious concerns about India’s human rights record. Under Modi’s leadership, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has cracked down on religious minorities, particularly Muslims. There have also been reports of journalists being harassed and arrested for reporting on government abuses. There were days when the US denied visa to the “butcher of Gujarat Muslims” when under Modi as the chief ministers, scores of Muslims were killed in the state patronage.
Now, the economy and the fear of Chinese dominance are crafting the US foreign policies. The US has been reluctant to criticize India’s human rights record, in part because it does not want to jeopardize its strategic partnership with the country. However, this has led to accusations that the US is turning a blind eye to human rights abuses in India. The US and India have a long history of cooperation, but their relationship has been strained in recent years due to concerns about India’s human rights record. The BJP has been accused of using Hindu nationalism to divide Indian society and to marginalize religious minorities. This has led to accusations that the US is turning a blind eye to human rights abuses in India. The US should take a more principled stand on human rights in India.