PM Modi’s visit to the US a dent on the US democratic values
PM Modi’s visit to the US a dent on the US democratic values, rights activists ask President Biden to Cancel Modi’s invitation over India’s Human Rights record
It seems a bit ironic that President Biden, also known as the leader of free world is hosting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose democratic credentials are questionable when it comes to protecting the minority groups in India and advancing the Nazi-inspired agenda of minority genocide. Often termed as the butcher of Gujarat, Mr. Modi’s place at Biden’s dining table will only serve to undermine democratic norms and values and this would project Biden as a silent supporter of undemocratic values.
Since Modi assumed office of the Prime Minister of India, India has slipped from 140th position to 150th position on World Press Freedom Index, introduced 2019 citizenship act which the United Nations terms “fundamentally discriminatory”, silencing Muslim critics by demolishing their homes using state machinery, and backed those who lynched Muslims who were accused of desecrating the cow.
In 2019, the BJP government led by PM Modi repealed Article 370 of the Indian Constitution which provided the special Status to Jammu & Kashmir. This was the gross violation of UN resolution. By repealing this act, Modi aims to convert Muslim majority in Jammu & Kashmir to minority. Seeing this, the people of Kashmir strong protested. Pakistan raised this issue on international level and urged the United States to take action. But there has been complete silence from the US circles since it considers India a “Core Ally”.
Similarly, this year, India scored 51 out of 100 on internet freedom which is almost equivalent to the ranking of countries like Bangladesh, Libya, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan and Nicaragua. A recent example of abysmal state of intent freedom in India is the revelation by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey who said that Indian government had threatened to shut down Twitter and raid its employees in India if the Twitter didn’t comply to directives of Indian government in regards to the removal of tweets during Farmers protests in 2020. This news was trending on social media few days ago and alarmed the rights activists worldwide.
For the reasons mentioned above, PM Modi’s visit might not sail smoothly as the name of the 2019 “Howdy Modi!” rally in Texas featuring the Indian prime minister and then-U.S. President Donald Trump is being parodied for an event in New York featuring a production named “Howdy Democracy,” according to Reuters. This would severely dent the “soft image” of Modi and India in the US. Indian media is already crying lucid over this visit and terming it against diplomatic norms.
Similarly, protesters will also be holding the placards mentioning “Modi Not Welcome” and “Save India from Hindu Supremacy.”
An online petition titled “Americans ask Biden to rescind State Dinner invitation to Narendra Modi due to India’s democratic backslide” is gaining significant attention in the US. Pressure is building up and it is up to Biden whether to concede to protestors demand and uphold democratic values or proceed with the upcoming dinner and make America’s stance on human rights questionable.
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