Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 27 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Kamala Harris gently presses Indian Prime Minister Modi on human rights

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   1 comment
Message Abdus-Sattar Ghazali
Become a Fan
  (11 fans)

Vice President Kamala Harris invoked her familial ties to India as she gently pressed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on human rights during a history-making meeting Thursday between America's first vice president of Indian descent and the leader of a country that has become an increasingly close ally, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Harris, during public remarks at her ceremonial office before the closed-door session, told Modi that as democracies around the world are under threat "it is imperative that we defend democratic principles and institutions within our respective countries."

"I know from personal experience and from my family of the commitment of the Indian people to democracy," she said, "and the work that needs to be done [so that] we can begin to imagine, and then actually achieve, our vision for democratic principles and institutions."

The remarks marked a subtle change from the Trump administration's unquestioned fidelity to the populist Modi, who has presided over an increase in religious polarization in his country, with more laws targeting religious minorities, including its large Muslim population, as well as attacks on non-Hindus, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The public discussion of about 15 minutes attracted more attention, including a large press contingent from India, than typical meetings between heads of state and vice presidents. Harris' mother was born in India, and Indian Americans are one of the fastest growing groups in the United States, with a population of more than 4 million.

Amnesty International Report

Tellingly, the Amnesty International has released a report slamming India for its "punitive" lockdown in response to the Covid-19 outbreak, as well as its handling of the anti-CAA protests, farmers' protests, Delhi riots and alleged clampdown on civil liberties in Kashmir.

The report "The State of the World's Human Rights 2020/2021" examines the human rights situation in 149 countries, according to Times News Network (TNN) of the Times of India.

In the section on India, it said: "There was widespread impunity and lack of accountability for murders and attacks carried out by vigilante mobs and police officers against religious minorities. Dissent was repressed through unlawful restrictions on peaceful protests and by silencing critics. Human rights defenders were arbitrarily arrested."

Amnesty International India was forced to close its operations in September 2020 after Indian authorities froze its bank accounts. "This occurred shortly after Amnesty International India had published briefings demanding accountability for grave human rights violations carried out by the Delhi police and the government during the Delhi riots and in Jammu and Kashmir," the report said.

Citing Prashant Bhushan's conviction, the Amnesty International report, accused the Supreme Court of India of "routinely undermining its own impartiality and independence".

Indo-Pacific

Despite the mild pressure, the two leaders shared warm words, including praise from Harris for India's role in producing COVID-19 vaccines for the world, the LA Times said, adding:

Harris stressed the importance of the Indo-Pacific at a time when the United States is trying to solidify its pivot toward Asia and strengthen ties with allies to take on China's growing military and financial influence in the region.

"The United States, like India, feels very strongly about the pride of being a member of the Indo-Pacific, but also the fragility and importance " of those relationships, including maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific," Harris told Modi during the meeting.

India has become a closer ally in recent years as American presidents from both parties have recognized the country's strategic importance in countering China's growing military and financial power.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Abdus-Sattar Ghazali Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

 
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Pakistan's first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated by America

U.S. Muslims condemn killings of American diplomats in Libya

Are we living in Orwell's 1984 Oceania surveillance state?

Saudi Air Force trainee opens fire at Naval Air Station in Florida killing 3 people

2001-2011: A decade of civil liberties' erosion in America -- Part One

2001-2011: A decade of civil liberties' erosion in America -- Part Two

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend