Canada Global (Web News) According to a letter written to Biden on Tuesday, dozens of Democratic colleagues encouraged him to bring up human rights concerns with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Washington this week.
On Tuesday, Modi departed for Washington for a trip that is expected to be a turning point in bilateral relations.
The US legislators expressed their worry about issues like as religious intolerance, journalistic freedoms, internet access, and the vilification of civil society organisations.
The letter, written by Senator Chris Van Hollen and Representative Pramila Jayapal, stated that while “we do not endorse any particular Indian leader or political party — that is the decision of the people of India — we do stand in support of the important principles that should be a core part of American foreign policy.”
The letter, which was addressed to the White House on Tuesday and was first reported by Reuters, was signed by a total of 75 Democratic senators and representatives.
“And we ask that, during your meeting with Prime Minister Modi, you discuss the full range of issues important to a successful, strong, and long-term relationship between our two great countries,” the letter said.
Despite worries over what is perceived as a deteriorating human rights situation under his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, Modi will make his first journey to the United States with the full diplomatic status of a state visit. Modi has visited the US five times since taking office in 2014, but this would be his first trip with that status.
Rights groups are concerned that geopolitics may overwhelm concerns about human rights as Washington seeks stronger connections with the greatest democracy in the world, which it regards as a counterweight to China. During Modi’s visit, a number of US human rights organisations plan to protest.
India was mentioned as having “significant human rights issues” and abuses in the State Department’s annual report on human rights practises, which was published in March.