How Long Will Joe Biden Pretend Narendra Modi’s India Is a Democratic Ally? – By Debasish Roy Chowdhury
“Democracy” is the one word that gets thrown around a lot when India and America talk about their relationship…. The “world’s oldest democracy” and the “world’s largest democracy” won’t let the world forget why they’re in it together. And, so it was when President Joe Biden spoke with Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the phone Feb. 8 for the first time since the new U.S. Administration took power….
The U.S. would like to see India as an ideological and strategic counter to China’s rise, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to overlook India’s fast-declining democratic standards. The daily assaults on civil liberties and the threats to India’s Muslim minority under Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have noticeably increased since Modi’s re-election in 2019. Hate speech is rife, peaceful dissent is criminalized, freedom of expression and association faces new constraints, and the jails are filling up with political prisoners and peaceful dissenters as a servile judiciary looks away….
But if Modi’s India doesn’t find a way to reverse its democratic decline, the couple will find themselves in much the same limbo of the Kissinger years – neither separate, because of the China compulsion – nor able to get along.