People familiar with Antony Blinken’s travel plans said Sunday on the condition of anonymity that India, as a longstanding pluralistic society, is open to engaging with those who recognize the value of diversity.
India has indicated that it is ready to engage in human rights and democracy with those who recognize the value of diversity, in the backdrop of reports that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his visit to New Delhi this week Will take up these issues.
Ahead of Antony Blinken’s visit, scheduled for July 27 and 28, US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Dean Thompson said last week that both human rights and democracy would be raised during the Secretary of State’s engagements in India.
“With regard to the question of human rights and democracy, yes, you are right; I would tell you that we will take it up, and we will continue to have that conversation because we strongly believe that we have more values than our values on those fronts. There are more values,” Thompson said in response to a question during a news briefing in July. 23.
“And we believe that India is going to be a really important part of continuing those talks and making stronger efforts on those fronts in the partnership,” he said.
People familiar with Blinken’s travel plans said Sunday on condition of anonymity that India, as a longstanding pluralistic society, is open to engaging with those who recognize the value of diversity.
“Issues like human rights and democracy are universal and go beyond a particular national or cultural perspective. India is proud of its achievements in both fields and is always happy to share experiences,” said one of the people above.
The Indian side will also raise global issues such as political and cultural rebalancing, in particular New Delhi’s support for a multi-polar, democratic and diverse world order. The Indian side hopes that international dialogue on these issues will reflect this development.
“We believe in equality and fairness in development, climate change or global decision-making,” the person cited above said.
Discussions during Blinken’s visit will also include working together at the United Nations, notably with India presiding over the Security Council in August.
Despite the growing convergence between India and the United States on security and strategic issues as well as the fight against COVID-19, human rights and freedom of expression have emerged as potential bottlenecks between the two sides. After the scrapping of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019, the US had called for the easing of restrictions on the region.
In February, during his first phone conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi after assuming office, US President Joe Biden had “outlined his desire to protect democratic institutions and norms around the world and said that the values of democratic A shared commitment to the U.S.-India relationship”.
Also in February, the US urged the Indian government to resume talks with the protesting farmers who had gathered on the outskirts of New Delhi from the end of 2020. The US side has also expressed concern over India’s amended citizenship law in recent days.
The Indian side has generally rejected such criticism by foreign governments, including the US, and asserted that the country’s institutions and constitution provide adequate protections for human rights.