New Delhi: In what could raise eyebrows in the Indian foreign policy establishment in South Block, a visiting US senator has come down heavily upon India’s track record on corruption, human rights and religious freedom.
This ahead of the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Washington DC for a bilateral visit next week, where he will also address the joint session of the US Congress on the 8th of June.
Speaking in Delhi on Role of Good Governance in International Relations, Benjamin Louis “Ben” Cardin, a democratic Senator from Maryland, criticised India for extrajudicial killings. He emphasised that extra judicial killings must not be allowed to continue in the country.
Citing the 2015 United States minorities watchdog report on religious freedom, Cardin said that anti-conversion laws in India are being used to infringe upon people’s right to religious freedom. Further adding to India’s criticism he said that women in India are very vulnerable and how a nation treats its women, is the barometer of its progress. And human trafficking is a major challenge with India being a tier two country in the global index.
Ben Cardin intends to raise these social and human rights issues with Narendra Modi when he hosts a dinner for the visiting Prime Minister on Capitol Hill. Responding to an India Today TV question the Senator said, “I will include human rights dimension in my conversation” Cardin, ranking member of the US Foreign Relations Committee responsible for fixing accountability in America’s global policy,also flagged corruption as a challenge that still haunts India despite the Modi administration’s assurances.
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