Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Human Rights? US gets a bloody nose from India’s foreign minister

Counterparts both: US secretary of state Antony J. Blinken and India's Jaishankar.

External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar gave a strong rebuttal to the United States of America (USA) on its criticism against India regarding alleged “human rights abuses”, saying even New Delhi has concerns about human rights in America.

Speaking at a joint news conference after the 2+2 dialogue, Dr S Jaishankar said that even India also has views on other people’s human rights situation, including that of the United States.

“So, we take up human rights issues when they arise in this country, especially when they pertain to our community. And in fact, we had a case yesterday that’s really where we stand on that,” he added.

The External Affairs Minister was referring to an incident of hate crime against two Sikh men in the US two days back, who were attacked and robbed in a New York neighbourhood.

“Look, people are entitled to have views about us. But we are also equally entitled to have views about their views and about the interests, and the lobbies and the vote banks which drive that. So, whenever there is a discussion, I can tell you that we will not be reticent about speaking out,” the minister said.

Jaishankar also noted that the issue of human rights was not discussed during the current meeting, but it has come up in the past.

“It is a subject which has come up in the past. It came up when Secretary Blinken came to India. I think if you recall the press briefings after that, I was very open about the fact that we had discussed it and said what I had to say,” he said.

Jaishankar’s response on the human rights issue came after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had claimed that the US is monitoring some recent “concerning developments in India, including a rise in human rights abuses by some government, police, and prison officials”.

Earlier on Tuesday, Dr S Jaishankar had asserted that the young Americans should have a better understanding of India and the world for the ties between the two countries to grow and added that the Americans should appreciate the efforts of a civilisational state and democracy like India.

“Your appreciation of a civilisational state and a fellow democratic polity that is daily overcoming enormous odds is essential. After all, we are natural partners only when our people have a strong sense of connection,” Dr Jaishankar said to the students.

Highlighting the significance of people-to-people contact, Dr Jaishankar said that the key driver of this change has been its human element. The 4.4 million Indian diasporas have literally defined India’s image in this society and helped forge relationships that are an enormous source of strength for us in our work, he said, making a joint appearance with US Secretary of State Tony Blinken.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had also schooled the western media, which was critical of India’s decision to buy a limited amount of oil from Russia.

Responding to a question on India’s decision to buy oil from Russia, which has been facing several sanctions for launching ‘special military’ operations in Ukraine, the Indian Foreign Minister said, “I noticed you referred to oil purchases. If you are looking at energy purchases from Russia, I would suggest that your attention should be focused on Europe,” he emphasised.

The response from Dr S Jaishankar has elicited a euphoric response on social media. 

been taken from OpIndia with gratitude). 

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