July 18, 2024
July 18, 2024
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Biden prioritizes India partnership despite concerns over Modi’s human rights record, Russian ties

The upcoming state visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the United States has stirred up interest and controversy due to allegations of human rights abuses and divisive policies. While India’s foreign minister has described the country’s relationships as “frenemies,” highlighting the absence of true allies, President Joe Biden views India as a crucial partner in tackling global issues such as climate change, disruptions in artificial intelligence, and China’s increasing power in the Indo-Pacific region.

Biden’s administration is focused on strengthening ties with India as part of its Asia-centric approach and efforts to build alliances in response to China’s growing influence. At the same time, Modi is committed to delivering prosperity to India and enhancing economic and military collaboration with the U.S. The escalating Chinese military activities along the border and in the Indian Ocean have further fueled India’s desire for a closer partnership with the United States.

Despite their common interests, Biden faces challenges related to human rights issues. Organizations like Human Rights Watch have urged Biden to address India’s deteriorating human rights situation, citing Modi’s involvement in the 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat and recent legislation excluding Muslims from expedited naturalization. However, the Indian government has defended its human rights record.

An additional concern is India’s increasing reliance on inexpensive Russian oil following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. While the U.S. has privately encouraged India to reduce its dependence on Russian oil, the Biden administration has proceeded cautiously to avoid jeopardizing the broader U.S.-India relationship. Nevertheless, India has shown indications of distancing itself from Russia.

Trade between the U.S. and India hit a record high in 2022, with a significant increase in defense sales. The state visit will involve discussions on enhancing defense cooperation, as well as partnerships in higher education and space exploration. However, it may take years for India to decrease its reliance on Russian military equipment, which currently makes up 65% of its defense inventory.

In conclusion, the relationship between the U.S. and India holds promise and significance for both nations. While critics raise concerns about human rights and India’s connections to Russia, Biden views India as a crucial ally in addressing major global challenges and countering China’s influence. The state visit presents an opportunity for both leaders to advance their agendas and reinforce their partnership.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Biden Prioritizes India Partnership Despite Concerns Over Modi’s Human Rights Record, Russian Ties

Biden Prioritizes India Partnership

President Joe Biden has made it clear that he intends to prioritize the partnership between the United States and India, despite concerns over Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s human rights record and ties to Russia. This decision has sparked debate among policymakers and analysts, with some questioning the ethics of aligning with a leader who has been accused of human rights violations and has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Concerns over Modi’s Human Rights Record

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has faced criticism for his government’s crackdown on dissent, the suppression of freedom of speech, and the treatment of minorities in India. Human rights organizations have raised concerns about the Indian government’s actions in Kashmir, where a prolonged security lockdown has been in place since August 2019, and in other parts of the country where religious minorities have been targeted.

Despite these concerns, the Biden administration has signaled its commitment to deepening ties with India, viewing the country as a crucial partner in the Indo-Pacific region and as a counterweight to China’s growing influence.

Russian Ties and Geopolitical Considerations

Another factor that has raised eyebrows in Washington is Prime Minister Modi’s close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. India has historically maintained strong ties with Russia, with defense cooperation being a key pillar of the relationship. However, Washington’s increasingly adversarial stance towards Moscow has led to concerns about India’s alignment with Russia.

From a geopolitical standpoint, the US government sees India as a strategic partner in the region and has been working to bolster the Quad alliance, which includes India, Australia, and Japan, as a counterbalance to China’s assertive behavior in the Indo-Pacific. The Biden administration views India as a key player in maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region and is keen to deepen cooperation on issues such as maritime security, trade, and climate change.

Benefits and Practical Tips

Despite the concerns over Modi’s human rights record and ties to Russia, there are several benefits to strengthening the partnership between the United States and India:

  • Enhanced security cooperation to address shared threats in the region
  • Increased economic collaboration to promote growth and stability
  • Greater diplomatic alignment on global issues such as climate change and terrorism

For policymakers and diplomats looking to navigate the complexities of the US-India partnership, here are some practical tips:

  1. Engage in open and honest dialogue about areas of concern, such as human rights and regional security
  2. Seek common ground on shared objectives and work towards mutual benefit
  3. Build trust through regular communication and cooperation on key issues

Case Studies and Firsthand Experience

There are several case studies that highlight the importance of the US-India partnership, including joint military exercises, intelligence sharing, and technology collaborations. Firsthand experience from diplomats, business leaders, and civil society organizations can provide valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities of working with India in a complex geopolitical environment.


While concerns over Prime Minister Modi’s human rights record and ties to Russia remain, President Biden’s decision to prioritize the partnership with India reflects the strategic importance of the relationship for the United States. By engaging in open and honest dialogue, seeking common ground, and building trust, policymakers can navigate the complexities of the US-India partnership and work towards shared objectives for a more stable and prosperous future.



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