US VP Presses India’s PM Gently on Human Rights

United States Vice President Kamala Harris went against the expectation towards India as she gently pressed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on human rights during a history-making meeting on Thursday.

Harris, during public remarks at her ceremonial office before the closed-door session, told Modi that as democracies around the world are under threat “it is imperative that we defend democratic principles and institutions within our respective countries.”

“I know from personal experience and from my family of the commitment of the Indian people to democracy,” she added, “and the work that needs to be done [so that] we can begin to imagine, and then actually achieve, our vision for democratic principles and institutions.”

The remarks marked a subtle change from the Trump administration’s unquestioned fidelity to the populist Modi, who has presided over an increase in religious polarization in his country, with more laws targeting religious minorities, including its large Muslim population, as well as attacks on non-Hindus.

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