In the Saptang theory of the state, Kautilya says that “the growing Mitras (Allies) is an acknowledgement of the power of a state and everyone prefers to be the friends of the strong”. Earlier, projecting itself as the global champion of human rights, the US has always tried to influence Indian policies. But its recent changing tone has some sort of different meaning. The growing stature of India’s power in the world has now brought the largest propaganda machine of the US which is human rights to its knees.
In response to a question related to the ‘Human Rights abuses in India’, the US NSA (National Security Advisor) Jake Sullivan deviating from the earlier stand said that “President Biden has been clear from the beginning in this administration that we will speak out when we see any form of departure or deviation from basic principles, fundamental freedoms, human rights, values of democratic institutions and rule of law”.
Flash: "We don't single India Out", says US NSA in response to Question on human rights abuses. Says,"we have found a way both to pursue practical cooperation with countries who are democratic & non democratic while at same time being clear & consistent where our values lie"
— Sidhant Sibal (@sidhant) May 22, 2022
Further generalising India on the issue he added that “That is true for a range of countries, and ‘we don’t single India out’ and we have ‘found a way both to pursue ‘practical cooperation’ with countries who are democratic and non-democratic while at the same time being clear and consistent where our values lie”.
India too has a concern about human rights in the US
The change of American stances on ‘human rights abuses’ regarding India is the testimony of India’s growing stature in the world. Moreover, the turning of wind in the opposite direction is also attributed to the aggressive and confident diplomacy of India under the table technocrat S Jaishankar.
Just this early April, when at a joint news conference of the 2+2 Ministerial talks between the US and India, Antony Blinken, Secretary of State had said that “we are monitoring some recent concerning developments in India, including a rise in human rights abuses by some government, police, and prison officials”.
After the statement of Antony Blinken, a concurrent punch bounced back at the face of US when India’s foreign minister S Jaishankar gave them the taste of their own medicine in the form of human rights abuses in the Country. In his rebuttal statement, he had said that “we also have views on other people’s human rights, particularly when it pertains to our community”.
The instant rebuttal of minister S Jaishankar was unprecedented in the terms that no other country has ever hit so strongly at the heart of the US for their crusader type behaviour on human rights abuses. The US has weaponized the values of democracy for their personal diplomatic manoeuvrings. But they forget that when Americans were still living a nomadic life, in India, many regional confederacies were working on well-established democratic principles. So lecturing us on democratic principles is both insulting and laughable.
India at the centre of power resettling
Now, the wind is blowing in the opposite direction and India is the centre of this. Earlier, the west was dictating the terms of world’s diplomacy, but the rise of Asia has shifted the global power axis towards the east. The growing China-Russia nexus and continuous misadventures of China in the pacific region have all sort of created a different axis of power struggle.
To counter the rogue state of China, the world is searching for new alignments. India has almost single-handedly brought a halt to China’s misadventures and diplomatic manoeuvrings in the Indian Ocean. For countries like the US, it is becoming important to get help from India to counter China’s aggression. So with commonality in danger, the US is trying to bring India to its side under the comprehensive security architecture of the Indo-Pacific.
But, a friend cannot be a bully. To get support from India, the Americans need to be cautious in treating the nation like any other third-world countries. India is powerful, its economy is flourishing, its military might is indefensible and more importantly, the country runs on the principles of rule of law and is a flourishing democracy. Anyone trying to influence our policies under the veil of democracy is not only unfriendly behaviour, rather it is insulting too. So, it seems like the US has learned the valuable lesson of respecting its friends with equality and is leaving behind the big brother mentality.