India raises human rights, hate crime issues in US

India has raised its concerns about human rights and religiously motivated hate crimes in the United States, a senior Biden administration official said on Wednesday, asserting that it’s vital for America’s national security that the US engages a rising India.

“It is vital for America’s national security and economic prosperity that we engage a rising India. At the same time, as a genuine partner and friend of India, we speak honestly and constructively about our areas of difference. India certainly does that with us,” the official told a group of reporters in Washington, DC.

“They have raised concerns about human rights and religiously motivated hate crimes here in the United States. We have also raised our human rights and religious freedom concerns regularly with senior government officials (in India). We do this in an atmosphere of mutual respect,” the official said.

The official said that India is a true democracy with a vibrant civil society, a free press and an independent judiciary.

“It is equally important as a partner of India that we support all of these pillars of Indian democracy. To that end, we regularly meet with civil society and journalists, including during Secretary Blinken’s recent visit to India in March and over the past several weeks ahead of Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Washington,” said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the visit.

“We have had at every level, including the highest levels, discussions about human rights. Those are frank and constructive discussions,” said the official in response to a question.

According to the official, the US is able to have serious discussions with Indians through a whole range of issues including through the global issues forum, which they had last December here in Washington.

Responding to a question, the official said: “You will see tomorrow is a real vote of confidence for this relationship and for India’s capacity as a defense manufacturer.”

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