India has advanced under the dynamic leadership of PM Modi. India's economy achieved a historic milestone on Sunday, November 19, surpassing the $4 trillion mark in nominal terms for the first time ever in its GDP.
India has long been seen by Washington as a check on China’s expanding dominance in the Indo-Pacific, though Delhi has never been entirely at ease with the label.
Mr. Modi did not specifically mention China when speaking to Congress, but he did refer to “dark clouds of coercion and confrontation casting their shadow over the Indo-Pacific.”
Additionally, Mr. Modi avoided mentioning Russia or the party that instigated the conflict, merely stating that “war has returned to Europe with the Ukraine conflict.”
Analysts claim that India’s heavy reliance on Russian arms supplies and its “time-tested ties” with Moscow are the main reasons why India has not yet publicly chastised Russia.
Washington and Delhi’s relationship has been strained as a result, but Mr. Biden decided to emphasise the good, stating that the two nations’ relationships were stronger than ever. It was even described as “one of the defining relationships of the 21st century” by him.
Mr. Modi concurred, telling the US Congress that this was the union of the two greatest democracies in the world. He added that the friendship would “play a crucial role in enhancing the strength of the entire world.” “A new chapter had been added,” he continued, to the comprehensive and strategic alliance between the two nations.
But not everyone was having a good time. For cracking down on dissent, the Indian prime leader has come in for increasing amounts of criticism. His Hindu nationalist administration has also come under fire for failing to do more to safeguard minorities from discrimination and violence. However, despite the demonstrations that accompanied Mr. Modi’s visit to the US, the diaspora, which is sizable and powerful and includes many CEOs from Silicon Valley, who welcomed him.
However, a number of liberal Democrats abstained from his speech before Congress. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was one of them and stated on Twitter that those with “deeply troubling human rights records” should not be allowed state visits, the highest level of diplomatic procedure in the US.
Along with the pomp and circumstance, trade activity advanced. The two nations struck agreements with General Electric and Micron and consented to resolve six pending disputes at the World Trade Organisation. In addition, Mr. Modi took the unusual step of responding to questions from reporters, something he has hardly ever done since taking office as prime minister of India in 2014.
Even as demonstrators gathered outside the White House to oppose his visit, he stated when asked about human rights concerns in India that “democracy runs in our veins” and that there is “absolutely no space for discrimination” in India.