Trump and Modi are undermining the pillars of the US-India relationship

Michael Fuchs in The Guardian:

As the global tide of populism challenges the very idea of liberal democracy, Donald Trump’s visit to India highlighted how Trump and India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi – leaders of the world’s two largest democracies – are a central part of the problem, pursuing dangerous, nationalist visions that corrode the tenets of democracy. While the United States and India should exemplify the virtues of democracy and respect for universal rights, Trump and Modi are undermining those values.

…Trump’s racist policies and rhetoric attack non-white people while giving license to extreme white supremacist groups. Trump implemented a travel ban targeted at Muslim countries, ripped away children of migrants from their parents, defended white supremacists who attacked a crowd at a rally in Charlottesville, regularly demonizes immigrants and told members of the US Congress (all of whom are Americans) to “go back” to their countries just because they are not white.

Despite Modi’s long history of association with Hindu nationalism, when he took office there was a hope that he would pursue a more moderate path. But since being elected to a second term in 2019, Modi has brazenly embraced an agenda that discriminates against Muslims and minorities. His government enacted the Citizenship Amendment Act that makes it easier only for non-Muslim immigrants from neighboring countries to obtain citizenship – the first law in India’s history to treat religion as a criterion for citizenship, and which more than 100 retired senior civil servants called “morally indefensible”. Last August, Modi terminated Kashmir’s longstanding semi-autonomous status, implemented the longest communications blackout in the history of any democracy, and detained political leaders there for months without charges.

More here.