The coronavirus pandemic has been the test of friendship between the two nations, alliances, and partners. Friendship is unconditional and the United States calls India its friend and vice versa. But the United States seemed to change about having its stance. The United States considers India a key ally in the Indo-Pacific. But the US actions don’t seem in line with an ally. It banned the export of raw materials required to manufacture vaccines. In February President Joe Biden invoked the US defence production act that prohibits the export of raw material outside the United States slowing down vaccine production in India.
India is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer. Many raw materials required in manufacturing vaccines are imported from the United States. India’s Ambassador to the United States flagged it as soon as the US invoked the defence production act. External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar underlined it during his virtual meeting with US secretary of state Anthony Blinken. The US response was met with widespread anger across India and the globe and also in its own quarters. India’s request for lifting the ban on RAW materials from the United States received an arrogance from the White House. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said, “It is not only in the US interest to see Americans vaccinated, but it is in the interest of the rest of the world to see Americans vaccinated.” Although the United States lifted Ban after India’s NSA Ajit Doval spoke with his counterpart Jake Sullivan. But the initial stance of the United States of not lifting the ban has not been forgotten and will not be forgotten for a long time as the delay has costed the lives of many Indian citizens. It was India that exported 50 million tablets of HCQ and paracetamol to the United States when it was battling its first wave and coffins were piling up. The least Joe Biden could have done is immediately honour India’s request which was not done until the US was faced with global criticism and seeing its soft power being damaged.
The United States Treasury Department has put India on its currency manipulation watch list. According to the US, India along with others on the list has intervened in the foreign exchange to weaken their currencies.
India’s commerce secretary has said there is no logic to the Americas move and if anyone is manipulating the currency it is the United States itself. The Federal Reserve has kept the interest rate so low that the capital is flowing out of the United States. These funds are flooding the Indian market and affecting the rupee. Growing America’s overreach in India’s domestic issues is widely criticized and has angered Indians.
Last month the state department published its human rights report stating the situation in India is deteriorating. This week they published another report on religious freedom. This report is published by USCIRF (United States Commission on International Religious Freedom). This report says it wants to put India on a blacklist. The United States thinks it has a right to preach to the world about having human rights and religious freedom without practicing it. The United States’ own house is an incomplete mess but that doesn’t stop it from judging others and giving unsolicited advice and taking actions. It’s the hypocrisy of the United States. The USCIRF says the treatment of minorities has deteriorated in India. The blacklist is the first step to sanctions. There was a voice of descent in the commission by Johnny Moore and this is what he said, “Of all the countries in the world, India should not be a country of particular concern. It is diversity personified and its religious life has been its greatest historic blessing.” India doesn’t need a certificate from any country on how to treat its citizen they better put their own house in order.
Now lets us see the mess the United States is in. Last year George Floyd was murdered by a white cop for passing a fake 1 dollar bill. The rut of racism is deeply instilled in its society. From government to private sector it’s everywhere. It seems that African Americans have learned to live with injustice been done to them for decades. Last week 16-year-old teenage black girl was fatally shot for lunging with a knife in Ohio. The teenage girl with a kitchen knife against a fully trained police officer. She was shot 4 times from point-blank range leaving her dead. A couple of weeks back a black American soldier was pepper-sprayed, assaulted, and arrested by the police during a traffic stop. The soldier sued the police. Earlier this month Daunte Wight a 20-year-old boy was shot dead by a police officer when she pulled out a gun instead of a teaser and shot him dead from a point-blank range. The world is aware of US drone strikes in Afghanistan, Iraq which has seen innocent people being killed. These victims were shot for committing petty crimes or offenses.
Let us come to discrimination against religious and ethnic minorities in the United States. In a PEW SURVEY of 2019, 82% of Americans admitted Muslims are discriminated against and 64% admitted to Anti-Semitism. There are frequent reports of discrimination against Native Americans. The United States has no issues against discrimination against Black people in its allied countries and so-called enforcer of democracy. And I have not even touched upon the mass shootings which have become a part and parcel of American Society. This is the country that preaches democracy, equality, religious freedom to the world. The world is tired of these American Commission reports and putting countries on a blacklist and going around ruthlessly sanctioning countries. And it won’t be a surprise if the world stops taking the United States seriously after a decade.
The country whose President, takes an oath of office keeping one hand on a religious book should not preach India about secular values, and in fact, it should put its own house in order. India doesn’t need an American certificate of acceptance nor will India give heat to the American criticism and also will not entertain.
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