Biden Affirms Importance of Human Rights and Free Press in India

The G20 summit, held in Delhi, witnessed discussions between US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on various issues, including human rights and the role of a free press in building a strong nation. As world leaders gathered to address crucial global matters, Biden expressed his concerns about the treatment of minorities, particularly Muslims, under the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in India. The event concluded with a joint declaration that mentioned Ukraine’s war but did not blame any specific party. While India received praise for its role as G20 president, critics argue that the country’s press freedom ranking has dropped significantly according to the World Press Freedom index. Activists and rights campaigners have long urged Western leaders to raise these concerns with Modi, but the US, viewing India as an essential ally against China’s growing influence, must approach the issue delicately to maintain the strategic relationship. The summit also saw the announcement of the India-Middle East-Europe economic corridor, aiming to strengthen ties and create a rail and port network connecting the Middle East to India. This initiative, seen as a counter to China’s Belt and Road project, was highlighted by Biden as a “ground-breaking partnership.” Overall, the summit provided a platform for important discussions and highlighted the diplomatic challenges faced by world leaders in addressing human rights on the global stage.