Blinken visits India today, New Delhi ready to engage with him on human rights
NEW DELHI, July 26: India is proud of its pluralistic traditions and happy to discuss the issue with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his visit beginning on Tuesday, foreign ministry sources said after Washington said he planned to raise New Delhi's human rights record.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has faced allegations it has suppressed dissent, pursued divisive policies to appeal to its Hindu nationalist base and alienated Muslims, the country's biggest minority.
Ahead of Blinken's first trip as Secretary of State, the State Department said he will discuss India's human rights record as well as a religion-based citizenship law that the Modi government enacted two years ago that Muslims see as discriminatory.
Indian foreign ministry sources said that issues such as human rights and democracy were universal and extended beyond a particular country or culture.
One source said India was a long-standing pluralistic society and was open to engaging with "those who now recognise the value of diversity". -REUTERS