Response to Secretary Blinken’s remarks on human rights in India
On the 11th of April, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a press conference in Washington, DC with the US Secretary of Defense and their Indian counterparts. At the press conference, Blinken stated:
“We regularly engage with our Indian partners on these shared values (of human rights) and to that end, we are monitoring some recent concerning developments in India including a rise in human rights abuses by some government, police and prison officials.”
That was the extent of Blinken’s remarks on the issue.
Indian Muslims are facing an impending genocide. Eliminating Muslims from the land in their relentless quest to turn India into a Hindu nation is a primary goal of the RSS, the Nazi-inspired paramilitary that controls the country’s ruling party, the BJP.
Under the Modi regime, we’ve seen lynchings, the CAA/NRC, the Delhi Pogrom, concentration camps constructed in Assam, interfaith marriages criminalized, Muslims banned from wearing hijab in schools, calls for an economic boycott of Muslims, Muslim merchants attacked, homes burned, mosques burned, calls for raping Muslim women, repeated calls for the mass slaughter of Muslims, governments razing Muslim neighborhoods, parade after parade after parade of gangs of hundreds of armed Hindu nationalists brandishing swords and dancing themselves into a frenzy of hate in front of mosques, and…. And…. And….
And need I really go on?
But this is the best that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken can manage: “We are monitoring a rise in human rights abuses.”
Blinken’s statement is worth less than the millisecond it took for him to say it and then move on. It is utterly meaningless without action. It’s a statement made solely, I am convinced, to attempt to soothe the growing cries of the critics.
Blinken just wants to shut people like you and me up so he can get on with business as usual. But, as one of those critics, let me remind him: my own ask has never been for the US government to “monitor” what is happening in India, but rather to stop passively watching and start taking real action before it’s too damn late.
There are already some commentators who — understandably desperate for something to give — are heralding this as an example of the US finally giving a firm rebuke to Modi.
It’s rare! It’s unprecedented! Yes and yes, and yes, it also accomplishes absolutely nothing.
A little over six months ago, Modi visited the US.
Both President Biden and Vice-President Harris gave speeches alongside him. Harris gave a speech in which she, briefly, emphasized the importance of defending democracy (while suggesting that such a vision may not yet have been fully achieved). Biden gave a speech in which he highlighted, briefly, the present-day urgency of Gandhi’s “message of non-violence, respect, [and] tolerance.”
Desperately hungry for the US to say something about the growing human rights crisis in Modi’s India, many commentators jumped on that as an example of how Biden and Harris were both expressing concern. They were “gently” pressing Modi on human rights, we were told, and “subtly” conveying criticism.
It was so subtle and so gentle that this is where we are today: just six months closer to the impending Muslim genocide breaking out in full force.
Six months from now, Blinken’s “rare” remark that the US is “monitoring” a rise in human rights abuses in India will be as forgotten as the “subtle” and “gentle” hint, hinting by Biden and Harris. Six months from now, the situation in India will have become radically worse than it is today.
Will Blinken still be “monitoring” the situation then — or will he be openly criticizing the Modi regime for sanctioning the mass murder of its Muslim citizens?
Here’s my call to you if you are a US citizen who cares about this issue. Don’t be afraid to call out Blinken’s remarks for the useless, toothless comments that they are. Tell the US Congress and the Biden administration that we want real action.
What does real action look like?
Well, it does, at least, look like making remarks. But not remarks like Blinken made.
We need remarks with real teeth. They must be unvarnished, honest remarks which call the situation what it is: one of impending genocide. They must be remarks which actually recognize, criticize, and denounce.
Because lives hang in the balance, it’s imperative that we refuse to settle, and demand something real. Demand that the US quit “monitoring” and start acting.