As Delhi burns amid Trump visit, US scholars, activists react sharply

President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photo credit: PIB

Trump deflects questions religious freedom in India as violent clashes over CAA mar fairy tale India visit.

As President Donald Trump’s fairy tale India visit was marred by violent clashes in the Indian capital over its new controversial citizenship amendment act (CAA), it evoked a sharp reaction from US scholars and activists.

At least 11 people, including a policemen have been killed and over 70 wounded in clashes between pro and anti-CAA protesters in Northeast Delhi over the last three days, according to media reports.

While Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Trump did not take any questions at their joint appearance after their official talks in New Delhi, Trump declined to comment on CAA at his solo presser later.

Trump made it clear it was India’s internal affair and he trusted Modi to do the right thing about it. “It is for India to do, and hopefully they will do the right thing,” he said.

The President also did not discuss about the violence over CAA in Delhi with his host. “I heard about it, but we did not discuss it.”

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But he did discuss religious freedom with the Indian Prime Minister. “Modi wants people to have religious freedom in India…If you look back India has worked hard for religious freedom,” Trump said.

However, back in the US scholars and activists took a more skeptical view of the situation.

“Absolutely shameful that mobs of Hindu nationalists are roaming in streets of Delhi killing Muslims, burning properties, desecrating house of worships as Trump & his team enjoy the hospitality and fine cuisine of their host in the same city,” tweeted Sangay Mishra, author and professor of international relations at Drew University.

“Stop what you’re doing, watch this video & read about what’s happening in India,” wrote Human rights lawyer Arjun Sethi.

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“As Trump and Modi parade across the country, mobs are openly attacking Muslims, looting their businesses & desecrating houses of worship just like you see in this video.”

Speaking to India Today, Michael Kugelman, Deputy Director, Wilson Center in DC noted, “President Trump deflected the question on CAA and the violent protest and you could argue may be it was the right thing to do, the practical thing to do to maintain a positive focus to this visit. He didn’t want any awkward moments.”

“We hear so often about shared democratic values are meant to a pillar between India-US relationship and if that is true then one would expect that at least in a private setting, President Trump should bring up concern about the Citizenship Amendment Law,” he added.

READ MORE:

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Trump retweets himself as Bahubali as he sets out to win India (February 23, 2020)

Trump visit demonstrates ‘strong and enduring ties’ with India: White House (February 22, 2020)

Namaste Trump: An election oriented trip to court Indian American voters (February 21, 2020)

Tanvi Madan: With Trump, Indians ‘recognize that they do need to put something on the table (February 21, 2020)

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One Comment

  1. Tirth Shah

    Do write about IB Ankit Sharma’s brutal killing in Delhi’s riots. Write about the two schools right beside each other in Delhi, one Hindu, one Muslim, and the damage done to each. As an Indian-American and an honest journalist, you should fact-check so-called activists on Twitter before writing negative and false reports on India.

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