Double standards on Modi exposed
Nine years back when the USA denied Narendra Modi a visa owing to the BJP strongman and then the Gujarat CM’s alleged complicity in the 2002 pogrom, Washington took a moral high ground which appears too holier-than-thou and hypocritical from the present standpoint. Given that survey after survey is predicting a landslide win for Modi in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the US has, as expected, ‘softened’ its stance towards the BJP prime ministerial nominee, sending its envoy Nancy Powell to meet him and exchange notes. In a highly publicised rendezvous that probably had more fluff than meat and was perhaps a face-saving exercise on the part of the Obama administration, the US’ current ‘warming up’ towards Modi not only demolishes the argument that the previous American stance on the saffron camp leader was premised upon any principle or allegations of human rights violation against the leader, but also exposes its shark teeth that sees nothing beyond economic imperatives. The U-turn is probably a signal of what Washington believes is going to be the fate of the next government in Delhi, and that it does not want to further antagonise the man who would probably be at the helm of India’s economic and political affairs. In any case, US pretensions of upholding the world’s moral order could not be better punctured in the South Asian context, even though the thawing of the relationship would boost corporate faith in the sagging Indian economy. Yet, the US turnaround looks too sudden and sharp to not hurt the eyes, despite the questionable ‘clean chit’ given to Modi in the 2002 case.