Opinion: With Trump′s visit, the world can′t ignore India protests | Opinion | DW | 25.02.2020
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Opinion

Opinion: With Trump's visit, the world can't ignore India protests

PM Modi has made India into a force that cannot be ignored by the US. But the violence during Trump's visit shows that the issues currently shaking India can no longer be ignored by the world, says DW's Mahesh Jha.

US President Donald Trump used his trip to India to forge a more intense relationship with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Modi and Trump are leaders of similar kind. They not only support each other, they also learn from each other.

Trump has shown his supporters with his India trip that their leader is respected on an international stage, and Modi was able to show his supporters that world's biggest power is with him.

The trip was successful so much so that both leaders got what they wanted. As always, Trump wanted a deal, which he got in the form of a 3-billion-dollar defense agreement, and cooperation in energy and trade deals. Keeping in mind his own re-election bid this year, Trump also wants Indian support in the US-China rivalry. Clearly, Trump was trying to bring democratic India into his fight against authoritarian China.

DW's Mahesh Jha

DW's Mahesh Jha

Read more: Donald Trump casts doubt on US-India trade deal

India got assurances of US support in New Delhi's conflict with Pakistan. And more importantly, Trump did not criticize India on the issue of religious freedom.

When India was welcoming the US president with gala events in Gujarat and Agra, the capital New Delhi was burning in violence  that left 10 people dead. As opponents criticized Modi for ignoring the clash between supporters and opponents of a controversial citizenship law, Trump refused to comment on the new law, and said India will make the right decision on its own. He also lauded Modi, saying India has worked "hard" for religious freedom.

As the US president stands behind Modi, now is the time for the Indian leader to control his own political supporters and hardcore Hindu activists, all of whom are bent upon tarnishing his leadership and spoiling his image outside the country.

A violent India does not fit into the vision of modern international power, which plays its rightful role in preserving the international order. This is a vision that includes India becoming economically strong, supporting the development of the world economy, while actively participating in peace building mechanisms in disturbed areas.

Read more: Protesters in India object to facial recognition expansion

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