• Thursday, April 18, 2024


What happens when next US envoy Eric Garcetti, a critic of India’s human rights record, reaches Delhi? India foreign minister has this witty reply

India’s external affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

While the confirmation of former Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti as the next US ambassador to India has impressed the Indian-American community, some observers have raised questions over the Democratic leader’s criticism of human rights situation in India and particularly, the country’s controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) which he feels is discriminatory.

However, it seems the Indian external affairs establishment is not too concerned. After the ministry of external affairs welcomed Garcetti’s confirmation as the next full-fledged US envoy to the south Asian nation, something which is happening for the first time after Joe Biden became the US president in 2021, India’s minister of external affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said they will explain things to the American diplomat with love.

Jaishankar, who was attending the India Today Conclave 2023 in New Delhi on Friday (17), was asked what happens when Garcetti sets his foot in India. “Let him come here. Pyaar se samjha denge (we will explain it to him with love),” he said with a smile, India Today reported.

Speaking on his stance on the CAA, the Indian diplomat said that common sense should not become subservient to political correctness. He also gave the examples of Lautenberg Amendment and Specter Amendment that target fast-tracking the US citizenship procedure for specific religious minorities.

Garcetti, who is a close aide of Biden and got the diplomatic role nearly 26 months after his name was first floated, had said during his confirmation hearings in 2021 that he would “actively raise” human rights issues in New Delhi. He said this in response to a question about the CAA, which the Indian parliament passed in 2019 end.

Protests had erupted across India against the CAA in 2020.

The law grants immigrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh a shot at applying for citizenship in India — but only if they belong to the Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Jain, Parsi or Buddhist community.

The US Senate voted 52-42 to confirm Garcetti’s nomination on Wednesday (15).

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