Since his re-election in 2019, Prime minister Modi has pushed through a series of policies seen by many in the country as unduly targeting India’s Muslim minority, including the revocation of Muslim-majority Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status and a new citizenship act that makes it easier for adherents of most large faiths practiced in South Asia, except Islam, to claim citizenship in India. Modi’s government has also sought to suppress dissent, most recently forcing the Indian branch of Amnesty International to shut down through legal pressure, which the rights group said was part of a “deliberate attempt by the government of India to stoke a climate of fear and dismantle the critical voices in India.”
Biden and Harris have both spoken out against India’s human rights violations and Modi’s nationalist leadership. In his Agenda for Muslim-American Communities, Biden condemned the Modi government’s new citizenship act and a separate attempt to build a population register that could provide future justification to expel or intern foreigners, calling the projects “inconsistent with the country’s long tradition of secularism and with sustaining a multi-ethnic and multi-religious democracy.”
But Biden has also committed to strengthening the U.S.-India relationship. “The U.S. and India will stand together against terrorism in all its forms and work together to promote a region of peace and stability where neither China nor any other country threatens its neighbors,” Biden wrote in an op-ed in an Indian-American newspaper in October.