Price said there are numerous elements that strengthen the US global strategic partnership with India
Washington: “I’m not familiar with the documentary you’re referring to, but I’m very familiar with the shared values that portray the United States and India as two thriving and vibrant democracies,” said US State Department spokesman Ned Price, further Monday, in response to a media inquiry about a BBC documentary about Prime Minister Narendra Modi that has sparked controversy since it was released.
Speaking at a news conference on Monday (local time), Price said there are numerous elements strengthening the US-India global strategic partnership, including political, economic and exceptionally deep people-to-people ties.
“I’m not familiar with the documentary you’re referring to. I am very familiar with the shared values that represent the United States and India as two thriving, vibrant democracies. If we have any concerns about the actions taken in India, we have voiced those we had about it,” he said.
Calling Indian democracy a vibrant democracy, he said, “We look at everything that unites us and we try to strengthen all those elements that unite us,” underlining the diplomatic ties that the US and India share .
He also stressed the fact that the US-India partnership is exceptionally deep and that both nations share values common to American and Indian democracy.
“I am not aware of this documentary you are referring to, but I will say broadly that there are a number of elements that underpin the global strategic partnership that we have with our Indian partners. There are close political ties Economic ties, there are exceptionally deep human ties between the United States and India. But one of those additional elements is the values that we share, the values that are common to American democracy and Indian democracy,” he added.
Last week, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak defended Prime Minister Narendra Modi and distanced himself from the BBC documentary series, saying he “didn’t agree with the characterization” of his Indian counterpart.
Sunak made the comments about the controversial documentary being raised in the UK Parliament by Pakistani MP Imran Hussain.
“The UK Government’s position on this has long been clear and has not changed. Of course we do not condone persecution wherever it appears, but I’m not sure I agree at all with the characterization put forward by the honorable sir,” Sunak said in reply to Hussain’s question about the BBC report.
British national broadcaster BBC aired a two-part series in which he attacked PM Narendra Modi’s tenure as Gujarat Prime Minister during the 2002 Gujarat riots. The documentary sparked outrage and was removed from select platforms.
The Foreign Office responded to the BBC story by claiming it was completely biased.
Speaking to a weekly press in New Delhi, MEA spokesman Arindam Bagchi said: “We think this is a propaganda article. This has no objectivity. It’s biased. Note that this has not been shown in India. We don’t want to answer that anymore, so it doesn’t get a lot of dignity.”
He even asked questions about the “purpose of the exercise and the agenda behind it.”
“The documentary is a reflection of the agency and the people who are re-broadcasting this narrative. We wonder about the purpose of the exercise and the agenda behind it. Honestly, we don’t want to acknowledge those efforts,” he added.
Regarding apparent remarks made by former British secretary Jack Straw in the documentary series, Bagchi said: “He (Jack Straw) seems to be referring to an internal British report. How can I access it? It is a 20 year old report. Why should we rush into it now? Just because Jack Straw says it, they give it so much legitimacy.”
“I’ve heard words like investigation and investigation. There’s a reason we use the colonial mindset. We don’t use words loosely. Bagchi asked.
Prominent British citizens of Indian origin condemned the series. Prominent British citizen Lord Rami Ranger said the BBC had caused great harm to over a billion Indians.
In addition, the US State Department spokesman said that the US has always called for regional stability in South Asia and that its relations with India and Pakistan stand on their own.
He further stated that the pace and scope of the India-Pakistan dialogue is clearly a matter for the two countries.
“We have long called for regional stability in South Asia. Our relations with India and Pakistan stand on their own and we do not see them as a zero-sum game. But the pace, scope and character of any dialogue between India and Pakistan is up to the two countries,” Price said during the briefing.