BeyondHeadlines News Desk
New Delhi: Some of the observations of the US ambassador on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi may seem praises of Modi, but the overall tone of the nuanced diplomatic language used in the cables released by the WikiLeaks emphasises that the US doesn’t want to let the pro-business charishma of Modi make them forget his riot-taint.
Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks on Tuesday brought out a lot of strong comments and view-points on Modi by successive US envoys as depicted in the cables they sent to their bosses of state department of the US.
The Americans seem clear that they don’t want to forget Modi’s human rights violation taint. Former US envoy Michael S Owen has made one comment in para 16(c) of cable dated 27/11/2006 classified as confidential, “Modi is clearly not going to apologize or back down on the violence of 2002, but we think it is vital for him to hear that we are not going to let the passage of time erase the memory of these events.”
The cables quoted US Consul General saying Modi that they, “readily acknowledge the many positive accomplishments of his Government, including economic growth and education.These are to be applauded, but do not diminish in any way the importance of holding accountable those persons who are guilty of inciting or carrying out communal violence.Consul General reiterated that failure to do so will create an atmosphere of impunity in which radical elements would feel emboldened in the future. He concluded by underlining that the US government considers human rights and religious freedom to be extremely important, and we will continue to monitor developments and engage his Government in these areas.”
However, what will upset Modi most is the comment that says, “In public appearances, Modi can be charming and likeable. By all accounts, however, he is an insular, distrustful person who rules with a small group of advisors. This inner circle acts as a buffer between the chief minister and his cabinet and party. He reigns more by fear and intimidation than by inclusiveness and consensus, and is rude, condescending and often derogatory to even high level party officials. He hoards power and often leaves his ministers in the cold when making decisions that affect their portfolios.”
While criticizing Modi the US was very clear that it cant afford to let its influence on BJP and India get diluted.”Since the riots of 2002, we have declined to engage Modi at the Ambassadorial level, but Mumbai Consul Generals have routinely sought meetings with Modi whenever they visited Ahmedabad. We will continue to seek such meetings at the level of the CG to emphasize that the USG does not have a formal no-contact and to demonstrate to the BJP that we are interested in cultivating relationships with the party while it is in the opposition. Direct encounters with Modi will also enable us to deliver a clear message regarding USG concerns for the state of human rights and religious freedom in Gujarat.
Noted human rights activist Father Cedric Prakash said, “one doesnt know the veracity of the wikileaks cables, but if it is to be believed, It seems the US is very clear that nothing will happen (about Modi’s rejected diplomatic visa) till there is clarity on human rights and religious freedom in Gujarat. If it is considered as interference, then the US business interests in Gujarat that Modi is so keen to promote, should also be seen as an intrusion as US companies do not come here out of any love for Gujarat or Gujaratis but for their profits.”
Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil said, “Modi has very conveniently interpreted the cables. If they say that corruption is lesser at lower levels, it is also said that it is very high at top levels. It clearly says that money collected from corporates goes to the BJP. The cables also say that Modi has used caste and religion to divide people for political gains.”
“When they were discussing human rights violation with me, I looked into their eyes and said that America should not advise us on humanity. The whole world knows what they have done,” Modi said on Tuesday.