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This week, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi traveled to the United States in his first official state visit as prime minister. Once denied entry into the United States for inciting communal violence in the Indian state of Gujarat, Modi is now being given one of the highest honors for foreign dignitaries by addressing a joint session of Congress. Modi’s trip to Washington intends to celebrate, as well as strengthen, the already strong partnership between the United States and the world’s largest democracy. And this is all despite Modi’s controversial human rights track record as well as India’s reluctance to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with targeted sanctions.
What makes the US-India partnership so important to America’s interests that the Biden administration is willing to overlook such contradictions? EGF’s senior researcher and producer, Caroline Gray, sits down with someone who knows India’s strategic thinking best: former national security advisor to India’s prime minister and foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon. Shivshankar argues there is far too much to be gained for both India and the United States for differences – domestic or international – to stand in the way.