US should not preach India on human rights: Modi

Gujarat Chief Minister said that the US need not preach India on human rights in the wake of its concerns on this issue in his state as reflected in leaked diplomatic cables from an American Consul.

Last Updated: Mar 22, 2011, 18:24 PM IST

Gandhinagar: Gujarat Chief minister Narendra
Modi on Tuesday said the US need not preach India on human rights
in the wake of its concerns on this issue in his state as
reflected in leaked diplomatic cables from an American Consul.

Modi at the same time noted that the cables had also
spoken of him being "incorruptible" and Gujarat being a
"progressive" state.

He also said that the central government should address
the issue of US "interference" in the internal affairs of
India.

"(Michael) Owen had discussed Gujarat..I looked into his
eyes and said America should not give us advice on human
rights," Modi recalled. Michael S Owen was US` Consul General
in Mumbai when he had a meeting with Modi in 2006.

Modi reiterated his stand in the wake of Owen`s
purported November 2, 2006 cable made public by Wikileaks
that "direct encounters with Modi will also enable us to
deliver a clear message regarding USG (United States
Government) concerns for the state of human rights and
religious freedom in Gujarat." The US had denied visa to the
BJP stalwart in 2005 in the wake of 2002 post-Godhra riots.

"Ye america hame manvta ki salah na de (This America
should not give us advice on human rights). I am son of India
and I know what human rights violations you have done. Good
that dialogue is faithfully reproduced," he told reporters.

According to a report citing Wikileaks cables, US
diplomats found themselves in 2006 facing the possibility of
Modi assuming a leadership role at the national level.

Owen in his cable emphasized the need for US to open
interaction with Modi.

Such interaction, Owen said in the cable, "will also
shield us from accusations of opportunism from the BJP that
would invariably arise if we ignored Modi now but sought a
dialogue with him in the likely event that he makes it to the
national stage."

To a question on alleged US interference in Indian
internal affairs as suggested in the leaked US diploamtic
cables over issue of appointment of Pranab Mukherjee as
Finance Minister, Modi said, "Government of India should
address the issue of American interference in internal matters
of India."

Modi also said "America has shown me incorruptible. There
are many non- corrupt people, but they have termed me
incorruptible, which is good for the people of Gujarat.
Wikileaks shows two faces one that of Government of India and
another of progressive Gujarat.

The Mumbai Consulate`s 2,850-word assessment, which
was cleared by the New Delhi Embassy before being cabled to
the State Department, said "If Modi does eventually get a
national leadership role in the BJP in the foreseeable future,
the USG will be obliged to decide how it wants to deal with a
figure of national prominence whose B1/B2 we revoked."

PTI