The United States, which two years into the Biden administration still does not have an ambassador in New Delhi, is reeling from former President Donald J. Trump’s assault on its democratic system. Its seriousness about a foreign policy that prioritizes human rights was questioned as the quest for cheaper oil took Mr. Biden this summer to Saudi Arabia, where he fist-bumped with the crown prince implicated in a journalist’s murder and dismemberment.
“The U.S. also has lost some of its authority to criticize other countries on their records on democracy,” said Lisa Curtis, a former senior U.S. national security official who leads the Indo-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security.
In many ways, diplomats, officials and analysts said, India’s rise brings together two unique developments: a natural opening in the country’s often-uncertain post-colonial trajectory, and the emergence of a leader at the peak of his power who has spent half a century pursuing his vision from the ground up.
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