The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Wednesday condemned the remarks by foreign celebrities and entities over the farmers protest in India, terming them as “unfortunate” and “sensationalist”.
In a statement, the government warned against the “temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments” and said the protests were by “a very small section of farmers” in parts of India. The statement included hashtags such as #IndiaTogether and #IndiaAgainstPropaganda.
The MEA statement comes after singer Rihanna, environment activists Greta Thunberg and a slew of foreign voices took to social media to express their “solidarity” with the framers in the ongoing protest over the new farm laws. Earlier today, US Vice President Kamala Harris’ niece Meena Harris too tweeted in support of the protests.
Reacting to the remarks, MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “It’s unfortunate to see vested interest groups trying to enforce their agenda on these protests and derail them. This was egregiously witnessed on January 26.”
The government said the Parliament of India after full debate and discussion, passed “reformist legislation relating to the agricultural sector” and the reforms “give expended market access and provided greater flexibility to farmers.”
In its statement, the government reiterated that in order to end the deadlock, Centre and farmers union representatives have held 11 rounds of talks and also agreed to hold the implementation of the laws for 1 to 1.5 years.
The government asserted that the police had handled the protests with “utmost restraints”.
The government, in an appeal, urged to exercise caution “before rushing to comment on such matters” and “ascertain facts for proper understanding of issue at hand.”
It further emphasised that these protests must be seen in the context of India’s democratic ethos and polity, and the efforts of the government and the concerned farmer group to resolve the impasse.
The farmers have been staging protests against the new farm laws for over 4 months at various borders of the capital. The farmers’ tractor rally, called by the unions on Jan 26 to highlight their demands against the repeal of the laws, turned violent as thousands of protestors broke through barricades and clashed with the police.