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MEA to foreign entities: Farmers' protest must be seen in context of India's democratic ethos, polity

News Agencies | Updated on: 3 February 2021, 13:19 IST

Noting the recent comments by foreign individuals and entities on the farmers' protests, India on Wednesday emphasised that the protests must be seen in the context of its democratic ethos and polity and before rushing to comment, one must ascertain facts and understand the issues at hand.

"Before rushing to comment on such matters, we would urge that the facts be ascertained, and a proper understanding of the issues at hand be undertaken. The temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments, especially when resorted to by celebrities and others, is neither accurate nor responsible," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.

"We would like to emphasise 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 groups to resolve the impasse," MEA added.

This statement comes after unwarranted and uninformed comments were made by a few foreign individuals and entities amid the farmers' protest in India.

Issuing a strong response to the recent comments by individuals, India further said, "The Parliament of India, after a full debate and discussion, passed reformist legislation relating to the agricultural sector. These reforms give expanded market access and provided greater flexibility to farmers. They also pave the way for economically and ecologically sustainable farming."

It further clarified that a very small section of farmers in parts of India has some reservations about these reforms.

"Respecting the sentiments of the protestors, the Government of India has initiated a series of talks with their representatives. Union Ministers have been part of the negotiations, and eleven rounds of talks have already been held. The Government has even offered to keep the laws on hold, an offer iterated by no less than the Prime Minister of India," the statement said.

On the incidents of violence that were witnessed on January 26, MEA said, "It is unfortunate to see vested interest groups trying to enforce their agenda on these protests, and derail them. This was egregiously witnessed on January 26, India's Republic Day. A cherished national commemoration, the anniversary of the inauguration of the Constitution of India, was besmirched, and violence and vandalism took place in the Indian capital."

It further said that Indian police forces have handled these protests with the utmost restraint. "Indian police forces have handled these protests with utmost restraint. It may be noted that hundreds of men and women serving in the police have been physically attacked, and in some cases stabbed and seriously wounded."

The MEA further said that some of these vested interest groups have also tried to mobilise international support against India.

"Instigated by such fringe elements, Mahatma Gandhi statues have been desecrated in parts of the world. This is extremely disturbing for India and for civilised society everywhere," MEA said while recalling the recent attacks on Mahatma Gandhi statues around the world.


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First published: 3 February 2021, 13:19 IST