‘Check Facts First’: Govt as Global Celebs Lend Support to Farmers

“Before rushing to comment on such matters, we would urge that the facts be ascertained,” the MEA said. 

Updated
India
3 min read
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The Centre on Wednesday, 3 February, slammed the comments made by foreign individuals and entities on the farmers' protests in India, saying, "The temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments, especially when resorted to by celebrities and others, is neither accurate nor responsible."

The statement by the Ministry of External Affairs came with the farmers' protest getting the international spotlight, as global icons such as Rihanna and Greta Thunberg tweeted about it. Among others who posted about the ongoing agitation was a US Congressman and a UK MP.

“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.”
MEA statement

What Did the MEA Statement Say?

Saying that "a very small section of farmers" have reservations about the farm laws, the MEA statement detailed how the government has been holding negotiations with the farm unions, and has offered to put the laws on hold.

"Yet, it is unfortunate to see vested groups trying to enforce their agenda on these protests, and derail them. This was egregiously witnessed on January 26, India’s Republic Day... 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. ," the MEA said.

“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 statement

Rihanna and Greta Thunberg’s Tweets

On Tuesday, singer-actor Rihanna tweeted the link to a story on the internet shutdown imposed around Delhi in the wake of the farmers' agitation, saying, "Why aren't we talking about this?! #FarmersProtest".

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg on Tuesday also tweeted support to the farmers' protest in India. "We stand in solidarity with the #FarmersProtest in India," tweeted Thunberg, along with a link to the same story shared by Rihanna.

Full Text of MEA Statement

"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.

A very small section of farmers in parts of India have 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.

Yet, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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. "

#IndiaTogether

#IndiaAgainstPropaganda

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