‘We Bow Our Heads’: Rajnath Rejects ‘Khalistani’ Tag for Farmers

He asserted that the “government is flexible” if the farmers want to bring in experts to talk about the amendments.

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India
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Rajnath Singh, Union Defense Minister.
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Supporting the Union’s stand, Rajnath Singh on Wednesday, 30 December in an exclusive with news agency ANI said the farm laws have been made for the benefit of the farmers who are “annadata” and “backbone of the economy” and have “taken the country out of troubled waters many times”. He said allegations of being “Naxals” or “Khalistanis” “should not be made against the farmers. We express our deepest respect towards our farmers. Our heads bow in deference and respect to our farmers”.

The Minister said the “Sikh brothers have always protected the culture of the country. Their contribution will always be remembered for protecting the country’s self-respect. There is no question on their integrity”.

He said the farmers should wait and see the implementation for two years, saying there should be a “logical debate on every clause of the farm laws”, where anything against the farmers’ interests can be addressed by the government.

He asserted that the “government is flexible” if the farmers want to bring in experts to talk about the amendments. He said the government was working for the poor and marginalised communities and that “some forces have tried to create some misconceptions about the farmers”, quoted ANI.

He said the farm laws were to double the farmers’ income, and that MSP will continue. He also mentioned how PM Modi has been “pained” by the protests and that there is no insensitivity about the farmers’ movement by the government.

On being asked about the disruption of mobile towers amid the farmer protests, Singh said, “Such things should not happen. Our farmers from Punjab should think about this. The acts of vandalism should stop."

On Canada PM’s Comments On Farm Laws

"First of all, I would like to say about the prime minister of any country that comment should not be made about India's internal affairs. India does not require any outside interference. We will sort out issues by ourselves. It is an internal matter of India. No country in the world has the right to comment on India's internal affairs," Rajnath Singh said.

Rajnath objected to the Canadian PM’s “interference” and the criticism by other countries and said there are attempts being made to “mislead our farmer brothers”.

On LoC

Defense Minister Rajnath Singh asserted that India has the “capability to hit terror targets across LOC if need arises”. He noted that Pakistan has indulged in “notorious actions along the border”, with “300-400 ceasefire violations in a few months” but the Indian army is able to give a “befitting reply”, quoted ANI.

The troops are focusing on eradicating terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. Singh said. India can carry out surgical strikes if the need arises, saying the nation has the “ability, capability and power” to “attack terrorist hideouts", quoted ANI.

On LAC Standoff With China

After the 18 December meeting at the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs had stated that both India and China would continue to engage at a diplomatic and military level. The standoff between the two countries began in May this year and has still not found any resolution.

They reportedly agreed that the ninth round of talks between senior commander officials of both nations will be held soon to speed up negotiation and disengagement of troops in accordance to bilateral agreements to maintain peace, reported ANI.

Speaking on the issue, the defence minister said the talks so far “have not been successful”, there has been “no meaningful solution” yet and “there is a status quo”.

He added, “If there is status quo, it is natural how deployment can be reduced. There will be no reduction in our deployment and I feel their deployment will also not come down. I don’t think that status-quo is a positive development at all. Talks are on and they result in a positive outcome, that is our expectation".

On Anti-Conversion Law by UP

Rajnath Singh backed the anti-conversion law passed by the Uttar Pradesh government saying the “practis\ce of mass conversions should stop”. Asking why there was a need for conversion, he said, “As far as I know, in the Muslim religion, one cannot marry someone from another religion. I personally do not approve of conversion for marriage,” quoted ANI.

On being asked if the law was being misused, Singh went on to talk about the difference between “natural marriage” and “forceful religious conversions”, saying the later is done out of greed and “the governments which made these laws have considered all these things”, quoted ANI.

Singh also said that a “true Hindu” will not discriminate against “caste, religion and sects” because the religious scriptures do not endorse this. India is the only country that has given the message of “Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam” (the whole world is a family). No country did this,” he added.

(With inputs from ANI. )

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