New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, on Wednesday termed three farm laws as ‘reformist’ and flayed foreign interference for enforcing ‘agenda’. “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,” an MEA statement said here.
It 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. The MEA said, – 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.
It said, 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, and offer iterated by no less than the Prime Minister of India.”
However, it said – “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.”
Among several international celebrities and lawmakers from countries like Canada and United Kingdom, Meena Harris, niece of US Vice President Kamala Harris has also sought to interfere in the farmers’ stir.
A tweet by Barbadian beauty and world’s fourth most-followed individual Rihanna Fenty also sparked off a major row. Meena Harris had tweeted – “We all should be outraged by India’s internet shutdown and paramilitary violence against farmer protesters”.
The MEA statement also said – 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,” the statement said.
MEA said – Indian police forces have handled these protests with the 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.”
Thus, the Foreign Ministry said 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,” it added.
Meanwhile, the IT ministry has served notice to the Twitter for “unilaterally unblocking” of several accounts those were ordered by the central government to be blocked.
On Monday, Feb 1, about 200 Twitter accounts were blocked for tweeting or retweeting with the ‘farmer genocide’ hashtag and for making fake and provocative tweets.