External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on June 9 took a swipe at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s recent criticism of the government during his US visit and said arguments in a democracy are not the problem but that when leaders go outside India and invite people from outside to come and interfere, it becomes the problem.
“In any democracy, there will be arguments. There will be differences, there will be diversity and opinions. And it should be there, there is nothing wrong with it. It is concerning, when they take India’s problem out in the world and then invite people from outside to come and interfere,” Jaishankar said at Aryabhatta College without taking Rahul Gandhi’s name.
“If you say that India has problems and great concerns then the world must do something about it, this has big implications and that is not good for the country,” he added.
During a six-day, three-city tour of the United States, Rahul Gandhi criticised the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“The central architect of modern India, Mahatma Gandhi, was an NRI. The foundation for India’s freedom movement was laid in South Africa…Nehru, BR Ambedkar, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Subhash Chandra Bose, all were NRIs and had an open mind about the outside world,” he said.
His remark assumes significance as the BJP, which holds the reins of administration at the Centre, has often accused him of sullying India’s image on foreign soil.
The BJP has also alleged a larger global narrative to defame India.
Asserting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has changed the system in India, and that the country has become ready to respond to global problems, Jaishankar said, “As someone who has spent the last few years working very closely with Modiji, I have never met anyone who has as much faith in the future of the country as in its youth…
We have a leader with a vision — somebody with a strong sense of commitment for the country.”
Responding to questions regarding India’s G20 presidency, he said, “With G20, we are laying a foundation for what Modiji calls Amrit Kaal.”