A few weeks after certain self-proclaimed ‘watchdogs’ with vested interests pointed fingers at India for being ‘partly free’, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar on Friday said that it is better to call them out rather than allowing them to define a false narrative.
Speaking to Times Now Editor Rahul Shivshankar, Minister Jaishankar said that there is a need to call out the hypocrisy of vested groups which target India over several issues. He added that people, both abroad and at home, sometimes say unkind things about the country and the government.
However, you can either put up with it or call it out, he said. “The problem with putting up with it they then get to define the narrative. Calling it out is not defensive, it is called for and sensible,” the External Affairs Minister said.
People abroad and at home sometimes say unkind things about us, as a country and as a govt. You can either put up with it or call it out. No harm in calling it out: External Affairs Minister, @DrSJaishankar, tells Rahul Shivshankar on India Upfront. | #JaishankarOnTimesNow pic.twitter.com/hVZ6HxncTP— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) March 26, 2021
Responding to the recent instance of the British Parliament and a few members in the US Congress interfering in the domestic politics of the country, Dr Jaishankar said that democratic countries should follow a basic courtesy to not interfere in other countries’ domestic affairs. Courtesy is a two-way street, he said, adding that even the Indian legislature can discuss issues concerning other countries.
“Our speaker made a point during the IPU visit last week. It is not appropriate for democratic legislatures to pass comments on the working of other democratic legislatures. We think that the basic courtesy between legislatures should be observed. If they are not, people need to realise that it is a two-way street.”
“Today if British Parliament debates on what they feel about Indian laws, it is very likely that Indian MPs will feel equally strongly about what is happening in UK or US or wherever else and want do to something similar as I said courtesy is a two-way street,” said EAM Jaishankar.
People not doing politically are encountering and using borderless politics: EAM Jaishankar
Emphasising the transformation that has taken place in the country in the last few years and the subsequent reactions from the global players, Jaishankar stated that it was important to understand two-three important issues concerning India.
“One, there are very comprehensive, deep changes happening in the country. They are political, economic, social and cultural. These changes are, in a way, revolution but in a democratic way. Today, it is encountering borderless politics, where people who are politically not doing well domestically tends to extend the issue globally,” said Jaishankar taking a dig at Indian opposition parties for trying to join hands with global forces to destabilise the country.
Minister Jaishankar said, “A lot of noise that we are hearing is borderless politics meeting democratic transformation at home”.
Continuing, he said, “Secondly, there is much stronger governance in the country today. There was a view in this country that equating freedom and liberty with bad governance or non-governance. So, when you start governing well through using legitimate tools of governance and delivering on the ground, it is being depicted as an infringement of freedom. There is also a desire to project leadership as a kind of something similar to a dictatorship. This country needs leadership”.
His response came after several US-based organisations, and British Parliament had raised their voices against the country’s domestic politics, especially the way the Indian government handled the ‘farmer’ protests and the subsequent riots that were unleashed by the protestors on Republic Day.
EAM Jaishankar exposes hypocrisy of US-based think tank
Earlier, days after US-based organisation ‘Freedom House’ downgraded India’s status from ‘free’ to ‘partly free’, Union Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar had slammed the agenda-driven report during the India Today Conclave South on Saturday. His comments also come at the backdrop of the recent V-Dem Institute report that downgraded India’s status from a ‘democracy’ to ‘an electoral autocracy.’
On being asked by India Today journalist Rahul Kanwal about the decline in the country’s status on the freedom index, EAM S Jaishankar had emphasised, “You used the dichotomy of democracy and autocracy. (Do) Do you want a truthful answer? It is hypocrisy. We have a set of self-appointed custodians of the world who find it very difficult to stomach that somebody in India is not looking for their approval…They invent their rules, their parameters, pass their judgements and make it look as though it is some kind of global exercise.”
I am self assured about my country, I don’t need certificate from other countries who clearly have some agenda: @DrSJaishankar— IndiaToday (@IndiaToday) March 13, 2021
Full coverage: https://t.co/yv8Uf6ILo1
Watch Live: https://t.co/9nr64mAmjW#ConclaveSouth21 | @rahulkanwal pic.twitter.com/aUZmSKLKIA
S Jaishankar pointed out that all such agenda-driven reports refer to the BJP as a ‘Hindu nationalist party. He emphasised, “We are the nationalist guys. We have given vaccines to 70 countries in the world. Tell me (about) the internationalist countries. How many vaccines have then given? Which one of these countries have said that while I do (vaccinate) my own people, I will do (inoculate) other people who need it as much as we do. Where are these people?”
The Union External Affairs Minister said that the Indian government is accused of shrinking civil liberties, whereas the ground reality is much further from such baseless claims. “Whatever you may say, in this country, nobody questions an election. Can you say that in those countries?” His remarks were directed at the United States, where scepticism about the 2020 Presidential Election results is still rife.
It is worth mentioning that Freedom House, that had downgraded India’s status from ‘free’ to ‘partly free’, is funded notorious organisation – Open Society Foundation, run by notorious billionaire George Soros that intends to destabilise nationalist government across the world.