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‘Reports biased, ideological agenda’: EAM Jaishankar’s befitting response to The Caravan contributor on India’s position on democracy indices

Schooling the journalist, Jaishankar said, "I think it answers the question if you would be objective enough to understand it. I think it says very clearly that the people who are writing these reports have a strong bias, often they distort facts. Many of these reports are riddled."

On Tuesday, September 26, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar gave a befitting response to Daniel Block, senior editor at Foreign Affairs, a US-based magazine after the latter tried to trap the former on his statement regarding India’s democracy index.

During a conversation at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), an America-based think-tank, moderated by former US Ambassador to India, Kenneth Juster, Block quoted a journalist in India who had asked Jaishankar about India’s downgrading in Freedom House, V-Dem and other democracy scores.

“I want to follow up with something you said at that time. You were asked about India’s downgrading in Freedom House, V-Dem, and other democracy scores, and the journalist asked you ‘How do you see it played out in terms of how India is being perceived by the world’. To this you said it is hypocrisy,” Block said.

EAM Jaishankar then interjected and asked the journalist to come to the point. “I thought you had a question,” he could be heard saying.

To this Block, who is a contributor to the Indian rag The Caravan, continued saying, “Yes, I am coming to that. You said ‘It is hypocrisy, we have self-appointed custodians of the world who find it difficult to stomach that someone in India is not looking for their approval, is not willing to play the game they want to play’. That does not actually answer the journalist’s question. So I am asking you again. Are you concerned that perceived democratic backsliding in India is going to undermine its efforts to become a rising power in the world?”

EAM Jaishankar then slammed the journalist and said that it was nothing difficult to understand. “I think it answers the question if you would be objective enough to understand it. I think it says very clearly that the people who are writing these reports have a strong bias, often they distort facts. Many of these reports are riddled,” Jaishankar said.

In the year 2021, according to the ‘renowned’ think tank Freedom House in Washington, India’s freedom score had been downgraded from “free” to “partly free,” with the organization citing attacks on Muslims, the use of the sedition law, and the government’s response to the coronavirus, which included the lockdown, as reasons why rights and civil liberties “have been eroding since Narendra Modi became Prime Minister in 2014”.

Days after the international organization criticized India over freedom and democracy Jaishankar slammed them for their “hypocrisy” and called them “self-appointed custodians of the world who find it very difficult to stomach that somebody in India is not looking for their approval”.

On Tuesday, September 26, Jaishankar reiterated that “people who are writing these reports have a strong bias, often they distort facts. Many of these reports are riddled”. According to the Twitter profile of Daniel Block, he works as a senior editor at Foreign Affairs, a US-based magazine. He has formerly worked with many publications like the Washington Monthly, the Caravan India, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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