"Vested groups trying to mobilize international support against India": MEA reacts to international criticism on farmers protest
A farmer throws back a tear gas shell fired by the police to disperse them during the tractor rally on January 26Image source: AFP/ Sajjad HUSSAIN

"Vested groups trying to mobilize international support against India": MEA reacts to international criticism on farmers protest

Ministry of Urban Affairs in a strong reaction described them as part of "vested interest groups"

US Vice President Kamala Harris' niece Meena Harris and some international celebrities on Wednesday extended their support to the farmers protesting in New Delhi on their social media accounts.

Ministry of Urban Affairs in a strong reaction described them as part of "vested interest groups" and their support as "sensationalist social media hashtags and comments" which are "neither accurate nor responsible."

On Wednesday evening, a Twitter frenzy broke out, when Rihanna, an American pop star, posted a news link on the farmers' protest in India and said, "Why aren't we talking about this?!" The Indians challenging Rihanna's credentials and awareness of India's internal issues caused widespread outrage.

Following this was Greta Thunberg, a teenager renowned for her environmental activism, said, "We stand in solidarity with the #FarmersProtest in India."

Meena Harris, the niece of US Vice-President, Kamala Harris, tweeted, "It's no coincidence that the world's oldest democracy was attacked not even a month ago, and as we speak, the most populous democracy is under assault. This is related. We all should be outraged by India's internet shutdowns and paramilitary violence against farmer protesters,"

Lebanese-American actress, Mia Khalifa, also joined the Twitter war by posting a picture of Indian women protesters, tweeting, "What in the human rights violations is going on?! They cut the internet around New Delhi?! #FarmersProtest."

Thousands of Indians, including Indian film star Kangana Ranaut, lashed out their tweets.

Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement on the same, which read, "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."

The ministry further added, "Yet, 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. 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."

"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 government said.

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