False assertions' on farmers' protest

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False Assertions: India Slams UK Lawmakers 'Debate On Farmers' Protest

Voice raised by Indian high commission against the UK debate…Get the details!

Tuesday, 9th March 2021

The Indian High Commission located in London has criticized the debate that took place in the British Parliament this Monday on the "safety of farmers" as well as "press freedom" in the country. The commission believed that many ‘False assertions’ were made during the debate.

"We deeply regret that rather than a balanced debate, false assertions - without substantiation or facts - were made, casting aspersions on the largest functioning democracy in the world and its institutions," the statement of the High Commission read.

"Foreign media, including the British media, are present in India and have witnessed the events under discussion first-hand. The question of lack of freedom of the media in India does not arise," it read further.

On this Monday, the British parliament devoted about 90 minutes for debating on the "safety of farmers" and also on the "press freedom" in our country, India. Labour party MPs, MPs of the Scottish National Party, and the Liberal Democrats showed significant concerns over the reaction of the Indian government to the farmers’ protest.

"The concerns will be raised with India when both Prime Ministers meet in person," said the UK government in its response.

Gurch Singh, a Maidenhead Liberal Democrat leader who is of the Indian origin had initiated a petition that had been signed by more than 1 lakh residents of the UK within just a couple of weeks. That petition had actually given rise to that debate.

The debate was opened by Martin Day of the Scottish National Party who remarked: "The UK government has already stated that the farm reforms are a matter for the Indian government's decision. So we are not debating the reforms now. We are debating for the safety of the protesters. Water cannons and tear gas and repeated clashes between police and farmers and interruption in internet connectivity have been matters of concern. Several farmers have reportedly committed suicide."


In the course of the debate, Nigel Adams, UK Minister of State for Asia said that Britain's "close ties with India doesn't hinder the nation from raising concerns". 

Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader said, "The unprecedented protests should make one think about why so many are turning up. The arrests of journalists is a matter of serious concern."

Theresa Villiers, the Conservative MP, however, spoke in support of the Indian government. "We receive complaints against policemen here in the UK too when there are mass protests. That doesn't mean the UK is against democracy." She remarked.

The Indian High Commission, through a statement stressed: "The High Commission of India would normally refrain from commenting on an internal discussion involving a small group of Honorable Parliamentarians in a limited quorum.  However, when aspersions are cast on India by anyone, irrespective of their claims of friendship and love for India or domestic political compulsions, there is a need to set the record straight."

Prime minister of the UK, Boris Johnson was all set to visit India in the month of January in order to attend the celebrations of the Republic Day in the capital city of Delhi. This trip, however, was postponed in the midst of the increasing number of covid cases in the UK, particularly the cases arising out of the rapidly spreading new covid variant in the UK.

This trip is looked upon as a clear indication of the UK expecting to improve its political ties with India post-Brexit. A proposed trading deal is likely to be talked about by the PM of the UK among the other matters.

The farmers' protests had begun in the vicinity of the Delhi borders in the month of November. The protest was against the new agricultural laws framed by the government. The previous month, an unprecedented response came from the government when

Rihanna, the pop star, Greta Thunberg, the climate activist, and the lawmakers of the UK and US attached importance to the demonstrations made.

"We would like to emphasize 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," stated the foreign ministry.

The News Talkie Bureau



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