India on Wednesday reacted sharply to comments by foreign celebrities and others, including pop singer Rihanna on farmers' protests, saying a very small section of farmers in parts of the country have some reservations about the farm reforms and a proper understanding of the issue is needed before rushing to comment on the agitation.
'The temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments, especially when resorted to by celebrities and others, is neither accurate nor responsible,' the Ministry of External Affairs said in a curt statement.
The MEA's reaction came after several international celebrities and activists including American pop singer Rihanna and Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg tweeted about the farmers' protest in India.
The ministry also said the Parliament of India passed the reformist legislation relating to the agricultural sector, and noted that some of the vested interest groups have tried to mobilise international support against India.
This sudden concert of global celebrity voices against India’s government begs the question: who is wielding the baton?
Is there a concerted global effort to destabilise India from outside?
Who gains from destabilising India? https://t.co/EfRXJQpePv
— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) February 3, 2021
Some ministers too tweeted against the foreign celebs who had made inaccurate comments:
— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) February 3, 2021
"For 1000 of years India was defeated, occupied, looted & ruled by the invaders not because India was weak but there was always a Jaichand. We need to ask who’s behind this international propaganda to defame India," Union minister Kiren Rijiju tweeted, adding the hashtag 'India Against Propaganda'.
For 1000 of years India was defeated, occupied, looted & ruled by the invaders not because India was weak but there was always a Jaichand.
We need to ask who’s behind this international propaganda to defame India.#IndiaTogether #IndiaAgainstPropaganda https://t.co/qsgafQrIMb
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) February 3, 2021
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman also tweeted with the same hashtag.
“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.”#IndiaTogether #IndiaAgainstPropagandahttps://t.co/rGJiPvlM4D
— Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) February 3, 2021
— Jagat Prakash Nadda (@JPNadda) February 3, 2021
Soon after the Ministry of External Affairs put out an official statement, slamming international celebrities' inaccurate tweets, cricket great Sachin Tendulkar, Indian team coach Ravi Shastri and Bollywood stars Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn and Suniel Shetty too came forward to support the government.
India’s sovereignty cannot be compromised. External forces can be spectators but not participants.
Indians know India and should decide for India. Let's remain united as a nation.#IndiaTogether #IndiaAgainstPropaganda
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) February 3, 2021
Agriculture is a very important part of the machinery of the Indian economic system. Farmers are the backbone of any country’s ecosystem. This is an internal matter which I’m sure will be resolved through dialogue. Jai Hind! #IndiaStandsTogether #IndiaAgainstPropoganda 🇮🇳
— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) February 3, 2021
Farmers constitute an extremely important part of our country. And the efforts being undertaken to resolve their issues are evident. Let’s support an amicable resolution, rather than paying attention to anyone creating differences. 🙏🏻#IndiaTogether #IndiaAgainstPropaganda https://t.co/LgAn6tIwWp
— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) February 3, 2021
— Ajay Devgn (@ajaydevgn) February 3, 2021
— Suniel Shetty (@SunielVShetty) February 3, 2021
The MEA statement, meanwhile, added: 'We would like to emphasise 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.’
Asserting that '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 ministry said the 'temptation of sensationalist' social media hashtags and comments, especially when resorted to by celebrities and others, is 'neither accurate nor responsible'.
Additional inputs: PTI