India slams comments by international pop star Rihanna, Greta Thunberg and others on farmers protests

New Delhi: India has sharply reacted to comments by western celebrities like Rihanna & Climate activist Greta and others on farmers protests in India.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs called the comments a temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments, especially when resorted to by celebrities and others as neither accurate nor responsible.

Without taking names, the statement said, “…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.”

Rihanna, who has 101 million followers tweeted a media link saying, “Why aren’t we talking about this?! #FarmersProtest”. Greta, tweeted the same link, saying,”We stand in solidarity with the #FarmersProtest in India.”

Not just Rihanna and Greta, Jim Costa of US, a member of the US congress’s Foreign Affairs Committee tweeted, “I am closely monitoring the situation. The right to peaceful protest must always be respected. #FarmersProtest”.

Meena Harris, the niece of US Vice President Kamala Harris too tweeted, saying, “We ALL should be outraged by India’s internet shutdowns and paramilitary violence against farmer protesters.”

The MEA’s statement pointed out that the “reformist” farm laws have been passed “after a full debate and discussion” and “these reforms give expanded market access and provided greater flexibility to farmers”.

It recalled, talks between the govt and farmers over the “reservations about these reforms” and the fact that “Government has even offered to keep the laws on hold, an offer iterated by no less than the Prime Minister of India”.

The developments of January 26, when protestors “violence and vandalism” took place in Delhi & Mahatma Gandhi statues being “desecrated in parts of the world” were also highlighted in the statement.

The statement also mentioned how the Indian police forces have “handled these protests with utmost restraint” even as “hundreds of men and women serving in the police have been physically attacked” and in “some cases stabbed and seriously wounded.”