Ministry of External Affairs releases statement after Rihanna’s tweet on Farmers’ Protests

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Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) released a statement on Wednesday 3rd February 2021 as the farmer’s protest has gained traction and support from foreign influentials. In the statement, the MEA said, “It is unfortunate to see vested interest groups trying to enforce their agenda on these protests, and derail them.”

“Indian Parliament after full debate and discussion passed reformist Agri legislation,” the MEA added.

Musical sensation as well as the founder of Fenty Beauty Rihanna, Environmental Activist, Greta Thunberg and American Vlogger Amanda Cerny on Tuesday 2nd February extended their support to Indian farmers fighting against the government’s new agriculture laws.

“Why aren’t we talking about this?! #FarmersProtest,” Rihanna tweeted to her more than 100 million followers with a link attached to an article about the communications crackdown. By the next day, her tweet had been liked by more than 3,91,000 people and shared nearly 2,00,000 times.

FULL STATEMENT FROM THE MEA reads –

“The Parliament of India, after a full debate and discussion, passed reformist legislation relating to the agricultural sector. These reforms give expanded market access and provided greater flexibility to farmers. They also pave the way for economically and ecologically sustainable farming.

A very small section of farmers in parts of India has some reservations about these reforms. Respecting the sentiments of the protestors, the Government of India has initiated a series of talks with their representatives. Union Ministers have been part of the negotiations, and eleven rounds of talks have already been held. The Government has even offered to keep the laws on hold and offer iterated by no less than the Prime Minister of India.

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.

Indian police forces have handled these protests with the utmost restraint. It may be noted that hundreds of men and women serving in the police have been physically attacked, and in some cases stabbed and seriously wounded.

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.

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. ”

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