'Ascertain facts before rushing to comment': MEA on tweets by Rihanna and others on farmers' stir
The ministry of external affairs (MEA) on Wednesday said that the criticism of India's farm laws by foreign personalities is "unfortunate". Talking about Republic Day violence, the MEA further said that "vested interest groups are trying to enforce their agenda on these protests".
"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," the ministry said in a statement.
"Before rushing to comment on such matters, we urge that facts be ascertained and proper understanding of 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," it further said on the reactions from global celebrities and leaders.
Thousands of protesters are agitating against the three farm legislation enacted by Parliament in September last year. The central government has projected the laws as "historic reforms" in the agriculture sector that will work in favour of farmers by removing middlemen and giving them the freedom to sell their produce anywhere in the country. However, farmers fear that it will put them at the mercy of the big corporates and will remove the Minimum Support Price (MSP).
The stir received support from American singer Rihanna and Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. "Why aren’t we talking about this?! #FarmersProtest," Rihanna tweeted to her more than 100 million followers along with an article that talked about suspension of the internet in areas where these farmers are protesting.
Taking it further, Thunberg tweeted, "We stand in solidarity with the farmers' protest in India."
Apart from Thunberg, UK Member of Parliament Claudia Webbe also expressed solidarity with the Indian farmers. Author and niece of US Vice President Kamala Harris, Meena also showed her support on social media towards the agitating farmers as well. "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," she wrote on Twitter.