Indian missions take on criticism

Indian missions are reaching out to diaspora Indians with frequent e-mailers justifying the government’s approach to the farm agitation, reports Asian Lite News

Indian missions abroad are working on an overdrive to allay diaspora’s fears and comments by politicians by foreign governments over the ongoing farmers’ agitation and arrest of young environmentalist Disha Ravi.

While the Indian mission in Britain issued an open letter to British MP Claudia Webbe, in Sydney a pro and anti-farm bill protest by Indians saw the intervention of local authorities to get the rally diverted.

All the missions abroad have been active in supporting the farm laws especially the several social media posts by PM Narendra Modi. They are also reaching out to diaspora Indians with frequent e-mailers justifying the government’s approach to the agitation.

Recently, the missions forwarded “additional inputs from the Ministry of Agriculture” that said the Government has taken all conceivable steps to sort out the grievances of farmer unions who are “obstinately demanding the repeal of all the three laws”. The laws provide the much-needed enabling environment for farmers to sell their produce across the nation from their doorstep through these Farm Acts, it said according to a report by The Tribune.

On Tuesday, the Indian mission in Britain said the information about the farmers’ protest was being shared with Webbe to “dispel any misgivings with regard to the objectives of the reforms, the ability of those having reservations to protest peacefully and the willingness of the Government of India to address all concerns in a manner most acceptable to the protesting farmers’ unions.”

Jaishankar

“The efforts continue – but Government of India is more than aware of efforts by vested interests abroad to fuel the protests through misinformation and incendiary assertions that are not helpful in progressing the dialogue between the protesters and Government or addressing the issues through the democratic processes that our people have traditionally relied on,” the open letter added.

Webbe and Labour Party MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi have been at the forefront of UK MPs who have raised the farmers’ protest. Over the past two days, Webbe tweeted in support of the protesting farmers and Disha Ravi.

“We would have been able to comprehensively and in detail provide clarifications to assuage the concerns of your constituents with regard to the recent path-breaking Indian farm laws, against which a small section of India’s farming community has been protesting,” the letter said, repeating the position taken by the external affairs ministry in response to the farmers’ protest being raised by other countries.

The Indian mission said the reforms, “intended to protect and empower farmers in India”, were based on “inputs from experts and recommendations by committees that have analysed the specific challenges of the agricultural sector in India over the last 20 years”.

Trouble Down Under

In Sydney, the police had to intervene to divert a car-rally by Indian diaspora groups supporting the farm laws which was allegedly moving in the direction of a Sikh Gurdwara.

The Australian Sikh Association “lauded the prompt police action in preventing any untoward incident” as “mobsters were proceeding towards Glenwood gurdwara after a protest rally in Parramatta”.

Farmers reach Red Fort

But a diaspora media outlet quoted the Sunday’s ‘Tiranga Rally’ participant Gayatri Sharma as stating that it was “unfortunate, we have to change the route just because some ‘Khalistani’ elements threatened to disrupt our peaceful rally”.

The Sydney-based South Asia Times reported that such incidents seem to be dividing the community. “It is not clear who were the organisers of the ‘Tiranga Rally’and no one has claimed any responsibility for the same.”

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