While responding to a question raised in the Lok Sabha, the Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in a written reply stated that no foreign government has till now extended support to the ongoing farmers' protest in India, even though a few "motivated" Indian-origin individuals were raising issues against the agri laws.
According to a report by Hindustan Times, the reply was issued by minister of state for external affairs V Muraleedharan in response to the query raised by All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) MPs Syed Imtiaz Jaleel and Asaduddin Owaisi. The query was centered on whether any foreign governments and PIOs had shown solidarity with the farmers' protests.
“No foreign government has given support to agitation of Indian farmers against three bills passed by Indian Parliament. In Canada, [the] UK, [the] USA, and in few European countries, protests by a few motivated PIOs on issues related to the Indian Farm Bill have been reported," the report quoted the union minister's reply on the matter.
Further, the External Affairs ministry has said that although Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had made a comment on the issues related to farmers in India, the central government had immediately taken up the issue with "Canadian authorities both in Ottawa and New Delhi" along with a strong sentiment that such comments on India's internal affairs are "unwarranted, unacceptable and would damage India-Canada bilateral relations”.
Notably, the development comes amid a pushback from the Indian government against global celebrities such as singer Rihanna and climate activist Greta Thunberg for their support of the farmers' protests.
The sharply polarised international debate also saw several Bollywood and cricket stars and top ministers rally around the government in its pushback.
The "temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments" is neither accurate nor responsible, the Ministry of External Affairs said as the international spotlight swivelled to the two-month protest to demand a rollback of three new agri laws and a host of stars, including singer Jay Sean and actor John Cusack, turned their attention to it.
Facts must be ascertained before the rush to comment, the ministry added, using the hashtags #IndiaTogether and #IndiaAgainstPropaganda to make its point.
Rihanna, among the biggest pop stars of the day with 101 million followers on Twitter, started the global chorus of support for India's farmers, taking their movement to a new high.
Drawing more international attention to the issue, Thunberg followed soon after.
The lines were clearly drawn, pitting global celebs from various fields against domestic stars and politicians. And the farmers' cause gained international traction.
(With inputs from agencies)