Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took a swipe at the Modi government on Wednesday (February 3) holding it responsible for spoiling India’s “reputation” abroad with its handling of farmers’ ongoing protest.
When asked if India’s image at the international diaspora has been affected because of barricading at Delhi’s borders, Gandhi said, “Absolutely the reputation of India has taken a massive hit. Not only on how we are treating our farmers, but on how we treat our people, how we treat journalists.”
“Our biggest strength, you can call it soft power, has been shattered by the BJP-RSS, their mindset,” Gandhi said at a press conference on Wednesday.
Gandhi’s comment follows the Ministry of External Affairs’ (MEA) criticism of international celebrities (most prominent being Rihana and Greta Thunberg) for commenting on the ongoing farmers protest. The ministry issued a tweet: “Unfortunate to see vested interest groups trying to enforce their agenda on these protests, and derail them.”
A day earlier, Gandhi had asked the Modi government to build bridges instead of walls. Gandhi wrote on his twitter wall: “GOI, Build bridges, not walls!” and tagged pictures of heavily barricaded entry points at Ghazipur, Singhu and Tikri borders of Delhi.
Thousands of farmers are camping on Delhi’s borders since November 28 last year demanding repeal of three farm laws passed during the monsoon session of parliament.
Immediately after the Republic Day violence at Red Fort in Delhi, Gandhi had asked farmers to hold on and not to give up their agitation. A few days later, he accused the government of “beating, threatening and bullying” farmers and said the farm laws should be withdrawn with immediate effect.